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Jolesch – best Austrian cuisine in Kreuzberg

Right at the heart of Kreuzberg, around the corner of the charming Lausitzer Platz, an institution of the Austrian cuisine has established itself over the past 25 years. The restaurant’s façade is twinned with beautiful pampres and offers cool shadows on a hot summer day. The beautiful interior revives the legendary Austrian coffeehouse charme, combined with a great sense for modern style.

Once passing the entrance room, with its fireplace, ensuring a cosy atmosphere on a cold winter day, you enter the very appealing main room. Walls painted with a petrol like color match perfectly with the antique chandeliers, the real wood furniture and the big modernist painting at the end of the room, creating a homely feeling with a great atmosphere. The reference to the Austrian coffeehouse charme is no coincidence: The restaurant owners, Renate Dengg and Max Setrak, are Austrians and have recreated a small reminiscence of their home country just in the center of Berlin, opening Jolesch 25 years ago.

After a warm welcome, we were taken to a cosy corner, with dimmed light, at the very back of the main room. We decided to go for a 6 course menu, specially prepared by the chef Tobias Janzen, with a strong focus on regional asparagus from the Beelitz area. Beelitzer asparagus are known to be a regional spring delicacy. 

After a glass of Ayala champagne, we were served Vulcano ham from the Oststeiermark region in Austria. We were already able to get a glimpse of it, when we entered the main room, as it is cut freshly on a beautiful meat slicer placed in the middle of the room. The ham is air-seasoned over the time of 18 months and therefore one of Austria’s finest delicacies. The curation is absolutely worth it, as it tastes amazing and just perfectly accompanies the champagne with the right amount of umami to get us ready for the menu.

While we waited for the first dish, the room started to come alive and got quickly filled up with guests. Immediately we understood what makes this place special, as the chatting of the people and the dimmed light make us slide even further into the omnipresent homely atmosphere.

The first dish was an absolute highlight: marinated salmon from the baltic sea, crispy grilled slices of asparagus and a hemispherically shaped ball of asparagus mousse, all topped with aromatic dandelion. The firm structure of the mousse and its fine taste worked just great with the salmon and the dandelion, creating a fantastic refreshing taste. The dish is just perfect for a hot summer evening. 

Next we were served a wild garlic soup in a teacup. A cute way to once again emphasize the Austrian coffeehouse theme. The soup was well balanced and made out the most of the wild garlic aroma. Nevertheless – it should be said -, the soup is quite heavy, and therefore more than an appetizer, especially when served as part of a 6 course menu.

The third dish was ravioli with an interesting twist to it: instead of the classic ricotta filling, it was served with Topfen. Topfen is similar to curd and something Austrians hold very dear. The ravioli were accompanied by dandelion salad and a colorful spicy sauce. Although the ravioli is a neat idea, the combination of spiciness and asparagus was the real highlight of the dish, as we had not tasted this combination before.

Next up we were served asparagus baked with parmesan. The dish is perfect for asparagus enthusiasts, as it clearly emphasizes the unique aroma of the beloved vegetable. But for us it was not able to live up until the main attraction of the evening: a traditional Wiener Schnitzel made out of veal.

The Schnitzel was just perfect! We can grant without any doubt that Jolesch is one of Berlin’s best addresses to experience a classic Wiener Schnitzel. Plus, the price value ratio (17€ for an original Wiener Schnitzel), is just amazing!

The menu ended with one of Austria’s most famous desserts, a Kaiserschmarrn, served with plum compote. Although the fluffiness of the dough came a little short due to a heavy caramelization, it is absolutely clear that the chef knows his work. It probably speaks for itself that we emptied our plates, albeit all of us were already more than full after indulging the great Schnitzel.

But lucky us, the restaurant offers a great variety of digestives. Any Austria fan knows that the Alpine country is famous for his high quality fruit brandies. So we went for three different kinds and can highly recommend the rowan berry brandy, which has a fruity and spicy taste to it. Do not miss this highlight at the end of you meal!

We had an absolutely great time at Jolesch and will definitely return. Jolesch is way more than just a great place to experience the Austrian cuisine in a very authentic and well prepared way. The hearty homy atmosphere is the perfect setting for a great evening of chatting, laughter and… wine!

This article was written by Max Tschöpe and edited by Domingos Ruiz Lepores, after a press dinner at Jolesch.

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