Last week we were very happy to be invited to sister blog iHeartBerlin’s 7th birthday celebrations. As well as hosting an impressive array of parties, exhibitions and so on, they had organised an event called Seven Suppers in collaboration with an online dinner service called Qozy.
For the uninitiated, the Qozy online dinner service involves you choosing a meal option from a sleek and simple website, adding a wine option, and punching in your details. There are a few companies providing similar services operating already in the UK and the US, but this is to my knowledge the first of its kind in Germany. The idea is that if you want to host a dinner party, but have not the time, confidence or expertise to do so, Qozy will send one of their professional chefs (all of whom have worked in restaurant kitchens) over to your home to whip up a three-course meal from scratch. They bring the ingredients, so no need to shop for groceries. Qozy will do an inventory of your kitchen beforehand, so if there is anything you do not have that they need, a whisk or the right amount of plates for example, the chef will bring that with him as well. After cooking for you, the kitchen is entirely cleaned, and your culinary ghost-chef leaves. It’s your dinner party, your story; he just helped you write it.
So, Seven Suppers. The theme was simple: Seven different dinners (actually six and one brunch but who’s counting) on seven consecutive nights, each with a different theme. There was a duck dinner, a vegetarian dinner, a fish dinner, and so on. I am a voracious carnivore that inexplicably chooses to live with an assortment of vegans, vegetarians, pescetarians and pretty much anybody else with an –ans tacked onto the end of their dietary preferences. The consequence of this is that my meaty meals are few and far between. So it had to be the steak supper.
The meal I had is one of the numerous set meals available from Qozy, so if it sounds attractive to you its there for the eating. We started with a warm bean and feta salad. No dressing necessary, it came with a charred half of lemon, which gave a sweet smoky citrus tang when squeezed. Simple, but rather elegant.
The main course was a strip steak, an American cut known internationally as a club steak. Brits will know it as the short loin part of a rib-eye steak. This was served medium-rare with new potatoes and a parsley and mint salsa verde, as well as a roasted half a head of garlic. The salsa was light and fresh against the rich meat, and the garlic cloves soft and caramelised – I spread them like butter all over the steak, before looking up to see that I was the only one to fully demolish my garlic. Your funeral ladies and gents, I bloody love garlic. The dish could have been a tad larger, but the flavour combinations went some way to making up for lack of meat and spuds. In any case, I have a feeling that if I were to relay that to the chef he would have been ready with a surplus in the kitchen specially reserved for extra hungry diners.
I will admit to having a fairly sweet tooth so my dessert reviews may often rave in comparison to the savoury courses. But I think I’m justified in saying that the freshly made ricotta (literally just whipped it up in the kitchen) served with honeycomb, fresh figs, and a dusting of pistachio. My dinner guest claimed in advance not to like figs, but her bowl was as empty as mine at the close. Sticky, gooey, I’m drooling with adjectives for that one.
Maybe you don’t have time to cook, or perhaps you are simply rubbish at it? Do you want to impress some old friends coming round to your swanky new altbau apartment? Have you just realised that it’s your mum’s birthday and you forgot to book seats at that hip Mitte restaurant she probably wouldn’t have liked anyway? Qozy are pretty flexible and can take bookings usually up to a few hours before dinner. You can have restaurant-quality food on your table with no hassle and a good selection of wines. They are still finding their feet in Berlin, but expect them to become as regular a part of Berlin diner’s dinner option discussions as fine-dining restaurants, bibimbap bars and kebab houses.
Many thanks to the guys at iHeartBerlin for putting on a most memorable evening, and congratulations on seven successful years of finding and sharing some of the most interesting aspects of the capital.
Text: Louis Labron Johnson