Kochfreunde.com is the culinary magazine of Oliver Wagner. Here, everything revolves around the almost most beautiful thing in the world: good food. The focus ranges from reports on exciting restaurants to recipes from his own kitchen, cookbooks and culinary gadgets.


Kochfreunde.com ist das kulinarisches Magazin von Oliver Wagner. Hier dreht sich alles rund um die beinahe schönste Sache der Welt: Gutes Essen. Dabei reicht der Fokus von Berichten über spannende Restaurants bis hin zu Rezepten aus der eigenen Küche, Kochbücher und kulinarische Gadgets.

Nobelhart & Schmutzig, Berlin

A first look at the new concept with a shortened menu.

It’s been far too long since our last visit to Friedrichstrasse in Berlin-Kreuzberg. And yet there is so much new to discover and possibly to report on: The Nobelhart & Schmutzig is reinventing itself these days and turning many of the classic fine dining paradigms on their head. The price of the menu has halved since April 2024! At the same time, the number of gears is also significantly reduced. The restaurant led by host Billy Wagner also recently announced that Micha Schäfer, who has been head chef since the start in 2015, is now relinquishing this title to focus more on culinary management.

On this evening in April, a five-course menu is on the menu, at the new menu price of €115. There are also various options for expanding this compact menu even further:

  • Snack with rye sourdough bread by Florian Domberger (Olaf Schnelle)
  • Radish / Bechamel / Horseradish (Markus Heyermann)
  • Cheese spaetzle / fried onions (Stefan Raffe)l
  • Pasture-fed chicken / leek / coriander seed (Lars Odefey)
  • Roasted malt / blueberry (Cholena de Koningh)

The additions (of course, as do all of them) include:

  • Green asparagus / wild herbs (Juliane Winkler & Jens Halligalli) for 30.00 euros
  • Cream Caramel / Camomile (Maria Gimenez) for 20,00 Euro

The new concept takes account of the major problem faced by many Michelin-starred restaurants in Berlin (and throughout Germany): guests no longer come in such large numbers, or at least are less predictable and reliable. The upheavals that this change has triggered can be seen in the many new ideas and initiatives. However, nothing else is as bold as reducing the menu price by 50%. However, the Nobelhart & Schmutzig can now serve the shortened menu over two seatings, and the upgrades and the option of multiple seatings at the long bar mean there is a lot of potential here. If this ultimately leads to top cuisine becoming more accessible to other target groups, then the plan will work.

In culinary terms, he does. The start with a snack is a pure product show of selected producers and a convivial start to the evening. Enough time to discuss the wines for the rest of the day and to arrive in the still lively atmosphere. (For well-known reasons, there are only a few pictures of the individual corridors here).

The radishes are supposedly simple, yet complex, with melt-in-the-mouth béchamel and browned butter.

The additional course with the green asparagus not only shines with excellent products (here from Juliane Winkler), but also with an intense and deep green sauce and the numerous wild herbs.

Käsespätzle with fried onions are a reference for a dish from southern German cuisine that is poor in references. Chunky but firm, intense and lush. As always, Lars Odefey’s pasture-raised chicken is a delight, here perfectly roasted and succulent. And the two desserts are also great fun. In short: even in the shortened time, many highlights can be experienced, the concept and the love for the product and producers are still clearly in focus. This clear focus, which has also remained the same, also means that there are no classic large sauces, complex cooking techniques or fermentations – purism first. And in the most positive sense of the word.

If you have brought a little more time with you, you are sure to find one or two rarities in the wine cellar together with Billy Wagner so that you can enjoy the evening at the bar a little longer.

Despite the new concept, Nobelhart & Schmutzig also achieved a very good 40th place in the 2024 edition of World’s Best Restaurant. Only the Tim Raue restaurant is even further ahead from a German perspective.

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