Berlins best Burgers

If your favorite burgers are served at McD, you don’t need to read further. This article is about really good high quality burgers.

We love to make home-made burgers but as with all food, now and then, it is nice to get served. We’ve tried most of the places that are well-known for their burgers and here are our top 3 in Berlin.

  1. The Bird. Without doubt the best burgers in town. All burgers are made of home minced beef! They come with different classical toppings and our favorites are Jack with blue cheese or the BBQ-Burger. Not only the beef has the highest quality. They have a burger with guacamole on the menu, but it’s only served when the chef gets ripe avocados. The place is always crowded and you’ll need a reservation. The interior is rough, wooden tables, benches and brick walls. It’s loud so this is not the place for a candle-light dinner. The only thing to complain about are the fries. They are not crunchy but rather soggy. Although this is an imperfection you can live with.
  2. White Trash Fast Food. A place known for its parties and the crazy interior. You won´t miss, this was once a chinese restaurant. The parties are not the only reason for a visit. The american menu is really good, especially the burgers. The burgers are of course home-made and so are the buns. They come with different toppings and you should not be afraid to try the one with sauerkraut. It is really tasty. They have a home-made veggie burger that kicks ass according to my green friends. The place is huge but on weekends you better make reservations.
  3. Tartane. When we went here we didn’t expect to see burgers on the menu. I am always sceptical towards restaurants that do not have a clear concept or restaurants that serves too many dishes. The quality at such places are often poor. Tartane is a restaurant with many dishes and no clear concept. They must have had problems deciding what kind of concept they should have because they covered themself fully by serving all kind of food. We didn’t have high expectations but the lamb burger with merguez sounded promising. And it truly was a great burger. Juicy, perfectly grilled with a spicy sausage. The home-made fries were ok. We only went here once (Oct 2010) but at this time we had a delicious meal. Note that some of the interior was taken from the Palast der Republik in the old Eastern Berlin.

Good but not good enough are Marienburger, Burgeramt, Kreuzburger.

Inspired by the restaurants above we made a hell-of-a Scandinavian Burger – Elk, red onions sweet-sour style, Västerbottencheese, horse-radish sauce.


  • 800 minced elk (or minced beef)
  • 2 tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 2 tbsp oil
  • 1/2 onion grated
  • Worcestershire sauce
  • salt and pepper
  • 3 dl home-made mayonnaise
  • 1 dl grated horse-radish
  • 2 tbsp chives finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 a tbsp soy sauce
  • 4 red onions
  • 50 g muscovado sugar
  • 1 dl balsamic vinegar
  • 4 slices Västerbotten cheese (swedish ripe cheese)
  • pickled gherkins

Start with the sauce. Mix the mayonnaise, mustard (1 tbsp), horse-radish, chives and soy sauce. The flavor will get more complex the longer you wait.

Fry the onions in butter and sugar until they are caramellized. Add the balsamic vinegar and let it simmer for 15 min. Taste it and if it is too sour add sugar. Flavor with salt.

Mix beef, Dijon (2 tbsp), grated onion, oil, Worcestershire sauce, salt and pepper. Form for burgers and let them rest for 10 min before you grill them. Grilling time depends on the size of the burgers but they will at least need 3 min on each side.

I am not a big fan of buns so we served the burger on a sour-dough bread with pickled gherkins, Västerbotten cheese, caramellized onions and the sauce.

Music: Listening to Bob Hund

Fabulous cod, fennel salad and puy lentils

Between January and March the Norwegian coast is the scene of a magnificent event. From the nutrient-rich areas in the Barents Sea in the north, the arctic cod arrive by the millions, migrating into the spawning fields along the wintery coast of Norway to carry on their family name.

For the majority of this cod, which when spawning is called skrei, the goal is the area by the island of Lofoten, about 400 km north of the Polar Circle. In the Barents Sea, the skrei has spent at least five years maturing to adulthood. It is then strong enough to make the long journey from the ocean far in the north to the coast of Norway. The skrei is cod in its prime. Try it!


  • 600 g thick fillet of Skrei (cod)
  • fish stock
  • 2 dl puy or beluga lentils
  • 3 shalots
  • 1 fennel
  • juice and zest from a lemon
  • dill
  • chicken stock
  • 1 bay leaf
  • olive oil

Start with the lentils. Heat the chicken stock, add a shallots, bay leaf and cook for 3 min. Add the lentils and boil until they are ready (app. 15 min).

Cut the two remaining shalots in fine pieces. Marinate in 2 tbsp lemon juice.

Cook the fish stock for 2 min. Reduce the heat and add the cod. The fish should simmer for app. 5 min. The stock should not cook because then the fish will fall into pieces.

Slice the fennel in fine slices. Warm carefully in some olive oil and a pinch lemon juice.

Serving: Remove the lentils from the stock. Mix with the marinated shalots and some lemon zest. Flavour the fish with salt and pepper. Add some chopped dill to the fennel salad and put the salad on top of the fish.

Music: Prepared while listening to James Blake

Fillet of beef prepared inside-out, pickled veggies

Back in the days when Sweden was a farmer society with no contact to the civilized world, a time when it was hard to keep the food fresh, souring food (meat, fish, veggies) became an efficient way of preventing your food from getting mouldy. Souring and sweet-souring have increased in popularity the last couple of years since the top chefs recommend the method and also serve it in the haute cuisine.

In this dish I used both methods. Both in consistency and in taste they are wonderful contrasts to the smooth purée and the tender fillet.


  • 300 g cabbage, finely sliced
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 2 dl water
  • 1 dl white wine
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • juice from half a lemon
  • a pinch caraway

Cook all ingredients until the cabbage is soft. Remove the fluid and the garlic, put the cabbage in a form wrapped with plastic. Put under pressure for at least 2 hours.

Veggies sweet sour

  • 4 dl water
  • 2 dl sugar
  • 1 dl vinegar (12%)
  • 1 bay leaf
  • salt
  • 1 carrot
  • 1 parsnip
  • 2 Jerusalem artichokes
  • 1 beet root

Boil sugar, water, bay leaf and vinegar. Cut the parsnip in 4 wedges, half the artichokes. Cook in the boiling liquid until they are soft. Add thin slices of carrots (as in the pic.). Put the veggies with half of the fluid to cold. Boil wedges of beet root in the remaining fluid. When soft, put a side to cool.


  • 4 dl red wine
  • 4 dl beef stock
  • 30 g butter

Reduce the wine and the stock until 2 dl remains. Before serving whisk the cold butter into the sauce.

Celeriac puree with hazelnut oil

  • 500 g celeriac
  • 2 dl cream
  • 3 dl milk
  • 1 onion
  • 1 dl crème fraiche
  • a pinch hazelnut oil
  • salt & white pepper

Cut the celeriac and onion into pieces. Cook in the milk and cream until they are soft. Remove the fluid and mix. Add crème fraiche to the right consistency. Flavor with hazelnut oil, pepper and salt

Fillet of beef

  • 600 g fillet of beef
  • fresh thyme
  • 10 hazelnuts (mixed)
  • salt and pepper

This inverted way of preparing the meat is an easy way of getting the perfect consistency.

Wrap the fillet in plastic. Bake in oven (100°C) until the meat reaches 58°. Dry the fillet. This can be prepared in advance. When it is time to serve roast the meat on all sides for a few minutes in a pan. Roll the fillet in a mix of hazelnuts, thyme, salt and pepper. Cut in four slices and serve.


Cut the cabbage into four pieces. Warm all veggies in the oven on low temperature (80°) for 3 min. Arrange the veggies on each plate. Start with the carriage and apply the other veggies on top. Garnish with fresh thyme.

Music: Prepared while listening to the albums of Håkan Hellström

BetaDinner revisited

Last Saturday Paul, Paul and I hosted the first BetaDinner. The evening exceeded our highest expectations. We were pleased with what we prepared and according to the smiling faces among our 40 guests we were not the only ones satisfied with the food. Most of the guests didn´t know each other upon arriving but it took less than then minutes before the noises of the kitchen blenders were heard about the conversations around the two huge tables.

We were very glad to see so many nationalities; Swedes, Americans, Italians, Romanians, Russians, Austrians, French, Greeks, Slovakians and Danes. Almost forgot it, some Germans were there as well.

We’d love to share a bunch of wonderful pictures with you, but Sebastian, the photographer, got his backpack including his camera stolen after the BetaDinner. We don’t have a single picture of the night. The only one, which we took ourselves during the preparation, is the one you see on top – the first course.

Not only are we now missing all the beautiful pictures, but also a very talented photographer needs every job he can get. Look at what this guy is able to do with his camera and have him in mind, the next time you need a photographer. He does an amazing job!

Below you find all our recipes from the evening. If not stated, all recipes are for 4 persons.

And, one more thing! We had such a blast that we most certainly will do this again. Where and when is not yet stated but we’re working on it. As soon as we’ll know you will find the information in our blogs.

Starter – mousse of beetroot and goat cheese, smoked duck breast, fennel and apple salad.


  • 200 g beetroot (peeled)
  • 4 dl red wine
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 tbsp vinegar
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 2 peppercorns
  • Pinch of salt
  • 30 g goat cheese (creamy)
  • 3 tbsp yoghurt
  • 3 leaves of gelatine
  • 150 g smoked duck breast

Fennel and apple salad

  • ½ fennel
  • ½ an apple (peeled)
  • fresh orange juice
  • olive oil
  • salt & pepper
  • walnuts


Start with the mousse. The dish has one critical moment. You need to get the right amount of gelatine compared with fluid. For each decilitre fluid you should use one gelatine leaf.

Boil the beetroots, wine, bay leaf, vinegar, sugar, peppercorns and salt until the beetroots are soft. Prepare the gelatine by putting them in cold water for 5 min. Mix the beetroots and the wine until the consistency is like the yoghurt. Add the gelatine and mix the warm fluid another 30 sec. Add the goat cheese and the yoghurt. Mix and then pour into a form covered with plastic wrap. Put in the fridge until it settles (at least 3 h).

Remove the fat from the duck. Slice the breast into 2 mm thin slices. Heat the fat and mix with the breast. Remove the breast until 30 sec. Put aside until serving.

Remove the dill from the fennel but keep it because you need it as garnish. Slice the fennel and apple wafer-thin. Mix fennel, apple with a tbsp olive oil and a bit more orange juice, salt and pepper.

If you have loads of time you can pinch small pieces of the orange and garnish the mousse with. Serve the mousse with the duck breast and the salad apart. Garnish the salad with the fennel dill and chopped walnuts.

Main course – saddle of lamb, potato terrine with truffle, sauce and rosemary pesto.


  • 0,75l broth of veal
  • 3 dl port wine
  • 3 dl red wine
  • 50g larding bacon (smoked)
  • 2 red onions
  • 2 garlic gloves
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 50 g butter
  • Salt and pepper


  • 600 g boned saddle of lamb
  • 1 dl olive oil
  • 2 sprigs of rosemary
  • 2 garlic gloves
  • salt
  • butter

Potato terrine (serves 8 persons)

  • 1 kg potatoes
  • 150 g grated Parmesan
  • 1,5 dl cream
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1 tbsp truffle oil

Rosemary pesto

  • 100 g rocket salad
  • 2 sprigs of rosemary
  • 50g almonds (peeled)
  • 30g Parmesan
  • 1 garlic glove
  • Zest from 1 lemon
  • Pepper
  • 1 dl olive oil

Start with the terrine. It should be done a day in advance for the best result. Peel the potatoes and shred it very fine. Squeeze out most of the liquid. Mix all ingredients to the terrine and add pepper and lots of salt (potato needs a lot). Wrap an oven proof terrine dish with plastic wrap and fill with the potato mix. Bake in 120⁰ C oven for 2 h. It should not get any colour. Put press on the terrine so that it will be easy to cut into slices. Before serving, cut it into pieces and warm in oven.

You get the best sauce if you cook or buy a really good broth. Once the broth is done, this sauce will almost prepare it selves. Cut the onion and garlic in slices and fry it together with the larding bacon (smoked). Add the wines, broths, bay leaves and rosemary. The sauce should be reduced to 4 dl. It will take some hours. Before serving, remove the sauce from the heat, add cold butter and whisk. The butter will help to get the right consistency, get the sauce shiny and above all, make the taste even better.

Put all ingredients for the pesto in the mixer and blend. If it is too thick add more oil.

Grill the lamb on high heat a minute on each side. To avoid all nice juices to leak, you have to fry the meat in a really hot pan. Put the lamb in the oven (120⁰ C) for approximately 10 min. The meat temperature should be 57⁰ C. Let the meat rest under aluminium foil for some minutes. This is done to avoid the juice to ooze out.

Arrange the terrine and the pesto on one side of the plate. Serve the lamb on a bed of fried red onions and larding bacon. The sauce should be sprinkled around the bed. Enjoy.

Dessert – Mud cake with shots of passion fruit, mango and raspberry

Mud cake

  • 100 g melted butter
  • 3 dl sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 dl wheat flour
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla sugar
  • 4 tbsp cacao
  • 200 g chocolate (70%)


  • Juice from 4 passion fruits (stoned)
  • 3 tbsp powdered sugar
  • Juice from 1 mixed mango
  • 1 cm fresh ginger
  • 200 g raspberries (mixed and stoned)
  • 3 cl Tequila


Heat the oven to 200 ⁰ C. Blend everything together and pour your mixture on to oven-paper in a square oven-proof form. Bake for 20-30 minutes, depending on how muddy you want it.

Let cool off for a while and put the cake in the freezer for an hour.

Cut your cake in squares; stick them onto a lollipop (or something similar) and dip them in melted 70 % chocolate. Place your dipped mud cake-pops on aluminium foil and let the chocolate set before serving.

Shot 1 – mix the juice from the passion fruits with the powdered sugar.

Shot 2 – mix the mango juice with finely grated ginger.

Shot 3 – mix the raspberries with Tequila. If to sour, add a bit powdered sugar.

Strain the shots into snaps glasses.  Serve each lolly with a shot.

Good luck and enjoy!

Music: Listening to Paul N’s excellent Best of 2010

Today is the day

The world premiere of Berlin BetaDinners! We are super excited to host our very first pop-up restaurant and have been trying out recipes, discussing plates and cutlery, tasting wine and other drinks for the last two weeks.

Today we woke up with our stomaches full of butterflies and eager expectations.

We will of course provide you with pictures as soon as possible.

If we don’t see you tonight we hope that you can join us next time!

Black salsify tagliatelle

We have previously written about black salsify and if you haven’t tried it yet, please do. This starter is tasteful and rather a surprise for your guests. At the first taste you really believe that it is tagliatelle, but then you experience the sublime flavours from the black salsify…

Black salsify tagliatelle with smoked salmon

  • 6 Black salsifies
  • 2 Shallots, finely chopped
  • 3-4 Garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 5 dl Cream
  • 2-3 dl Chicken broth
  • 2 large Egg yolks
  • Parmesan, grated
  • Smoked salmon, cut in shreds
  • Sugar peas
  • Olive oil
  • Salt and pepper
  • Lemon zest
  • Dill

Make water and salt come to a boil. Peel the black salsifies and cut long shreds with the help from a potato peeler. Straighten them on a cutting board and cut them in 7-8 mm wide shreds. Put the shreds in the water and let them boil for 3 minutes. Pour out the water and let them drain off.

Heat up the olive oil in a frying pan, fry the garlic and the shallot until they are soft. Pour the cream and the broth and let it come to a simmer. Let it simmer for 10 minutes or until the fluid is reduced to half. Carefully add your black salsify shreds, make sure they are covered with sauce and let boil for a minute.

Take the pan of the stove and stir in the egg yolks, the parmesan, the sugar peas and the salmon. Add salt and pepper. When on the plate, sprinkle dill and lemon zest over your dish. Serve immediately!

Music: Listening to the new single from Glasvegas – Euphoria, take my hand