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Coda: Desserts for sugar babies

Fancy some fancy sweets? Reuterkiez' new "dessert" bar has you exquisitely covered, although it costs a pretty penny.

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Chocolate mousse with plum chips, whisky ice cream, chicory sauce and charcoal.

For those who thought Reuterkiez was already overly ritzy, the August opening of a highpriced, tony-looking “dessert bar” run by an interior designer and a Michelin-starred patissier must have taken the proverbial cake. Sure, dessert and drinks might be your favourite part of a meal, but to spring for six courses of fancy confections, each paired with its own cocktail, requires not just a sweet tooth, but also a fat wallet.

Of course, you don’t have to indulge in the entire seasonal, refined-sugar-free menu offered by chef René Frank and designer Oliver Bischoff. One dish will cost you between €12-18, two courses run at €17 and paired cocktails are €11 à la carte. But if you do want to go crazy, all six desserts plus all six drinks costs €82. Keep in mind though, you can easily eat one of Frank’s creations in one or two spoonfuls.

The unpredictable ingredients, aesthetic beauty and expert alchemy that go into these desserts somewhat make up for the microscopic portions. The dark chocolate mousse (70 percent cocoa) – plum (chips) – whisky (ice cream) and chicory (sauce) concoction was served as an extremely elaborate mound of complex flavours and textures. Our server lifted off the cloche on top of it, revealing a cloud of smoke coming from recently toasted decorative plum chips, and sprinkled charcoal over the dish as a final garnish. The plate paired with a glass of lambrusco amabile dessert wine, spritzed with a 12-year-old peated single-malt whiskey. It worked well; the whiskey toned down the sweetness of the wine while nicely echoing the ice cream and balancing the bitter notes of the mousse and sauce. And the spectacle only added to the culinary experience.

Falling more outside the realm of what you’d call “dessert” was a green toothpaste-like squeeze of kiwi and spelt grass ice cream, presented alongside two blobs filled with creamy almond milk. Challenging-looking at first, it turned out to be surprisingly delicious. Paired with a nut schnapps and cognac cocktail with crushed grape and flecks of algae, the combination worked nicely once it hit the tongue, in a subtle, earthy manner.

Yes, it’s all as pretentious as Coda’s all-black, sign-less facade would indicate. Inside, the bar’s clean, dim-lit, black and grey decor is livened up by the open kitchen, where you can watch the dessert chefs prepare your fancy spoonfuls. This is no place to binge. Sweet-toothed gourmets will savour the decadent expertise that teases both palate and eye; everyone else will leave feeling poor and hungry.