“I’m not having a bowl of nuts for breakfast”.
Not all my friends are as enthusiastic about Paleo as I am. In fairness though, dragging a group of hungover Irish people to Berlin’s Paleo restaurant on a Saturday morning was pretty ambitious. I would have liked to try their evening menu, but that really would’ve been pushing it. Instead, I quietly reserved a table for brunch and led the way to Neukolln amidst a chorus of grumblings and jokes about getting a burger on the way.
As a Paleo fan I was excited, but I was also apprehensive. By focussing on Paleo would Sauvage compromise on other areas? Like the décor or the atmosphere? I needn’t have worried. The dining room at Sauvage was more luxurious than I had expected. The tables are rough, chunky wooden affairs, conjuring up images of lumberjacks and fishermen. Stags’ heads decorate the walls and there are a lot of small touches, like lightshades made out of entire dried fish skins. The lighting was subtle and there was jazz in the background. It’s a setting more befitting of a high end restaurant. So far so good.
And so to the food. Your average health food this is not, the menu at Sauvage is more reminiscent of a fine dining restaurant. Dinner options include “Irish filet mignon with maniok creme, kale, macadamia crumble and liquorice jus” or “Baked monkfish wrapped in bacon, pak choi and sesame carrots with a kurkuma vinaigrette”.
Breakfast choices included “Paleo pancakes made with tiger nut, chestnut and manioc served with fresh fruit” or “Chopped steak, open tomato bread sandwich with pumpkin cream and omelette”. I’m not sure what I had expected but it wasn’t hangover busting food. With options like these even the bleary eyed among us were looking a lot more perky. Hell, there were even cocktails. A ‘Vlad the Impaler’ with bourbon and beetroot juice anyone?
I plumped for “Three free range scrambled eggs with wild caught home cured salmon, fermented almond cheese and paleo bread”. It was tasty and rich and the almond cheese added an extra element to lift it above the ordinary. It was easily the best meal I had all weekend. And the verdict from the rest of the gang? They were looking a lot happier – tasty food, in a cosy, luxury atmosphere. And not a bowl of nuts in sight.