Ursus was born in Berlin, and is something of a hardworking sojourner. Having lived and worked all over the world, with stints at high-end gastronomic venues including Noma in Mexico, Maaemo in Oslo, and Loco in Lisbon, Ursus is now rooted back in his home city, bringing his skills and experience from these establishments to ‘Otto’. The menu champions regional cuisine using seasonal ingredients, first concocted in his test kitchen—a former bunker located in nearby northern Brandenburg. Dinner is designed to be enjoyed as a three-course meal, and with just three choices for entree and main, and two for dessert, the focus, as always, is quality over quantity.
The signature dish at ‘Otto’ is the charcoal grilled whole brook trout, served with garlic and fresh wild herbs; leftover fish bones and skin are fermented to season forthcoming dishes. The fish may be preceded by a simple starter of sourdough bread, whipped butter, and fermented pickles, washed down by a glass of natural wine and followed by raw milk ice cream with pickled elderberries and plum seed oil: served not on a plate, but on a sculptural rock. As is the case with many spaces in Berlin, the design makes use of concrete as its primary material. An ode to the ever-influential Brutalist movement, the darling of Berlin’s architecture scene, the restaurant’s interior is inspired by the visual appeal of the bunker in which the test kitchen is located.