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“when people ask musicians what kind of music their band plays – it’s really hard to tell, isn’t?” says uri triest, who has a storied musical background as a member of indie trio tv buddhas, but now is chef at newly opened restaurant ross in berlin. a bit too well hidden in what used to be a horse stable in the beautiful backyard of the heckmann höfe in mitte, ross features what triest calls “shared cuisine”, a sort of post-regional, post-fusion, anything-goes approach to cooking.

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in consequence, the menu, although slender, is colorful and imaginative. among the starters, we couldn’t quite agree on a clear winner, with the chicory (walnut | pear | cheddar-glazed toast) and the raviolo (egg yolk | squash | spinach) sharing the spoils.

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for the mains, we went with the fish courses, with the salmon trout (oyster | cauliflower | nigella seeds) being the slightly more conventional choice than the daring monkfish (parnsip | sampfire | baby gem), which delivers a stunning play of contrasts in both its taste and its striking black-and-white arrangement.

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this was topped off by a delicious round of desserts, a superheavy chunk of chocolate (olive oil | honey | thyme) and dates (sesame | banana | coffee icecream), which were playfully arranged but never felt too artisan – and by intention: “it is just like a 10-minute guitar solo”, says triest, who likes to keep things soulful, but simple. “it’s great that you can do it, but – just don’t!”

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its chef’s philosophy also sheds light on several of ross’s design decisions: rather plain on the surface, but backed with dozens of passionate decisions about the most minute details from the wood of the benches to the color palette of the tableware. still, the one piece of interior which is not going to leave anybody unimpressed, finds itself on the other end of the scale: the massive lettering “haus des friedens” used to belong to a 1950s public building in halberstadt, saxony-anhalt. now, triest’s colleague and ross co-owner sascha bewersdorff says, it expresses just what ross is to him: his haven of peace – where everybody is welcome.

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