First impressions count - especially in the food industry. We make decisions on where to eat based on a mish-mash of criteria - but mainly, menu, reviews, vibe and location. Tucked away on the outskirts of the busier parts of Berlin, is the show-stoppingly good Barra restaurant. It’s compact proportion gives diners a bird’s eye view of the magic that happens in the (open) kitchen. With rave reviews, it’s the real hot meal ticket, so we decided to pop in and meet Andy Benn, the front of house maestro, to find out what makes one of Berlin’s most celebrated independent eateries tick.
Barra was founded in November 2018 by Kerry Westhead and Daniel Remers. Andy has been the restaurant manager since the start of 2022. Talking about how Barra’s interior decor impacts our experience of the food, Andy commented, “I suppose the attitude we have towards everything we do here is ‘attention to detail’. The menu can appear straightforward at first glance, but Daniel and the kitchen team put a huge amount of thought into each and every dish. The same ethos applies to the interior design, the drinks we serve, the music we play and the atmosphere of the restaurant in general.
Andy wears; Bakers Chore Jacket In Olive Nebraska Cotton, Oversized Sweatshirt In Blue Japanese Stripe Knit, Military Chino In Navy Cord, Shoes models own.
"We’ve worked extremely hard to build relationships with good people who make nice things. When the produce is so good, it makes no sense to try to manipulate it into something it’s not. We're big fans of low intervention wine making for the same reason. We use this approach for more or less everything we do here at Barra.”
When we quizzed Andy to see if there was a knockout Barra dish, he explained, “The menu changes so frequently that we don’t really have a ‘signature dish’. But one that lasted the longest on our menu was a chocolate mousse with cardamom ice cream. It sounds simple on paper, but the mousse was served warm with a cocoa nib crumble, and a fruity olive oil. The temperature contrast between the warm mousse and the cold ice cream knocked everyone for six!”. Sounds like the kind of pudding scene we can get into. Now, where did we put our spoon…?