Rose Garden is a quick win, because it’s close to my bed. Moreover, because it’s in Mitte, it looks absurdly fancy. Finally, it has a great reputation!
And I can see why. Great atmosphere, good people watching, great location. However, if you’re focused on the food, you’d be better served going somewhere else. The company was excellent, but no one rated the overall flavors or food highly at all.
Speaking of the company: Dr. Sarah (PhD) and Marius were in town from Norway and so they joined us, and Kelley, of social media fame was also in attendance. They all gamely filled out the reviews and commented. Now onto the reviews!
Diversity: 70 %
This was weird, and brings up the real problem with the whole experience. The menu was huge, so it got points for a lot of options. However, very few of us wanted to eat anything on the menu, so it lost points for quality in that diversity.
But the real problem was the set up. It’s self service, but not immediately obvious that you are supposed to go up and order food. Once standing waiting to order, there is no rhyme or reason to the lines. As a result, everyone is milling around awkwardly trying to figure out where to go and how to order food. Normally, self service wouldn’t bother me. But brunch should be a place to relax, review the previous night’s events, gossip and unwind. For a brunch place, I don’t want to spend precious time and energy thinking about how to order my food, or standing in line for it. Ben also noted that this was confusing, and Marius wasn’t happy about having to serve himself. If this was lunch, this would be a different story. But for brunch this was a problem.
Quality: 56.67 %
Overall quality- Like I said, no one was wowed with the quality of the food. It lacked real depth of flavor. The ingredients weren’t anything to write home about, so overall it was: “meh”. However, it should be noted that Sarah, Marius and Asta all loved the bacon. It stood out as great in a sea of mediocre.
Eggs- Overall, there were a total of 12 eggs on the table, and 75% of them were well cooked. 4 people ordered eggs, 3 eggs on each plate. Asta liked her scrambled eggs and was impressed by the portion size. Ben, Kelley and I all had poached eggs with varying responses. Ben and Kelley’s eggs were perfectly runny, but not under cooked (general consensus). My eggs were so overcooked they were basically hardboiled. I promise it’s not just me being picky (I am) but it was obvious to others at the table that my eggs were simply overdone.
Hollandaise sauce- I want to start by giving points for even having hollandaise (slow clap of approval). Additionally, it was some of the best hollandaise that I’ve had in Berlin. The only complaint is that there wasn’t enough of it.
Beverages: 80.83 %
Coffee overall was good, the flat whites were not too milky and the cold brew was just what Kelley needed first thing in the morning.
The mimosa looked promising! I asked about a cocktail when I ordered, and the poor girl behind the counter looked genuinely confused. She had never heard of them. But, when walking back to the table, I noticed that there were all sorts of wine glasses, and a wine menu at the other end of the counter. I went back and asked again. After figuring out how to order them, she then needed specific instructions on how to make one. I complied. As a result, the mimosa was perfect, and made to order! But only because of persistence. The orange juice was fresh pressed and lovely.
Presentation: 74.58 %
This category is where Rose Garden excels, which is not exactly what you want. I got the impression that the food LOOKED way better than it tasted. And that was a sentiment universally shared amongst our dining guests.
The plates were perfect. Perfect I tell you! They made the whole presentation experience much better.
Ambiance: 91.25 %
Another area where the Rose Garden is excellent, and this one is much more marketable and desirable, was ambiance. It takes in a ton of natural light, which is so very pleasant. The artificial lighting is delightful and really interesting looking without drawing too much attention. The noise level from the street was a little loud, but the overall acoustics weren’t that bad. The table was big and comfortable, and the food didn’t take too long.
While we weren’t wowed by the food, I would be willing to come and hang out and drink some coffee and mimosas here on a Sunday while watching the world go by! But if you’re going to do that… maybe go somewhere cheaper.
Overall Score: 69.88 %