Steffen Disch is no stranger to Freiburg. In 2005 he breathed new life into the Gasthaus zum Raben in Freiburg-Horben. Almost 20 years later, Raben Horben is still around – even with a Michelin star. Steffen is “self and constant,” as he likes to say. We conducted the interview for this article while he was sitting on the beach in Thailand. “I love Asian cuisine. “It’s light, but at the same time taste-inspiring and explosive,” he enthuses.
The start of the Kuro Mori
With Kuro Mori, Steffen has created a place where Black Forest and Asian cuisine fuse. And how! In 2022, the Michelin Guide awarded the restaurant a Bib Gourmand for carefully prepared, inexpensive dishes. The start was bumpy thanks to the corona pandemic and the associated restrictions. Steffen had to let go of his goals. At the same time, he can also gain something positive from the time in retrospect:
“All the hardships also had a grounding moment. I had time to think a lot and concentrate fully on the Kuro Mori. Due to the constantly changing restrictions, creative solutions had to be found to keep operations running.”
Guests enjoy the menus and drinks directly in Freiburg city center. If you peek through the imposing entrance door at Grünwälderstrasse 2, you will catch a glimpse of the seven meter high, green wall and can already get a good idea of the dignified atmosphere. “ Casual Fine Dining ” is Steffen’s motto for his restaurant.
Asian-inspired cuisine in a sustainable way – how does it work?
Tom Ka Gai, Sashimi and Co come from the Far East. But that doesn't mean that the ingredients have to come from there. Steffen Disch and chef Hannes Eberhard take a different approach. Instead of shrimp, the chefs use chicken from the Black Forest for Tom Ka Gai. The Steingrubenhof in St. Märgen has specialized in breeding and supplies first-class products. Instead of kingfish, the sashimi uses trout, which is also farmed in the Black Forest. “The crazy thing,” says Steffen, “is that the regional products are more expensive than those that are flown around the globe.”
Steffen selects his cooperation partners based on the criteria of regionality, sustainability and fairness - and it has to be a good fit. He chose our coffee Toulouse for exactly these reasons and, “because it is simply top quality,” he tells us.
Conscious enjoyment is Steffen's top priority and is of course part of sustainability for him. If you pay attention to where the food on your plate comes from and take the time to taste the ingredients, you automatically think and act more sustainably.
There is no bottled water at Kuro Mori; instead, Steffen relies on water carafes and a flat rate for water. 10% of this goes to the Neven Subotic Foundation, which works to provide clean drinking water by building wells in structurally weak areas.
Get creative with coffee at Kuro Mori
At Kuro Mori, our Toulouse espresso roast is traditionally used in common coffee drinks. So far, so normal. In the sophisticated open kitchen, the restaurant's chefs often create dishes that use coffee. Attentive connoisseurs will discover it sometimes as a whole bean and sometimes as ground coffee in the delicious dishes that have been thought through down to the last detail.
We source the green coffee for our Toulouse from India through our friends at Indie Roasters, from Brazil through our friends at Ocafi and from Guatemala from a coffee cooperative run by and for women.
Meet Kuro Mori
The fine cuisine is also reflected in the prices. The Kuro Mori is not cheap. Nevertheless, it is always well attended, the guests feel comfortable and the quality of the food and drinks is impressive. This is no coincidence: “We train ourselves in all areas, from the kitchen to service,” says Steffen. “If you want to celebrate a happy birthday or anniversary, want to show something very special to your business meeting or simply want to try out a slightly different cuisine, you’ve come to the right place.” We can sign that.
You have a good opportunity to get to know Kuro Mori every first Thursday of the month with the Thursday Tasting from 4-5:30 p.m. For wine fans, there is a Wine & Dine every third Wednesday, which includes – by appointment – a wine tasting with a winemaker and a 4-course menu. Anyway, Kuro Mori's wine list is highly recommended. You can find current information about the events on the website kuro-mori.de. In the future, Steffen would like to hire a DJ every first Friday of the month to accompany the guests' meals and then start the bar operation. “It shouldn’t be a party, just a very dignified way to end the weekend,” he tells us.
The right address for casual fine dining in Freiburg
We have visited Kuro Mori a few times and have been very satisfied every time. Hannes Eberhard and his kitchen team create convincing taste experiences that are wonderfully accompanied by pleasant service and a sophisticated ambience. The wine list is unparalleled in Freiburg. You can find the restaurant here:
Current opening times and information can be found on the Kuro Mori website. We recommend making a reservation in advance and wish you a pleasant visit.