I was so happy when I got the call from VisitBerlin about being the food guide for Helle... I met Helle when I was blogging in Norway and we were at many events together. VisitBerlin invited her to get enjoy Berlin, and that includes the mixed culinary scene we have in this great city.
I made my plan. Let's show her the diversity, the new places and some of the new trends Berlin has to offer. I didn't want to repeat what the other Norwegian bloggers have seen lately and at the same time, show her some of my latest finds. So here I1ll show you the places I took her and why I took her there.
1. %Arabica // Kreuzberg // New
The tour started at 5 pm outside of %Arabica. The first stop was this newly open coffee spot in Berlin. You can find this hidden gem actually hiding in a backyard in Kreuzberg. The first thing you notice is the minimalist interior, a mix of Japanese simplicity and that follows as well the iconic Braun designer, Dieter Ram. Japan meets Germany.
In the middle of the store, it is a big open kitchen surrounded by glass, like an aquarium. And that kitchen is run by Tyler. Tylers has worked in some awesome places I had the honor to visit, like Noma, Momofuku Milk Bar and Torissi (that is closed now but it is a spot everyone still talks about).
In addition to that resume, he makes all handmade fresh pasta and uses all local ingredients who he visits regularly for sourcing. His mindset is sustainable and all those dishes he prepares are carefully sourced and prepared simply to bring the power of ingredients out on to our pallets.
"% Arabica is about my love for coffee, design, and seeing the world," Says the Founder & Owner Kenneth Shoji.
While the coffee trend in the past years has been following the light coffee roast of the Norwegians, %arabica goes back to basics with a stronger and darker roast. They are known for their Latte and the Arabica Latte standard. They do hand brewing but if you really want to taste their coffee at its max, try their latte with an option of less milk.
While Helle got the recommended darker roast latte with less milk, I had the Spanish Iced Coffee, and I am now addicted. As a fan of iced Vietnamese coffee (that uses sweetened condensed milk) this Japanese/Spanish version is way richer and delicious (sorry Quaphe)
They offer cold press juices like the one in the picture. A delicious combination or watermelon, pineapple, pears, lemons and jalapeño... YES! Jalapeño!
On Sundays there is brunch and every day there is delicious food and pastry on their menu. I totally recommend trying this place as I would even drive all the way to Kreuzberg for a glass of that iced coffee.
%Arabica Berlin Kreuzberg: Reichenberger Strasse 36, 10999 Berlin, Germany
2. Shishi // Kreuzberg // New
Second stop. I wonder how many people have ever tried Israeli food. I never had it until a guy in Berlin took me to Yafo in Mitte. And I was stunned... I don't date that guy anymore but I continue going to Yafo for that sweet sweet roasted cauliflower with tahini. But you will be asking yourself why I talk about Yafo?
Shishi is the sister restaurant from Yafo and it has newly open .. actually less than a month ago. Hidden behind a parking lot and inside of yet another Kreuzberg backyard, you will find the beautiful setting of Saint Laurent blue tables adorned with lights and with the most friendly service. Shishi shows us a more refined dining experience of Tel-Aviv in Berlin
We ordered 2 dishes and a dessert and asked the super mega friendly Dimi to choose a wine for us. His choice was Coenobium. A religious experience literally! This wine produced from the Trappiste nuns in Vitorchiano from white grapes. It is refreshing, savory and mineral with aromatic notes of hay, wild herbs, and ripe white fruits. All their wines are natural, of course.
This was a perfect pairing for the grilled kohlrabi with fresh cheese, sesame seeds thyme and chili. I don't think I had grilled kohlrabi before but it was delicious... it tasted a bit like Jerusalem artichoke, one of my favorites.
Shishi only purchases products from local farmers. The beef in this sirloin tartare we ordered was a Grass-fed and even the farmer has named every one of the cows he has. No wonder why this dish covered in cured egg yolks was so good! Did I mention the cows get massages????
To end our stop in Berlin's Tel Aviv, we ordered the raw milk Malabi homemade roses syrup and Iranian pistachio. When you serve raw milk it is important to have great quality milk... as they do in Shishi. Their rose syrup is made weekly by their chef, he gets many bags of fresh local petals to make it... Can you imagine how amazing the kitchen must smell that day?
You guys have to try Shishi! For real! I need to come back for sure and try some other things... maybe this call for a Yafo/Shishi Blog post? what do you think?
Shishi Restaurant: Ritterstraße 12-14, 10969 Berlin
3. Maison Han // Neukölln
Now I need to explain why I took Helle to a Vietnamese Restaurant. Like Japan and Israel influence Berlin's food scene, Vietnam does it too, and a lot! Do you ever wonder why there are so many Vietnamese restaurants in Berlin? and mostly in East Berlin?
Back on the GDR times, Communist countries all over the world would be seen as ‘brother states’, which meant they would try to help and support each other as much as they could. And there were certain groups that were welcome to work in socialist Germany, like Vietnamese. And of course, Vietnam started influencing Berlin's Culinary Experience at that point.
I was traveling around Vietnam with Pepa and got a taste of their food (or in other words, I ate Vietnam in 5 weeks) And even though you might think that Pho, Banh mi, and Banh Cuon are lunch or dinner options, these were my breakfast every day. Yes! the Vietnamese food you all eat for dinner is brekkie material! And that is what Maison Han does, it serves breakfast all...day...long!
We started this "late breakfast" with Bahn Cuon. One with minced meat, morel, coriander and Tia to, and the other one was the vegan option with tofu and a spicier vegan fish sauce. I have loved these little gluten-free Vietnamese steamed rice rolls since the first time I ate them.
Besides serving breakfast, they have their own roastery in-house: Han Coffee Roasters. Because why serve Vietnamese breakfast if you aren't going to wash it down with some tasty Ca phe? They stand for the finest coffee culture in Vietnam's Highlands and promotes direct and fair trade.
We weren't gonna order something else as we had still 2 places to visit, but that Bahn Bao with avocado and fried egg was way too tempting to not order. And if that wasn't enough reason to add this place to this tour, They have the Berlin Bear in their logo ;)
Maison Han: Panniertstr. 40, 12047 Berlin
4. Cookies Cream // Mitte // One Star
How would I miss a vegetarian place and Michelin restaurant on this tour? And I am super happy I could kill 2 birds with one stone. Cookies Cream is a vegetarian Restaurant that has 1 Michelin star. They got it a few days after their 10 year anniversary. And they are just an institution of Berlin culinary scene.
If you were in Berlin during the 90s you will recognize the name "Cookies". And why? If you ever heard of Studio 54 in the US, Cookies was the 54 of Berlin and was in the 90s (and for 20 years) the most exciting nightlife in Berlin.
The owner of the club Cookies, Heinz Gindullis a.k.a. "Cookie", is a vegetarian, so when he decided to open a restaurant, we all knew he was going to be the pioneer of vegetarian fine dining. And this is how Cookies Cream was born.
Even though I knew that it would be the fastest Michelin dinner I have ever had, it was a MUST to take Helle to this restaurant as it is quite rare to find a vegetarian restaurant with a Michelin star. We had one hour and WAY too many favorite dishes. To be exact, we tried 6 dishes and 3 wines.
We ordered the starters. First the tomato Tea with verbena, fennel blossoms, capers, and croutons, paired with a 2016 Groll n Roll from Le Vignes Babaas. This was the perfect start, a delicious gazpacho with a twist and the pairing was just divine.
Then the vegetarian caviar with Avocado came waltzing to the table. I had this dish before and I still cannot believe it isn't caviar. The buttery avocado blends together... and that hazelnut mayo... just yummy. The pairing for this dish was a 2016 vegan chardonnay from Saint Veran Terroir, Burgundy... We had the quail egg in brioche with port wine and shallots, potato mousse and truffle jus.
The main thing about cookies is... I don't miss the meat! In most restaurants, I feel like there is something missing or it is incomplete. In Cookies, I was surprised every time i had a bite or ordered something. Like the Baked Aubergine with corn cream, green beans, peanuts, and papadam (first picture) That aubergine tasted like it was from another world. The depth of taste of it had nothing to envy a great sweet slow braised pork... I would take that aubergine in a split second against pork... and u know I am a meat lover.
The parmesan dumplings with Perigord truffle stock were the group's favorite. the pine nuts were amazing combined with that creamy truffle cream. Now... the recipe I would love to try at home would be the Celery with stained egg yolk filled with macadamia nut butter. This is the heaven for any vegan celiac (#veliac) It was a soft lasagna filled with creamy nuts... and instead of parmesan on top, egg yolk.
All together was a great experience, but it was just an hour dinner. We probably got a record for eating that much in so little time at Cookies. But I promise you I'll to be back later and eat the whole dinner and show it to you in more detail. what do you think?
Cookies Cream: Behrenstr. 55, 10117 Berlin
Wagner Cocktail Bistro // KreuzKöln
So we returned to Kreuzberg, or can I call the Paul-Lincke-Ufer Kreuzkölln? I wanted the last stop to be the new trend: Gastropubs or Gastrobars. These are pubs/bars that specializes in serving high-quality food. I had two of them on my bucket list. So after a round of messaging with my foodie friends, everyone pointed me to one of them: Wagner Cocktail Bistro.
It is located in the same street as big boys like Cocolo Ramen and La Lucha. And welcomes you with a very beautiful and vintage sign. It used to be the sign of an old toy store back in the old times. Hanging in a beautiful brick corner building.
When you go to their website you can read their philosophy: "Playful yet sophisticated adaptation of comfort food with precisely crafted cocktails. Innovative and entertaining version of a modern bistro concept delivered in a clever and casual setting" But this definition doesn't even begin to explain how good their food is.
If you have been at some of the great Scandinavian restaurants (or you follow some Scandi-foodies) you would soon feel like you teletransported to one of them. With some hints of Maaemo, Relæ, Ylajali, Amass and similar, Wagner surprises you with a delicious yet delicate menu.
Sébastien helped us with the ordering. First the Cocktails. The Negroni 2.5 with London Dry Gin, Byrrh Quinoa and Amaro, The Bronx Cocktail with Plymouth Gin, Red Vermouth, dry Vermouth and orange and tall beautiful Sakura made of Sake, Cherry water, dry vermouth and Plum Blossom made of Umeshu Rosé Plum Sake, Amaro, and Muscat d'Alexandrie. I loved them all, but my favorite was the Negroni. But then again, I am a Negroni Fan.
While we were having a chat with Sébastien, the dishes started to arrive at the table. First, a beautiful plate with tomatoes, peaches, and yogurt. The Chef came to our table and explained the dish while serving the aromatic and light rose hip sauce over it. And then, the Ceviche. I am always skeptic about eating ceviche as I am Peruvian and I am very picky, but this scallops ceviche with baby corn, onions and elderflowers were amazing. The chef told us that they use vinegar instead of lime and hey! the scallops were so buttery I could just die.
The next two dishes to arrive were the Cod cheeks schnitzel and Pumpkin flowers filled with anchovies, ricotta, and bottarga, an Italian delicacy of salted, cured fish roe. Again the chef came to our table to explain. We were having a fine dining experience in a cocktail bar. Then we hear he has actually worked in Amass and Relæ in Copenhagen and then we suddenly understood where the inspiration came from.
The Pumpkin flowers were extraordinary. One of my favorite drinking food next to the braised duck hearts at (my all-time favorite and now closed) Pjoltergeist and Truffle popcorn & reindeer tongue at Brasserie Paleo.
Since that day I have been recommending this place to every person I meet... Not paid to advertise here. But I have to say that I was very surprised by the ambiance and quality of food and drinks. Go get yourself to Kreuzkölln and grab a cocktail and indulge yourself with amazing food.
Did I mention we had the same awesome wine from Cookies Cream at Wagner? I guess they already knew our taste.
Wagner Cocktail Bistro: UMSPANNWERK Paul-Lincke-Ufer 22, 10999 Berlin
There are loads of places in Berlin that serve brunch, but my all-time favorite place to go with friends is Allan's Breakfast Club aka ABC. This tiny french place owned by the super french and super cool Allan is not only cute, but serve the meanest eggs benedict in town. It is situated in the heart of Kollwitzkiez in Prenzlauer Berg and just some minutes from my flat, very convenient.
I took Kay and my frenchie girl Marie for some drinks and brunch last Friday. While we waited for Marie to arrive, we had some coffee and lemonade while we had a chat with Allan, man! it was hard to decide what to eat, but this time we didn't go for those mean Bennies, but tried some other stuff.
We chose to try different dishes instead of ordering just one per person. Starting with a delicious potato waffle covered with cured salmon rose, capers and avocado, sprinkled with a buttermilk & creme fraiche dressing and red pepper.
Did I mention that I had a hangover? And the best cure for this is: Bloody Marys! The best frigging BMs in town, even better that the ones my grandma used to make *wink wink*
If you are into this ridiculously tasty red drink, you definitely need to make a pitstop at ABC after a crazy party night. Or if u are like me, just after 2 glasses of wine, haha.
Talking a bit about Allan, he comes from France but he used to live many many years in Australia, hence the awesome eggs Benni and the poached eggs in some of his dishes, like in this creamy Czech Mountai soup with a drowning poached egg on top. Did I mention bacon???? BACON!
Marie ordered a hot chocolate with Belgium Callebaut chocolate buttons. OHMYGWAAADDDDFFF! Allan adds the hot steamed milk over them so that they melt... ahhhhh heaven! If I wasn't too much afraid sugar, I would stop by everyday to have this chocolate and milk heaven.
You wold think that ABC wouldn't have a choice for vegans with all these eggs and bacon, but their boost up smoothie bowl is vegan, glutenfree and AMAZING, it is a bowl of frozen smoothie, covered with fresh fruits, coconut flakes and cacao. A huge bowl of energy and awesomeness.
What would it be a menu of a french restaurant without a Croque Monsieur? Well, Allan offers a Tweaked Croque Monsieur. He uses brioche instead of bread, filled with loads caramelized onions, melted Gruyere cheese, Ardeche ham and mushrooom bechamel, served with chips and salad.
But don't let this picture fool you, I moved the chips to show you the brioche and the whole thing was bigger than my head ;)
Here is Allan opening a Bodvár n5 rose from provence for me. If I didn't have to go to work after brunch I would have probably stayed there for hours sipping some more glasses of it. And for the ones not drinking wine, we got some more homemade lemonade and a beautiful and elegant coffee martini.
Some will ask why i didn't show you the many-times-mentioned Eggs Benedict in this blogpost. It is so you get up and run there and try them! And of course the rest of the menu and the flat whites and the oysters in summer and enjoy their terrace. and and and... Just go there!
As their opening hours were confusing in the past year for many people... here I´ll explain them to you:
Monday, Wednesday, Thursday Friday and Friday 10am-3pm
Sat and Sunday 10am-4pm
But from May:
Thursday and Friday: 3pm-6pm open for coffee, cake and Rosé
Wednesday- Thursdays and Fridays 6pm- Midnight for Wine
This christmas I decided to make most of my gifts. From Linen table cloths, knitted blankets to crotchet tops. So why not edible presents as well? I normally bake like crazy during December and give my friends cookies or cakes, but I have tendonitis, and i shouldnt be rolling stuff for some weeks.
So I decided to make Hot Chocolate as a present. You will be wondering: Hot Chocolate? it wouldnt be hot anymore. But I remembered I saw some brownie ingredients in a glass bottle as a present, so why not hot chocolate in a glass?
I got the idea while asking someone about his chocolate preferences, and his answer was: Hot Chocolate with Cointreau. So here is the Recipe for One Adult + 2 Kids Hot Chocolate ready to open and serve on Christmas.
2 tbsp Sugar
12 tbsp RAUSCH Venezuela 43% Drinking Chocolate
1 Big Peppermint Cane
60 grs. RAUSCH Trinidad Selection 80% Chocolate or 70% Ecuador Selection
30 ml Cointreau (For the Adult)
Loads of Mini Marshmellows
1 Glass Cointainer from Weck
1 MUJI mini Bottle for the booze
Wash the Glass container and dry. Using a hammer, break the peppermint cane before unwrapping.
Start with a layer of sugar, then add 2/3 of the drinking chocolate. After that, a layer of Peppermint followed by the last third of drinking chocolate.
Fill the little bottle with Cointreau and put it over the last layer of drinking chocolate. Hide the bottle with mini marshmallows and cut & sprinkle the Trinidad chocolate over them and close the lid.
Wrap around with a ribbon or thread and add a label. You can use a xmas label, print your own or even just add a sticker to the Weck Glass.
To prepare the mix: When ready to use, mix the ingredients well. For a single serving add 120 ml of very hot milk to 8 tbsp of the hot chocolate mix in a heat proof mug. Stir until dissolved & Enjoy.
Go crazy and add the favorite ingredients from your loved one, like orange or white chocolate, Add some cinnamon or even gingerbread crumbs. There is nothing better than personalize your presents and I am pretty sure they will love a present like this!
Merry Christmas and let the games begin!!!!!
Even though it is summer, we have some rainy days here in Berlin. And that makes me even more hungry. I needed to go out for a bite! So I called my twinster Sophia (from INSEARCHOF) to have breakfast.
I have been following the Instagram Account from Keyser Soze since I moved to Berlin, and even though it is in Mitte, (not far away from my office) I never made it there.
I Found this place when I clicked on a hashtag about of one my favorite movies: The Usual Suspects. Keyser Söze was the main character and antagonist on that film. Who doesn't love Kevin Spacey on that roll? If you haven't seen that 1995 film, take the night off and watch it!
Lately, all breakfast places I have been going are gluten and lactose free, organic, vegan, blah blah. That is what it's trendy in Berlin at the moment. But as 90s the name Keyser Soze is, so it's their menu. Delicious traditional bread, fresh squeezed orange juice and huge platters of everything, from Brie to Nutella.
We were hungry, or at least our eyes were bigger than our stomachs. We order the 3-eggs scrambled eggs with bacon, orange juice and the MAXI breakfast: Emmental Cheese, Brie, Quark, Salami, Serrano Ham, Turkey Ham, Nutella, Marmelade, Vanilla Joghurt, Butter, Bread and Fruits.
It was a huge amount of food. What started as a breakfast, had to turn into brunch and into lunch. Outside was raining cats an dogs while we were watching the people walk in the rain listening to a very soothing playlist trying to finish all this food.
This place was exactly what I expected after seeing their instagram for months. And with awesome company and a great talk, was even more enjoyable. This 90s flair Café is definitely a place to give a try while you are in Mitte. And by checking other people's orders, the lunch menu looks very yummy as well.
After posts like: favorite coffee spots in Helsinki and Favorite Coffee Spots in Stockholm, I realized I was totally forgetting the best places to get your caffeine kick in Oslo. When you live there you kind of forget that Oslo is one of the best cities for coffee, worldwide. As I had to go to Oslo for a project last weekend, I asked one of my BFFs Ingri to take a coffee tour around Oslo with me. She is a coffee connoisseur, one of the people behind Kaffikaze, co-founder of The Mile High Aeropress Club, 2nd in the World Aeropress Championship 2012, and the author of the Oslo Coffee Guide article in the latest Brygg Magazine, so I could probably not have picked a better co-pilot for this. We visited old and new coffee shops in several districts and tried a different kind of brew in each place. The verdict? The Oslo coffee scene is thriving and growing! Keep on reading to follow our journey.
1. Hendrix Ibsen
Our first stop was Hendrix Ibsen. This store is fairly new in Oslo. I remember when they opened last summer. It is located right outside of Mathallen. The owner from this place is guilty of some of the best places to have coffee in Berlin as well, like: Oslo Kaffeebar and Kaschk.
For our first coffee we decided on their Nitro Coffee on tap. it’s the only nitro brew in Oslo as far as we know. It was made with a chilled drip brew of Don Amado, a Honduran washed yellow Catuai from Kaffa. And may I say WOW! I have never had coffee that tasted like this. It was cold and minerally refreshing. I can imagine how it would taste mixed with booze, defo delicious!
In addition to the classic espresso based menu you can get hand brewed coffee, a great beer selection, and vinyl! For some months now they’ve been hosting music, cultural and food events as well. You can keep up to date on events following their facebook page.
This is one of the few multi roaster coffee spots in town. Beans for sale are often from Berlin based roasters like Five Elephant and The Barn, but also great Norwegian roasters like Kaffa, Lippe, Tim Wendelboe, and even Fuglen Tokyo. They also serve a few things to eat, and for all of you glutenfree people, they have gluten free muesli!
Ingri also recommends you to try: Nitro coffee with Porter, a 50/50 blend
2. Tim Wendelboe
Our second stop, was Tim Wendelboe, a "must" when you are in Oslo. This place and its owner are an entity in the coffee world. The little coffee shop/ roastery/barista school is located in the very hip district Grüneløkka. It is beautiful decorated with scandinavian vintage furniture and has the coffee roaster is in the middle of the store. The front of the counter is made with wood from the ceiling that was there when he took over the shop in 2007.
They brew all their coffees on Aeropress, but I have to say that it was the summer coffee drinks that got me hooked. As I haven’t been there for the past 9 months, I was surprised by the new china they are using. My favorite norwegian brand Figgjo did a collaboration with Tim called Figgjo Oslo, beautiful, simple & elegant cups designed to highlight aroma in different ways based on the shape of the cup.
We had a washed Geisha Honduras at Tim Wendelboe brewed on an Aeropress. Ingri thought it was the best geisha she has had out of all the geishas she has tried that are not from the famous farm Hacienda La Esmeralda in Panama. It had a very floral aroma and a bright citrus like acidity. Jasmine, honey and lemon, mmm.
Ingri encourages to also try: Cappuccino al freddo from the iced coffee summer menu.
3. Supreme Roastworks
The third stop of the tour was Supreme Roastworks. This place not only has the coolest name and logo, but was my favorite spot while living in Oslo. I was there so often, that I even carved my name in one of their tables... but shhhhh! Once I tried their delicious lattes I was hooked, and spent most of my days working from one of their green hipster tables listening to great records.
Lucky for us, Odd-Steinar was working that day. He is the current world champion of black coffee brewing. He competes every year and has competed in Barista, Brewers Cup and Aeropress. He won the World Brewers Cup last year using a natural processed Ethiopian coffee with super delicious water from the Norwegian fjords.
The coffee we ordered from him was Kamwangi AA, a washed SL 28 & SL 34 from Kenya, brewed on Chemex. We also got to taste his secret competition coffee brewed on V60, a very sweet and amazing brew! We wish we knew which coffee it was!
You can have breakfast at Supreme, where there offer ranges from muesli to sandwiches with sourdough bread to an amazing banana bread cake. They have some gluten free stuff as well!
Ingri says: Don’t miss the V60’s by current World Brewers Cup Champion Odd-Steinar Tøllefsen
And moving to the beautiful district of St. Hanshaugen just across the park: Java, home of the Java-Babes. I don't think there is a coffee place in Oslo with so many smiles and gorgeous baristas. I used to be a regular here as they are just next to the Gutta på Haugen delicatessen shop.
At this point of the tour we met our good friend and fellow coffee lover Helena. Java is almost her second living room. Ingri decided for a cappuccino, made with Crescendo, an espresso blend consisting of washed central American coffee, Esmeralda geisha and washed Ethiopian coffee roasted by Kaffa.
This place not only has great coffee, but the best croissant in town. I haven’t tried it, but my foodie ex boyfriend swears to it! On Fridays they have a dinner concept where one of their baristas or a guest chef cooks up a pretty spectalular dinner. Follow their social media for teasers about the friday dinner of the week. Their pour over menu always includes woodneck and chemex brews, and most of the time they will have Esmeralda geisha on there.
Java is also the home of the top three baristas from the Oslo championship last year, and it will be exciting to hear how it goes this week when they defend their honor and go for the golden ticket to the World Barista Championship.
Ingri says you shouldn’t miss: Friday dinner accompanied by wines from Moestue Grape Selections. From 5-ish pm.
NEXT STOP GIRLS!!!! This place very new to me, as they opened when I was living in Berlin. Rouleur is barely one year old and only 2 blocks away from Java. At first you will think it is a bicycle store or just a bar, but it is a bar and cafe obviously owned by rouleurs (A rouleur is a type of racing cyclist considered a good all-rounder. In road bicycle racing different courses favour different types of rider depending on a range of environmental conditions such as terrain, climate and distance.)
Through their interior design, big windows and benches we felt right at home. They have beautiful decorations in bronze, a foxy bar and retro lamps. And at the back area they were showing the last bike race on a projector.
We ordered the Lippe espresso nr 4, a blend of washed Rwanda and Guatemala. It was brewed on a fully manual and beautiful espresso machine called Strietman. First the machine was preheated and then brewing water was added and pressed through the basket of coffee with manual force. They even have one of these machines for sale, although it looks more like a pretty interior detail on their wall shelf.
Ingri and Line soon discovered the interesting bar menu and the huge range of handsome men, so they decided to order a drink and enjoy the view.
They have many different kinds of events going on like release albums and cycling stuff... check theirFacebook Page to be up to date.
Ingri thinks you may also fancy: 5 tap beers from Dronebrygg and Japanese tea from Tōku
We moved closer to Central Oslo to make a stop at Fuglen (translates to The Bird), a more than 50 year old coffee spot. It is also a vintage Scandinavian design shop and a cocktail bar. Everything outside of the bar area can be bought (besides the Fuglen poster I really want). It is all decorated with vintage interior ranging from old teak coffee tables and leather sofas, to beautiful vases and lamps.
If you want to feel like an old school writer, their relaxed and loungy atmosphere will help you with that! And once the sun goes down, you can start ordering cocktails, beer and wine.
We went for an Ethiopian kalita brew to get something light and juicy after the espresso at Rouleur. The coffee was from Hunkute, a washed heirloom coffee roasted in Tokyo by Fuglen’s own roastery. They have two coffee bars worldwide. One in Oslo, and one in Tokyo where the they also have the Fuglen Roastery. My friend Charlotte Schreiber was just there and I am waiting to hear what she thinks of that Fuglen.
The latest project from the crew behind Fuglen is a newly opened shop in Tokyo for vintage Scandinavian design, called “Norwegian Icons”. In Oslo they’ve recently opened “Vingen Bar” (translates to The Wing Bar), where they also serve lunch dishes like Eggs Benedict.
Ingri suggests you to try: Japanese green tea that they import themselves, or all the delicious cocktails developed by one of Norway’s best bartenders.
7. Norð & Natt
We ended our tour at Norð, located at the newest hippest district, Tøyen. Norð isn’t just this one coffee bar. It's a handful of coffee bars, but also a roastery, a bakery, a restaurant and a bar. All of them in Oslo.
We ordered a filter coffee which was San Jeronimo, a washed caturra & catuai from Costa Rica, roasted by Norð. Our caffeine levels were off the charts at this point. We had also worked up an appetite for food, so we ordered some from the bistro menu, and drinks as well. I got the gluten free burger and Ingri got the beef stew with estragon. The portions were huge and it was really tasty! A perfect ending to a great day of touring the city for the best coffee.
I cant wait to be in Oslo and try their restaurant menu...
After your coffee, Ingri suggests: Try the seasonal dinner option from the bistro menu, the cocktail Dill Communication (it has sour cream!) or the Bærliner Weisse berry beer from Dronebrygg.
I hope you enjoyed the tour and if you are in oslo you give this places a try. Let me know if you liked them or you discover some other places worth checking.
I am still wondering what is the connection between coffee bars in Oslo, cocktails and wine... but I guess that is just a norwegian thing!
Brygg Magasin is a relatively new Norwegian magazine about coffee. The name translates to "Brew Magazine" and targets a small, but growing, niche of people who are passionate about the black gold. The first two issues were printed last year, and they've published two more in 2015 so far. In the latest issue, #02/15 in stores now, we are featured in an article about making breakfast & coffee in the morning.
Lene Haugerud is editor in chief of Brygg. She is a foodie herself, and a traveller. She's been traveling the world and writing about food and coffee for as long as I can remember, and you should follow her for inspiration. Together with photo editor Amalie Winther and creative head Mikal Strøm they work hard to give Oslo and Norway a beautiful magazine for those in love with the caffeine fix. A lot of people contribute to the magazine as well; foodies, baristas, home brewers, photographers and those who simply love Oslo.
Pick up an issue in your local coffee bar, or ask for it at Narvesen, if you wanna read about our breakfast routines. We share how we make our coffee, where we buy it, what we love to do in Oslo and even a recipe for scrambled eggs with arctic char and cream cheese. We are very happy about being part of this beautiful publication, and a special thanks to Helena Krekling for taking such pretty pictures in our home.
We love Oslo for the great coffee shops all over town, from Supreme Roastworks and Tim Wendelboe in Grünerløkka to Fuglen in the city, Mocca in Frogner and Java at St. Hanshaugen. However, Stockholm definitely has its share of decent brewing spots as well. These were our favorite stops for that sweet caffeine rush in the capitol of Sweden.
Drop Coffee near Mariatorget in the district of Södermalm is maybe the most well-designed coffee bar in Stockholm. Everything from the sign over the door, to the unique square boxes they use as packaging for their coffee looks beautiful. Since our last trip to Stockholm they have changed their brewing method from V60, and they now do Kalita in stead.
Johan & Nyström
Literally around the corner from Drop Coffee, about 50 meters in distance down the road you find Johan & Nyström. Johan & Nyström is sort of for Sweden what Coffee Collective is for Denmark. They have several locations, and they have expanded even to Helsinki. Each cup is still brewed with care, though.
Kafé Esaias is a small café in a relative off location near Tegnérlunden in Norrmalm. It is a perfect spot to waste a few hours, just people watching from the window, while you enjoy their espressos, lattes, chemex or other black brews. Make sure you also try the baked goods like the cardamom buns or canelés, and if you are really hungry you can get one of their mouth watering grilled sandwich loaded with melted cheese. Try the Reuben with sauerkraut or the more classic Croque Monsieur. They do not roast their own coffee, but in stead they buy it from other Swedish roasters like Da Matteo in Gothenburg. However, as for their brewing skills few places can compare. We actually had our favorite cup of coffee from the trip in this place, an excellent Chemex brew by John Dester.
John at Esaias tipped us off about Café Pascal, so we had to check it out. We took a stroll through the small park Tegnérlunden with beautiful surroundings, walked up to Observatorielunden, yet another pretty spot, and arrived at a buzzing café in the midst of the lunch rush. Everything on the menu looked tempting, but since we had already eaten a bit we simply had a V60 and a croissant. The croissants were too tempting not to try.
We were at the Norwegian Aeropress Championship 2015 yesterday. The event was subtitled "Back to the Aeropress - a pun on the movies "Back to the Future" - and took place at Barista School in Oslo. We were rooting for Team Kaya, but in the end Øystein "Kaffelab" Berntsen won the whole shebang. Congratulations to him! The event inspired us to make a modification of the classic cocktail Espresso Martini. Since we don't have an espresso machine we used our aeropress in stead. Here's how you can make it yourself!
6 cl aeropressed coffee
2 cl Tia Maria
2 cl Absolut Vodka
1 cl vanilla infused sugar syrup
4 big ice cubes
Cinnamon for dusting
Back to the Aeropress!
Make a concentrated aeropress brew with 20 g finely grind coffee of high quality, and water to the 2nd mark. Water should be 90 degrees C. Remember to rinse the paper filter first. 1 minute steep time, 10-15 seconds press time. I'm sure the aeropress champion does not approve of this, and by all means feel free to tweak the pressing method to your liking. If you have an espresso machine, and no aeropress, you can just make a double espresso in stead.
Make a vanilla infused sugar syrup by boiling 4 tbsp water with 2 tbsp sugar and 1 tsp vanilla seeds or vanilla extract.
In your shaker add all the liquids. You can check if the sweetness is how you like it. Then add the ice cubes and start shaking as if you wanted the shaker to be a time traveling device. Hopefully you end up in the present with a rich, foamy Tia Maria Aeropress Martini. Finish it off with some cinnamon dust on top.
We go the opportunity to test this new coffee brewer from Philips with a so-called Boil & Brew system. The purchase value is NOK 999,-. You can win the Café Gourmet-machine by liking our Facebook page and sharing a picture on your Instagram profile of your special coffee moment. Use the hashtag #twofoodieseating to enter the competition.
We choose the winner by the end of next week and Philips will ship the coffee machine directly to any destination in Norway. The winner, as well as the two runner ups, also get a Keep-Cup each for take-away on those busy mornings when you can't finish your cup at home.
Anyone that has ever operated a coffee brewer will immediately understand how the new Philips machine works. Water goes in the top container, ground coffee and filter goes in the middle container. Power on, water boils, drip, drip, drip and the coffee is done. We normally brew our coffee by hand, using a V60 or Kalita, but we have to admit a coffee brewer is practical when you have big parties of 10-15 people.
Even though this is a machine that does the job for you, there are still some important things to remember when brewing coffee.
Rule number 1: Use good quality coffee
High quality coffee is the most important ingredient to achieve a good brew. We recommend coffee from micro brewers like Supreme Roastworks, Tim Wendelboe or Solberg Hansen. If you don't live in Oslo with acceess to such places, check out kaffebox.no or kaffeposen.no. Good quality water would be the next point, but luckily we have awesome water straight from the tap here in Norway.
Rule number 2: Buy whole beans and grind yourself
Invest in a grinder. It won't cost you more than 500-600 kroner for a decent grinder. It really makes all the difference. Coffee needs to be fresh in order to taste good. Whole beans can last 3-4 weeks in an airtight container. Once grounded, though, the coffee quickly loses it's flavor and characteristics. Filter coffee calls for a medium coarse grind, usually the middle setting on the grinder.
Rule number 3: Brewing temperature
What is the correct temperature? There is no definite answer to this one. However, there seems to be somewhat of an agreement that it should be between 92 and 96 degrees. Certainly not boiling. Philips states that their new coffee brewer "heats the water to 93 degrees", which sounds about perfect. Then they add "or higher". This leaves us somewhat confused. When we tested the machine we noticed that the water is brought to a boil, then the machine seems to let it cool down slightly before it's further transported down the pipe to the filter container with coffee. Thus, we are not sure of which exact temperature the water had at contact with the coffee. A suggestions for improvement in the next model is to incorporate an adjustable thermometer settings for us coffee geeks.
Rule number 4: Wet the filter
Do as I say, not as I do! It was a late evening so I forgot to wet the filter in the trial round, and just noticed when I uploaded the pictures now. Why on earth wet the filter? Because it is made of paper, and paper has a taste. Paper does not taste good. By wetting the paper and rinsing in thoroughly, you remove some of that bad taste. Yes, it is getting down to geeky levels now. Just do it.
Rule number 5: Keep it clean
Clean coffee equipment ensures no foul taste of old coffee remnants. Philips new machine allow you to remove the filter container and of course the coffee pot in the bottom, and these parts are machine washable. That's good! If you could also remove the water container on the top, that would be ideal. This would give another benefit as well; water could be filled straight from the tap. We used our Kalita kettle to fill water. Just make sure you use something clean, and never use the coffee pot to fill water unless it has recently been washed.
Final rule is unofficial, but important nontheless. Drink your coffee from awesome coffee cups! Like the ones we have from Kaffikaze. Or the Keep-Cups you can win in our competition!
On of the new trends we see in Oslo is that the big malls are refurbishing and opening food courts in their lower floors. Paleet in Karl Johan did so earlier this autumn, as parts of modernizing their mall. Now Steen & Strøm in Nedre Slottsgate has done the same. While Paleet's attempt turned out to be more of a gathering of restaurants in one floor, Steen & Strøm has actually made a food court where you can shop around and grab a table where you feel like it.
They have a total of twelve restaurants, food vendors and specialty stores at the moment, as well as a super market. Newspapers are already calling it Oslo's third food hall, following Mathallen at Vulkan and Maschmann's Matmarked at Skøyen. We went to test all of the places, to see if they could live up to the expectations.
Hello Good Pie
Hello Good Pie has offered their delicious sweet and savory pies at Mathallen for two years already. At Steen & Strøm they have made a beautiful new restaurant, that looks even prettier than the original. The huge glass menu on the wall with gold leaf writing is almost as inviting as the pies. Through the windows on the counter you can see the tempting pies at one end, and follow the baking process at the other end.
Pork, beef and ratatouille are offered at 89/95 NOK if you just need a snack, and in a bigger size with condiments for 149 NOK to enjoy as dinner. Dessert pies with lemon meringue, chocolate and peanuts, apple crumble and pumpkin and caramel are 64/70 NOK. All in all we find this a good value for money place, especially considering the quality of the ingredients and the love that goes into making each and every one of them.
Burrito Project immediately caught our attention on our first visit to the food court last week - before everything was opened as scheduled. They offered some samples of their slow cooked Josper grilled meat and it tasted really good. The concept reminds us of the high quality fast food chain Chipotle, which is found everywhere in North-America and has reached some major cities of Europe as well. Turns out this place is run by Oslo-based New Yorkers, so maybe that is where they got their inspiration.
Burritos are filled with either rice or beans and then a choice of Josper grilled vegetables (NOK 83), chicken (NOK 95), pulled pork (NOK 118) or entrecôte (NOK 145). The remaining condiments are all included, except for guacamole which costs and additional NOK 23. Condiments include salad, pickled red onions, corn, cheese, different salsas and fresh coriander. You decide what to put on.
The meat still tasted good, but not as good as the samples we got the other day. Could it be because they store the meat in open air and it had gone cold? The salsas were a little runny, and the girl serving us was rather cheap on the guacamole we paid NOK 23 extra for. We got maybe a tablespoon or so per burrito, and thus the flavor disappeared almost entirely. Overall it tasted quite good, though, and we will return to to test some more later.
This place, run by Italians, is the second location to open after getting a decent reputation at their main store in Dronningens gate just a few blocks east of Steen & Strøm. They offer pizza by the slice "Rome style" as well as traditional round pies with thin crust. We tested the oxtail ragu and tuna by the slice. The oxtail ragu was really good, just look how tempting it looks on the picture below. The tuna was not so good, but that was probably due to our preferences or being overshadowed by the much tastier ragu.
Summerbird has had countless of pop-ups at Steen & Strøm recently. As such it was no surprise to see that they now opened their own store here. Gutta på Haugen has always been our go-to-place to get our Danish delights, but it is welcoming that Summerbird now have their own shop as well. Here you get amazing "flødeboller" with marzipan bottoms - we especially recommend the Christmas edition! Their chocolate coated almonds rolled in different flavors like lemon and chamomile or raspberry are highly addictive! Not to mention truffles filled with passion fruit caramel. Don't believe us? They are always generous on store samples, so go have a taste. If you want the Danish Christmas spirit to last all of December you should get their Advent Calendar just like we have.
Everything is organic! All ingredients are of the highest quality. We have heard rumors that these crazy Danes went hunting for organic oranges in Italy. They found their perfect tasting orange, but the farm was not run organic. The farmer refused to facilitate for organic operation. Summerbird called him every Thursday for two years, and even went to visit him again several times. Until he gave up! Today he delivers the perfect oranges as they wished for, and he thanks them for convincing him to do it organic.
Lakrids by Johan Bülow
Johan Bülow is "Lakridskongen". The young Danish entrepreneur that started to make liquorice in his home kitchen just a few years back, and now runs a highly successful company of more than 100 employees in over 20 countries. Just like Summerbird, this place is generous on samples, and they will gladly help you to discover your favorite. We don't really like liquorice as much, neither of us, but we have to admit - this is something else! Who knows, maybe next year we will have the Advent Calendar from Lakrids?
We already know Sebastien Bruno from their flagship store in Frognerveien and the temptations that meets you as soon as you enter Mathallen at Vulkan. This is truly one of the best macaroon makers in town! Try the olive oil and basil flavored macaroon, or if you want something seasonal how about rhubarb with cinnamon or milk chocolate and mandarin? Do not miss the roasted and caramelized pistachios coated in chocolate either!
A.C. Perch's Thehandel
Yet another Danish store! We know this as our favorite Copenhagen tea store, and now we are lucky to have one in Oslo too. They offer teas in every imaginable flavor and combination, and just look at how charming and welcoming the store is to visit.
Olive Tree has a vast variety of olive oils offered in lovely, hand crafted and painted bottles. However, when it comes to olive oil the flavor is definitely more important than the design. Is this as good as the olive oils we usually get from Gutta på Haugen or Oliviers & Co? The samples we tasted did not convince us, but we will have to try more varieties another time.
Apparently inspired by the Soup Nazi from the classic Seinfeld episode, What's Soup serves a selection of different soups and stews. On the menu at the moment is Dal - Indian lentil soup (NOK 89), cauliflower soup (NOK 89), chili con carne (NOK 109) and "pinnekjøtt"soup (NOK 109).
We took no chances and followed the correct procedures: "As you walk in the place move immediately to your right, keep the line moving, hold out your money, speak your soup in a loud, clear voice, step to the left and receive. Do not to embellish on your order. No extraneous comments. No questions. No compliments."
The soups were ok, especially the Dal tasted quite good. The "Pinnekjøtt"soup is a little boring. If you add that it is priced at NOK 109 and leaves you less than full even for lunch - it doesn't really work so well. Nothing here that screams of legend status as far as flavors are concerned. I guess we'll come back - one year.
Jonathan did not offer any samples or ways to test their menu without buying a full meal. As this was our last stop of the tour, we did not buy the sushi this day. Sorry Jonathan, no preview - no review.
I am Andrea, or as my friends call me, Jinx. I am a foodie living in Berlin, eating my way through life. Here are my recipes, cooking events, dining experiences and more...