Last month I was invited to fly to Bordeaux for a weekend to eat delicious food and drink all those amazing wines from the Bordeaux region. The dream trip. I love food and wine... and escaping to a warm place was just the best thing to do in September.
It all started with a group of influencers, a VW vintage Bully and a super cute small villa in Arcachon. I was the designated driver, and my passengers were @Frances, @oh_wunderbar, @marrykotter, and my bestie: @travelettes's Katja. We used the hashtag #ohlalabordeaux during the trip, so our Instagram followers would see everything we were doing.
We arrived at the house and were greeted with Château Favory bubbles and finger food that we enjoyed on the porch talking about our itinerary. The first stop was the famous restaurant La Co(o)rniche that stands high up a mountain and lets you see the beautiful sunset while dining on their terrace.
We talked a lot about wines and women in the wine world. While I was enjoying the marvelous tuna tataki, I got to learn so many things about Bordeaux Wines. They help and support vineyards owned by women as they bring some new things to the table. This made me extremely happy as Calon Segur makes one of my favorite wines. Calon Segur is from Bordeaux and owned by a woman. We were sipping Le G from Château Guiraud. when my big mouth-watering Entrêcote came to the table.
A beautiful evening in a wonderful location, enjoying delicious food and wine. We went back home and slept some, as the next day was going to be packed, starting with a trip to the Atlantic Ocean.
This wooden beauty was waiting for us in Cap Ferret. The boat came with a skipper, So I could enjoy all the wine ;) I needed some wine as I had huge parking problem as I didn't notice the Bully was over 2 meters. Thank god for all the "patient" Frenchmen that allowed me to drive backwards from a garage house on a one-way street... eiiiither waaay, back to the trip!
We did a tour, starting with some food at Le Monte à Bord where we had fresh and awesome seafood with pate and bread. Yes! is the only things they served. We washed it down with some cold and refreshing Bordeaux White Wines. This charming restaurant is directly on the beach and owned by 2 generations of super handsome men. Did I mention the Oysters??? I think I almost ate them all! (Sorry Girls)
After food and drinks, we jumped back to our little boat and headed to see the Europes biggest dune: Dune du Pilat. And we did some sunbathing and had some nice rosé wines while the girls had some Canelés.. sadly still no Gluten Free version of those.
After all that fun, and some shopping in Arcachon, we went home got a shower an drove to our next dinner. It was again on the beach, Pereire. But actually, we were going to dine with our feet on the sand! We arrived just on time to see the sunset while having some delicious white and rosés at Club Plage Pereire.
It got pretty fast very dark, So excuse me for not making any more pictures... And after all, enjoying the breeze while having wine and steak tartare and talking with the girls was a bit funnier than trying to get a picture of the plates.
After the dinner and spending all day on the sea, we drove straight back home and couldn't wait until next day... something about a tree, picnic, and wine...
We arrived at Château de Cerons after a very "curvy" way... French people like those roundabouts... but when you are driving a vintage car, it's workout.
What a beautiful place! Château de Cérons is a magnificent 17th-century manor house surrounded by vines, as well as the old barrel cellar and new winemaking facility. During the tour, I learned that they are testing on something I saw in a visit to Bornholm. As Bornholms-ismejeri is using algae to substitute egg, Château de Cerons is trying to replace eggs for algae during the clarification process and removing tannins. Isn't that incredible?
When the sun cleared out, we had a small "picnic" on their gardens. We ate foie gras, duck pâté, black olive “tapenade” and cheese (loads of amazing cheese) and of course got to taste 3 of their best wines as well.
Funny fact, the owners of the vineyard, were friend of my neighbors in Oslo... it seem all those Pascal I met in Oslo knew this great hosts!
But even good things have to come to an end, we jumped on the Bully (called Jean Pierre) and drove to the next exciting experience: Wine tasting on a tree!
In Château Rayne Vigneau, a first-class vineyard in Sauternes, you can taste wine in an unexpected and at the same time adventurous way in a 200 years old and 4 floors high cedar tree. But do not worry, you do not have to single-handedly climb the trunk. At least that is what we heard... But our image of being lifted up to a tree to taste some wine was sooooo far away from reality.
You actually have to climb all the way up. Sadly we were not really dressed for the occasion: sandals and dresses instead of sneakers and jeans. We all tried. We lost 4 women on our journey and I was the only one that actually made it to the top.
For sure, it is a little workout for the limbs, but the slight tremor in the legs is blown away, with the first sip of wine. Once I got to the treetop, a fine Sauternes, the famous sweet wine from Bordeaux, was waiting for me. Sorry, I lost the girls, but hey! I got to enjoy a private testing with Vincent while looking at the Château and the unique view of the surrounding vineyards. I was the 301st person to Climb Arséne, the tree.
We went for a shower and I needed some band aids for all the climbing blisters. We jumped back in Jean Pierre and drove all the way to Château Bessan where you can find La Cabane dans les Vignes. A beautiful location for our last night. It is a small wooden cottage in the middle of the vineyard.
We arrived just in time to see our third and last sunset in Bordeaux. We enjoyed the sun while drinking diverse wines and bubbles. We had some finger food until it was dark.
They prepared a candlelight dinner for us and we ended up talking for hours about wine and Bordeaux. Did I mention they showed us the coolest video ever??? Mathieu actually took his friends and they all got to surf the river while drinking their new wine called Mascaret (The Wave) Watch the video here.
Thanks, Bordeaux Weine for such an incredible weekend, full of new experiences. Made some new friends, drunk a lot of delicious wine, got to eat a lot of amazing food, drove a vintage VW Bully... climbed a tree, made an awesome "flying" picture... What a great experience! Thanks again!
If you missed the stories I made during the trip, just go to my instagram (follow me if you don't) and check on my saved stories under the name #ohlalabordeaux.
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
Last Bulmers recipe of this week, "the main dish”. This is one of my favourite recipes. When you think of a Fricassee, you would probably think of that Fricassee de Poulet a L’Ancienne… a very French comfort food between a saute and a stew. But in my case I think of a warm English homemade food. You might be thinking I got it all wrong and I am a bit crazy. So I may have to explain a little bit:
When I was a kid, I spend a lot of time at my grandparents home. My grandmothers family is French and my granddads, English. So a mix in the cuisine was for sure in every meal. Fricassee is made with dry white wine, but if you have some cider lovers around, (some with a sweet tooth) it will be made with cider. Cider is originally from England (after the romans brought it when they colonised) and as apples grow very fast there, it was the perfect setting for the beginning of production of this golden drink. So you can now do the math: Grandpa’s love for cider and Grandmas fricassee. The perfect English French love child.
1 whole chicken (2kg) fresh or unfrosted
3 tbsp unsalted butter
2 tbsp olive oil
salt and pepper
1 yellow onion, diced.
1 big carrot, diced
2 celery stalks, diced
250gr brown mushrooms
3 tbsp potato starch (glutenfree)
1 1/4 cup Bulmers Pear Cider
1 liter chicken fond
5 bay leafs
3 egg yolks
125ml heavy cream (30% fat or more)
fresh lime juice.
Divide Chicken into 10 pieces: Legs, thighs, wings and 4 breast pieces. Season the chicken on both sides with salt and pepper. Use a Dutch oven if you have one. If not, use a large pot. Add the oil and 2 tbsp butter and fry the chicken skin side down until golden and turn. Don’t crowd your pot! Just fry your chicken and set aside and add more chicken until you are done. Leave the chicken on the side.
Reduce heat and add the diced vegetables. let them there until they are golden and a bit transparent… about 10 minutes in a Dutch oven.
Bulmers Pear cider aka Perry is made from fermented apples but with pear flavour. Either way, it is a Pear elixir you can use instead of wine for the preparation of many desserts or savory meals.
Add the mushrooms and let them get darker. They will release some water. Add the starch and stir until all the starch is incorporated. Pour the cider while whisking.. it will get thick very fast. Add the broth and keep stirring. Return the chicken and its juices back to the pot.
Why I chose Bulmers Pear cider? I wish I had invented the chicken-pear match in heaven, but this was made loooong time ago as it compliments the white meats with its fruit subtlety. You can go hours in google reading all the great recipes using this two ingredients, from salads and stews to terrines and pattées. So Bulmers Pear cider was my weapon of choice.
Tie your herbs with a natural twine and bring the fricassee to boil and reduce to simmer. Cover the half of the pot with a lid and let it simmer for about 30 minutes. If you have a thermometer, check that the inside of the chicken is at 70C. Remove chicken again. And let it boil for 10 more minutes.
Now let´s make this baby thick and creamy! In a bowl, whisk the yolks and cream. Keep whisking and add slowly the cooking liquid from the pot. half a cup. And then add this mix with the yolks and cream back to the pot. Return the chicken to the pot, add a tbsp of butter and add some lime juice.
Put this single pot fricassee on the middle of the table as well as rice. That silky sauce it’s a killer combined with a well cooked grainy rice. Get some glasses, add some ice cubes and pour some pear cider on them. Fricassee is hot hot hot and Bulmers Pear will refresh you.
As I have been telling you in Instagram, this is the Bulmers Week on the blog! Bulmers is my favorite brand of Cider and you can see how much I love it if you follow my Insta-Stories. I can't drink beer anymore since I have Celiac Disease, so cider became my drink of choice, and let's face it, it tastes way better than beer. Cider is an alcoholic drink made from apples mostly served with ice cubes, but why be so dull and not create an awesome cocktail?
Imagine your favorite dessert in a drink.... One of my favorite desserts is apple pie, but with this heat I wouldnt even dare to eat a hot apple pie. So how to get that flavor in my mouth without melting more than I am now? Let´s make an Apple Pie Cocktail!!!! For that I need some Cider... a big tasty apple cider, like Bulmers Original.
What you need:
1/2 cup Brown Sugar
1 Tbsp Cinnamon
1 Cinnamon Stick per drink
Moscato Wine (white)
Bulmers Apple Cider... lots of it
Fresh Red Apples to garnish.
Apple Pie is normally made with dough, Apples, Sugar and Cinnamon. So i decided to start this recipe making some Cinnamon Sugar. This is pretty simple: Add Sugar and Cinnamon in a blender or food processor until the sugar gets a bit smaller and mixes with the cinnamon powder. Wait before you open the blender... Cinnamon powder is crazy ;)
Use tall glasses or wine glasses. Cut one of your apples in 8 pieces and wet the glass rim with a slice and dip the glass into the cinnamon sugar.
Add 4 ice cubes to each glass and pour 4 cl of vanilla vodka in each glass and then fill half of your glass with moscato wine.
Top with Bulmers Original sparkling apple cider and serve with apple slices and a cinnamon stick. You will taste apple pie in every sip you take... And for the ones that doesn't know, those sunshine ripened apples, give not only that beautiful color but a sweet, sweet taste! Enjoy!
I missed this year's Food Zürich because I was too busy with a restaurant curation, So I got a super cool #Zuerifoodbox from Visit Zürich to feel a bit better. Check the end of the blog post to see what was in the box or just start following my insta stories :)
I was so surprised to see that many of the Zürich recipes are actually gluten-free or easily transformed into celiac-safe recipes. Like the Zürcher Geschnetzeltes. I just changed the spoon of flour for a spoon of gluten-free flour and voila! Zürich at my dinner table.
I used my own Rösti Recipe to serve with this recipe from the legendary Restaurant Kronhalle... But I might try their Rösti recipe soon, they use cooked potatoes instead of raw ones.
Ingredients: (4 people)
800 gr. Veal fillet, cut into finger-wide strips
Salt and pepper to season the meat
2 shalotts, finely chopped
2 tablespoons butter
100 gr of mushrooms (white and brown), sliced
1 tbsp flour
100ml white wine (dry)
100ml brown gravy
salt pepper, cayenne, little cognac at will
1 kg potatoes
Salt and Pepper
Warm your oven to 50C and start peeling your potatoes, then grate them with coarse part of your grater. Try not to get your fingers caught there... Once you are done with that, press the water off them and leave the potatoes in a sieve and let it sit.
The main thing about cooking a great dish is to buy great ingredients. Like this veal came from a trusted butcher and you should always check for quality for a better taste.
Sauté the meat briefly in butter, season and put on a sieve. Collect the leaking meat juice. Keep the meat warm.
Press the potatoes again with your hands and let it rest again.
Start frying your Rösti and pour yourself some wine. Cooking is better when you are drinking wine. You can save the Rösti in a form and leave it in the oven to keep them hot.
For the sauce, sauté the chopped shallots in butter, add the sliced mushrooms, continue to simmer and season with salt and pepper.
Dust with the flour and deglaze with white wine. Mix well. Fill up with the bouillon and gravy, add the meat juice, simmer for about 15 minutes on small fire.
Add the cream. Simmer again briefly, puree with the stick blender and then pass through a sieve. With cayenne pepper, and add cognac until it tastes good for you. Incorporate the meat in the sauce.
In a deep plate, add the Rösti, cover with the Geschnetzeltes and sprinkle with some green herbs and enjoy with dry wine.
I can't wait to go back top Zürich for the next food and try some more classic Zürich, some experimental like the Insects Essento Dinner I was last year or try another Michelin Restaurant like the awesome Ecco.
Pictures by Christian Mentzel
Post and Styling by Me
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For the ones that know me well, it is a sure thing that my comfort food is sushi. Whenever I feel down, I have to stick some raw fish in my mouth. But as a Peruvian and after living in Oslo for 6 years, it is hard for me to find sushi that actually hits the spot.
I got a voucher to test the takeaway service of Sticks n Sushi, and I was so surprised by the quality of the food and the presentation as well.
I ordered one of the menus by phone and met my mega babe Sophia to pick up that sushi and went home to have a sushi feast. Everything looked still great and even the Makis survived the way back. When we opened the bags we found the following:
Kataifi: Octopus Kataifi, Trout Roe, and miso aioli
Spicy Edamame: Grilled Edamame with spicy miso
Tataki: Beef, smoked cheese, Tosazu, Goma shiro and Jerusalem Artichoke chips
Tartare: Salmon and Tuna Tartare
Momo Chilli: Chicken with chilli and chives,
Koushi Habu: Entrecote with miso herbs butter
Kushi Katsu: Fried Duck with wasabi caesar
Ebi panko Roll: Tempura prawn and spicy sauce garnished with avocado, sesame, and Tsume soya
Hell's Kitchen Roll: Tempura shrimp with avocado and spicy sauce garnished with tuna and barbecue sauce
Pink Alaska: Salmon, avocado and cream cheese in Lumpfish Roe
Nigiri: Salmon, Tuna and Ebi
All together great sushi... so good, to make me wanna live closer to get it more often. Hopefully, they will open one closer to Prenzlauer Berg. I totally recommend it for a wine & sushi night at home, or after a hard day at the office. The cost of this menu was 99 euro.
Advertising - because of voucher
Berlin is hot, hot, super hot at the moment. Having a toddler 24/7 and this heat makes me so unproductive and lazy. But as I need to get some things done, I decided to go pick up my new WMF pots in West Berlin with the help of a friend. (He is tall enough to carry the big boxes)
But on our way back, we got a bit hungry, so I thought why not make a quick Gazpacho? It was pretty late so my kitchen was kind of dark but still wanted to share this with you.
The main thing about Gazpacho is the ingredients. As they won't be cooked, you have to be sure that you have good quality veggies and your tomatoes should be as ripe as possible.
8 Ripe Tomatoes or 2 cans of 400 gr of shredded tomatoes
a handful of cherry tomatoes
1/2 Paprika or 5 small ones (like in the picture)
2 garlic cloves
50 ml white wine Vinegar
2 tbsp Olive oil
Salt & Pepper
Fresh Chives or any other herb
Now it is chopping time. We will be cutting 2 different things: Soup and Topping. Start chopping 1/4 of your cucumber in thin slices and then cut the slices in 4. Do the same with your paprika, cut 1/4 of your paprika in thin stripes and last but not least, cut about the half of your cherry tomatoes in half. Put all these ingredients in a small bowl and sprinkle some oil to it and let it rest..
Chop the rest of the ingredients in small dices and add vinegar, oil, salt and pepper and let it rest in the fridge for 15 minutes or more (if you have time). Make sure that you mix it well so all the flavours will combine.
Put this mix in a blender until smooth. I like to strain my Gazpacho but not with a very fine sieve, so I actually use my potato press just to remove the seeds. You still feel the vegetables and it isn't that fine. But if you like to have a good old-fashioned Gazpacho, get the whole pure through a very fine sieve. Get your soup in a jar and put it back in the fridge until you will be serving it.
For serving, add a spoon-full of the topping mix and serve the soup over it. I have this vintage hen jar that I had for many many years and I love how it looks when I serve soups from it. With a spoon serve some more topping in the middle and sprinkle olive oil over it. Do not spare on oil! It just makes your soup taste better!
Cut and sprinkle some chives or fresh herbs over your Gazpacho, it gives it a great aroma. Toast some bread and enjoy with Cold Grüner Veltliner or a dry Rosé if you are a fan of Rosé.
All Pictures were Made by Christian Mentzel... I tortured him as art director to see the picture outcome. It was really hard not to be the one making the pictures though ;)
When you go to a restaurant or a hotel, mostly all the wine is chosen by their sommelier. A Sommelier is the one developing the wine menu and working with the kitchen to make the best pairings with the food.
But what happens when you have 100 sommeliers instead of 1?
This is exactly what happens at Mercure at their annual Weinlese. A group of 100 people test wines and decide which ones are the best to be added to their wine list. A very colorful group of people testing the final round in search of the best for this year's wine list.
When I arrived, I was sent to the parking lot. Super weird but cool... a looong red carpet with a security guy was the only thing I could see. There were music and laughter behind the entrance. Once I got in, all the "sommeliers" were sipping some bubbles, listening to live music by a trio of guitar, saxophone and "cajón".
When the music stopped we were greeted and explained how the evening was planned: Bubbles and finger food, Wine Tasting and last but not least, Dinner. We all got a different letter in our name tags and were instructed to follow the group upstairs. My letter was a "D".
We got into a very bright conference room filled with tables. Each table had a different name. Mine was "Dornfelder" hence the letter "D" on my tag. Every table was trying different wines. About 150 different wines were gonna be tasted! Three bottles of each kind, 5 kinds per table.
After reading the list on my table I was super happy with it: A Weissburgunder, followed by a Grauburgunder... My regular choices when buying German wine.
It was fun to be seated at the table with no bloggers this time. Got to talk to a very mixed table: a hotel owner, a teacher, a sports store owner and even a winemaker. Though I kept going to talk to the girls at the next table... Afterall I kinda missed them a little bit ;)
After all the wines were tasted, we gave our notes for the final counting. And we all left to the restaurant area that was beautifully decorated and filled with appetizers for us.
The tables were filled with small and delicious appetizers like Avocado Salsa, Sesame Chili Popcorn Salad, Hummus, Pan-fried Cauliflower, and oven baked cherry tomatoes. These were paired with a 2017 Weisser Burgunder from Bermersheim Rheinhessen.
The first course was Le Poisson! Cod with Skin Fried served with a red prawn, green sauce, and rice in a Nori leaf. It looked like a maki but it wasn't a maki. Very interesting taste.
The pairing was a 2017 Aufwind Grüner Veltliner & Riesling white wine Cuvée from Bad Dürkheim in the Pfalz.
Le Beof arrived... Poached Beef Filet M VII Sud with a zucchini flower, Jerusalem artichoke puree, and a potato layer cake. It came with an excellent pairing: 2015 M VII Red wine Weingut Markus Klumpp from Bruchsal.
And after the beef and some more glasses of wine, we changed location for the desserts and cheese. A sweet buffet with ham, cheese and grapes were we read the final winners of the event. It was very much fun to compare my notes to the winners. Was I on spot? I was in some of them, but then again it was all about different kinds of taste... Tho I was happy to have at least 3 winners on my notes :)
I finished my night with a great craft beer for a change and some delicious sourdough bread with liver pate. I had loads of fun, ate great food in the company of great wine. I got to learn more about wine and met loads of cool people in the process. We even went out clubbing until late, talking about how awesome this evening was.
Whether red or white, sweet or dry: At Mercure, you can enjoy a fine selection of the best quality wines. All wines are sourced directly from local winemakers with a bold concept that fits perfectly into today's world.
And what is the best part? the guests get to choose: Le Club AccorHotels Participants can participate in the wine tasting at the annual final tasting. And for sure this event has something for every taste. I am pretty sure everyone will find their favourite wine here.
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
When I was in Junior High School, we had once a week a cooking class. Mostly all things we prepared were not baked. I remember some dessert or snack called "Sweet Bombs". As a neighbor lent me some flour one day, I decided to make something for him to thank him. And what not better something I can do together with Pepa.
500 ml Evaporated milk or in German: Condensed Milk
500 gr Sugar
400 gr Butter Cookies
100 gr nuts (optional)
a Pinch of Salt
First, start crushing your cookies. You can put them in a bag and smash them, or use a food processor as it is easier, faster and less messy.
I could have bought 250 ml condensed milk, but I like making my food from scratch. The recipe to make condensed milk aka Milch Mädchen is easy but takes a while. Mix the milk and sugar and let it boil.
Let's face it, condensed milk its just a milch marmalade. It is all about boiling and simmering until you have the desired consistency. So turn up the heat until it boils and lower the heat to minimum. Repeat until you can put the milk in a spoon and it doesn't fall from it while moving it.
I use a wooden spoon with holes, it works way better. Condensed milk is normally cream colored, but when you make it yourself it turns caramel color... more like dulce de leche.
Once it has cooled down, Mix the cookies, nuts and condensed milk. It will give you a very sticky dough.
Using some nuts or dry hands, make little balls of about 30 grams. Or just make them to the size you want. I like 30 grams cause it is as much I cant it without dying of a sugar coma. You don't need to bake it at all and you can enjoy them right away. Try making these ones with your kids or by yourself.
I hope you enjoy this easy old recipe of mine. And be prepared to eat a delicious "Sweet Balls" better together with a coffee or as a snack when you are outside in this cold winter.
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...