During Quarantine, I am cleaning my hard disk, and I found some lost files of mine I really wanted to post here. One of my favorite lunch experiences in Berlin is eating like a Jetson at Data Kitchen. I have never seen or eaten at a restaurant like this somewhere else. Data Kitchen is part of a renowned group where Cookies & Cream and Crackers are part of. So imagine how food their food is! They serve slow food...fast.
You can find Data Kitchen hidden in a backyard in the middle of Berlin, in Mitte, just where all the action is, and all the shopping spots are. The first time I got there, it took me a while to find it, but I am glad I didn't give up. Once you find the spot, it seems like a regular but beautiful restaurant / Café. But then you turn around and see THE WALL:
This wall! It looks like an art exhibit where they made a wall out of microwaves or a lab wall with many glass windows. All these doors display and animation of moving lines. Some windows display the animation and other light up and show food and a name. Very intriguing!
When the windows lighten up, some guests stood up, and after looking at their phones, the window opened, and they took a tray with their food. Craziness, right? But ill explain how all this works after I showed you what I ate.
One of the great things about their menu is that it is seasonal and regional, like this Hokkaido Soup I got made out of Pumpkin from Branderburger gardens, meadow fallen apples, chamomile infused oil and greek yogurt, such an exquisite treat.
Let's start explaining the process a bit. This restaurant is money and cards free. And don't expect a waiter to come by and take your order. You do it yourself, from a smartphone or your computer. The only thing you need is the internet and one of the last two devices. You can order at the restaurant or in advance from your home or office, and you can choose as well when it should be ready to eat. This saves you so much unnecessary waiting time. You pay with a card or PayPal but all online. Sorry Millenials with flip phones!
For the main dish, I order the very "Berliner" one: Senfeier or 'mustard eggs' – soft-boiled and served with mashed potatoes, all covered in a creamy mustard sauce with Cima di Rapa. Can I get this at home every day?
But how do I get my plate? How these doors open? Once your dish is done, at the time you chose, you get an alert on your phone, you will then approach the window, and the light will turn on showing your name flowing with the animations and a button in your phone will appear that say "open door" you press it and it will open letting you take your food. So Jetsons, So futuristic!
To add an extra boost of vitamins, I ordered the Pear Promise smoothie... just delicious and served, of course, in a very sustainable way, with a glass straw. As their menu changes seasonally, their smoothies do as well. Everything is freshly made at their kitchen, and as far as I know, they try to go as regional as it is possible.
To finish, a coffee. They make a mean flat white, and you all know what a coffee freak I am (thanks Oslo for teaching me right) I really enjoyed the interior design at Data Kitchen, very minimalistic and those lamps! A view for sore eyes!
For the ones wanting to see how the order process is, here are some of the screenshots I took when I ordered my food that day:
So if you are looking to have a new lunching experience, or you live in Berlin and want to have a quick lunch with no wait, or if you are a tech fan, I really recommend you to try this restaurant. It isn't just an experience of technology, but their food is just amazing. Let's hope this pandemic is fast over, and we can go out for food again!
AD / Werbung
Tres Cabezas Coffee was first Introduced to me by my super bae Ingri (she is not only gorgeous but second place in the World Aeropress Championship and in the Norwegian Brewers Cup). I remember the coffee from Tres Cabezas a lot, not only for its unusual name but the taste was awesome!
Last Summer, I was invited to the opening party of their new Coffee Roastery and third "19 grams" café in Berlin. I was electrified about having a place close by where I can drink some of their amazing roasts.
Tres Cabezas is being re-branded slowly to 19 grams. But funny-wise, outside of the café you cant see neither "19 grams" nor "Tres Cabezas" but the sign says "BLOODY GOOD COFFEE" And they are so right.
This place is gorgeous. The industrial feeling and open spaces make me feel comfortable right away. There aren't many walls around, but glass walls and doors. You can actually see the whole store: from the offices to the roastery and even the kitchen.
You can not only eat here, but you can buy their coffee, coffee equipment, their advent calendar and more. They even have a private area if you need to work in silence.
But why do I write about this place just now? Well, HO HO HOLY SHIT, It is almost Christmas! So it is time for me to get an Advent Calendar for me and one for Pepa. I don't eat chocolate in the morning, but I crave coffee, good coffee. So I was thrilled to hear 19 grams has a Coffee Advent Calendar: A selection of 24 of the world's best Single Origin Coffees (whole beans or ground)
The design idea is fantastic as they deliver the coffee in resealable and reusable cans. So you can re-use them as a gift box, for storage or even for some DIY projects. And by re-closability of the cans, you can still enjoy the coffees after Christmas because the cans keep the aroma of the individual beans longer. And that's a good thing because every single bean is a little gem.
Exclusive to the calendar, there is a coffee advent calendar website, where you will find out everyday information, videos, recipes and exciting stories about the coffee, the farms, the roasting process, and their roasting. So you become the absolute coffee pro!
Everything is made by hand as you see. even the labeling. So they have a limited amount of them.
While I was waiting for my food I ordered some coffee, the filter brew of Columbian Beans and a double espresso to keep me awake. Both perfect!
As a flexitarian, I enjoy some meat once in a while. OK! I love meat. So as the boy wasn't with me this time, I ordered their signature dish: BLOODY GOOD BREAKFAST: Spanish Chorizo, maple bacon, roasted tomato, mushroom chutney, blood pudding, and two poached eggs. They do have Vegan and Vegetarian options. I took the meat-full gluten-free option. I was in meat heaven! delicious and those poached eggs were made just like I like them: runny and with a hint of vinegar.
Sadly, I am gone to Portugal from the 7th, So I have two choices: Or I'll get myself an Aeropress and take some beans with me, or I'll start today opening them... what would you do?
Two weeks ago I decided to try the new Indian restaurant in Charlottenburg: Bombay Café Bunty's. I thought I should tell you guys how it was. Bunty (bourgeois Suhasish Chakraborty), the super cool owner, opened the doors of his modern taste of India restaurant in October. Very close to Savignyplatz, the heart of culinary Charlottenburg.
I really like Indian food and I never cook it at home as it takes real skills. I like to go to restaurants for this kind of food but it has been a bit underwhelming to try over and over Indian restaurants that aren't really super good. But then I got in Bombay Cafe Bunty's and it was Love at first sight & bite.
The first you notice is the beautiful interior design. It doesn't look like every Indian restaurant in Berlin. It looks modern, a raw brick wall on one side and industrial lamps. Close to the toilets a super cool neon sign that says: "BE NICE OR FUCKING LEAVE" shows you that Bombay Café Bunty's (BCB) isn't just another typical a European/Indian place.
Bunty told us that in Bombay, where he comes from, the cafés actually look like this. Surprising, right?. You can see hanging on the walls beautiful artwork and amazing pictures by a photographer that spent many years in Bombay and in India in general.
So we started ordering food. Bae is vegetarian so he ordered the Tandoori Mango Paneer Tikka that is a homemade cottage cheese marinated with mango juice, yoghurt, and other herbs and I had to steal a bit of it because it looked delicious, and it was outstanding.
The next one he got was the Samosas.. sadly I can't eat gluten so I couldn't try these ones (look to the main picture) They were baked Indian dumplings filled with mashed potato and peas covered with mint-tamarind chutney. WHY??? Why I can't eat gluten... Frank looked in cloud seven while eating them and he said they were the best Samosas he had in a very long time.
As a Flexetarian, I ordered the meat: Lamb Seekh Kebab. A Lamb skewer served with Zaziki and regularly with Lavash Bread. The lamb was so good! it was so tender and juicy and at the same time crispy outside. The spices were very good and you could totally taste the difference between BCB and other Indian restaurants in Berlin.
While I was enjoying my delicious white wine, the main dishes arrived. Starting with mine: Their Coconut-Lime-Shrimps curry. This is a west-Coast Indian dish made with coconuts and lemongrass.
And I am not a person that would keep saying: "OH MY GOD! This is so good!" but I just couldn't stop myself from saying this the whole time. It was actually hard to keep a conversation while eating as it was so creamy and spicy and good. It was the kind of spicy that doesn't numb your tongue but let you taste all the diverse ingredients and spices... BRAVO!
The Vegetarian dish arrived: Aloo Mutter Curry. Franks go-to dish is this one. This is a potato and peas curry with caramelized onions. He said it was his favorite Aloo Mutter Curry in Berlin. We both really loved the food.
The dishes were quite big so we didn't order any desserts (and there was none gluten-free) but I doubt I could have been able to eat any other pea that night.
As I wrote on the title: This is in my honest opinion the best Indian Restaurant in Berlin. And I wasn't paid to say this or blog about it. And as I am already sending my friends there when they ask me about new places, I thought I would share them with you.
Get your bum all the way to Charlottenburg, cause it is super worth it! And let me know how did you like it!
Lunch at einsunternull
Lunchtime in Berlin. Where to go? Many people don't know that one of the best restaurants, Michelin-starred einsunternull offers a great lunch menu that doesn't make you leave the office for 5 hours and will still wow you from beginning to end.
When Helle came by to Berlin, I took her to a “Berlin Food Tour”, but the next day we went for lunch to say goodbye before she would return to Oslo. And the place of meeting was luckily einsunternull.
I drove on that beautiful sunny day with my bike all the way to Mitte. I have to accept that einsunternull was in my MUST VISIT list but I had no idea where it was. This little restaurant is hiding in the Hannoversche Strasse. It took me a couple of drives (thanks Google for confusing me) but I finally got there. Helle saw me riding back and forth and went out to pick me up.
It was the minimal white facade with a delicate rusty sign. When you go in, you have the feeling you are in a beautiful terrarium in the middle of the city: huge windows, outdoor plants, kitchen view, high ceilings, bright. Idyllic. I am talking about the ground floor, where lunch is served. Dinner on the other hand, is served one floor below in the dark basement, hence the name einsunternull that literally means “one below zero”
Peggy from Visit Berlin was already there with Eric (Helle’s better half and journalist). They were both talking to Ivo, owner and host. You might know Ivo Ebert as he was behind world-known Reinstoff, where he worked with einsunternull Head Chef Andreas Rieger and they are both behind the great concept of einsunternull, what doesn't just mean “one below zero” as the basement, but it means to go back to the roots of cuisine.
Andreas makes minimalist German food with regional ingredients. This fine dining experience is “half vegetarian” made always with very local products that come from Berlin and Brandenburg and some even from their own gardens. In order to be able to use “only local”, they need to preserve and ferment many of the ingredients, that is why you can find a zillion of jars downstairs at their wine cellar, from spruces, berries, plums and asparagus between others. A great idea to always be able to deliver locally.
They don't even use pepper as it isn't local, so they found some leaves that actually taste like pepper to be able to stick to their regional concept.
But not only the ingredients of the food are local. They have beautiful ceramics from one of the best ceramic artists around: Schömig Porzellan. Claudia has her Atelier/Store in Prenzlauer Berg and I have to sigh every day when I walk by it. (Did I mention they are dishwasher safe?). And all the serving glasses are unique and made by the artist Milena Kling.
And not to forget about the drinks, the pairing was flawless, but then again, Ivo is a great sommelier. For starting we had a bubbly apple juice from Cox orange apples and a Portuguese Aqua Viva Espumante Bruto. Not only they have a mix of natural wines and old-world, but they also have juice pairings that reminded me of my juice pairings at NOMA some years ago. I got to try the non-alcoholic drink made of cucumber and gooseberries. Delicioso!
Everything was amazing, I loved the char with carrots, but visually, the dessert was the best. For me, it was like my plate just finish a “color me” marathon or it was made out of unicorns. It was ice cream sprinkled with bee pollen, blackcurrant juice, fermented red currant, spruces, Krokant, cherries, chamomile and fennel blossoms in between others. We got so excited, we stood up and start taking pictures and talking about it instead of eating it. It had a great taste for sure
I can't wait to visit einsunternull for dinner and see all it has to offer, but so far, I impressed me and haven't stop thinking of their food and drinks since I left that sunny August day. I totally recommend you to take a walk to Hannovescher Str. and treat yourself with a great lunch. But as they said: Don´t forget to leave your work on the coat rack.
Helle's Kitchen in Berlin
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
Sticks n Sushi
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
100 sommeliers at Mercure
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.
The ABC of Brunches
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
Tanqueray Drinks Club
My regular cocktail drink of choice is Gin. Of course, I love a glass of wine with my food, but Gin can be a great pairing for food as well. I was so excited to be invited to the Tanqueray Drinks Club in Berlin featuring the boys of Salt and Silver, Atalay Aktas from Schwarze Traube and the Icelandic chef Victoria Eliasdóttir.
The venue for this event was INFARM, a startup based in Berlin that develops an “indoor vertical farming” system capable of growing anything from herbs, lettuce, and other vegetables, and even fruits. (read more about it in this lovely article from TechCrunch)
A beautiful place filled with plants and still with an industrial flair to it. The workshop tables were set with tools, gin, fruits, and herbs. I started sipping an old school G&T while I got a bit of an introduction to the different classes of Gin Tanqueray has.
Tanqueray has 3 different products:
The most usually seen around is their Tanqueray London Dry Gin. A gin with 180 years of history, including being the favorite Gin of Frank Sinatra ;) Its smell of Juniper it's so predominant. I find that the juniper note in Tanqueray London Dry is perhaps the most significant characteristic of it, I don't recall any other gin having that singular juniper note.
Tanqueray N0.10 was released in 2000, Tanqueray No. TEN gin is named after the small copper pot-still ("Tiny Ten") that is used to produce the spirit. This is the only gin (so far) that uses whole citrus fruits in its recipe.
Tanqueray Rangpur, my favorite of the evening. Named after the Rangpur lime that is included in the recipe. Rangpur lime isn't a lime but a hybrid of a lemon and mandarin orange. But this doesn't mean it is Lime Flavoured Gin (many think so) but the lime is distilled with the other botanicals.
The amazing Salt & Silver boys (who quit their jobs to travel through the world searching for the best waves, stories, and recipes) explained to us what was going to happen during the event and that Victoria was our chef tonite (you might know her from Dottir). My favorite restaurant in the world is Icelandic Korean fusion, and knowing she was the cooking, some little part of me performed a salto of joy!
The First two dishes were: Smoked trout on Icelandic flat bread, fennel, egg & garden cress And my ultimate favorite of the evening: Baked beetroot on Danish rye bread, beetroot labneh, horseradish, lavender, red shiso cress. Mouth-watering!
The second gin I had was Tanqueray No 10 with tonic and rosemary, delicious. It was truly fun to go to the bar and create your drink with the bartender. I grew very fond of basil and rosemary on drinks during the evening.
The next dish was a Marinated sole with red grapefruit, dill, khaki & shallots. It reminded me of ceviche. Ceviche with a twist. a great pairing of the gin I was having (first picture of the blog post) It was a Rangpur base, 50/50 soda, and tonic with orange zest and forest fruits. The citrusy notes on the drink and food were superb.
The last dish was actually made with gin. It was a lemon sorbet with Rosemary and Tanqueray. This I will try to make it at home. It was just sublime.
Food was eaten, and the DIY Tanqueray workshop started. The rules were simple:
Step 1: Choose your Gin
Step 2: Choose your Fruit
Step 3: Choose your Tonic
Step 4: Choose your Garnish
Step 5: Create your own T&T
And after a short explanation, everyone started making their own drink. It wasn't only a workshop, but it would be a price for the best T&T. Everyone jumped to the workstations and tried to make the most delicious drink of the night.
My favorite drink of the workshop was called "Sexual Healing" and even though it wasnt the winner of the contest, It was my personal winner!
As I never have pictures of myself, I found this one at the events site. I look so terrible in pictures, like I am mad or something, but actually I was just paying attention to my good pal Kai from INSEARCHOF and FIBER.
It was a great evening with amazing people and food, learning how to make cocktails while having fun. I can't wait to have friends over and make our own cocktails, or maybe even a contest as well? Do you make cocktails at home? have you tried all Tanqueray Gins?
BRICOLE - Mushroom Parade
I have been driving past BRICOLE for the weeks. Mostly I am in a hurry to pick up Pepa at preschool. (The restaurant is very close to it) So I added it to my "Food Bucket List".
Lucky me, Berlin Food Week organized a "Stadtmenü or City Menu" on the topic "Mushroom Parade" with over 60 restaurants, including BRICOLE, offering the opportunity to get to know the city in a new culinary way. Whether regional noble mushrooms, exotics from Asia or noble truffles. Whether three or four courses, with or without wine accompaniment, whether gourmet restaurant, down-to-earth classic, vegetarian restaurant or innovative newcomer, each of these restaurants interpret the motto for itself and implements it in the sense of its individual kitchen line.
OFF WITH YOUR HEAD, MAIN COURSE! Their menu does not impose a main dish but offers a selection of dishes that you can combine and order as your mood takes you.
You have a menu that contains about 9 to 10 dishes and you can decide if you want 3, or 5 or all. Your decision. The dishes aren't small though, be prepared to eat!
The first Mushroom was the truffle. While I got served some bubbles, appeared bread and a fluffy beaten butter sprinkled with truffle and sea salt.
The menu looked exciting and the wine pairings as well. The First dish was a Porcini ravioli with smoked celery broth and pickled radish and black walnut. A mouth-watering combination. I am a fan of ravioli, but then again, who isn't?
The ravioli was paired with a delicious Weißburgunder from Weingut Krebs 2016, Fine on the nose and complex with hints of meadow flowers, ripe apples, and pears. This is accompanied by a fresh hint pineapple. Full with a fresh minerality, two of my favorite qualities for a light wine.
The next dish was a poached halibut, savoy cabbage, turnip and morel foam. The fish was very well made. the softness of it combined with the airy morel was really good.
The wine they selected to accompany this plate was a Grauburgunder "Juwel" from Juliane Eller 2016. A strong Pinot Gris with a dense aroma of fruits like melon and pear.
A Spätburgunder was being served. From Genheimer - Kiltz Vintage 2014. A full and strong dry wine with a milder taste of wood, peach, melon, and gooseberry.
While enjoying this beauty, the duck breast with pumpkin cream, oyster mushrooms, and potato crunch did its grand entry. The duck was tender and juicy, and I really loved the taste of the mushrooms with the pumpkin cream. That bird was exactly how I like it. I am still thinking of it.
Paring the dessert, was a Huxelrebe Auslese from Albiger Hundskopf 2015. The Huxelrebe grape is one of the so-called new breeds. Their crossing is between the two white grape varieties Gutedel and Coutellier Musqué. It has a juicy, spicy taste with aromas of caramel, honey, mango, orange, and peach.
Very well chosen wine for the Kefir, aerated chocolate, candied chestnuts, and fermented tea gel.
I can't wait to see what next year's Berlin Food Week will bring, or which restaurants will be part of the Stadtmenü. But for sure I will be there. As for BRICOLE, I will go again and try some more of their dishes as the ones I had so far, At the Côtes du Rhône Gourmet Crawl and BFW were delectable.
Here I leave you with a small video of that evening. It is always nice to see the ambiance of a restaurant in moving pictures than in regular ones.
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...