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!
Finally my Barcelona blog post online. As I don’t like talking wrong about people, I will say most of my pictures were “lost.” So after gathering some of the images, I downloaded to my Mac, iPhone pictures and some other ones I got back. I finally finished this.
Last year I needed a vacation. So why not Barcelona? Haven't been there since I became a mom, love their food, and they happen to speak one of my mother languages. But to be honest, I was a bit skeptic about being in my old "Party Town" with a toddler. We were invited to spend some days at Barceló Raval. It is a beautiful and centric hotel in Barcelona filled with art, elegant interior and the most beautiful (sexy) light for selfies or bed games if you are not traveling alone ;)
The cool thing about the location of this hotel is that you can walk around the city and leave your car parked. As a celiac, it is always hard to travel. Many countries have no gluten-free alternatives (Sorry France for bashing you), But Barcelona was a tremendous Gluten-free destination.
From small stores full of fresh fruit to huge markets offering cured meats, and seafood. A paradise for Gluten intolerants. Of course, you can have bread, but who needs this when you can have oysters with Cava and Ibérico with cheese?
I love traveling off-season. In October it was like Norwegian Summer, some days were pretty hot, but in the mornings a trench was needed. Here you can see Pepa early in the morning wearing a Mint & Berry Trenchcoat, Tiny Cottons t-shirt, Zara kids Jeans, Adidas Stan Smith kicks and Acne Studios beanie at 7 am. And before we were wearing shorts and sandals.
My favorite breakfast/brunch place was Caravelle: A very cool and Scandinavian style place that serves fantastic coffee. It was so good; we went there two times. They have a large gluten-free selection — for example this tortilla staple with poached eggs and avocado.
Or these "sunny side up" fried eggs with mushrooms and avocado. All eggs were on point and the second time around I had the Spanish breakfast that had pork with pork and a side of pork :)
Walking around Barcelona was fun. No need to move too much, and for a two-year-old, it was quite ok. The narrow streets and balconies are a must-see. Pepa was wearing a jumper from 1+family, a Nike jacket and Suicoke Sandals with Hipsterkid sunglasses.
Pepa wears a "coord" tank top and shorts from Gray Label, Nike jacket Socks with Adidas Stan Smith sneakers.
Another place I enjoyed wasDüal Café. A tiny spot next to the market hall. They had as well many gluten-free things (if you aren’t vegan) like this tortilla with mushrooms and tomatoes or a massive amount of delicious Iberico ham with a poached egg with hollandaise sauce.
After a great breakfast and walk, we needed a Mom-Daughter nap, but first some time at Barceló Raval´s terrace, they have an incredible 360° view terrace, and you can see the whole Barcelona from up there while tanning or cooling down in the pool. At night, that terrace turns into a hot summer party with live music and cocktails.
At Barceló they have a great gluten-free selection at breakfast and in the evening as well. They made the whole dinner gluten-free. Starting with some bubbles and cheese chips, Toast with hummus, patatas bravas, and zucchini rolls deliciously filled.
For the mains, fish with steamed veggies and for me a tender beef with sauce over mashed potatoes, I was not missing gluten at all!
A must do for someone that hasn’t been in Barcelona yet or if you are traveling with kids is go to Barcelonetta beach and enjoy the view while sipping Sangria and eating some mussels. Be sure to ask if they come with flour cause some of them do. Some Patatas Bravas are always welcome as well.
There is a fair as well, where kids can do some bungee, drive cars and do some vehicle crashing or drive on the Ferris wheel. I always have loads of fun and Pepa had a blast.
Pepa wears jumper from and hat from MarMar, I wore: Do nothing club shirt, vintage shorts, bag from Ebeth and sunglasses from Ace & Tate, and my favorite fun lipstick from MAC: Ruby Woo.
One of the things I like about Barcelona is that you can take the car and drive around, finding beaches and small towns and that is what we did. We saw beautiful beaches and hidden pearls when we decided to drive up north along the coast.
Most places were closed because it was off-season, but at least one restaurant per beach was open. They were very friendly about me not eating gluten and added extra eggs or meat. I didn't felt bad or left out because of gluten.
My tiny mermaid loves water so much that she was in every beach, pond or swimming pool wearing swimming diapers you can find at every supermarket in Barcelona or with her favorite bathing coord suit from Tiny Cottons with SPF 50 protection we got from Littlehipstar. The flamingo was from the store next to the beach in Lloret de Mar.
If you follow me on Instagram, you could have seen some outtakes of the trip and videos like this one. Yes, I was in love with this oversized T-shirt from On vacation club, I wore it almost every day as a dress or at the beach. Hooray for huge shirts.
I will return to Barcelona for sure. It is very celiac welcoming and kids friendly, the off-season is my favorite season as it isn’t full of cars and tourists, but you can still enjoy the warm weather and beaches.
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!
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
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
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
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.
BLEND opened its doors last month in Charlottenburg and I was invited to an extraordinary opening event. The invitation said something about Charlottenburg, Bulli and Berlin. To be honest, it was Berlin Food Week so I really didn't had the time to read the invitation properly, but that was actually good, as I had no idea what was expecting me.
When I arrived, 3 beautiful vintage "Bullies" (or VW-Bus) were waiting for us.. or me as I was late. They received us with a delicious welcome gin and we jumped in our Bus and the fun started.
This was a tour through Berlin. YAY! I have been living here for over 2 years and I have never done one. We drove around listening to Berlin Facts and History of Berlin. (Now I know what the pink pipes around town are... wink..wink)
Our first stop was BRLO Brwhouse. A Beer Brewery and Restaurant with a beautiful "Beer Garden". The sun was shining and it was just beautiful. I learnt finally how you say the word brlo and the meaning of it. It is actually slavic for Berlin. Everytime I saw their beers in a menu I wondered how to pronounce it.
We got to hear about what is special about BRLO Beer. Their beers are brewed in small scale batches and each beer is given enough time to mature and develop its unique hops aroma. They remain as regional as possible: Their Helles is brewed in Brandenburg, and their Pale, German IPA, and Porter in Brauerei Landsberg in Saxony-Anhalt.
Our First dish was Cauliflower Lemongrass Creamy Soup paired with a BRLO Helles, what is their interpretation of a classic german beer, hoppy but not too bitter. It was a Great start: Warm and super creamy soup while enjoying the sun in the beautiful Beer Garden.
The second dish was a funny one for me. It was an Autumn Roll. Rumor say, I was the inspiration for this one. The Head Chef, Steffen Sinzinger was very curious about my stories of Vietnam and tried to make a summer roll himself, and his very tasty variation made it to the menu this autumn. They have cabbage, dashi mayo and pickled char.
Blend changes its menu when the season changes. Now they have the autumn menu and that is why the name of the roll is Autumn Roll. This dish was paired with BRLO Pale Ale, an English style beer. Strong and fruity in taste... hops love!
The next stop was the most romantic thing someone has ever made for me. A beautiful candlelight dinner outdoors in the Museum Island just in front the "Altes Museum". This was so beautiful: sunset, outdoors, candles... RO-MAN-TIC! Ok I was not alone with a date, but. Hey! it counts ;)
We started with a delicious Gin and Tonic, followed by BLEND´s Asia carbonara with soba noodles and caramelized pork belly packed in a cute Chinese Take out Box. The Soba were impressively good, made of buckwheat and they were cooked perfectly. My favorite dish by far!
Our 3rd and last stop was BLEND. I took a peek through the window, just to be attonish by the marquee sign logo A-lá-Vegas, the beautiful interior and lights.. I had to hurry inside to check it out!
This beautiful space was designed by the Sundukovy Sisters Studio (Moscow) who have a vast portfolio of interior design projects for hospitality worldwide. They create pure and flawless spaces based on something classic, making it functional and tasteful. with a pinch self-irony.
Every little corner of the restaurant is well thought, wherever you look there is a beautiful lamp or a giant zebra. Beautiful... Just beautiful.
Soooo about the Restaurant and Bar. Berlin is a multicultural, cosmopolitan and diverse. A city full of people from all over the world that influence the local culture as well as its culinary scene.
BLEND is Inspired by the multi-ethnic population, and reflects the spirit and soul of Berlin as a "Melting Pot": free, modern, urban, and with a creative twist that picks up on the versatility of flavors, cultures and cooking styles blending them all together in a pot ;)
The Bar has great craft beers, like German producers Braufactum and BRLO (of course) as well as Kornbrand and Gin of the Berlin cult label Berliner Brandstifter. From the Spreewald they have a single malt whiskey and a first-class straight rye whiskey and three kinds of rum, bottled in BERLIN.
After serving the first round of wine, the bread and side dishes arrived: Parsley root cream, Mash Potatoes and Pearl Barley with vegetables. rapidly the waiters brought us Lamb balls, hummus, salsify and coffee, followed by Fried cod with date, carrot and cilantro.
When you live in Berlin, you dont notice much the impact different cultures have on Food, like vietnamese food in East Germany. I always wondered why there so many Vietnamese and Vietnamese Fusion Restaurants around my flat. Well, Vietnamese people didn't need a visa to come to east germany when the wall was still up. Just a cool fact. You can find these fusions everywhere in Berlin, and BLEND shows us that in their menu.
The first dessert arrived as well as Steffen. Steffen Sinzinger is the head chef of BLEND and a friend of mine as well. He began his career at the Michelin-starred restaurant of Hotel Palace Berlin. It was there, under the direction of Matthias Buchholz, that he got to know French cooking. His break with tradition followed with Japanese crossover cuisine at Shiro i Shiro, before he developed his own style as head chef at Restaurant Le Faubourg.
Once we finished the Baba au rhum with pineapple Carpaccio and saffron ice cream, The Berliner Luft arrived. Funny wise, half of the table know that name from a shot of alcohol made of peppermint. But it is actually a dessert too, and the best of the evening imho.
Berliner Luft (Berlin Air) is a frothy cream made from eggs, sugar and gelatine, which is always served with raspberry juice, but in this version, with lemon granite. And for being "air" it was the most mouth-watering air I had.
We moved to the bar to have the last dessert, listen to music and have some cocktails. The menu has classics with a twist of Berlin, Seasonal cocktails as well as the classics. And we all wished we could try them all. I even got a special drink: Gin with rose petals and Goldberg Japanese Yuzu Tonic. Aaaaahhhhh three of my favorite things in ONE. Followed by a Goat cheese nougat with plum chutney. Yum.
And whilst the DJ continued to play some tunes, I got my second Gin, happy after such a beautiful event and culinary tour across town, learning about history, Berlin and more with awesome people, eating and drinking, "blending" and having a blast.
Last Sunday I was invited to a blogger dinner at Brasserie Colette. I was super excited because most of the guests were my friends; like Maria and Sophia from IN SEARCH OF, Maria and Philipp from Herz & Blut and Sissi from Eating in Berlin.
I was so happy to finally try more of this restaurant. Last year at Berlin Food Week´s Food Clash Canteen, I got to try the Salad Nizza made by Dominik Obermeier from Colette...So I was very curious about the rest of the menu.
We started with Tim Raue´s pickled cornichons, Bread with 2 different kinds of butter and a delicious Bouvet-Ladubay Cremant De Loire - blanc de blancs. Our table was very fun and cozy as we all knew each other. And we were all looking forward to try the food.
Tim Raue has not only a 2 Michelin Star Restaurant, but is the creator of the concept of the restaurant chain: Brasserie Colette. And funny wise, they are all in the first floor of the retirement houses Tertianum.
You can find them in Berlin, Munich and Konstanz. They have 14 Gault Millau points and they are in the Bib Gourmand Guide Michelin 2017... bravo!
The starters arrived to the table. My favorite was the Stewed artichoke served with a strong vinaigrette based on parsley puree, rice casserole and green chili oil, a Safran mayonnaise, and Crème fraîche
This dish took me right back to my childhood in Peru were we ate this in summer, A whole artichoke for each person but ours was dipped in lime juice and oil with a pinch of salt and pepper.
We had some other tapa-like starters like a Tuna Tartar of North Pacific bluefin fish tuned with a sauce of pickled chili and lots of lime, with cucumber caviar and dried powder of salad cucumbers. and a mouth-watering cucumber sorbet.
Besides the Tartare, a salami arrived: Jesus Basque, this is a salami from the French part of the Basque country, which is bound with 3 strings to its traditional 3-star form like the three-star form of the 3 Stigmata of Jesus Christ.
The salad was a cherry tomatoes without skin inserted in passion fruit vinaigrette with basil cress and roasted sour dough bread from Maitre Philippe. I loved it.
As a super fan off oysters, I was glowing when I saw them coming. Gillardeau Oysters!!! Heaven! Some of us havent had oysters before, so it was exciting to see that "first time" reaction.
The salmon was espectacular. And red.. but after asking why was it red, I got the answer: The Ikarimi salmon was stained in salt, sugar, star anise and red berry juice. This gives it the light red berry flavor and the strong red color. This was by far the best starter!
The main dishes started to arrive. We all ordered different dishes. Some ordered the Icelandic cod, steamed and covered with a jelly from Dashi.
Dashi is the Japanese counterpart to the Consommée, which has a similar spicy-salty taste, but consists only of water and bonito-tuna and it was served in bacon potato foam.
For the vegans, the Wild herbs Beignet.
The wild herbs are made in the same way as classic potatoes, with a puree of pimpinelle, borretsch, sorrel and young garlic blossom.
The donuts/beignet are served on a horseradish potato and leek sauce together with a red beet salad, which is sweetish-ly spicy with currant jam and red chilies.
I asked the waiter which dish was the best. She told me that the Cordon Bleu was. I was very sceptic as Cordon bleu is a very traditional and "boring" dish. But this version surprised me. The cordon bleu in the Colette is strongly reminiscent of the classic one, but differs significantly in most points:
It consists of 2 days of marinated maize chicken skewer, unrolled with grated 14- month old Gouda and Chaumes cheese. The panade of dried pork skin, which bounces crisply during the subsequent baking.
There was a carrot, which was braised in apple juice and then glazed in apple-butter sauce. This is on a fine chilli pea puree, which was unexpected good.
We were eating and having a blast...sipping wine and talking about the food. The restaurant has 2 different areas, a bar and a super fun toilette (you have to go there to see it, or just check this picture showing a golden hand seat)
Another vegan dish was the Ragout marocain, where chickpeas are cooked in apple juice with the Arabian curry "raz el hanout". Finally, pomegranate kernels, date cubes and finely chopped coriander stems are added.
In between laughs, selfies and instagram postings; the desserts emerged served with egg nog. Like a Bourbon vanilla Creme brulee with caramelised with brown sugar, with a ball sorbet of red currants
These were followed by Le Croque en bouche which is a traditional French wedding bouquet, which consists of filled small wind bags. These are filled with a honey mousse au chocolate and are attached to it a sail of caramelised honey.
Madeleines, Madeleines! These are a traditional French pastry dough baked in a mussle-shape and served with vanilla liqueur and a ball Valrhona chocolate ice cream. These Madeleines were laying on a mango butter pudding... yummy!!!!
Overall the food was great and it was impossible not to have fun with such a great bunch, thanks Brasserie for such a lovely event. Cheers!! to more Sundays like this to come!
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...