Update, Unfortunately, this café had to close its doors.
Giant savoy cabbages are growing in a hidden backyard in the middle of Mitte, just next to chard and herbs. They already harvested the kale, we were told by the lovely waiter, who took her time to explain us the concept of this new place, that can rightly be called gem. I know the location from when it used to house a somewhat “Alpine” restaurant and some of the most intense theater and art world parties about five or six years ago. Now it’s home to a new cooperation between furniture brand Buchholz and the guys behind Lokal and Kantine – and their new Laden is both stunning and delicious.
When I heard about it, I needed no more information to put it on the list of places you have to try this autumn than it being the newest project of Lokal and Kantine, two of my favorites in Mitte. I like them so much because they manage to combine good, local and seasonal food with great interior design and atmosphere. A concept that is done with a cosy and homy twist at Lokal, and pushed to the max in Kantine, where everything right up to the cutlery has been created by Chipperfield architects. So I was quite excited to see what they’ve done in Joachimsstraße, just a couple steps away from Kantine.
Buchholz is specializing in giant, gorgeous tables, most of them done in raw wood from regional forests and designed as individual items. Their treatment of wood is respectful and natural, the regional and/or recycled materials have an individual yet modest look with all their cracks and textures, telling a history in all of their pieces. At their new café almost everything is designed by them – from the tables, chairs to the ceramics, cutlery and boards used to serve the flatbreads. Which also means you can take home anything you like!
Back to the food. What is so beautiful about this little hideaway is them using the produce from their own tiny, yet well organized garden. I ordered a tea, saw the waitress going over to a patch of herbs to pick the peppermint, and was instantly smitten. Also because the infusion turned out to be intense in flavor, so the garden is not just for effects. The menu is short, offering salads, soup, and flat breads topped with regional and seasonal ingredients, many of them self-grown, if possible.
We chose to sit outside in the garden on thick, woolen blankets to enjoy some of the autumnal sun and ordered the sweet flat bread topped with apples, currant jam and yoghurt. The crisp thin flatbread was delicious in its own right and went very well with the sweets as an afternoon pick-me-up. It is very likely many people will want to spend loads of time in this quiet haven in the center of this busy part of Mitte. I’ll make sure to be one of them.