Brunch’s been getting real good in Berlin. Seriously, unexpectedly good. While a few years ago the poached egg was only found at upscale hotels, no serious morning food venture can write its menu without, today. However, not everyone manages to cook it to perfection (and can we please remember that other treatments also suit that yolk well), but those who poach it right rank high on my list. Here’s a new one, that could also be called big, huge, or even giant, but is actually going by the name Little Joy.
We’re not talking about a restaurant, but a food collective (what a time to be alive) that’s serving its dishes in different venues around the city, and while yes, this makes it a little bit more complicated to find them, it’s actually not that hard thanks to social media. Besides their events, the female food squad also offers catering, workshops (sometimes even in the UK), and they’re the publishers of pretty breakfast zines you can pick up at their events. So much joy!
I was lucky enough to attend their brunch service this past weekend at Bitte Coffee in Kreuzberg, a cute little café that ticks all the boxes of contemporaneity, serving not only speciality coffee to guests seated on raw wooden benches, but also having pop-up cacti-sales plus a selection of Greek baked treats and occasional food feasts.
Little Joy took over their kitchen and served a three course brunch menu, which in itself was enough to get me totally hooked. Starter, main and dessert were carefully coordinated: we started with a serving of their own sourdough bread with two different pickled cabbages, one red and the other white mixed with wild garlic, and then went on to the main. For my friend a Sausage Man chipolata, with wilted spinach and garlic butter, poached eggs and tomato relish on their own brioche, and for me a barley and caramelized onion salad with wild mushrooms, house made creme fraiche, toasted bread crumbs, and a poached egg. When it arrived, my friends stack looked a lot more enticing, however, once I dug into my beige heap I was smitten: the buttery and earthy deliciousness went so well with fresh creme and glugs of fragrant olive oil. And that egg was poached perfection, really.
Little Joy is not only about taste, though, they’re going for zero-waste cooking, responsible sourcing and fostering local relationships – much of their ingredients come from the great land surrounding us, known as Brandenburg.
Dessert was a neat stack of buckwheat pancakes with their own butter, rhubarb, honeycomb and crispy buckwheat. We told ourselves this was actually really healthy food and finished everything before we rolled out of the café with grande joy in our bellies. I will definitely follow their path, and join whatever they’re up to next.