I’ve had a really, really good eating week… I managed to eat at two of my absolute favorite places in Berlin – fun side note, I wrote down my faves over a year ago, and honestly, they haven’t changed! Does that mean the foodie hype in Berlin is slowing down? Does it mean I’m transitioning into an even more judgemental phase? (The one in which I don’t even give new stuff a chance?) It might be neither, or both. However, both favorites are staying on the favorite list, but this edition of eats is not all praise, since I really, really want to hear your opinion on that one super popular hummus place by Görlitzer Park since I’m… ambivalent. So, leggo!
First off, it was national cinnamon bun day last week in Sweden, and since I had a visit from Sweden, I stopped by Okay Café, one of my most trusted places for an eggy-breakfast, to pick some up. Admittedly, the Swedes I gifted them weren’t 100% convinced (not enough buttery filling and too flat were their main concerns), but my German tastebuds were quite happy (again) with Okay’s swirls. You should go to Okay on a Sunday, if you haven’t been, when they fill the dough with Nutella!
Lode & Stijn
Here comes my first favourite dinner place in Berlin – I’ve written about it often but haven’t been in some time. The menu is as good as ever, the dishes are simple yet super well balanced – all ingredients get to shine and taste their best, while still creating a harmony that’s rare to find anywhere else in the city. Plus, the portions are big enough to make the whole meal feel indulgent. The wines are stellar too, of course. The prices have gone a bit up with 65 Euro for around six courses. That might also be the reason why the cliental changed a bit and thus the atmosphere – it’s been a bit stiff when we dined there, with many orderly couples chatting very quietly over their food. Anyhow, the food’s as good as ever and the later the night, the looser the guests.
Alright, this place. It’s been recommended to me many times, and I’ve been a couple, because it’s an easy place to take guests to, have mini-meetings and so forth. The food is quite good – it’s mostly Israeli like hummus with scoops of shakshouka, or served as hummus sabich (pictured above) with aubergines, egg, and more. The hummus itself is quite thick and heavy, and I prefer mine a bit airier and lighter.
However, it’s expensive. The plate you see above goes for over 10 Euros, and does that translate to the plate? I don’t think so. The prices are quite likely caused by a high rent – this café occupies a super nice spot on a corner opposite Görlitzer Park with sun filled outside seating. And after hearing about some rather ridiculous rents and horrendous transfer fees, I wouldn’t be surprised if their overhead costs are substantial. A result of the pricing is that this place is filled with people who’re very much alike (and like me): affluent, young, more or less creative, and so forth. You can get similar food at dozens of places around, they’re just not as refined or pretty as this one. So I’m ambivalent, still. What’s your take?
This place is so glorious, I’m in shock when someone tells me they haven’t eaten here yet. It’s so worth it! (May it be the travel to Tiergarten, the pain caused by chilis, or the money – around 50 Euro / menu.) Dalad Kambhu is getting even better at creating Thai menus with local ingredients, her curries and sauces are sheer perfection with their many layers and flavors. The picture above shows the starter, cauliflower in actually four ways: fried, roasted, pickled and smashed.
Unfortunately, the atmosphere can be a bit formal, which isn’t at all a reason to dismiss this place. Ask for the upstairs booth when you make a reservation, it’s my fav place to sit and removed from the uptight downstairs dining space.
Singh Indian Street Food
Okay, so there are tons of Indian food places surrounding Schlesisches Tor, tons. And most of them aren’t that great. This is a new one, and instead of offering cream-heavy-curries, they serve you a thali for lunch with soup, two different dishes, rice and bread and some pickles (there can and should always be more pickles, though). It’s super affordable and quite solid for lunch, and I already went more than once. I hope they’ll one day be just as crowded as their competition.
Oppelner Straße 45
10997 Berlin Kreuzberg
I had one of these glorious weekend days where you’re basically floating through the city from café to market with friends you meet on the way or just wanted to meet for a quick coffee and then decide to spend your whole morning with. Well done, me! And we also (and finally) got around to test the new Witz Hummus (no joke!), a tiny place on Blücherstraße selling just hummus (small – at 4.50 Euro – or big portions) with egg, or aubergine or pine nuts on top. However, do you need more? While the hummus lacked a bit of salt (easy to solve, though), I really liked the generous serving of pickles and the big glug of tahini sauce. The zhug was less spicy than I thought, so I’ll get more next time.