Eats in Berlin: Congee, Curry, and Pancakes

I’m in the middle of a super busy week, some of it self-inflicted, some of it just owed to the season – aka the last weeks of the year which are always the busiest. Which might be why I’m very, very drawn to soup-y, stew-y kinda meals, something warming, yet not weighing you down. And to sugar, to keep me somewhat running… Beginning of this week, I decided to put the last remaining copies of the 2018 “Best Places in Berlin” Map on sale (for a limited time, order them here) And, Warm Up, my clothing donation event benefitting local voluntary organisation Kreuzberg Hilft is coming up. It’s that time of year where I’d wish for an assistant / a second person to run this. Without further complaints, here’s what I ate this week and whether I liked it (mostly, yes!).

Hallmann & Klee

If you’re like, didn’t you just write about them? You’re correct, I’ve had their brunch just three weeks ago, when I also told you that in order to eat here, you’d either have to wait in line for about 45min or make a reservation three weeks prior. We kinda did both, first booked a table and then decided to get in line. We never cancelled the booking and thus ended up here again – which I didn’t mind at all, because their breakfast plate with cheese and cold cuts is just delicious and the scrambled egg perfectly silky. This time, we ordered the small instead of the big plate to leave room for the pancakes. Which come with maple sirup, nuts, blueberries and cream and were, unfortunately, a little bit burned in our serving… it didn’t harm them as much as one thinks it would, they were still good. But I wouldn’t insist on having them another time and just go for the big board of cheese and jam and breads.

Böhmische Str. 13

12055 Berlin Neukölln

Wed–Sat 09:30–22:00,
Sun 09:30–18:00

Mercan

This Turkish restaurant serves their dishes in a buffet style and all of them are perfect for that: most of them stews or stuffed veggies that benefit from long cooking times, infusing all the aromas. You choose your main and a salad and get rice with it (9,00 Euro). You should also get a bowl of pickles, while you’re at it. It helps with the heaps of food you will be devouring. Pictured here is a rice stuffed cabbage roll and a stuffed aubergine, that was so soft, rich and wholesome and yes, very filling. On the edge of this picture you see a plate of Turkish rice which is worth its own mention: noodles are roasted in butter, then the rice is added, cooked and steamed, and you’ll end up with a soft, hearty, buttery plate of goodness. If you’re craving some heart-warming and heavy dishes to prepare you for the cold, this is your place.

Wiener Straße 10

10999 Berlin Kreuzberg

daily 11:00–22:30

Companion Tea and Coffee

Tuesday was my fav food day, because I got to finally check out Companion’s lunch menu at their fairly new spot on Weserstraße and eat Kaylin Eu’s congee (6,50 Euro). For those of you who don’t know yet: congee is a kind of rice porridge, for which the rice is cooked until it falls apart into a thick soup. At Companion it’s served with roasted onions, chilli and ginger, mushrooms and seaweed giving the dish all kinds of umami levels. I assume it’s not only good for your stomach but for your health in general. Perfect cold-day-lunch, if you ask me. I didn’t get to stay to taste the carrot cake or the pandan role because I had other plans, but heard excellent things about them.

Weserstraße 166

12045 Berlin Neukölln

Mon–Fri 08:00–18:00,
Sat–Sun 10:00–18:00

Konditorei Damaskus

Other plans as in: go to my favourite Arab sweets place ever. I’ve already been there a couple days before picking up dessert for a private dinner I was invited to and couldn’t wait to be back. Especially since I had a friend with me who lives around the corner AND HAS NEVER BEEN! How is this even possible? So if you haven’t been: go. go. go. Get Halawet el Jibn, that mozzarella filled roll, to go (don’t say no to the sugar sirup, it has rosewater in it and is kinda essential), and a portion of hot knafeh to eat immediately, and maybe some baklava to bring for someone you really like. By the way, they just opened two new shops in Berlin, one in Wedding at Müllerstraße 29 and in Moabit at Turmstraße 77. (Around the corner from my dentist, perfect!)

Sonnenallee 93

12045 Berlin Neukölln

Mon 11:00–21:00,
Tue–Sat 10:00–21:00,
Sun 11:00–18:00

Papaya

I literally craved some Thai food from the Papaya on Kantstraße last week, so I was super happy to get some this week. However, maybe my mood was off, or I can tolerate a lot more chilli now than a year ago but wow was that a mellow dinner. The papaya salad once made me order a giant lassi to soothe pain (which filled me up so much I barely managed to finish my main) and this time it’s been quite tame. Still, the balance of vinegar and sweet was nice, and I love the raw (?) green beans and cabbage in there. The red curry was still quite good, not very spicy, and not as intense in its aromas as I remember, but still one of my fav curries in the city. Let me know, has Papaya scaled down its interpretation of “spicy” or are my tastebuds slowly turning numb?

Kantstraße 122

10625 Berlin Charlottenburg

daily 12:00–23:00

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