Seasonal Faves: Winter 2019

A bowl filled with rice porridge, topped with onions, seaweed, chili, scallions and more on a terrazzo table at Companion Coffee in Neukölln

After a couple months of doing this new format of weekly reports on what I ate (and whether I liked it), I’m really happy with it. Hope you’re too! However, things can kinda get lost in the continuous stream of super short reviews and so I wanted to start a seasonal round-up of favourites, dishes that stayed on my mind because they were so good. I decided to choose the five plates I remember the most and would happily eat again any time (and will hopefully do so soon). Also serves as a reminder that it shouldn’t always be about the next new thing, but caring about your favourites. I tried to choose those that aren’t on my usual rotation or on the current Best Places map. Here, they’re just sorted by alphabet.

Congee at Companion

It’s been some time since I had this bowl of congee (pictured on top), and it’s still on my mind! Maybe because congee – rice porridge, for which the rice is cooked until it falls apart into a thick soup – is considered very healthy. And if only for its heart-warming and wholesome appeal I’m ready to agree. Here at Companion it’s made by Kaylin Eu of Ma-Makan fame, and is topped with roasted onions, chilli and ginger, mushrooms and seaweed giving the dish all kinds of umami levels. It’s a great dish for winter breakfast (or lunch) and I’ve been lightly craving it ever since.

Weserstraße 166

12045 Berlin Neukölln

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

A wooden table with two bowls on it, one covered with a net and topped with red, yellow and green vegetable cubes, and one filled with braised vegetables and glass noodles at Korean restaurant Crazy Kim in Berlin

Crispy Mandu at Crazy Kim

My friend schlepped me here and I didn’t know what to expect – for sure I didn’t foresee this extraordinary dumpling dish: Haejung, owner of the place (and former manager of Rocco und seine Brüder and still owning the vintage shop Kim’s around the corner at Lausitzer Platz), serves her mandu covered in a potato starch net. Aka: these juicy dumplings are covered with a very crispy (kross, as we say in German) blanket! Might look weird when they put it on the table, but it’s such a delicious surprise.

Muskauer Straße 13

10997 Berlin Kreuzberg

Tue-Sat 17:00–24:00,
Sun 16:00–23:00

Two cups of soft serve ice cream on a table covered in paper menus at pizza restaurant Gazzo in Neukölln berlin

Soft Serve at Gazzo

Okay, this was an easy one: I love soft serve and there’s not enough of it in Berlin, especially not in winter or for dinner. Gazzo is a still fresh pizza place (sourdough only) with a buzzing atmosphere. They also make their own soft serve from buffalo milk sourced in Brandenburg, top it with olive oil, sea salt and chunks of short bread and it is divine. I’m usually very much for sharing, but in this case I insist on my own portion so I get the most of it.

Hobrechtstraße 57

12047 Berlin Neukölln

Wed–Sun 17:00–22:00

A big plate with different kinds of Syrian mezze starters and a glass of pita chips on a table at Kreuzberger Himmel in Berlin

Mezze at Kreuzberger Himmel

You will have to make a reservation to get your hands on these mixed Syrian mezze but it’ll be very worth it. Especially for the refreshing yet creamy and grainy Kishke, a mix of yoghurt, bulgur, garlic, cream cheese and cucumber and the excellent hummus. The mains are equally worth it, however, the mezze left more of an impression with me and I would willingly squeeze on a community table any day of the week to enjoy them.

Yorckstraße 89

10965 Berlin Kreuzberg

Tue–Fri 17:00–24:00,
Sat–Sun 10:00–24:00

A white bowl filled with soup, tofu, scallions, chili at the restaurant Thai Art in Wilmersdorf in Berlin

Sour soup at Thai Art

This soup’s broth has stayed on my mind for almost two months now – its delicious balance of sour and savoury and spicy impressed me loads. It’s made by the Thai woman who has the longest lines of people waiting for her soups at Thai Park, she just opened up her own shop in Wilmersdorf. I sincerely hope she can translate her park fame into a consistent business as a shop. This very first soup I ate there is making me very optimistic.

Berliner Straße 42A

10713 Berlin Wilmersdorf

Mon–Sat 11:00–20:00,
Sunday 13:00–20:00

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