Sep 18, '08

Berlin highlights

berlin

“Multifaceted” would be the best word to describe Berlin’s culinary landscape. Widely popular street food like currywurst, flourishing ethnic food (significant size Turkish community) and a growing number of nouvelle cuisine restaurants- this is what Berlin is about. Here is Berlin I experienced recently…

I loved…

Currywurst is almost a synonym of the gastronomy of the  German capital. Currywurst is a grilled pork sausage that is chopped in a  few pieces, generously topped with tomato sauce and sprinkled with curry. You can find their stands everywhere in Berlin and there are some that are considered better than others, but I think the best currywurst places are the ones which attract the most people during lunchtime… So just follow your intuition… 

Currywurst
Currywurst
Currywurst
Currywurst

Mao Thai– the best Thai I have ever eaten outside of Thailand. There are two locations- I found the one in the former East Berlin nicer (just the design, the food is the same). Shrimps in fresh coconut with green curry were a-ma-zing.

Shrimps in fresh coconut with green curry
Shrimps in fresh coconut with green curry

Berliner potato soup with sausage and Wiener schnitzel in Lutter§Wegner on Gendarmenmarkt. My eyes were bigger than stomach for this one as and the potato soup, and the schnitzel were way too much for me, but now, looking from a perspective, both dishes were delicious.

Berliner potato soup with sausage
Berliner potato soup with sausage
Wiener schnitzel
Wiener schnitzel

The amuse bouche in Margaux restaurant. Poached egg yolk with tapenade and olive oil ravioli. I think it was simply genius- unfortunately, I can’t say the same about the rest of the dishes I had at Margaux.

Poached egg yolk with tapenade and olive oil ravioli
Poached egg yolk with tapenade and olive oil ravioli

“Cold Persian lentils soup with coppa” in Vau restaurant. They say it’s the best restaurant in Berlin- it was good but only this soup can make history.

Cold Persian lentils soup with coppa
Cold Persian lentils soup with coppa

The first time I  heard about the KDW food hall was from Alex and in the beginning, I thought that no other gastronomic food shop can compare to the Grand épicerie at Bon Marché in Paris. Well, after visiting the sixth floor at KDW, I think no other food store can compare to the one at KDW.

My break after wandering around all those food stalls in KDW – berry jelly cake. Yes, it tastes as good as it looks.

berry jelly cake
Berry jelly cake

I’ve stayed in several hotels in Berlin – but Schloss hotel was my favourite. It was decorated by Karl Lagerfeld and you feel as if you are the 19th-century German aristocrat’s villa hidden in the middle of hundred years old trees.

Schloss hotel
Schloss hotel
Schloss hotel
Schloss hotel
Schloss hotel
Schloss hotel

I was disappointed/didn’t like at all…

The meat with black sauce (i don’t remember the exact name) at Zur Letzten Istanz. Established in the seventeenth century, it is the oldest restaurant in Berlin. I am very passionate about history and that was my mistake this time- the oldest restaurant doesn’t mean good food. When I was a child I used to dream about being teleported to the Middle Ages or some other historical epoch. Not anymore- that was by far the weirdest meat dish I have ever eaten.

meat with black sauce
Meat with black sauce

The first time I read about Tim Raue was in the eGullet forums( i don’t have an account there, but I love sneaking in when I need some quality information, one of the best sites I know for gastronomy enthusiasts). Tim Raue used to be the chef of restaurant 44 in Swissôtel in Berlin and also he was the Chef of The Year by Gault-Millau in 2007. He did leave restaurant 44 and now he is the chef of Ma restaurant I was obviously very keen to visit. To make long story short, I loved the design of the place, hated the food.
You can call this food “intellectual”, “modern” or “creative”-the only problem is that it didn’t taste good.

“Porcini with XO sauce§parsley” was way too sweet, almost like a dessert. And I don’t know what those anchovies were doing there…

Porcini with XO sauce§parsley
Porcini with XO sauce § parsley

While “halibut with parsley cream§apple-cucumber salad” would maybe be appealing to a person on a strict diet, but not to those who enjoy the pleasure of food.

halibut with parsley cream
Halibut with parsley cream
Apple-cucumber salad

The End

I know I need something to conclude my Berlin ” report”…It’s an exciting place to be and there are so many things still to discover… So I am sending the image of the remains of the Berlin wall- it’s disappearance has changed so many people’s lives…

berlin
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