Are you frolicking in the sun while reading this? Reveling in the great expectation that is a long, free weekend with tons of sunshine and warm weather? Ohh, me too! Nothing quite like Berlin awakening from six months of depressing grey and remodeling itself into the green oasis we all love and need. After ten days in Shanghai, where I ate excellent food from morning till night (guide still to come), I’m readjusting to the local circumstances by being extra careful where to exchange money for food. So this one’s mostly old faves (plus a new highlight all the way at the end of the post). Starting today, I’ll be on the lookout for new food spots, and will let you know about the success of my discoveries asap, hopefully. Until then, enjoy the weekend!
Companion Tea & Coffee
This one’s such a pretty shop, and their lunch menu is so easy going yet quite delicious, I wish I was around the corner more often to hang in their booths. This is the lunch sandwich, with some ferments, fresh veggies, cilantro and cucumber on sourdough bread. If you’re there, don’t forget to order one of the teas and the pandan layer cake.
However, it’s so pretty, people love to use it as a free working space, making the atmosphere borderline office. Which, on the other hand, is great to get some book reading done.
12045 Berlin Neukölln
The Smells Like collective is celebrating and exploring food heritage, culture and identity in regular meetings and had its first public outing just two weeks ago with a feast! They cooked up a plate full of goodies from Punjab, a region divided by the border between Pakistan and India. I got the very first plate and enjoyed the intense flavours of the five heart warming single dishes and their well rounded composition so much, I wish this one was a regular thing. Keep your eyes open for whatever is coming next from this very exciting project, and follow their Instagram!
I’m super happy that so many of you like Crazy Kims, the almost new Korean restaurant next to Markthalle Neun. I came back for a huge roll of Gimbap and many banchan just after I returned from a trip to Shanghai. Every meal here has to start with a plate of the veggie mandu which are covered in a sheet of extra crispy potato starch.
The Panda Noodle
This place is not only fun to look at with its many quirky wall decorations, but also delicious to eat at. These are the Szechuan noodles with an egg on top, and also spring onions, mustard greens, radishes and pineapple. The latter wasn’t totally necessary, but this might be my personal issue, stemming from years of German party food, that likes to combine canned pineapple, ham, and cheese on toast.
Da Jia Le
I knew it’d be difficult to have Chinese food in Berlin after 10 days in the land of its origin, but I still stand by my take on Da Jia Le being one of my favourite Chinese food places in this city. We usually order the same things here, the aubergine hot pot, the tofu skin salad (always!), the spicy potato stripes and a rotating set of tofu dishes. It’s reliable, satisfying and I just really like the atmosphere in that giant hall.
Rocket & Basil
Long awaited, finally it’s happening: the brick and mortar restaurant of local das brunch-superstars Sophie and Xenia von Oswald, Rocket & Basil has opened its minty doors to the public. They’ve just been up and running for about a month and are already a big hit with hungry morning-people. After I finished my omelette, I enjoyed their pancakes, pictured here, with banana, barberries and a load of pistachio. The savoury dishes are covered in fresh herbs, there’s never a shortage of saffron, and you should always order an extra side of spicy tahini sauce with everything (except, maybe, the pancakes). Their leisurely food style, the excellent Cremant, and the refreshing interior make this spot certainly the most coveted of the season. They also do lunch, by the way, and have a range of baked goods that I still need to try…