Berlin eats. Genau.

11 Jun





I was in Berlin for about a week and a half for work, which was great. I’d never had the opportunity to explore the city previously, and now I finally had a chance to see how cool it is. I love the place – it’s filled with interesting architecture, friendly people, lovely cafes, and to top it off, affordable prices. Can’t wait to go back there again!

Breakfasts

I absolutely love the way yoghurt is served here. There’s a little deli around the corner from the office in Kreuzberg (it’s the Berlin equivalent of London’s Shoreditch), and for most of the week, I would pop in to get a €2 pot of muesli with yoghurt, chocolate and cherry compote.

It’s a cute custom for the German team to get together every Monday morning for breakfast. We had a huge spread of breads, ham, cheese, eggs, chocolate cake and little pots of yoghurt.

The German breads are also absolutely delicious, filled with nuts and seeds. I bought a couple of rolls from a market hall near my apartment, and enjoyed one of them for breakfast over the weekend.

Little eats



I don’t normally eat kebabs, but when you’ve got a very well-regarded kebab stand within walking distance of your apartment, it’s silly not to go and try. Mustafa’s just a little shack by the side of a road outside the Mehringdamm station, but it’s obviously an institution, as when I got there, there was a long queue. It took 45 min of waiting, but it was worth the wait for my durum chock full of fresh veggies and tasty sauces.

Mustafa’s Gemüsekebap
Mehringdamm 32
10961 Berlin


Mention that you’re going to Berlin, and you’re inevitably asked if you’ve tried currywurst. Just a few steps away from Mustafa’s is Curry 36, another institution that purportedly serves one of Berlin’s finest. Sadly, this wasn’t the culinary discovery I was expected. It just tasted like some sausages with ketchup and curry powder. Well, it had to be done.

Curry 36
Mehringdamm 36
10961 Berlin

It’s lucky I came across David Lebovitz’s post on Berlin, as it alerted me to Barcomi’s. There was a branch very close to my apartment (I seemed to be really lucky with my location), so I managed to pop in and buy a slice of New York cheesecake to have with my tea back at home. It was such a little slice of heaven, that when I was around Mitte over the weekend, I popped into the deli and had a slice of caramel cake. The caramel cake was good, but it was definitely the cheesecake that took the cake. Just thinking of that makes my mouth water.

Barcomi’s
Bergmannstraße 21
10961 Berlin

Sophienstr. 21
10178 Berlin

Lunch & Dinner


Quick little sandwich at The Barn


A very welcome bagel while doing a walking tour of Potsdam



Delicious schnitzel the size of my head with vinegared cucumber salad and Radler (beer and lemonade) one lovely evening after work.

Austria
Bergmannstraße 30
10961 Berlin 

Unlike the Korean restaurants in London, ban-chan is served for free here. I had a kimchi pajeon (not pictured), which wasn’t anything special, but the jab chae was pretty tasty. Portions were big, so I ended up doggy-bagging the rest and had it for dinner the next night.

Kimchi Princess
Skalitzer Str. 36
10999 Berlin


There was a lot of Japanese restaurants in Berlin, but I didn’t seem to have any luck finding a good one. This chirashi sushi was one of the better places I ate at.

Cube
Zossener Straße 18
10961 Berlin 



Big bowl of lemongrass tea and wanton soup after a long day of walking around the city

Monsieur Vuong
Alte Schönhauser Str. 46
10119 Berlin

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Meals from Billingsgate market

7 Jun

Hello? Hello? OH HAI! It’s been a loong time.

I’ve realised that documenting what I’ve been eating makes me more responsible with what I put in my mouth. People tell me that I’m so disciplined with my diet. They think I’m super healthy and have such self control. It’s a lie. I’m a secret snacker. When no one’s watching and I’m all alone in my room, I sit curled up with my laptop and stuff my face with snacks. Lately, it’s been bars and bars of Ritter Sport chocolate (I went a little nuts with the chocolate-buying, while waiting for a flight from Berlin airport), ginger oat biscuits, rice crackers, mixed nuts and sultanas…and yes, that can be all in one sitting. No wonder I’m spilling out of my jeans now. Muffin tops are so not cute.

That’s why I thought it’s high time I attempt to curb the snack monster, and start documenting the eats again. I thought I’d start by showing some amazing meals we made out of a trip to Billingsgate market a few weeks ago.

After 4 years living in London, I managed to peel myself out of bed around 4 one Saturday morning and drove there with a few friends. We got there at 5.45am, and already the market was teaming with people. We were very tickled that most of the people buying from the market were Asians. Since the market sells to trade, you have to buy in bulk. You can’t just rock up and ask for one little filet of sea bass. It took a lot of self-control not to buy everything I laid eyes on, but I knew we couldn’t possibly eat everything in one weekend. In the end, I made away with 2 kg of prawns, a massive half filet of salmon and 1 sea bream. And oh what meals we had out of this modest haul!

When you have super fresh seafood, the less you mess around with it, the better. We simply boiled the prawns, and ate them with a little squeeze of fresh lemon over. As for the salmon, I added a little salt, olive oil, fresh herbs from the garden and lemon, wrapped it in foil and baked. With some buttered baby potatoes, honey-roasted carrots and white wine, it was a simple lunch, but tasted like pure heaven.

For dinner, I knocked together a soup with a miso base, and flavoured with prawn heads and the tender fatty bit of the salmon belly. Boil, boil, boil until the soup turns a beautiful orange, throw in some tofu and Japanese konjac noodles, and it’s a satisfying and healthy meal.

For lunch on Sunday, I decided to tackle the whole sea bream. My favourite way to eat fish is to steam it the Cantonese way, and eaten with a sesame & soy sauce with lots of coriander and ginger. This was also my first time scaling and gutting a fish. It’s not so bad once you get used to the feel of the fish’s innards.

I’d love to make the Billingsgate trips a monthly occurrence, but let’s face it, getting up so early in the morning is a huge challenge. We’ll see. Meanwhile, if you live in the UK, there’s a really interesting BBC documentary about the Billingsgate market.

Weekend eats: BBQ & homemade wantons

18 Aug

Yes, I’ve been MIA lately. Life just got in the way, and I found myself not being able to keep up with posting. Meals below are from a couple of weekends ago.

Saturday

Breakfast


Rude Health The Ultimate Muesli with peach & blackberries in Sojade soy yogurt

Lunch


Grilled mackerel and broccoli (leftovers from Union Market)

Dinner

Went to friends’ place for a bbq (hopefully not the last of the year!), and was too busy pigging out to take pictures. I ate a lot of ribs, chicken wings, beef (soo beautifully marinaded) and a bunch of Vietnamese salads prepared by J. And finished off with some cake. What’s a party without cake?

Sunday

Breakfast


Banana, papaya & nectarine

Lunch




We had some people over for lunch for a wanton-making party.  There was also an attempt to make the pork miso udon from Koya, but we were too stuffed to try the udon. I love impromptu feasts!

– Homemade wantons
– Veggies: leek & peas, baby snaps & broccoli with black sesame
– Roast duck, char siew, siew yoke, yap pun tofu (new discovery: yum!), takeaway from Gold Mine
– Dessert: homemade lemon drizzle cake (made by a guest, not me), cherries