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Chutnify

by James Glazebrook

Chutnify Curry Restaurant Berlin

It’s no secret that most Indian food in Berlin, and no doubt the rest of Germany, blows. It seems that most spices imported from the subcontinent are sent straight to Currywurst stands, without so much as wafting over the city’s actual curry houses.  The situation is slowly improving, however, and Berlin has decent tandoori and Sri Lankan places, and now somewhere to get freshly-made dosas.

Chutnify is a colourful and cute little eatery in Prenzlauer Berg’s alarmingly clean Kollwitzkiez. It specialises in the South Indian equivalent of a crêpe, full to bursting with minced lamb, tandoori chicken or vegetarian alternatives, and served with a tantalising selection of chutneys. We recommend trying the mixed platter, which includes the spectacular Mumbai beach snack Bhelpuri and two delicious dosas, asking for everything “Indian hot” and doubling down with the sauce they call “the Chillifier”. If you do go overboard on the spice, you can always cool off with the surprisingly good mango cream, served with marscarpone and fresh basil.

Chutnify may not serve anything as hot as your favourite curry house back home, but it is surely the most authentic taste of India that you’ll get in this fair city of ours. Check it out and see what you think!

Chutnify Curry Restaurant Bottles

Chutnify Curry Restaurant Berlin

Le Bon

by James Glazebrook

Graefekiez is such a small world! Le Bon was recently opened by the people behind one of our favourite local cafés, Kaffeebar, in the space once occupied by our home away from home, Hudson’s. This means that there’s yet another awesome food place in our area, run by lovely people with a passion for good food. The beautiful Le Bon has absolutely nailed the minimal, rustic aesthetic that dominates Cereal, or whatever interiors magazine you’re currently drooling over, with a culinary focus on the fundamentals to match. We’ve already sampled most of the brunch menu(!) and can happily report that everything is delicious, especially the granola pancakes and pulled pork sandwiches. Now we can’t wait to go back and try dinner!

Le Bon Cafe Logo

Le Bon Cafe Interior

Le Bon Cafe Pancakes

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Le Bon Cafe Cookies

Photos by Zoë Noble Photography

Nalu Diner

by James Glazebrook

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There are plenty of great places to get American food in Berlin – California Breakfast Slam and Dirty South are just two of them. But nowhere looks as authentically “American diner” as Nalu Diner on Prenzlauer Berg’s hip Dunckerstraße. You can just imagine Agent Cooper sitting at Nalu’s counter and enjoying a slice of pie and a “damn fine cup of coffee”. Sat in our booth, as soon as our generous meals were set down on the table covered in “Presidents of the United States” fact sheets, we knew we’d love the place. Nalu had me at their bursting-at-the-seams Reuben sandwich; by the third free coffee refill, I had promised them my first-born. All this place needs is a lady with a log, and it will be perfect!

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Glass Berlin

by James Glazebrook

Spoiler alert! Here’s a sneak peek of Glass Berlin‘s signature “mystery” desert, the Candy Box – a confection of homemade gummy bears, chocolate caviar, sweet herbs and other treats, spread across a table-sized sheet of aluminium foil. I’m sure Gal Ben Moshe won’t mind us blowing his restaurant’s worst-kept secret, because: every time the dish is prepared at a table, it draws the attention of all the other diners anyway, and it perfectly illustrates the head chef’s playful approach to cooking.

Moshe draws on cherished memories for inspiration – the Stadtgarten of vegetables, flowers and earth(!) brings an open-air picnic from Tempelhofer Feld to the plate, and other experimental dishes infuse his Israeli upbringing with the wide-eyed wonder of a (fairly) recent arrival in Berlin. If you go to Glass (and you should) we recommend trying the vegetarian menu – the Hokkaido of filled pasta, butter rum, brussels sprouts, cranberries and chestnut was a delightful surprise – and asking your attentive host about the influences behind his adventurous cuisine… and his awesome tattoo!

Restaurant Tim Raue

by James Glazebrook

Tim Raue Restaurant Meal

If you’re in Berlin and into food, you will have heard of Tim Raue. The former delinquent from Kreuzberg is the ultimate Berliner-made-good, now running three restaurants, including his eponymous flagship – one of just four Berlin establishments to have earned two Michelin stars. We were lucky enough to be invited to Restaurant Tim Raue and sat at the chef’s table (The Krug Table), for an introduction from the man himself. Raue started us off with eight small dishes, which illustrated how he tailors Asian cuisine to fit European tastes – and in the case of the not-actually-alive drunken prawns – local food laws! Over six succulent courses, we sampled high-quality ingredients prepared meticulously, from caviar to Cantonese-style langoustine to truffle brought all the way from Australia. We aren’t the food writers to do Restaurant Tim Raue justice, so we’ll leave that to Berlin Food Stories, and jump straight into the pretty pictures – feast your eyes!

Tim Raue Restaurant Menu

Tim Raue Restaurant Starter Closeup

Tim Raue Restaurant Gurken Dish

Tim Raue Restaurant Meal

Tim Raue Restaurant Meal

Tim Raue Restaurant Meal Shot from Above

Tim Raue Restaurant Dessert

Marqués Rene Maschkiwitz

by James Glazebrook

Marques restaurant menu

There are so many good places to eat and drink in Graefekiez that if we ever tried to feature them all, before we were finished, a bunch of new ones would have opened up around them. We walked passed Marqués Rene Maschkiwitz many times, mistaking its crisp tableware and affluent-looking guests for an air of stuffiness. For sure, the food isn’t cheap, but it is far from old-fashioned – the restaurant’s refreshing take on Mediterranean adds popcorn to pork and curry paste to pasta. The combinations are better than they sound, honest (just check out Zoë’s beautiful photos!), especially when washed down with the bar’s specialty cocktails – we enjoyed a gorgeous Melon Ball. Add this one to your list of places to eat at when the parents are visiting… and paying 😉

Marques restaurant melon cocktail Marques restaurant flowers Marques restaurant curry Marques restaurant paella close up Marques restaurant popcorn pork Marques restaurant chocolate cake Marques restaurant reserved sign

Marqués Rene Maschkiwitz, Graefestraße 92, 10967 Berlin.

(Photos by Zoë Noble Photography)

 

 

Jung Grün & Blau

by James Glazebrook

Jung Grün & Blau dining table

Don’t call it a supper clubJung Grün & Blau is something else entirely. The private dining experience is the brainchild of wunderkind chef Dylan Watson-Brown, who began cooking at the age of 14 in a French restaurant in his hometown of Vancouver. Still just 19, Dylan has already gathered experience from some of the world’s best restaurants, including RyuGin – a three-starred Michelin restaurant in Tokyo – Noma in Copenhagen and New York City’s Per Se, Daniel, and Eleven Madison Park. Dylan’s newest endeavour is less grand than those internationally-renowned kitchens, but no less admirable: to showcase the fresh flavours of seasonal, locally-sourced ingredients, selected for taste, rather than to support some on-trend sustainability philosophy.

Jung Grün & Blau Dylan Watson-Brown

Dylan treated us to an epic 17 course meal, made up of small servings that combined no more than a handful of ingredients, and focused on bringing out the true taste of each. His dashi soup (the basis for miso) contained not much more than herbs grown in his apartment and carrots that were bursting with character – a shock for someone raised in the English tradition of boiling vegetables until they lose all colour and flavour. Zoë summed up the Jung Grün & Blau experience perfectly, as she whispered between mouthfuls of egg yolks and Japanese rice cracker, “it’s like I never tasted egg before!”

Jung Grün Blau dashi soup

It would be impossible to pick highlights from the carefully-sequenced, meticulously-prepared menu, as each dish was greater than the last, prompting 17 different notes-to-self: “this is the best thing I have ever eaten.” But our taste buds were particularly delighted by kid (baby goat) tartar – which tasted surprisingly similar to the juiciest parts of tuna fish – and the first cherries of the year, salted and sprinkled with a snow of goats cheese – a super-fresh ingredient which was also served separately with a drizzle of olive oil, produced by an ex-punk who raids the abandoned olive farms in southern Spain. Presented in handmade ceramics from Kreuzberg’s Mariannenstrasse and complemented by wines brought back from a recent trip around Germany, the fine food on offer at Jung Grün & Blau makes for an intimate and incredibly satisfying dining experience. Kudos to young Mr Watson-Brown and team!

Jung Grün & Blau kid

Jung Grün & Blau duck

Jung Grün & Blau herbs

Jung Grün & Blau egg cracker

Photos by Zoë Noble Photography.