Aaaaaand summer is over. Is it, though? Not quite, there's some 30 degrees coming up this week but the air certainly already feels autumnal. And people sense it too, I've seen three too many down jackets and knit beanies already. I actually can't believe people to be so eager to bring them out while it's still 25 and up! However, my summer's been very busy, I basically worked and worked and then took a week's break just to work some more when I came back. Not on the blog, obviously, but as a creative director for a huge project (or three, to be precise). However, I'm kinda back and also need some new inspiration where to eat these days. Lucky me, many things have opened up in the past weeks and months – there's new pizza (of course, 2018 is the year of sourdough with tomato sauce and cheese), new wine bars in (almost) every district, new coffee and new bibimbap! Have you been to any of these yet? Let me know how you liked it! And if you need more places that are still kinda new, check out the previous list.
Okay, I'm being very responsible here, since the last time this pop-up happened I didn't let you know early enough and some people ended up being disappointed they missed it… Not this time! Ash Lee aka ChungKing Noodles will serve her ultra delicious yet seriously spicy (I need about 30mins to finish a portion) noodle bowls again on May 11th and 12th at The Store Kitchen in Mitte! And not only that, she already told me there'll be more than noodles on the menu, which basically means we all have to show up both days to taste all of it.
Is this really spring? Or maybe more like a really early summer? I kinda don't wanna complain, but I do get anxious over the Berlin weather skipping some steps and rushing towards the heat (27° next Wednesday!), because I feel like the weather will just end up exhausted and serve us a really lousy June, July, and August. I know that's not how weather works, but I am not ready. What I am ready for are some news in the local culinary scene! And people have been busy over the last winter months. There's new ice cream, new Italian food, new breakfast, new fries, new pizza and more! And you know what, even more is in the works but hasn't qualified for today's list because they're not open yet (Mr Susan's gastropub in Mitte and Albatross' new bakery space in Kreuzberg, and more I'm not even allowed to spill at this point). Let's focus on the now, here's your alphabetically ordered list of new openings I think sound super interesting. Please plan your schedules accordingly, and, as usual, let me know if you liked it. And if you need more places that are still kinda new, check out the previous list.
Were you already waiting for this one? I certainly was getting impatient! However, thanks to a bit of scheduling kerfuffle, it took a bit longer to assemble a powerful jury for this years' Berlin's Best Bread competition. For the fifth time, I invited a number of local artisanal bakeries to submit their best bread to find the most delicious crusty crust and crumbly crumb in all of the city. It took us three hours of non-stop tasting to judge all seventeen submissions and crown the winner in three categories. Read on to find out who won, you might be surprised!
It's more than a little embarrassing that the actual first time I ever went to Amsterdam was only ten days ago. I never intentionally avoided it, but I never really went for it either, however, finally everything fell into place and I had the most wonderful weekend in this unbelievably pretty city: the weather was perfect, the city was bright and clean and awaking from winter, the crowds were big and annoying, but there are ways to deal with that in NL. Food seems to be as big a topic over there as it is here in Berlin, and while I really did enjoy getting that 2,- kaassoufflé at Febo's wall of food (you just have to try it once, or thrice), there was plenty of more elaborate stuff to munch on.
Bullys Bakery used to be one of my favs, before it seemed like the owners kinda got tired of gastronomy and just let things slide, turning the once pretty corner café into a whatever place with a less than impressive menu. So it was probably the right next step for OG-Bully to move back to South Germany and hand the reins over to Behzad Karim-Khani und Achille Farese, known from Lugosi bar and Karloff (aka, my favourite Italian restaurant in the city). They renovated and updated this prime location, upped their coffee and cake game and created a place I'm happy to put back on the map.
Gin and Tonic is rightfully one of the most popular drinks around: its concept is simple and straightforward, and can easily be upgraded by adding one or three ingredients. However, I think it should always be based on a high quality gin with distinct botanical notes. Tanqueray was launched in 1830, and is still produced after a fiercely guarded recipe. Its key botanicals are juniper, coriander, angelica root and liquorice, with a strong juniper note. In order to explore the possibilities of G&T, Jo and Cosy, the two creatives behind Hamburg's uber-popular food pop-up Salt & Silver, traveled country. Inspired by Charles Tanqueray's six years of developing the perfect London Dry Gin, they joined forces with local chefs and bartenders to reinvent the classic drink and pair it with locally inspired dishes. In Munich, beer liqueur and sweet mustard were used to make a real Bavarian version, in Hamburg, Paola Labansat added grapes and citrus thyme, which was served with ceviche, fish tacos, and basil ice cream. Read on to find out how Berlin did in this challenge and get some inspiration for your next G&T creation...
Well… as unapologetic as I might be about my scepticism for anything Friedrichshain, I never gave up on the district and – stop the press – here's a new and utterly delicious reason to hit the always crowded streets around Boxhagener Platz: to get a bowl filled with intense broth and perfect ramen noodles at Hako, to sooth the pain of what seems like a once again never ending winter.
It must be at least ten years ago that I saw Snax perform for the first time – it was one of these glorious Berlin summer days full of sunshine and happy people on the rooftop of the former office of then tiny Soundcloud. He delivered a set that underlined the amazingness of the day, playful and light, yet still intense on the bass, his singing, and completely danceable. The mood and sound of the day is still so present in my memory. When he sent me an email a couple weeks ago whether I wanted to premier the new video set in Brandenburg I was like: Sweet! Let's do it!
Disclaimer: I was invited on this trip by MeetMerano & MGM, the local tourism agency.
Nope, no intention to torture you with this article and its accompanying pictures. Just a simple reminder that to escape the icy wind and cold, it can be a good idea to mentally travel back to your past summer vacation, and subsequently plan the next one! Because Vorfreude ist die schönste Freude. It's also a reminder to clean and grease your hiking boots, because you'll need them for your next trip to the southern edge of the Alps, where palm trees and rough peaks co-exist and every Knödel is better than the last.