Posted: Tue Jun 07, 2005 6:21 pm Post subject: Berlin
Hello to all ,
On the end of June I'll be off to Berlin for 5 days. I've been there before (1980) and after (1993) the "fall", but I've heard I'll hardly recognize the city, which seems to have become a center of art and culture. I'll be grateful for any tips , especially culinary ones ( of course I'll visit the legendary KDV), but any tips will be welcome. Thanks in advance.
Berlin is really great, I'm sure you will enjoy very much being there. You'll find lots of inspiring restaurants, experimentally decorated cool bars and pleasant surprises round every corner. So it's really hard to recommend special places, but there's one restaurant I nearly can't resist visiting every time I'm in Berlin. It is located at the Prenzlauer Berg, just at the corner of Knaackstraße and Prenzlauer Allee (tram U2, Senefelder Platz): a Sri Lankan restaurant called "Suriya Kanthi" (= sunshine). Their meals are incredibly delicious, the prices moderate and they cook with organically grown products. I'd recommend choosing a "Reistafel", which provides amazing combinations of different flavors. They've got a few tables outside as well, so it's especially nice to sit in the sun sipping mango lassi, a great drink made of cool joghurt, mango pulp and a little ice water.
PS: In case you own a 1993 map it might be useful to buy a new one: they've renamed a few streets some years ago.
Posted: Wed Jun 08, 2005 9:39 pm Post subject: berlin
Birgit- I've never eaten Sri-Lanka food, and if my daughter won't object, I'll try it ( I'm not a dumpling person), it's already in my little notebook. Thank you.
Barbara, a wonderful link from you, as always. I've read one of the entries about a vanished old synagogue, and i'm sure i'll find places not available in any other guides. Thanks.
I didn't get to write about Umbria yet, but I hope I'll have time before leaving for Berlin.
Simona, if I'd try to describe Sri Lanka food, I'd say, it's a bit like indian, but more fresh herbs, coconut and fruity flavors, very refreshing. Walking around Prenzlauer Berg is, by the way, nice as well. As far as I remember there is as well a little food shop with specialities of former ddr brands, I don't know the exact adress (might be Sredzskistraße, but I'm not sure), but it's altogether worth walking into side streets, because there are many interesting little shops scattered all over the district. If you happen to be there on a saturday, don't miss the little street market around Kollwitzplatz.
Additionally I can recommend as well a lovely turkish bakery at the corner of Skalitzer Straße and Schlesische Straße, directly at the U station "Schlesisches Tor". They sell lots of tasty little cookies and cakes, plain or with additional ingredients like figs, raisins, sesame, chocolate, jam, etc., and delicious sweet and savory yeast pastry. They all keep well as supply over the day. (If you'd like a good coffee there's a little café a few meters down Schlesische Straße where they roast coffee beans as well. The place is called "Cream".) From around here it's also a nice walk over the Oberbaum-Bridge. Being the former border to the eastern part, there is still a remainder of the Berlin wall when you turn left after crossing the bridge.
In case you like caviar, there is a special product worth trying, you can buy it in normal grocer's shops in the fridges of the fish department. It's from the north coast of eastern germany and it's called "Kaviarcreme". It's made of light herring roe and the taste is different from greek versions (taramas) or the pink and salty scandinavian versions. My favorite is dill (http://www.ostseefisch.com/produkte/58000.htm), because I think this keeps the flavor purest, but you can get curry, garlic or horseradish as well. It's especially nice combined with fresh baguette and buttery cheese.
THank you Birgit for the tips, it's just what I'm looking for: markets, interesting neighbourhoods, etc. Anyway , we will be staying in the Citadines Appartment Hotel, just of Ku'damm, and will walk a lot.
And then, the museums are one of the main attraction, and we'll surely spend a lot of time indoors too.
Appartment Hotel sounds really good, it's lovely to have some kind of kitchen and a fridge in the hotel, much more comfortable than travelling with only an electric kettle for an occasional cup of tea Once, in switzerland or italy, I found many different kinds of interesting looking salad leaves at a market, or, some other time, heaps of boletuses, and I wished I had a pan at hand to cook them at once
So I hope you'll have nice weather and a wonderful time in Berlin.
don't know whether you're in fact already in berlin, but since i live there i thought i might provide some more tips
i don't know what you're up to, but berlin is hardly renowned as a great city culinarily, so i'll mostly recommend the kind of quirky and weird things you won't find elsewhere.
abendmahl is a camp restaurant in kreuzberg, expensive-ish for berlin, but not at all so on a global scale i guess they serve just vegetarian food and fish, and beautifully arranged camp desserts. you should reserve a table.
il casolare is in kreuzberg, too - at the corner of grimmstrasse and the river. i've had my best pizza ever there, and that's including italy. it's served by italian punks who are grumpy at their best, but all kreuzberg meets there in the summer.
there are two supposedly authentic chinese restaurants - ming dynastie is next to the chinese embassy at jannowitzbruecke, and good friends is in kantstr., where you'll find many asian places.
if you're in mitte and want to go for a coffee, go look for barcomi's, a coffee shop owned by a new yorker which has great coffee and cake - it's hidden in a hinterhof in sophienstr.
In prenzlauer berg i really like the cafe "kauf dich gluecklich" in oderberger str. where all furniture is second hand and for sale, they have great homemade ice cream and waffles. on the other side of the street, "hueftengold" is a brazilian cafe, they have gorgeous fruit shakes and sandwiches. if you're there on sunday, don't miss the fleamarket in the mauerpark.
best currywurst with chips at "fritz & co" (the one with the rainbow flag) at wittenbergplatz - right across from KaDeWe.
i've been to suriya kanthi, too, by the way and thought the food was average at best.
let us know about your experiences and have a great trip
Hello, I'm back from Berlin ( and PAris, but about it i'll post on anothr site), enchanted. This city has flourished in the 10-12 years since I last visited in an incredible manner. In five years from now, it will be even more fantastic. It is hard to remember the empty Potsdammer Platz , today a modern complex ( I'm more fond of oldies,but I appreciate the technology). As we had only four and a half days net, we couldn't "do " everything. But still, 4 museums, The Helmut Newton Photography museum, the new Art Museum ( Expresssionism in the 20') , the Jewish Museum build by Liebeskind ( the same architect who planned the 9/11 memorial)- a very special museum as it tells the history of german Jews since the 10th century through personal stories of ordinary and nor so ordinary( Moses Mendelsohn, Einstein etc) German Jews ( It is NOT a holocaust Museum), and the incredible Pergamon Museum. A unique piano recital by Daniel Barenboim at the Old State Opera was sublime, and some shopping too ( the cheapest capital in Western Europe).
I had the occasion to polish my German, and was surprised that people did understand me.
As for food, german food is a little like home food. We eat in two " german" restaurants, one in Hackesher Hof and the second one near Savigny Platz.
Thank you Prose for your post, but I was already in Berlin by that time.
But we did eat one evening at the chinese Good friends in Kanterstr, ( we lived close enough, in Olivaer Platz) and it was very nice . We couldn'r make it for the Prezlauer Sri Lankan restaurant, it was too far away, and the heat was terrible. After a whole day of "culture" and strolling around, we were happy to find nice restaurants around the corner. But we did sip a coffee at Einstein Cafe in Unten den Linden. Maybe Berlin is not a culinary destination, but it certainly is a cultural one, and personally, I found it very intersting because of the east-west situation: you still can feel the difference, and the east is still not the west. I very much reccommend it.
Thank you again Birgit for your help,
No more war, no more reasons for holocaust memorials
P.S. I forgot to thatnk you , dear Lacriz , for your tip on Berliner Weisse ( on Prague Topic posts). I drank gallons of it ( at least three a day) with this special green liqueur ( Waldmeister). It was so welcome in the heat ( 33 C). I even brought two bottles to paris for my husband to taste and he liked them too, though the ones prepared are less tasty than the ones you compose yourself.
Joined: 07 Jun 2005 Posts: 120 Location: Birmingham, UK (via Essen, Germany)
Posted: Wed Jul 13, 2005 2:18 pm Post subject:
so glad you had a good trip (you managed an awful lot of museums; Hut ab!/Chapeau!).
I'm really happy you liked the green Berliner Weisse. - and for the benefit of anyone else reading this, I've just looked up what Waldmeister is: asperula odorata; galium odoratum; woodruff; reine des bois; belle etoile.
It's a herb which flowers between April and June. In Germany, it's used to make the syrup which goes into Berliner Weisse, it also goes into the bright green jelly/jello beloved by all the children (and quite a few grown-ups): Wackelpudding/Wackelpeter, and it is the key ingredient for Maibowle (a white wine punch).
Dear Simona, I'm glad, that you've enjoyed your stay in Berlin and that I could be of some help. The cultural offering of this town is really amazing, and it changes constantly (nearly as fast as new restaurants ...), so every visit I find exciting in its own way. Astonishingly I've never tried Berliner Weiße -- I really have to include that into my next journey plans ... ;o)
Dear Birgit, I saw your post only today, so thank you. I really enjoyed Berlin, and I definitely want to return there, especially as my husband visited Berlin in 1991 ( or was it 1990?) as a journalist, and had the priviledge to be present at the concert of Pink floyd near the ex-wall. But I'll wait one-two years, so there will be more new buildings and reconstruction.
Yes, you have to try the Berliner Weisse, it's delicious.
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