Bidmead in Berlin - cocktails, surprise foodie finds and a bit of curried sausage

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Despite the appalling British weather (does this even classify as summer?), my return from Colombia has been a happy one. Although I was sad to leave the country I came to love and call home, being back in my true home London has reminded me of all the great things this city has to offer. But hardly back three weeks and I was lucky enough to travel away again, to the slightly less exotic, but no less exciting German capital of Berlin.

I had never been to Berlin before and had genuinely grown almost tired of hearing everyone else and their aunt rave about how wonderful it was. So my mum and I booked a six-day trip to explore the city and see what all the hype was about.

And not a bottle of Sainsburys basics Vodka in sight
It seems everyone had good reason to praise Berlin - what an incredible city! Kicking off our holiday in style, it was time for some cocktails. We headed to the classic old-fashioned bar at the Kempinski hotel, in the district of Charlottenburg to quench our thirst. The bar was impressively stocked - and if this wasn't enough, there was an equally impressive drinks trolley with just about every liquor under the sun. 

The classic Negroni
I've definitely taken after my mum in a fair few traits, and my taste in alcohol is one of them. Despite being swayed by the extensive cocktail menu, sometimes you just can't beat a classic. We both went for Negronis. A mildly potent mix, this cocktail is made up of equal quantities of gin, red vermouth and Campari. Who needs non-alcoholic mixers in their cocktails anyway? A Negroni is a classic apéritif, or pre-dinner drink, which is unsurprising - too many of these on an empty stomach would not end well.

So onto dinner it was as we ventured into the trendy area of Kreuzberg, which seemed to be the hipster hangout of the city - a German Shoreditch if you will. There was such a wealth of great looking places to eat and drink, it was hard to know where to go! After yet another cocktail at a very cool bar, we eventually headed into Knofi.

A mix of Turkish, Persian and Morrocan cuisine, this is a great little spot where you choose from a 
salad bar and are served by staff, who then weigh your plate. Mainly vegetarian, Knofi offered up more dips than I knew could even exist, along with the popular German cheese quark in many exciting flavors. Quark is somewhat similar to the Arabic labneh - strained yogurt which has a tangy, sour taste. Among the other options were many grain salads, about five different types of falafel and many delicious looking marinated veggies. 

A plate of yum
We went for a large plate to share, and while not entirely sure what we were choosing (turns out all those years of Spanish did not help me with my German - funny that), everything on our plate was fantastic. From the top-notch classic hummus to the sweet-potato garlic dip next to it, one serving almost wasn't enough! Other tasty treats on our plate included the lentil balls as seen in the middle and the cracking coriander and grain salad. All this, with two glasses of wine and bottles of water came to a grand total of €14! A bargain if you ask me. 

Chomping on my Currywurst
Always eager to sample local cuisine, it was only natural that I try the famous German 'delicacy', the Currywurst. The slightly odd pairing of a German Bratwurst sausage combined with curry ketchup and then doused with a light sprinkling of curry powder on top, the Currywurst is the definitive dish in German street food. Invented by a woman called Herta Heuwer in 1949, this sausage and curry combo has been much loved since its birth. Whether I loved it could be questioned, but I certainly didn't hate it. Although...trying it just once was plenty, as there was so much more food to be eaten!

Stay posted for the next installments of my Berlin trip. An absolutely sensational food market as well as what categorically classifies as 'foodie heaven' at Berlin's swankiest department store, BidmeadBites certainly got its fill while in Berlin!

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