Having Turkish coffee

Big Chefs, Istanbul

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Here we are with dear friends Asuman and Artun at Big Chefs. We totally stuffed ourselves here but there was more food coming in.

big chefs

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Berlin

Brandenburg Gate, Berlin

Berlin Cathedral

Checkpoint Charlie

Synagogue

Holy Trinity Church

Fernsehturm

Tiergarten

Portalrest Neues Anhalter Tor

Viasko Vegan Restaurant, Berlin

My Viasko Vegan Restaurant review on VegFusion (my food blog).

I must admit, Viasko was close to fiasco. The area was bad; we didn’t feel safe there. We had to walk for quite some time to get to the restaurant after taking the bus.

Our waitress was very much like a walking catalog of a tattoo and piercing parlor and it wasn’t a good first impression. The décor was dull and pretty much everything had this “cheaply done” kind of look.

In my opinion, the only good thing going for the place is the book nook (below).

Viasko is a fully vegan restaurant so you expect some compromise in taste but it was more compromise than we would have like to have. Food was actually average.

As a starter we shared Antipasti (olives, hummus and sun-dried tomatoes) which came with a small basket of bread. €3.90

Hummus was thick, sun-dried tomatoes tasted like they came out of a jar and the olives weren’t even marinated.

As for the mains we had:

Breaded soy medallions with white asparagus, baked cherry tomatoes, arugula and steamed potatoes. €15.90

Breaded soy medallions were dry.

Cheese “spätzle” with onion rings and cucumber salad in dill cream dressing. €11.90

Onion rings were not covered with the batter properly, cheese “spätzle” was just okay and dill cream salad dressing had the taste of moisture.

If you really must go, Viasko can be found at this address below:

Viasko Vegan Restaurant
Erkelenzdamm 49,
10999 Berlin
Website

Berlin Wall

Museum Insel, Berlin

Pergamon Museum

Bode Museum

Islamic Art Museum

Cookies Cream, Berlin

My Cookies Cream review on VegFusion.

Cookies Cream is a classy, high-end vegetarian restaurant in the heart of Berlin and it has been one of those interesting experiences we’ve had while travelling around Europe. With it’s exposed brick walls with interesting art pieces on them, it truly is an amazing place in an unusual way. It’s so underground and the place doesn’t even look like a restaurant until you are upstairs and facing a huge wall art saying “ficken” in the middle and American Express logo at the bottom right corner. Well, I’m guessing you know what “ficken” means in German.

The tricky part with Cookies Cream is finding it. Having the address in this situation won’t cut it Peoples and there are no flowers to follow —or breadcrumbs for that matter — like they have on their website. We knew that it would be difficult to find, we decided to have a test run during the day —actually it was John’s idea —and the exercise was well worth it. It really is tricky to find. To get there, you have to walk down a couple of alleyways with big dumpsters and wooden planks behind Westin Grand Hotel which makes you feel like you’re in a movie and you might be attacked by a villain any minute. I think it’s a loading dock for the hotel. Anyway, you walk until you see that huge, glamorous chandelier which is totally out of place, hanging from a concrete slab in the ceiling. You are then very close because it is now easy to spot the doors. It’s the one on the left with bulbs above it (see photo at the end of this post). Now, you need to hit that nondescript buzzer and wait for someone to open the door and take you upstairs to the restaurant.

Let’s talk about food now… Cookies Cream offers an innovative and contemporary menu. It may not be a big menu nevertheless it is an interesting one. We love the tasting menu option with wine pairing so we went for the Classic Menu. For 48 € per person, you get two starters, one main and a dessert and 32 € extra per person for wine pairing option. You might find the prices a little steep, however, this is pretty normal for a place like this.

Now, let me show you what we had:

Starter number 1: Seaweed caviar and ricotta cheese, bergamot, dill and buckwheat

Seaweed caviar and ricotta cheese, bergamot, dill and buckwheat

This is seriously the best vegetarian caviar I have ever tried in my life. Even the texture was like real caviar as if a Russian mob smuggled it into the country. Bergamot drops were extra refreshing.
Wine: Samuel Billard Le Grands Terroirs Chablis from France.

Starter number 2: Quail egg in brioche, port wine shallot, potato foam, truffle jus

Quail egg in brioche with port wine shallot, potato foam and truffle jus was quite a complex dish. Here you have a tangy and sweet port wine shallot with a rich, soft and creamy brioche on top. The interesting part of this dish a lightly cooked quail egg was hidden inside the brioche. The dish was finished off with a fluffy potato foam on top and truffle jus drizzled around it. Surprisingly, the whole ensemble looked a lot richer than it actually was. I loved it!
Wine: Geiger & Sohne Grauer Burgunder 2014 Franken, Germany

Main Course: Parmesan dumplings with crème of artichokes, tomatoes, tandoori herbs

The dumplings were soft and fluffy, sitting on a bed of crème of artichokes. There was an extra tandoori tomato sauce which came in a carafe. The sauce itself was very much like tomato rasam and wasn’t too overpowering. The whole dish was topped up with an interesting bouquet of herbs: fennel, mint, basil.
Wine: Chateau de Luc Corbieres Corbieres U. V. from Languedoc-Roussillon, France

Dessert: White bubble chocolate and pistachio, homemade cassis ice cream and mascarpone

And, we finished off with white chocolate and pistachio with homemade cassis ice cream and mascarpone as a dessert. It wasn’t a heavy dessert and the presentation was great.
Dessert Wine: Charles Hours Jurançon Uroulat 2012 from Sud-Ouest, France (south-west France)

Overall, the food at Cookies Cream is well presented, flavours are well balanced and wines are well matched. The service at Cookies Cream was great, too. Our English-spoken waitress, Stef was quite attentive, efficient and incredibly helpful. She even let us try an extra glass of dessert wine with no extra charge.

When you’re in Berlin, try Cookies Cream. You now even know how to get there…

Cookies Cream
55 Behrenstrasse
10117 Berlin, Mitte
Germany
Phone: +49 30 27 49 29 40
Website: www.cookiescream.com

Kopps, Berlin

When we were in Berlin, we went out to check Kopps’ menu, that famous vegan restaurant. We actually walked for miles to get there from a nearby train station in that kind of heat and all we found was dog poo smell coming from their dustbin outside which was located right underneath their menu and two lazy, uninterested wait staff. We were there to have a look at their menu and make a booking. Menu was not interesting at all. So I took two photos and here they are…

There won’t be a review for Kopps on VegFusion, though. Or anywhere else for that matter.

Samadhi Vegetarian Restaurant, Berlin

My Samadhi Vegetarian Restaurant review on VegFusion

This wasn’t the friendliest place but the food was good. We already knew that there was a vegetarian restaurant called Samadhi around the area but I noticed their sign on our way to Brandenburg Gate. So, we popped in on the way back to have lunch (late lunch).

We ordered a mix starter plate (below). It was the right amount of food and was quite delicious too.

When we came back to Samadhi for the second time, we had these two dishes below. Normally, I take notes at the time of ordering the food. If not, then I match my photos with the menu online based on the description of the dishes. Although their website has an English interface, they only have samples from their menu under the name of “Specialties” and it is not helpful. The second photo looks like a sweet and sour dish and that’s all I have to say about that. Then again, the food here is good.

Samadhi Vegetarian Restaurant
Wilhelm Strasse 77
D-10117
Berlin

Toto Concert, Berlin