I was early to meet my friend for lunch and the Kantine was so tranquil when I arrived.
I had plenty of time to study the handwritten menu. The baked sweet potato with chorizo, lentils and cabanossi sausages seemed the thing to get, but the Maultaschen were calling my name.
The waitress was effortlessly warm and I didn't even mind when they mixed up my order at first. When the Maultaschen came I was glad I had heeded their call. The rich beef and spinach filling was perfectly spiced and the pasta wrapper so buttery and tender.
Then I was greedy and couldn't resist dessert. It was a glorious mess of a glass, filled with crumbled bits of cookies and brownies, and plentiful dollops of cream and custard. I couldn't imagine a better thing to do with last night's leftovers.
Olwen told us a former colleague had done the interior design. The lampshades were made from glasses originally used to catch eel. The tables were made from recycled wood. I knew the Dielerei and Not a Wooden Spoon are doing magical pieces with old Berlin floorboards, but Katja Buchholz's work was new to me.
This not-so-secret secret place tucked behind a parking lot will close after March. If I'm lucky I'll make it for one of their fancy dinners before then.
Kantine, Joachimstraße 11, Berlin-Mitte (map)
Open Tue-Fri from 10am, lunch 12.30pm-4pm. Dinner Tue-Sat from 7pm. Check out the website for the night's dinner menu.
Reservations taken at 030/6111412 or 0173/9979037
Update May 2011: Closed