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7 posts from August 2007

Henry Moore at Hoglands (Haus am Waldsee)


Oh, I did enjoy the Haus am Waldsee, though for all the wrong reasons (coffee at the terrace cafe; the pond ducks pedaling wildly with only their bottoms above water level; deliciously dressed elderly museum-goers). Of the Henry Moore exhibit, what I remember best is the quaint, queer captions that adorned the photos in a book about Hoglands.

Tiny wooden chicks


I too am completely charmed by the wholesome, harmless wooden animals that populate German toy shops. This pair came from Domäne Dahlem.

A perfect day in Berlin (I)


After a lazy morning, breakfasting on plum cake and mint tea, reading the Green, Blue and Indigo chapters of Color, walk down Stargarder Straße along Dunckerstraße to in't Veld and order a little dish of chocolate ginger ice cream, then nip at it while reading the SZ. After an hour, go to Goldhahn und Sampson to look at everything very carefully; be briefly tempted by a Gary Rhodes cookbook. Consider the luxury Malabar peppercorns but put off purchase for another day. Decide to have an early dinner at Sasaya. Head over to the piano salon and be bowled over Amit Friedmann's first concert.

The best Japanese restaurant in Berlin (Sasaya)


'Best' is not a word I use lightly, but really, Sasaya is just fantastic. Their sushi is excellent and they also have a wide range of other Japanese offerings. The turquoise and beige interior is perennially crowded with German and Japanese guests, to the point where I stopped going for a while, tired of the crush, until I figured out that lunch remains the best meal to enjoy there, in the leisurely lucent calm with baroque quartets on the stereo system. Best of all is Sunday lunch, when the rest of Berlin is brunching away on stale rolls and curling slices of sweaty cheese, but even then you'd do well to reserve.

Sasaya, Lychener Straße 50, Prenzlauer Berg (map)
(030) 4471 7721
Open noon to 3 pm & 6 to 10.30 pm, closed Wednesday

Brownies, alla Melissa (alla Nona)


What can I say? I made 'em, and they're marvellous...

Cafe Liebling Revisited, or Chilly on Helmholtzplatz


For those breathless with curiosity as to the Cafe Liebling (or Liebling Cafe) interior, I was recently back in Helmholtzplatz with a camera. One wouldn't expect lentil soup in July but it's been that sort of summer, sadly, making my voice dip in regret when talking to visitors who read my springtime exulations of how they'd adore Berlin come June.

But the soup was aromatic with herbs and my tabletop matched my Nabokov perfectly, and eventually I even left the shady interior to join the ranks on the sidewalk, shivering ever so slightly in my cardigan but thrilled to see Donna again. (This time the lack of a menu seemed less charming than irritating -- 'How much is that wine exactly, then?' -- but on Helmholtzplatz one needs must forgive places their pretentions.)


French plum tart, or Zwetschgen conquered


Half my plums went into a lovely batch of Nicky's Zwetschgenknödel. Her photographs are so gorgeous I would be embarrassed to post mine, but do check out her foolproof recipe. (For the record, a bamboo steamer works a treat.)

The other fourteen sat about looking forlorn for a few days before I decided to press them into service for Winson and Karolina's leaving party. My recipe base was simple -- the Verlet Apricot Tart I waxed eloquent about before -- but this time with a few more frills, such as doubling the creamy filling, mixing acacia with the baobob honey, and, of course, substituting plums.

Knowing their tartness I was extra-generous with the final sprinkling of confectioner's sugar, and this time I had David's keen eye to place the Zwetschgen just so. (The baking, sadly, wreaked havoc on his lovely pattern.) Still, the other guests were pleased enough, and I found myself getting up for seconds between a lively conversation with a visiting Egyptologist. Karolina & Winson, we'll miss you!