Frau Kuchen

cooking and eating in Berlin (and elsewhere)

Posts Tagged ‘berlin

Prinzessinnengarten

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I recently read about, and then visited Prinzessinnengarten. It immediately became one of my favourite places in Berlin.  Robert and Marco welcomed me, and didn’t think my idea to grow fruit to bake with completely insane.

Prinzessinnengarten is an urban garden, it’s on a long disused site on one corner of Moritzplatz roundabout. The terms of the lease mean that everything has to be moveable, so all their veg is grown in cartons generously donated by Märkisch Landbrot.

Their own website can tell your far more including how to get involved. This weekend they’re running a Stadtsafari to try and get 11 to 16 year olds to think about how openspace is used in their local environment.

My idea to grow fruit won’t  go anywhere this year – it’s too late to start planting – but hopefully next year I can get some Berlin raspberries, blueberries, etc. planted up and then Hudson’s can bake with really locally ingredients. In the meantime we’ve supplied the cafe with cake on a couple of occassions…and work of mouth led us to supply Betahaus next door.

Written by hudsons

October 3, 2009 at 4:16 pm

Nigella’s Lamb Cutlets

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A very quick post to say that we tried out Nigella Lawson’s recipe for Lamb Cutlets with Chilli & Black Olives last night. Served with new potatoes and a green and tomato salad dressed with an olive oil, lemon juice and fresh herb (from the balcony) dressing – it was a perfect summer meal.

Their can be few simpler pleasures than nibbling the remaining pieces of lamb from the bones of a lamb chop or cutlet and licking your fingers afterwards.

Lamb is one of my favourite summer meats, ideally cooked on a barbecue so it’s slightly charred on the outside, but retains its pink and juicy interior.

Unfortunately most of the lamb on sale in Berlin seems to be from New Zealand [1], and I try my best to avoid huge food miles. Last week I found some bio (organic) lamb on the Türkenmarkt – at €18/kilo it was pricey, but we eat so little meat that I don’t begrudge spending a little more now and then.

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[1] If you know of anywhere else (particularly in the Kreuzberg area), that sells German – or at least European – lamb, please do let me know.

Written by hudsons

July 20, 2009 at 8:49 am

Restaurant Krokodil

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Last weekend we made a long planned cycle trip to Köpenick. The trip was partly inspired by a desire to cycle along the Spree and see the changing architectural/urban environment (Jim – architectureinberlin.wordpress.com) and partly because I wanted to visit Restaurant Krokodil and Hostel am Flußbad. I’d read about the Hostel and Restaurant on Berlin Hidden Places – always a god site for some inspired and off-beat touristing.

We planned our route using the brilliant BBBike site.  If you haven’t used it give it a try, you can plan any cycle route you want in Berlin, with options to stick to cycle routes and green-ways if you choose (and the added benefit that it’s provided in english, as well as auf deutsche).   It gives you a clear set of printable instructions and the option to print the map in a number of different formats.

On the way we cycled along Treptow Park, crossed the river and cycled most of the rest of the way through the Volkspark Wuhlheide. A lovely route through a park that we haven’t explored before.

Image 1: The Wuhlheide (with Parkeisenbahn) [1]

Our hunger drove us on through the centre of Köpenick and past the bands playing in the Schloss and the town square (I assume as part of the Blues & Jazz Festival, which runs though to the end of August). The small side street (Kietzer Str.) leading on to Gartenstr. where Krokodil is found, has some wonderful old, and now protected, buildings that used to be part of the independent Fischerkietz.

Image 2: Fischerkiez [2]

Restaurant Krokodil and Hostel am Flußbad could easily be missed, they’re set behind a big red-brick wall.  Once you’re inside it’s a beautiful space, the hostel looks lovingly converted, and the restaurant and seminar rooms are thoughtfully designed. Perhaps because it was rescued by a local group with the needs of local people in mind.

We found a spot under the awning an dug into the Sunday brunch buffet.  I have to say that after my initial excitement about Sunday buffets when I first arrived in Berlin, I’ve now rather changed my mind. The quality at buffets is often poor – sliced meats and cheeses from Lidl – and I rarely feel like I’ve eaten well afterwards.  Having said that, the Krokodil buffet wasn’t bad; there were several hot items, including pork and sauerkraut; dauphinoise potatoes; and, chunky chips; plus a variety of meats (rare beef, salami, etc), smoked fish (mackerel, salmon, eel, trout) and a mix of different salads (including tomato & mozzarella and potato). My only complaint would be the lack of a big green salad – something I tend to eat with every meal.

Image 3: The Beach with Hostel and Restaurant

Image 4: Restaurant Krokodil

The regular menu, and changing wochenkarte (weekly specials) look good – although there are a few too many main dishes with fruit in for my liking (fruit in a main dish is rarely done well imho).  I was slightly annoyed that I hadn’t held out and extra hour for the menu (before a certain time – sorry I forget when – you can only order the buffet) as the Matjes mit  Bratkartoffel und Salat (Herring with Roasted Potatoes and Salad) from the Wochenkarte looked and smelled particularly appetising as it whisked past my table later on.

Krokodil is particular good if you have kids – there were a few families who looked like they were regulars.  The adults can sit under the awning and eat, drink and chat whilst the kids play on the sand and swim in the well marked out swimming area.  If you’re feeling really adventurous you can borrow kayaks or rafts, or be taken on a guided tour (including multiple days with tents if you wish).  On the Sunday we were there we saw a group of kids – probably a birthday party – going out on a led tour on the raft, it looked great fun.

Image 5: The Beach

Image 6: The Terrace at Krokodil

According to their website they have quite a lot of live music events, seminar and conference facilities and can host parties or weddings. We didn’t investigate the hostel, but from a peer inside it looks clean, airy and spacious, and the proces are really good. All in all a great local facility.

I wouldn’t go to Köpenick just to go Restaurant Krokodil, but if you are there and you fancy somewhere relaxed and a bit different to eat or drink then do pop in.  Particularly if it’s a sunny day and you have kids!

After watching a couple of the bands – still playing in the town square – we made our way back though the Wuhlheide. This time we stayed on the the north bank, wending our way through the Kleingarten and exploring the ruined buildings on Köpenicker Chaussee.  Although tempted by Funkpark and numerous other (seemingly spontaneous) parties en-route we headed home along the edge of Rummelsburger See  and over Treptower Brücke.


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[1] Image courtsey of Jörg Kantel (also known as Schockwellenreiter) under a Creative Commons licence.
[2] Image courtesy of snow73, also under a Creative Commons licence.

Written by hudsons

July 19, 2009 at 7:37 pm