With a selection of coffees from the absolute best micro-roasteries across Europe ranging from cities and countries like London, Berlin, Budapest, Paris, Sweden, Norway & Denmark they may not be missed when traveling to Berlin.
They also just added 1 of my all-time favourites, Casino Mocca from Budapest where I was luckily enough to get a private cupping from the 3 founders.
Natural or unwashed, fully washed, honey-washed coffees they brew it all with the same dedication that these talented coffee roasteries deserve.
Now it would be a shame if with all that good coffee around they would pour crappy milk in it which happens all to many times. Luckily they serve it with milk from Brodowin dairy, by far the best milk you can get in Berlin.
And you can visit the cows that provide it, just 80km north of Mitte and well taken care of, which is a nice small escape from Berlin, if you would want that.
They know their coffee. And know how to make them. Definitely 1 of the best espresso’s I have had in Berlin.
I came here for the coffee but they certainly put the same drive they put in coffee into their selection of tea which will vary when transitioning through different harvest seasons.
All this juicy coffee packed deliciousness is combined with an awesome clothing store under the same roof. It makes this place 1 of those (many) little coffee walhalla’s to go to when cruising through Berlin.
Oranienstr. 24, Berlin
I’ve had amazing food in the most hideous decorated restaurants and I’ve also had terrible dishes at the prettiest ones. My main consideration to make a post about a place will always be the food. Thankfully nowadays it’s easier to find a combination of good food and nice interiors. Like at the Clown Bar, where you can find best of both worlds.
The circus-themed decor dates back from the Belle Epoque. And ‘belle’ it certainly is. Not the trendy white tiles and marble counters we see a lot nowadays but walls filled with colorful, hand painted clowns on ceramic tiles, a floral ceiling and a gorgeous bar. A fear of red noses will be easy to overcome in here. There’s nothing scary about this place.
Clown Bar was taken over by Sven Chartier and Ewen Le Moigne from Saturne and together with former Vivant chef Sota Atsumi the historical bistro has turned into a real gastro bar.
The cuisine is refined, tasty and accessible. With a use of quality ingredients dictated by what’s in season and available on the day. I went there for lunch and had two starters and one dessert. The foie at Clown Bar was creamy, exceptionally smooth and the unusual combination with smoked eel and cucumber was excellent. Quite a heavy dish though so I was glad I also ordered the dish with tuna, raspberries and rocket. Light and fresh. The dessert, a licorice/ anise jelly combined with cardamom and melon was the most surprising dish. Normally I’m not a huge fan of jelly textures but I had no problems eating this one. The flavours were exquisite!
If you’re looking for a casual but intimate French bistro with a creative twist on the classics, Clown Bar is the place to go. Don’t forget to make a reservation in advance.
Clown Bar Paris, 114 Rue Amelot, +33 (0)1 43 55 87 35
They keep telling me their buffet changes weekly but I’ve been coming there for years now and I’ve never seen any change except for the new chairs. I like to have some places where to know what to expect when you visit them so it’s a positive thing for me. I was already pretty shocked by the chair change but that might also have to do with their primary colours and the complete mismatch with the rest of the traditional Indian kitschy interior. Which is great: Glitters all over the place with a wall covering including built-in fake candles as the showpiece of the interior. I love it. It’s what makes an Indian restaurant an Indian restaurant.
My favorite part might be, as the staff calls him, the ‘Master of the buffet’. With his high white chef’s hat he makes sure the buffet looks neat and clean. Endlessly promoting their specialty (the sweet chicken tikka masala) is one of his tasks as well. “Veeeeery special curry! I must agree, it is my favourite, and for € 14,50 you can eat as much of it as you want. Normally I’m not a big fan of the all you can eat concepts but I gladly make an exception for this one. They also have a menu you can choose from with other good dishes if you want to try something else. Just don’t forget to order te garlic naan.
Zainab Roshni Mahal, Nieuwe Binnenweg 317, Rotterdam
Melbourne, wow.. What to say? If you call yourself a foodie or a sincere food lover you really have to go there. The food culture in Melbourne is huge and it’s so far ahead of it’s time compared to The Netherlands where I live. Or better to say, we’re staying behind. Not only do all the places in Melbourne look amazing, the food is spectacular as well. Breakfast in Australia is not just a sandwich with cheese, you will be shown a completely new way to interpret your ‘brekkie’. Same thing for lunch and dinner.. From baristas to cooks to waiters, they all know what they’re talking about and they’re all very passionate about what they do. I would love to go back there again and try everything Melbourne has to offer. If only it wasn’t on the other side of the world..
Good Greek food? Hard to find in Holland. Most of the time you will be given souvlaki, giros or lots of grilled meat. What a pleasant surprise it was to find Australian Greek restaurant The Apollo in Sydney.
Chef Jonathan Barthelmess has opened this restaurant with fellow Greek Sam Christie who is the man behind Cho Cho San, the Japanese restaurant I visited earlier. The interior at The Apollo was just as well designed by George Livissianis who has created a place that really reminded me of Greece in a good way. No white pillars or cliché wall paintings with Mediterranean sea views but just a simple, stylish and intimate interior with concrete, marble, brass detailing and a subtle shock of colour.
The taramasalata, a dip of Queensland sea mullet roe and yoghurt, was intense and came in a jar served with house-made pita bread. A very good start together with the saganaki cheese with honey and oregano. After this we enjoyed a perfectly grilled calamari with sumac and chili and we finished with my favorite dish that evening: the grilled octopus with fennel and capers.
This place definitely did not get stuck in the past. The menu is a mix of traditional dishes presented in a modern way and well thought out dishes with a Greek twist. Please bring some good Greek food like this to Rotterdam!
My best travel memories are a combination of a few key ingredients. Of course, good food, a little sunshine and an amazing location helps. But what makes a travel all worthwhile are those special people you meet along the way. They can turn these ingredients into a perfect recipe.
Without any research we decided to spend New Years Eve on Tasmania, avoiding cities like Melbourne and Sydney, thinking it would be too busy up there. Two weeks before Christmas we decided to start looking for accommodation on Tasmania. At that point still not knowing December and January are the busiest months of year in Tasmania with a big food festival and the Sydney-Hobart sail ending there that week.
Through The Agrarian Kitchen website we found the Ridgeline accommodation and send them a request to stay there. They were booked but with using our best charmes the owners were so kind to offer us a bed in their home which we happily accepted.
Our jaws dropped when we arrived at their self designed dream house with a view to die for and their pottery next to it. It turned out we were going to stay at Tasmania’s or even, if we may say so, Australia’s best potter Ben and his wife Peta. They welcomed us with wine, homemade flat bread and barbecued chicken. The best beginning of what would become a good friendship. The following days were perfect, we stepped into their warm bath (literally as well, overlooking the Pipeclay Lagoon) and stayed longer than the one planned night. They gave us a list of all the good restaurants and cafés on the island and a lot of these (as turned out) serve their food on Ridgeline products. Restaurants like Franklin and Betsey but also the famous restaurant Tetsuya’s in Sydney use their plates. No surprise they even collaborate with the MONA Museum on special occasions.
Ben took us into their pottery and showed us how they make their beautiful plates, bowls and cups. He collects his clay from different areas around Tasmania which give all the products a different look. His work has a strong emphasis on wood firing and during this process and the process of glazing it becomes even more unique with his use of materials like sand, rocks, ashes and other raw materials he gathers on the island. Nothing can beat looking at someone so inspiring and dedicated to his work and nature. If we wouldn’t have been halfway our backpacking trip we probably bought a collection of plates to take home.
As if our stay wasn’t perfect enough Ben even made us both a coffeecup. Which, back in Holland, still gives us that Tasmanian warmth and brings back a beautiful memory of meeting two lovely people.
Want to know more about Ben and Peta, the Ridgeline Pottery or their accommodation? Check their website.
Roastery: Schönhauser Allee 8
Coffeeshop: Auguststrasse 58
A favorite in Paris, one I first heard about in 2008, just after a fire destroyed this place. I was triggered by the pictures of the burt down interior made by Martin Orgeval. His photographs show the animals and insects that survived the disaster, against a background of charred woodwork in the shop. Sad but beautiful.
With the help of artists and collectors worldwide, the store has been rebuilt from the fire and you’re able to visit and buy everything from house cats to polar bears again. With its decorated ceilings, big windows and green walls the store has managed to maintain its 19th-century decor. With the look and feel of a museum Deyrolle is definitely worth a visit!