Week 23 : Ebe Ano (Nigeria)

I used my camera when we visited this Nigerian place in Schoneberg so thankfully I didn’t delete the pics from this lovely meal at Ebe Ano (translation ‘where it’s happening’). We have only ever really tried North and East African foods so a West African meal was exciting and new to us. The little restaurant is tucked away down a side street and was completely empty when we arrived so we though we might be in for a bad meal. Thankfully it filled up and our concerns were soon shown to be mute and the place was indeed happening. I liked the Nigerian pop music that was playing and the traditional decoration that managed to not look naff.

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Plantian and stick meat

We ordered some pork pieces called stick meat and fried plantains to start and then I had a meat dish with peanut sauce and Richard had a meat joloff which is a traditional one pot rice dish. Hot sauce is served on the side with a warning from the waitress although we explained that we are not German so should be able to handle it! (It was pretty hot) We also ordered some delicious Nigerian Guinness which is way better than the Irish version and despite a pledge not to drink much we ended up having five between us as it was so good.

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Peanut sauce ‘casserole’

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Meat jollof

The food was great, the meat was really tender and the sauces were rich and flavoured with herb and spice combinations which we found quite unusual and different to other cuisines. Price wise it wasn’t cheap nor too expensive, we left very full and pleased. We will definitely make the trip over again and look out for this food in future. Yum.

(date of visit March 16th)

Week 25 : Babel (Lebanon)

I an always wondering how to treat the middle east in this blog. The food of most countries in this region is very similar with falafel, tabbouleh, baba ganoush, sharwarma and köfte all featuring. Technically am I allowed to do individual countries or just chose one to avoid being boring? I have decided to just go for one in the first year of this blog and then try the rest when I’m running out of countries next year.
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(Not my photo, image from yelp.com)

So…what to pick? Berlin has Syrian, Jordanian, Egyptian, Iraqi and Lebanese places that I know of. Lebanese seems to be the most popular so I went for that as part of the original 52 weeks. Babel in Prenzlauerberg came highly rated and as I was close by after a Sunday afternoon visit to mauer park I chose this one. This was to be my first solo blog visit with Richard far away guzzling seafood in Florida.

Sadly I deleted the photos as babel is really pretty inside and out. Pavement tables are accompanied by huge vases of brightly coloured roses. Inside is really kitsch with tablecloths, vintage prints with images from the middle east and deep opulent colours on the walls. It found it really aesthetically pleasing and it somehow made the food more appealing.

The menu is longer than your usual Berlin kebab imbiss with lots of varieties of meat and vegetable dishes as combinations available in brot or as a teller (sandwich or plate). I chose the falafel babaganoush teller for 8,50 as I’m in love with falafel at the moment. The plate that came was big and beautiful with a big vibrant salad jewelled by pomegranate seeds. It really was the best middle eastern food I’ve had so far in Berlin. The falafel were perfect, the babaganoush garlicky and yummy, I loved the fresh spicy green chilli salsa and the salad was fresh. A great choice and thoroughly recommended.

Date of visit 18 April.

Week 22 : Bar Lisboa (Portugal)

The next few posts will be coming thick and fast and for the most part will be sadly lacking in both photos and much detail. I have got a bit behind with the posts so some of the meals are a bit hazy and I accidentally deleted the photos on my phone.

We start with a wet Saturday evening in March when we visited Bar Lisboa, a tapas place on Boxhagner Platz in Friedrichshain. We were glad to have booked a table as they were all full and the place was nicely decorated, warm and welcoming. We ordered some vinho verde (green wine, so called as it is very young and has a slight fizz and a pale almost green hue) to start followed by a bottle of Duoro red. Sadly the vinho verde didn’t live up to our fond memories of last summer in Olhao, I guess some foods are contextual and a cheap bottle of green wine on a cold day in Berlin isn’t quite the same as a crisp glass of the local wine by the sea in Portugal. The Duoro was good though.

As for food, I remember cod cakes, baked fish, chorizo, large prawns in garlic and chilli and a flaming sausage that Richard was super pleased with. There were other dishes that were clearly not very memorable. The service was great with a very friendly waitress who was very attentive despite being alone. We enjoyed it, but we wont rush back unless we are passing and fancy this kind of food. I will always go back to Gaston for cheap authentic tapas in Berlin as it is much better although I am open to recommendations…

Date of visit 21 March 2015

Week 21 : Pinoy (Philippines)

This week we had a visitor staying and so I asked him where he would like to go? He answered Filipino or Cypriot. I had precisely zero knowledge about Filipino cuisine so I was excited to try it out and decided on this. I checked out the options and there seemed to be two choices; one in nearby Prenzlauerberg and the other 45 minutes away in Charlottenburg. According to a blog by Filipino diplomat’s wife the latter is the more authentic, so off on the long s-bahn journey to Pinoy we went.

Interior

Interior

We were joined by a fourth guest Maija on the s-bahn and arrived to a packed restaurant in a Charlottenburg suburb. The decor was really nice, a very modern style with lots of orchids and huge prints of paddy fields. We decided to share some dishes to try lots of things. Unfortunately Maija was poorly served by the vegetarian choices but we were overwhelmed by meat and fish options. We chose some crispy pork, some spicy pork (chosen by Rich as it’s title included the words baby and bang), some kind of beef dish and what was described by the waitress as a ‘mummy butter fish’ which came out whole and deep fried so you could eat the crunchy bones which was something new for me. Maija ordered a tofu soup and a papaya salad.

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The food was pretty good, nothing amazing but everything was solidly tasty. It wasn’t as fresh or spicy as good Indonesian or Thai food can be. The service was awful because the poor waitress was alone, so we waited a long time to get any rice to go with our food and it was impossible to get her attention. In all, it was a nice experience but we wont be making the long journey to Charlottenburg to go there again. Although we might be seeking out the bizarre arts centre along the road which had an audience of humanities teachers all dancing and singing (surprisingly well) to a musician from Burkina Faso. We were lured in by the giant luminous head outside.

worshiping the giant head

worshiping the giant head

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(date of visit 14 March)