Week 6 : Merle’s Rum und Roti (Trinidad)

This week in Berlin the weather has taken a turn for the Arctic so for a change we ditched the random element of restaurant selection as we fancied a bit of sunshine and spice. We found a Trinidadian restaurant in Mehringdamm called Merle’s Rum & Roti which fitted the bill with good reviews and cheap prices.

The restaurant was brightly painted, simple and welcoming and we were greeted by the lovely proprietress Merle wearing her signature hibuscus flower in her hair and a smile warm enough to counter the subzero temperatures outside. On the tables were place mats explained some of the history of Trinidad and how this has influenced the cuisine which is a mixture of Caribbean, South American, Creole and Indian.

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The menu is very simple, four starters and a small selection of meat, vegetable and fruit stews and curries served with either a dhalpourie (split pea roti) or a paratha (layered plain roti). We ordered starters of fish cakes and potato somosas followed by beef stew and chicken curry.

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Everything we ate was really fresh and tasty with interesting and aromatic spicing. The starters came with homemade chilli and mango dips. We asked for extra sauces with the mains and got a super hot habanero dip and another sticky brown sauce that tasted sweet and woody and unlike anything I’ve ever tried before. The chicken curry was good but the beef was the star as it was rich and melt in the mouth. The spicing level was medium but intricate and the addition of the hot sauce allowed you to pimp your spice. Also worth mentioning is the delicious homemade refreshing ginger beer which you can have with or without rum. The service was friendly and considerate and we were happy with the sub 40 euro bill. Another successful discovery.

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