Ten Israeli Destinations Defining Israeli Cuisine In Berlin.
The Israelis are coming…
Lets face it, its been a rocky road for the the Tribe in Berlin. First it was love, then it wasn’t, then its all weird for a while, and then maybe we shouldn’t talk about that thing that happened. Nevertheless, with every passing day the burgeoning Israeli gastronomy scene and its Tel Aviv epicentre are spilling over and making waves in the diaspora “homeland.” Israeli restaurants and restaurateurs are carving themselves a niche in the Berlin dining firmament in every genre, from High end to Hummus. And in order to shine the menorah on some of these restaurants Eatler is featuring ten Israeli destinations that are defining Israeli cuisine in Berlin.
Mitte- Night Kitchen
Night Kitchen, one of the leaders in the Israeli field, offering a modern mediterranean cuisine in a rustic and sometime hectic setting. They opened up one year ago in Mitte and have caught lots of heat in the local and broader press. Known for their Dinner with Friends feature on their menu, they tend towards spoiling their customers and taking them on a journey. Definitely not your average Hummus vendor, they do mid range to high end cuisine in a comfortable and warm atmosphere.
Prenzlauer Berg- Montraw
Montraw, one of the newest members of the Berlin/Israeli connection has had a wild few months. Opening earlier this year in a small Prenzlauer Berg location, they have clinched the love of some of the Berlin cognoscenti by winning Berlin Meisterköche best new opening of the year. Montraw does a mid to high range Mediterranean cuisine with a healthy price tag in an elegant atmosphere. The dining here is closer to Mediterranean cuisine than levantine and is emblematic of the vibrant dining in Tel Aviv.
Yafo, the “eat and hang” genre joint that invites you to indulge in your hedonistic side of middle eastern cuisine, and is one of the more popular and famous joints on the list. Known more for its wild and hectic environment than anything else, Yafo still rocks a solid menu and cocktail program. Its the kind of resto that invites you to eat, and hang, and eat, and hang some more. The restaurant has been around for about three years in Mitte and continues to attract both lovers of the wild Israeli ride, as well as Israeli expats. In the words of another Israeli restaurateur on this list, “Yafo is exactly like Yafo.”
Layla, new high end joint has not yet opened its doors and is already making waves in the scene. In typical Israeli brashness this “Celebrity Chef” resto is intent on “conquering Berlin” with its modern mediterranean cuisine. It is due to make an entrance later this autumn and will be the lobby joint of the Crown Plaza hotel in Kreuzberg. Mighty high pedestal they have built and for themselves and it will be interesting to see how they manage the opening months. However you can chalk this one up to something closer to high end than Hummus.
Shishi, the new gastropub like resto in Kreuzberg that is the sibling of Yafo, Mitte’s popular “eat and hang” resto, opened up earlier this summer. Already hosting numerous successful events, this could be considered the next step in evolution of the original. Still a wild ride, but with a more refined menu utilizing the best of local produce, this new Israeli resto is another good example of the cosmopolitan gastro scene from Israel. They are starting to catch some heat in the press and have teamed up again with Mrs. Robinson head chef to create the menu for the new place.
Prenzlauer Berg- Kanaan
Kanaan is one of the list’s more inspiring joints that has brought together cultures, genders, and sexualities all with the power of hummus. This Prenzlauer Berg mid-range resto opened up a few years back on a shoe string budget in a make shift shack and grew to be one of the leading representatives of Israeli cuisine in town. They focus on the simple Israeli/Middle Eastern cuisine, with a heavy emphasis on Hummus and Tahini. The story goes that a Palestinian and Israeli partnership formed around the Levantine cuisine and plays host to the refugee comunity, the LGBTQ community and any one who is ready to make it “better together.”
Prism, the only true fine dining joint on the list is due to open up in the next week over in Charlottenburg. The joint comes from Molecular Cuisine Hero Gal Ben Moshe, former head chef and owner of recently highly lauded restaurant Glass, that shut its doors earlier this spring. After they were awarded 16 points in the Gault Millau, they had to give up the resto due to licensing difficulties with some necessary modifications. The deal with Prism is that it will continue in the tradition of Glass, building the idea of a modern Arab-metropolitan kitchen. Prism promises to put out some of the most innovative and creative cuisine in the Israeli or any other genre in town.
Djimalaya, one of Mitte’s Israeli veterans opened up about five years ago with the simple mid range concept, providing some solid Israeli style Middle Eastern cuisines. One of the few joints on the list that offers some of the Israeli BBQ style cuisine. We are talking mainly skewered meats, Israeli salads, and of course the ubiquitous hummus. More of a strait forward resto than a gastropub, this place is about the food. Recently they opened up a satellite location in Charlottenburg’s Bikini Mall food court, but the original is where they are for real.
Gordon, famed vinyl joint/coffee shop has been around for a good long while as one of Berlin’s leading record shops, before re-opening the joint as an official restaurant last year. They went from being a pretty standard coffee and caker cafe to putting out some solid mid-range to high-end menus. They are serving mediterranean/Israeli cuisine and also doing specialty cocktails. Balancing between some of the standard Israeli cuisine and more unique experimentation, Gordon puts out an interesting, innovative and typically modern Israeli style product.
For the most authentic Israeli street food experience look no further than Witz, hummus maker in Kreuzberg. Witz has been around as a concept for the last five years, but have only had an official home in Kreuz for the last one year. With a simple Hummus in a bowl concept, this is what Hummus in Israel is like. A few topping options, a basket of warm pita, and some sour pickles, Witz is the way to go for an authentic Israeli street food dining experience.