Thursday, May 27, 2010

Kebab Kubideh at El-Reda

El-Reda is definitely a popular spot for Persian food in Berlin, you never see them without customers, young and old, families with children & poor students. They even operate until early in the morning like say 3 a.m. And I can understand why they are so popular. The Kebabs are freshly grilled, they serve a generous portion of basmati rice and a plateful of fresh salad which consists of basil leaves, parsley, radish and peperoni. All these for merely €5.00, not only that they also have free oriental black tea for everyone.

The restaurant is divided into two rooms, the front room is where the 'kitchen' is located, this is where you should order the food and the oriental tea is placed here.
The second one is where the dining room located. Decorated in a real oriental flavour.

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My fave dish, Kubideh (grilled minced lamb) serve with basmati rice and one grilled tomato. The portion is huge! Most of times after I eat whole portion, I felt as if I can't even breathe, but the rice was so fragrant and smooth that I can't stop eating until all is finished.

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The vegetarian mix plate, which consists of hummus (mashed chickpeas), deep fried cauliflower, deep fried aubergine, deep fried potatoes and falafels. No wonder I like this vegetarian mix plate so much, almost everything is deep fried. Now thinking about it, it's not a good choice at all.

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El-Reda Restaurant
Huttenstr. 69-70
10553 Berlin

Monday, May 24, 2010

Parmesan crumbed baked fish with baked veggies.

I would love to thank Mel for letting me to write in your blog. Talented is not the best way to describe me, appropriately, adventurous-discover-disaster would be better. 

my first dish in your blog would be Parmesan crumbed baked fish with baked veggies.

Ingredients (serve 2)
Baked Vegies
1 medium size carrot - slice thinly
1 medium size zucchini -slice thinly
1 medium size potato - slice thinly
1 big red onion - slice thinly
9 tablespoon of black truffle olive oil

Baked Fish
1/2 cup of breadcrumbs
1/2 cup of finely grated Parmesan
2 garlic - crushed well
1 tablespoon of lemon juice
2 tablespoon of olive oil
400 grams of King fish (actually, any kind of fish you like)

1. Preheat fan-forced oven to 200C (both veggies and fish)
2. Combine all the thinly sliced carrot, zucchini, potato, red onion and black truffle olive oil in a bowl and mixed it all together. 
3. Put all the veggies in a baking dish, and lightly salt. brush with the black truffle olive oil. Baked it for 25 minutes.

4. Mix breadcrumb, Parmesan, garlic, lemon juice, and olive oil together. Add more oil if needed.
5. Place all the mix onto fish-fillet and press it well.
6. Prepare another baking tray, spray with oil and bake it for 15 minutes until the breadcrumb lightly golden. 

7. Stack the veggies and cut the fish into 2 pieces and it is ready to eat!

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Traditional Chinese breakfast

Growing up in south-east Asia, I've eaten a lot of fried rice, fried bihun, fried noodles and nasi lemak/uduk as breakfast. They are like the typical Indonesian/Malaysian breakfast that one can get in every corner. Sometimes my parents (they're chinese descendant) craved for typical Chinese breakfast and would take my siblings and me to yong-he taiwanese brand for soy milk and Chinese crullers. There I learnt about the joy of sipping watery porridge with cubed sweet potatoes accompnied with various savory dishes, such as (egg with presevered radish, pork floss, salted egg, etc etc). I'll write about them again, promise! So let me ramble on other stuffs today.

Yong he did not only serve porridge but they also serve store-made soy milk and Chinese crullers. There I learnt that one must dunk in the crullers into the sweet soy milk. The crullers absorbs the sweetness of the soy milk and the soy milk will get some fine layer of oil from the deep fried crullers, which made the soy milk taste better. I'll call them mutualism. I mentioned learnt , why? because almost no one in Indonesia eat crullers with soy milk. Hey, ask the native Indonesian, they eat crullers with watered sri-racha.

So for me, eating sweet soy milk with crullers were really a special treat. Nowadays I crave for such item too. Unfortunately, there are no shop/restaurant in Berlin, which offers this specialties. There is one in Hamburg and once I visited Hamburg only to eat this classic Chinese breakfast.

So what did I do, if the munchies for soy milk and crullers came. I went to Asian supermarket and bought frozen crullers and Singaporian packaged soy milk from Yeo's. I heated them all up at home and voila ... I made myself a traditional Chinese breakfast.

soy milk and crullers

Another breakfast item, which can be found in every corner in Taiwan is this "Dan Bing". It's basically like salty & savory pan cake with scallion and thin layer of egg. The sauce for this Dan Bing is black bean sauce.

I tried to made them myself at home and here how it looks like

Before rolling ... with thin layer of egg and finely sliced scallions

egg scallion bing

After rolling with black bean sauce in the middle

dan bing

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Arirang Korean Restaurant Revisited

My dear cousin, Lei, is a real Korean TV series addict. She watch almost all popular Korean drama. Heck! she even watch other not so popular drama to kill time while on her night shift as a doctor in a hospital. Sorry lei, I just blow out your secret :P. And because of her I start to watch Korean Drama too and I'm hooked. Come on, who doesn't dream of a good looking guy grabbing your hand, pleading you not to leave him? Or about MBC's director, Sunbae, who sings for you at the Karaoke (this one is for my mom, she's a big fan of "all about eve" and he's in pseudo-love with Chang dong gun.)

Anyway, when Lei was here in Berlin months ago, we visited Arirang because she heard me rave about their samgyeopsal. She's very knowledgable about Korean food because of her addiction to the K-drama. So that day I just let her do the ordering and we even started to relate some K-drama food with the one that we ordered. It was really fun, If you are reading this post, girl! you know that I miss you.

As always, the complimentary Banchan for starters/side dishes. That day they serve two types of bean sprouts, pickled cucumbers, caramelised potatoes and of course kimchi (clockwise)

Arirang's Ban Chan

Lei was excited when she read that Arirang serve sea food noodles. She told me that this dish is featured in a K-Drama called Gourmet (I hope, I remembered it correctly) and in this drama, the Jambong looked so appetizing with lots of sea food and the soup are prepared carefully for hours.

Our Zambong was definitely not made with the freshest sea food but more like teeny weeny pieces of octopus, shrimps and veggies. But their house-made noodle was excellent, it was cooked al dente and had a bounce that no dried noodles can imitate.


This dish is featured in the "1st shop of coffee prince", Eun Chan(the heroine)'s sister wanted to pan fry this pancake but she messed most of it and the tall cool guy who used to make waffle in the coffee shop helped her with this task. Yeah I know, I'm also an addict.

The scallions seafood pancake was again made with a little bit sea food, but it was deep fried with a lot of scallions so we could accept it and say that we liked it.


The third dish was the simple Kimchi Jigae, there's no relation with any K-dramas, we simply wanted to taste Kimchi soup here

Kimchi jigae

We enjoyed the dinner so much and there were more dishes that we wanted to try so we went there again the next day

Here is the Tangsuyuk, which was actually, deep fried pork pieces in sweet and sour sauce. It was great on the first bite, but after some time, we felt bloated from the deep fried batter and there were really more batter than pork.


This Kimchi Jeongol was served on a pot with portable stove underneath to keep it warm. The taste was actually similar to kimchi soup. The ingredients were also similar, there's tofu, kimchi and pork but because of the ramyun, I prefer this dish more than the Kimchi soup.




And here is the spicy octopus on rice, which I ate alone on another day, As you can see. I forgot to bring my camera and this photo was taken with a mobile phone camera.


In general, the food in Arirang is satisfactory, authentic and pretty good for their price. The only thing that bother me is the cleanliness of the restaurant (it's kinda dirty) and the smoke which came out from the next table's samgyeopsal. Because of neighbour's complaint they are not allowed to open the window to circulate the air, so the whole restaurant is smoky and trust me, the smell lingers longer on my clothes than I wanted them to be.

Arirang Korean Restaurant

Seestr. 106
Berlin 13353

Tuesday is their day off!

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Lunch at Restaurant Vău

For my birthday, I requested a celebration in a restaurant that has been awarded with the Michelin star. After much research and browsing, I chose Vău to experience my first gastronomy meal. The main reason why I chose Vău is because of Kolja Kleeberg, the maître de cuisine of this restaurant. He often appears in ZDF's cooking show: "Kerner/Lanz kocht" and I like his bubbly and cheerful personality that he showed on the show. Another reason is because they serve lunch with reasonable price. Hey come on, I'm a student! I need to cut edges where I can.

Okay, I'm realistic enough to know that the meals I ate that day was not cooked by Kolja Kleeberg himself, but I was still really excited and awed by the food.

Vău is located at the luxurious & historical area "Gedarnmenmarkt". It's right around the corner of Berlin's Lafayette. So on that Saturday noon, my husband and me got dressed up and went to this posh area to be served fine gourmet food :D. The moment we entered the restaurant, a waiter in suit welcomed us and asked about our reservation. After he checked it in a book, he took our coat and seated us in a quiet corner.

The decoration of the restaurant reminded me of a warm and sunny terrace of a villa. They use a lot of wood furnitures in the restaurant and I love the fresh white orchids decorations on the tables.

vau restaurant's ambience

the beautiful table, set just for us

vau's table set

Our waiter told us that the wine we enjoyed was about a year old. He also told us about the region where the wine came from, but I didn't take note and forgot the moment he left us. But I do remember that the wine was a Riessling.

vau red wine and white wine

Two different breads with herb cream cheese and butter.

vau's foccacia with butter and herb cream cheese

They covered the focacia to keep them warm. And believe me, that warm focacia with butter is to die for. The crunchy crust has a subtle taste of dried italian herb and in the middle, there's warm soft golden bread.

smoked wild salmon in the form of a rose bud with
crème fraiche and chives pesto

vau's entree of smoked salmon

Doesn't it look like a flower garden? The rose bud in the middle, brown leaves from the potato chips and some dark and green grassesin the middle. So beautiful. *sigh*

mozzarella di Bufala Campana served with mango and summer salad

vau's summer salad with mango

Buffalo Mozzarella is an almost flavorless Italian cheese made from buffalo cheese. They were so mild that you need to combine them with something savory and that's where the olives and the italian dressing come in. The golden mangoes in the middle were the best thing that happened on this plate. They were ripe, sweet and flavourful, exactly how mangoes should taste, unlike those hard, tasteless mangoes they sell here in Germany...

pan fried mackerel with beetroot-canneloni and goat milk cheese

vau mackarel with rootbeet canneloni

Okay, I'm not a fan of goat cheese, so I kinda shuddered at the bite of the beetroot canneloni with goat cheese. The first thing that came to my mind was, how did they made this beetroot canneloni? I'm almost sure, that they made it with beetroot juice with gelatine sheet. As the canneloni has a distinct gelatinous structure. But again I'm not working in Vău, so I can't be 100% sure. Btw the mackerel was superb, mackerel is an ordinary fish but they pan fried it perfectly, Crispy skin and juicy flesh.

Medaillon of veal filet with Swiss chard, romaine lettuce heart and Pommes Carrée

vau veal with bread

The veal... The Veal!!! It was the juiciest piece of meat I've ever eaten in my whole life. The meat actually absorbed extra moisture from the added swiss chard that was cooked together in the middle of the veal. That was a succesful mating of meat and vegetable. And of course Vău only used the sweetest part of the romaine lettuce - the tiny heart in the middle of the vegetable. I wonder, what do they do with the rest of the lettuce, did they just throw them away?

Crispy Zander with root vegetables and horseradish

vau zander with root vegetable

Those root vegetables are combination of carrot, yellow carrot, celery and german turnip, they're 3/4 cooked crispy but no distinct taste of undercooked vegetables. Combined with creamy yellow sauce and cappucino lookalike foam, they made the fish shines.

Soufflé of passion fruit and Mango with chocolate ice truffle

vau souffle with chocolate ice truffle

Believe it or not, when this souffle came to my desk, it was 1 cm over the mold. But by the time I finished taking the picture, it shrank! Should souffles shrink? I heard all the time, that it is very difficult to master how to make a souffle. A slight temperature difference and a chef can throw his Souffle directly to the rubbish bin. So I was extremely curious about this dish.

And oh boy! What a great dessert! The combination of warm fruity sourish souffle with cold chocolate ice. They were a match made in heaven.

So what's the verdict? It was definitely one of the best meals I have. Each and every item was carefully chosen and prepared exactly as it should. Btw you do know that to pepper and to salt food in fine restaurant is considered as impolite, because it implied that the chef didn't do a good job. Well I didn't need them at all. But again this is my first fine dining experience, so I don't have anything to compare with.

Sunday, May 9, 2010


A couple of weeks ago, my brother came to visit me in Berlin during his winter break. Me, being the good ol' sis, asked him what he wanted for dinner. Of course he picked the one dish that he can't make on his own, dumpling. Then came the next question, what filling does he want? He said he wants something with chives. So again I made the shrimp-pork-chives-egg-dumpling. As you can already say, our family simply loves chives dumpling. In our opinion, napa cabbage dumpling is plain boring, while Chinese chives makes pork dumpling taste even better.

The ingredients I need to make the dumpling. As always, hihi ;D, I cheated. I bought the factory made dumpling skin, instead of making the skin from scratch.

Chinese chives, eggs, dumpling skin, minced pork and minced shrimps (clockwise)

Pork chives shrimp egg dumplings

Everything is minced finely, btw I scrambled the egg first, this way the eggy taste was even intensified.

Pork chives shrimp egg dumplings

Here's the hand of the boys who wrapped the dumplings. My brother and his friend wrapped dumpling for the first time. And they were pretty good. My brother could even wrap the dumplings prettily too.

dumplings making

I made two batches as there was a lot, the first is the standard water cooked dumpling (jiao zi)

Pork chives shrimp egg dumplings

and the second batch, potstickers (guo tie).


the filling of the potstickers ... arrghhh looking at them, makes my mouth water again, A high time for another dumpling party :D

Pork chives shrimp egg dumpling filling

My brother and his friend claimed that, this was the best dinner they've had in Berlin. It made me so happy to see two growing boys eating so much and it put a smile on my face.

I'm not going to give the recipe anymore, as I've already written them in the previous post and they are pretty much the same.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Curry Wurst at Curry 36

If somebody visits Berlin and ask me, "what is the trademark dish of this city?" I wouldn't to make one second to answer: "Curry Wurst". Curry Wurst is nothing more than pan fried pork sausage cut into thick slices, seasoned with lots of tomato ketchup and a little bit of curry powder. Normally, Curry wurst is eaten together with either french fries or German bread roll.

Sounds simple isn't it? But the power of curry wurst lays on the texture (it's smooth) and the taste of the sausage itself. Trust me, the Germans know their sausages.
You can find curry wurst being sold everywhere. From colleges cafeterias to any random street vendors. In short, you can go anywhere in the city and and easily find warm curry wurst for your snack. However, for the best curry wurst, there's only two stalls in Berlin you need to visit. The first is Konnopke in Schönhauser Alle (Best on East Berlin) and the other one is Curry 36 in Mehringdamm (Yup, you guess it! Best on West Berlin).

I usually go to Curry 36 for two simple reasons: This is the first stall that I went to and second, I heard a rumor that the former German chancellor, Gerhard Schroeder, only eats Curry wurst from this stall. However, he never has to do the hard work of actually buying them himself, all he needs to do is ask his assistant/driver to buy them for him while he waits and sits in the car (which I presume is a Limo). Anyway, when you order a curry wurst, the seller are going to ask,"mit oder ohne Darm?" which means "with or without intestine?". I prefer eating it with the intestine, for the extra bite, but original east berliner's curry wurst should be eaten without (it's because back during the GDR, there was no such luxury as intestine).

Here is the picture of curry wurst with intestine

Curry wurst 36

I went to this stall today, because a friend of mine, Agus, wants to open his own curry wurst restaurant in Indonesia. So he starts to taste various curry wurst to decide what kind of sauce, does he want to serve in Indonesia. Btw his most favourite curry wurst is also the one from curry 36.

As you can see, there's always long queue for the sausage and it's even in rainy day.

Curry 36 Mehringdamm

They even sell the vacuum sealed sausages to bring home

Curry 36 vacuum sealed sausage

Curry 36
Mehringdamm 36
10961 Berlin

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Oven-steamed halibut with ginger and scallion

oven-steamed halibut with ginger and scallion

As requested by Henky O, I'm posting the recipe for my oven steamed halibut. Henky saw my post about my home-made dinner and asked me for the recipe.

The key for this dish is the choice of the fish and the soy sauce. I strongly recomend fresh halibut, because it's low in fat, has mild "clear" taste, fleshy and silky. Don't ever use frozen "seelachs", it will only ruin this dish. This is because steaming fish is a tricky method to cook fish; If the fish is fresh, it will bring out all the goodness of the fish, but if the fish is frozen or spoiled, I bet you will smell the infamous fishy smell that those who hates seafood surely know about. So be sure to choose a fresh piece of halibut.

For the soy sauce, I use a Chinese brand called "Ha Day". It's not the best soy sauce out there, but it's the one I can get in an Asian grocery here in Berlin.

So just for Henky, here it is

Oven-steamed halibut with ginger and scallion

a piece of halibut around 200 gr
1 piece ginger about a thumb, shelled and julienned
1 scallion, washed and julienned
2 Tbs Soy sauce
1 tsp sugar
5 Tbs vegetable oil
a drizzle of sesame oil
1 piece of shitake mushroom (optional), rehydrated and sliced finely

For the sauce:
  • Heat up 5 Tbs vegetable oil in a pan, Once it started to smoke, put in the julienned ginger and scallion.
  • Now you need to be really fast, before the ginger and the scallions wilts, pour in the soy sauce and sugar. Be careful it will sizzle like crazy
  • Stir fry them for 10 seconds and set aside
Oven steaming:
  • Now you can do it like I did and prepare 2 pieces aluminum foil (around 30 cm * 30 cm) and stack them over
  • Put the piece of the fish in the middle of the aluminum foil and finely arrange the shitake mushroom on top of the fish and pour the prepared sauce over the fish
  • If you want your dish to be soup-like add 2 Tbs of water
  • Carefully packed the fish in the aluminum foil to make a packet. You need to fold them really tight, otherwise all the sauce will flow out and you will only get a piece of dry fish without sauce.
  • Put the fish packet into the oven and bake the packet in the pre-heated oven at 220°C for 20 minutes.
  • Open up the packet, drizzle with sesame oil and serve the fish directly on the aluminium foil (Of course with plate underneath). I tried to transfer my fish on a plate for better presentation but in the end I only ruined it.

  • OR ... you can put the fish with the sauce on a heat-resistance plate and steam it.

steamed halibut