Thursday, 27 October 2011

Paleo dining with the inlaws

When we bought Blitzdeal vouchers for three course dinners at Sauvage, we decided to take A's parents out for a special dinner when they visit. The parents were here last week, with A's nieces in tow, but it was the middle of print week for me so I didn't get to see them much. But we did go for a paleolithic dinner, and I do think we gave them something to talk about at home!

Sauvage opened last spring in Neukölln and is the first paleo restaurant in Europe – probably even the only one. The concept is home-made, sugar-free, gluten and grain free, organic and transfat-free food, and  nothing is processed, sprung from agriculture or a domesticated origin. Be prepared for a whole new dining experience!

The menu is short but sweet. On the night we visited, the mains ranged from about 12-19 euro and for a vegetarian option the rump-steak, chicken fillet and swine medallion could be swapped for fried mushrooms to accompany the inventive side dishes. This was a bit surprising since the portion became considerably less filling. Three of the four vegetarians among us instead opted for the large antipasti selection for a main dish, but that, too, had to be specially ordered as vegetarian. I didn't think cavemen had access to so much meat.

While we waited we curiously tasted and analysed the starter of crackers served with rucola and tomato dips and a tapenade. One of the most exciting things at Sauvage is really their breads: held together by vegetable puree, nuts and seeds replace the wheat and grain you'd usually bake with, and the taste is nutty and full. The main dishes were all delicious and I can warmly recommend the adventure that is the antipasti plate. The only disappointment was dessert – maybe we were just too full to appreciate our hefty slices of carrot, orange and ginger cake, but it tasted like cold baby food mash, spiced with cinnamon. Next time I'll order the intense, unsweetened, coconut-milk hot chocolate and share the big glass with A for a dessert instead.

The atmosphere is very cosy and we didn't even realise that we'd spent four hours at the restaurant until we had to hurry to the U-Bahn to make sure we caught the last train home.

Monday, 17 October 2011

Sunday at Stroke.Artfair 2011

Today we had to admit that we need to turn on the heating in the apartment. Even for just a few hours per day. It's cold. I'm wearing mittens when I cycle to work. But the sun has been shining a lot and the trees still have most of their leaves, so it's not feeling too grim.

Today we slept in – it feels like we haven't seen each other for ages – so we just laid there and chatted and laughed until it was already well into the afternoon. A made us breakfast sandwiches from the insanely good carrot and walnut bread we ordered with our organic veggies.

The only goal of the day was to make it to the urban art fair, Stroke.Artfair 2011, at Postbahnhof. It was on the whole weekend, but since A is building a new studio space with T, he's been busy playing Bob the Builder. Probably because it was the last hours of the art fair, it was packed. I found it impossible to concentrate on any of the graffiti, illustrations, comics or graphic design pieces on display because of the bustle: people kept scurrying past between the paintings and me, and there was no space to step back and really look at anything. It was a pity, because there was a lot to look at. Maybe next year we should try to get out of bed a little earlier...

Monday, 10 October 2011

African food at Yaam

Even if it's now apparent that the last days of indian summer are over, I hope we get another chance to go to Yaam and eat domoda again, the Gambian peanut stew we had there when A came to Berlin a week ago. Our friends tipped us off already ages ago that the food alone at Yaam is wort the visit, and especially this peanut sauce. I was very disappointed to not get to try any deep fried plantain, though, because they were out. But that alone is a good reason to eat there again!

Girls' visit

It was ten days of coffee, cocktails and chuckles when the girls came to Berlin. A, my oldest, bestest friend came all the way from Lisbon; she staid five days with her brother and E and five days at ours. S came for the girls' trip from Helsinki and K all the way from Finnish Lappland.

We were so excited to see each other that things got a little bit out of hand once in a while, as it so easily does for us Finns. On Friday we were at my colleagues house party and I realised that this was the seventh day of drinking... But you could tell we're too old for that: we were all really tired and went home at one, after a midnight Halloumi in Brot.

We did not just go to bars and party, we had some dinners at home, too: a pancake party at E's and A's and an Indian dinner at ours. We did some shopping and on Thursday we even took our guests outside of Friedrichshain and went to see the Hokusai exhibition at Martin-Gropius-Bau. All in all, I was sad to see the girls go, even if it's now nice to rest a little. I slept until 1pm today...
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