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GENAZVALE: GEORGIAN CUISINE RECOMMENDED BY NELE KRÖGER

GENAZVALE: GEORGIAN CUISINE RECOMMENDED BY NELE KRÖGER

Georgia, a beautiful land between the Caucasus Mountains and the Black Sea, stands for hospitality, an abundance of wine and, above all, delicious food. In Berlin, the most authentic Georgian cuisine to be found is at Genazvale on Hohenzollerndamm. Once you set foot in this restaurant, the decorated ceilings, high wood-clad walls, Georgian landscape paintings, countless wine bottles and traditional dolls exude a longing ache for a faraway place. It is a splendid display of illuminated kitsch. The walnut is the star ingredient in Georgian cuisine, making the pkhali starter plate – balls of walnut, spinach, beetroot, and eggplant – a must try. Pair them with khinkali – traditional dumplings filled with cheese or minced meat that melt in your mouth. For the main course, a selection of vegetarian and meat dishes awaits: veal garnished with fresh herbs and prunes, chicken in a garlic milk sauce, mushroom shashlik and stewed vegetables in a clay pot. The knowledgeable staff will happily pair and liberally serve wine en masse. You’ll be saying “didi madloba” (many thanks) after this culinary journey! (Text: Nele Kröger / Photos: Pamina Aichhorn)

Nele Kröger has been living in Berlin and working as a writer and editor since 2016, with Friedrichshain as her home-base.

Genazvale, Hohenzollerndamm 33, 10713 Berlin–Wilmersdorf; map

Mon–Fri 15-24h, Sat–Sun 14–24h

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WHITNEY WEI RECOMMENDS: DA JIA LE

WHITNEY WEI RECOMMENDS: DA JIA LE

Da Jia Le in Schöneberg invites you to bask in bold, spicy flavors plucked from the northeastern Dongbei region of China. Take your pick of cold dishes: The tofu leaf, cucumber, or five color are crisp and chewy salads brightened by generous splashes of chili oil that will get your palette singing. Next, either turn it down with the Peking fried pork strips with ribboned scallions served on thin pancakes — or amp it up with Sichuan-style fried chicken. These battered morsels deliver a fiery blast thanks to chopped dried chilis and cracked peppercorns. Beckon over the waiter to round out your order with sizzling cumin beef and a craft beer (try the slightly sour Meerjungfrau by Inselbrauerei Rügen). Da Jia Le’s jade green hall crowned with a glittering chandelier is festive enough for Chinese New Year, but feel free to celebrate any day of the week. The family-style dining means pulling up with an adventurous entourage is mandatory. (Text: Whitney Wei / Photos: Pamina Aichhorn)

Whitney Wei moved to Neukölln from Brooklyn in Fall 2017. As an artist and writer, her work investigates the intersection of nightlife, music and urban culture.

Da Jia Le, Goebenstraße 23, 10783 Berlin-Schöneberg; map
Daily 12–23h

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SASCHA RIMKUS RECOMMENDS: ALBATROSS

SASCHA RIMKUS RECOMMENDS: ALBATROSS

Until recently, whenever it came down to who made the flakiest croissants and the most delicious baguettes in town, Albatross was the name that kept coming up. The only catch was that you couldn’t actually buy their products anywhere: the famous sourdough pastries could only be found on the menus of select restaurants and cafés. In mid-2018, Albatross opened its own shop in Graefekiez, complete with a steadily growing assortment of pastries and a small seating area. Behind the business are Anders Alkaersig from Denmark, Geoff Stewart from Australia and Englishman Luke Smetham. The international trio’s recipes are French-inspired and traditional, but never without a twist. It is their interpretation of the classics that has made Albatross a favorite among lovers of baked goods. Naturally, the concept endeavors to be organic and sustainable: the flours and butter are sourced locally and delivered to the ever-increasing number of customers by freight bicycle. On your next visit, be prepared to face a difficult question: to choose the lemon curd brioche, the quince danish or the grandiose pain au chocolat? I’ll have all three please! (Text: Sascha Rimkus / Photos: Pamina Aichhorn)

Albatross Bread & Goods, Graefestr.66/67, 10967 Berlin-Kreuzberg; map

Daily 8-16.30h

Sascha Rimkus is a food retailer, wine connoisseur and co-founder of Goldhahn & Sampson. He has lived in Berlin since 2002, and currently resides in Kreuzberg.

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SIMONE DONECKER RECOMMENDS: VALUC15

SIMONE DONECKER RECOMMENDS: VALUC15

A recent stroll around Südstern led me past a small interior design shop. One glance into its window was it all it took to get me hooked for the next hour. I lost myself in a world of European design with elegant French lamps by Bertrand Balas and Bernard Schottlander, vases and ceramic tableware from Portugal, handmade cushions sewn from fabrics by Loro Piana and de Le Cuona, as well as unique pieces from the Berlin art scene. My absolute favorite is the “Shelf Library” by Frama. The creative minds behind Valuc15 are Valentin and Lucas, who joined forces not too long ago to curate an exhibition of hand-picked interior design jewels. The space stands out with its striking pastel shades – both in the ubiquitous textiles on offer, and also on the walls. The color concept stems from Lucas, who bought his own mixing machine a few years ago and has been experimenting with pigments ever since. For those who want a sneak preview from home, the beautifully selected collection is now available in the online shop. (Text: Simone Donecker / Photos: Valuc15)

Valuc15, Gneisenaustr.57, 10961 Berlin-Kreuzberg; map
Tue–Fri 12–19h, Sat 11–15h

Simone Donecker has lived in Berlin-Wilmersdorf since 2001 and works in the field of international education and culture as a project manager.

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ALANNA LAGAMBA RECOMMENDS: LADIDADI WINES

ALANNA LAGAMBA RECOMMENDS: LADIDADI WINES

Have you ever walked into a wine shop and felt an instant sense of intimidation? You scan the aisles for a familiar label, walking aimlessly, trying to hide the fact that you know nothing about wine. You grab a bottle for its nice label and get the hell out of there. A quiet corner within the Umspannwerk, however, holds the answer: Ladidadi. Every Friday, this natural wine shop transforms into a tasting room, to which owner Florian Tonello invites winemakers, importers and connoisseurs to share their passion with enthusiasts and drink some awesome natural vino. These intimate events offer the opportunity not only to try a variety of wines, but also to learn more about the funky grape juice direct from the producers themselves. Let these wines guide your journey, maybe even through the rolling hills of Tuscany or Rheinhessen. Follow Ladidadi on Facebook to stay in the loop with who’s up next. (Text: Alanna LaGamba / Photos: Pamina Aichhorn)

Ladidadi Wines, Ohlauer Str.43, 10999, Berlin-Kreuzberg, map
Mon-Thu 11-19h, Fri 11-20h. Follow on Facebook & Instagram

Originally hailing from Toronto, Canada, Alanna LaGamba fell in love with Berlin four years ago and has been lucky enough to call Neukölln her home for the last year and a half.

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