WHITE BIBIMBAP, TRADITIONAL HERBAL TEAS & MONTHLY SPECIALS — THE NEW KOREAN TEAHOUSE, SOOPOOLLIM IN MITTE
Sometimes writing happens by itself, and sometimes there are these places that blow my mind, and I don’t know where to start. My head is empty and full at the same time – a big wow would actually sum it up. That’s how I felt about Soopoollim, a Korean teahouse that opened on Ackerstraße in October last year (2023). Inspired by the forests of East Asia, amidst lots of wood and greenery, Yurim, the owner, serves traditional Korean herbal teas, homemade desserts, and dishes. It feels almost intimate when you taste her lovingly prepared teas and dishes because they tell you without words about traditions, her mother’s recipes that invite you into her home, and her cooking beginnings as a young child. One example is the ‘Ssanghwacha’ tea – combined from ten different medicinal herbs, it is a popular drink in Korea to give you and your body energy, which is why it is particularly popular after a cold. All the other teas on the menu are also described in detail in terms of how effective they can be for your well-being. And then there are the dishes, where you can order anything without being disappointed.
In addition to the dishes that you can order all year round, there are also monthly specials. We recommend popping in January and trying a portion of the Cheese Dakkalbi – spicy, grilled chicken with a good portion of melted cheese. You can enjoy Yurim’s white bibimbap – the vegan version of the classic rice bowl with silken tofu – at any time of year. “Bossam” also has a well-deserved place on the fixed menu: pork belly served with doenjang, a Korean soybean paste, served with homemade kimchi and rice. For starters, there are the usual classics such as mandus and fermented vegetables, but we recommend trying the ‘Yangbaechu Ssambap’: small steamed cabbage rolls filled with rice and topped with a chili soy sauce. If toast, eggs, and cheese are a fixed part of your Sunday routine, why not drop by for Sunday Brunch? Here you can expect a Korean take on shakshuka, toast à la Korean street food style with cabbage and omelette, or a classic French toast. If you want a little break after your tour of the center, you can make yourself comfortable with tea and dessert. Our favorites are the ‘Seoul Roll Cake,’ a sponge cake roll filled with whipped cream, and Chapsaltteok, mochi with matcha cream and red bean paste. We all know that you can’t taste food with words, and pictures only show half the pleasure. In any case, I can think of enough reasons to venture out of my own neighborhood in the snow and sub-zero temperatures for a visit to Yurim.
Text & Photos: Robyn Steffen
Soopoollim, Ackerstr.149, 10115 Berlin–Mitte; map
Mon, Thur–Sat 12–15h & 17–21h, Sun 11–17h