Gluten-Free in Berlin!

Hello darling readers!

This summer, I spent a full five weeks in the amazing, warm-yet-edgy, and full-on-crazy city of Berlin! This place is one of the best places in the world for vegans, allergy-laden types (GF inclusive) and really anyone. Food is good, cheap and inventive.

Soooo… without further ado, may I present you with my favourite restaurants that cater to allergy-conscious, plat-based diet types…

First off, my ‘hood of Neukölln, a largely immigrant and up-and-coming area! There are two cafes here that I went to on a regular basis. And man, I was there so often, everyone knew me by name even though my German is… uhmmm… let’s say rudimentary (at best). The first is the adorable Cafe Plume, which proprietor Charlotte has somehow created into a comfy neighbourhood “refuge.” She is there every, single day, from 8pm to 8pm (or beyond), and makes an effort to get to know all customers. She’s also a language teacher, and every Thursday, she hosts Language Night at her cafe. Charlotte is truly one of the most amazing people I met in Berlin. Also, they make the world’s BEST vegan, gluten-free brownies. No kiddin’. Hands down, world’s best. They also have guest chefs from time to time. When I was there, they had a lovely Jamaican set dinner. Charlotte takes great care to prepare food that suits you! You can also just go there, relax, drink a glass of wine, shoot the breeze with other customers. Ahhhh… I miss the place old European charm of this dress-down cafe.

Cafe Plume, Berlin (20/20)  

Warthestraße 60, 12051 Berlin, Deutschland

https://www.facebook.com/pages/category/Bar/Caf%C3%A9-Plume-1223370524424899/

  • Allergy friendly: *****
  • Taste: *****
  • Atmosphere: Amazing aura *****
  • Service: *****
  • Cost: $ for Germany! Dishes range from RM30+ to RM60+ for entrees
World's most amazing gluten-free, vegan sandwich at Muffin Queen Cafe, Neukoelln

World’s most amazing gluten-free, vegan sandwich at Muffin Queen Cafe, Neukoelln

Next up: my go-to place during the day! Queen of Muffins Cafe (strange name, I know, but won’t get a second bat of eyelashes from a Berliner) is another lovely cafe in the same neighbourhood. It’s got a rustic feel, even woodsy! They’ve got notations on the signboard and menu that tell you what is gluten-free, lactose-free, etc. so it’s easy for even non-German speakers to figure out what they can have. I loved their warm sandwiches, which can be made on GF bread! They’ll line their panini presses with a new sheet of paper, so there’s no cross contamination. Lovely, fresh ingredients! They also have a variety of vegan, GF, dairy-free, etc. cakes and cookies. Not the cheapest, but comfy atmosphere, attentive staff, and great food!

Queen of Muffins Cafe, Berlin, Germany (18/20)  

Hermannstraße 164, 12051 Berlin, Deutschland

https://www.facebook.com/Coffee-Deli-by-Queen-of-Muffins-1035240663188109/

  • Allergy friendly: *****
  • Taste: *****
  • Atmosphere: Rustic, comfy ****
  • Service: ****
  • Cost: $$ Dishes range from RM40+ to RM60+ for sandwiches or desserts

The next two restaurants are both on Danziger Straße, near the famous food street (particularly brunch outlets) Schoenhauser Allee.

Raw, vegan, GF crepes at Rawtastic

Raw, vegan, GF crepes at Rawtastic

Rawtastic, Berlin (14/20)  

Danzigerst 16 Berlin, Germany 10435

https://www.facebook.com/rawtasticberlin/

  • Allergy friendly: *****
  • Taste: ***
  • Atmosphere: Unremarkable ***
  • Service: ***
  • Cost: $$ Dishes range from RM40+ to RM70+ for entrees

The best thing about Rawtastic is that it is 100% raw vegan, which means that the food is immaculately healthy. The food tasted good… and also (more importantly) felt good. They had lovely kombucha, a fantastic raw pizza (with nut cheese of a decent consistency!) and pretty-looking desserts. However, service left a bit to be desired. Alas. Can’t have it all.

Chips and guacamole in Maria Bonita Mexican Restaurant

Chips and guacamole in Maria Bonita Mexican Restaurant

Finally, a super cool Mexican place! We had actually walked into another restaurant near Schonhauser Allee, and the patrons there told us to go to this place instead! And what a good move they made! We loved this place and went back a few times.

The guacamole and chpis are to die for! Really crispy and tasty. Salsas were good too! However, that’s about all you can have if you have a serious wheat allergy. They have gluten-free soft tortillas but they are heated up on the same stove as the regular ones.

Talk to the staff about cross contamination! Not all of them know what they are talking about. Speak to the manager and ask about your specific order.

There’s also the ubiquitous Bionade there! If you’ve never tried, you gotta! It’s light, fizzy, not too sweet… lovely German drink in a variety of flavours: lychee, ginger, holunder berry and more! Cheap. Simple decor. Basic seating. Go for the great-tasting chips and guacamole!

Maria Bonita (13/20)  

Danziger Straße 33 Berlin, Germany 10435

https://www.facebook.com/mariabonitaberlin/

  • Allergy friendly: ***
  • Taste: ****
  • Atmosphere: Simple ***
  • Service: ***
  • Cost: $ Dishes range from RM20+ to RM70+ for snacks and entrees

That’s all I have on Berlin for now! In the next few posts, I’ll be sharing with you my new recipe inventions – all from a month of home-cooking!

Peace,

Daisy

All about Jackfruit!

Hello Lieblings!

Today I want to write about a new trend in health food – the jackfruit! Now, growing up in Malaysia, I knew it as sweet, yellow, sticky-but-waxy “inner fruit” from a large fruit with tough skin… like the durian but without the thorny exterior! The inner fruit had large seeds, which you could boil and eat as a healthy snack, by the way!.

Jackfruit: Truly a one-of-a-kind produce. Native to the tropics.

Jackfruit: Truly a one-of-a-kind produce. Native to the tropics.

 

The jackfruit tree bore very large fruit!

The jackfruit tree bears very large fruit!

The sweet, addictive "inner fruit" of the jackfruit...

The sweet, addictive “inner fruit” of the jackfruit…

What I loved eating growing up - and the boilable seed!

What I loved eating growing up – and the boilable seed!

However, recently (and especially in the West), there’s been a trend of cooking the outer flesh of the massive jackfruit, as a meat alternative!

The new trend seems to be to eat the other fleshy parts of the fruit (beige areas in photo. Also, this is precisely NOT how to cut a jackfruit! :)

The new trend seems to be to eat the other fleshy parts of the fruit (beige areas in photo. Also, this is precisely NOT how to cut a jackfruit! :)

It doesn’t quite taste like much on its own, but it has an interesting “meat-like” texture which chefs are enjoying experimenting with. It’s been used in curries, as a fried food, and in burgers! Best of all, it has been found to contain many nutrients!

To demonstrate, may I call your attention to my recent finding… Behold: the jackfruit burger – more or less a meatless “pulled pork” cooked in a tangy barbeque sauce!

Shredded jackfruit flesh, cooked in a barbeque sauce as though it were pulled pork!

Shredded jackfruit flesh, cooked in a barbeque sauce as though it were pulled pork!

Ta-daaaa! The jackfruit burger!

Ta-daaaa! The jackfruit burger!

Jackfruit meat is all health-conscious land! You can even buy it pre-packaged for cooking at home.

Example of pre-packaged jackfruit "meat"

Example of pre-packaged jackfruit “meat”

 

However, I’d strongly suggest you get the fresh version, if you’re in parts of the world that grow jackfruit. Don’t get me wrong though! I’m digging what some chefs are doing with this new material, and as always, I’m always up for a good meat alternative!

This particular burger was found at Eugen’s in Konstanz (read my post on it here). I pretty much could eat this every. single. day. No joke. Till next time… 

 

Peace,

Daisy

N.B.: Many thanks to Google Images for the photos of the jackfruit!

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