Sometimes a friend from Munich has to come to Berlin to let you discover charming hidden places in your own city. Whereas my evening started really Mitte-fancy with a dinner at Yumcha Heroes. Highly recommended by many Berlin foodies and on my list since quite a while. Today I finally managed it to go there. Reservating a table turned out to be a good decision, we got the last table when we arrived.
As I learnt from their website “Yumcha” is the Chinese tradition of drinking tea. Along with it you order dumplings filled with meat, seafood or vegetables. Authentic as I always try to be, I orderd a finest hand-tied Chinese tea flower, which opens up inside the glass, revealing a beautiful flower. A happening, which justifies a price of 4 Euros, I thought ahead. Ahhh, difficult, I know now. In reality the hairy creature in my hot water scared me a litte bit. And the taste of my AI XIN FENG XIAN tea – white tea, lilly, red amaranth and jasmine flower – wasn’t as exciting as it sounds.
Unfortunately our dumpling choice failed as well. I mean, the fillings duck with chestnut and wild boar with sweetpotato and cumquats have been good, but they came served as a heap of brown leather sacks on a plate. Didn’t look tasty. I was looking forward to a beautiful bambus box and all we got had been these brown leather balls on a white plain plate. I had to blink away a tiny little tear.
Even the dessert, spume of coconut, calamanzi crushed ice and cassis, served in a glass, couldn’t get my adrenalin flowing. Seriously, the most exciting thing about my dinner was a pink illuminated open kitchen and a funny neon logo at the entrance. And yeah, the service was quite good. Nice staff. But summarized it’s an overhyped and overprized place. Berlin has so many options with a better balanced value for money.
But than, out of the blue, my evening in Mitte turned into a stunning one. I met another friend at Hackescher Markt for a beer. I was hardly thinking where to take him with me. All bars in this area are quite touristy and completly charmless. I’m so wrong, I know since today. Next to Hackesche Höfe is a lovely colorful back yard, that leads to a hidden bar called Eschschloraque Rümschrümp. No wonder I have never heard of it before, noone can pronounce the name. The backyard is a wonderful streetart gallery, and already worth a visit. And at the end a shabby smoky Kotti bar at Hackescher Markt. Insane! The people inside as colorful as the streetart outside.
Even after three intensive years, Berlin surprises me. Heaven on earth here for a firsttimer.