Thursday, June 26, 2014

Hey guys, remember a little while ago, I was in Hamburg? While we were there, I dragged Oli to a Portuguese restaurant. I did a bit of research and learned that Portuguese cuisine is quite popular there. I cultivated a list of some pretty popular places and we eventually ended up at Zur Alten Flöte, walking distance from Hamburg Hauptbahnhof (central station).

I apologize in advance for the shotty lighting. I was on and off on flash. I decided without flash, the shots were too yellow and with flash, the contrast was too stark. Oh well.

I'll start off by saying the place was EMPTY albeit an Englishman sitting two seats to my right. Otherwise, no action. There were a couple of "Reserved" tags on the tables, so despite it being a Friday night, maybe we were just there early.

The only negative aspect of this review is the interior of the restaurant. I like wooden and non-flashy designs but the layout was just kind of scattered (the random cramped counter in the front, the opening to the bathroom also connects the bar to the kitchen and it was somehow distracting). I also didn't like the tablecloths.

Service was friendly. The waiter was Portuguese, spoke German and English, and was polite.

The food was super! I had a mixed seafood plate. The variety was nice and everything was grilled and seasoned well. I also really love garlic, which seemed to be a star ingredient. I probably enjoyed the tuna steak and squid the most.
Oli ordered a pork dish of some sort which was tasty as well. I believe it was in some kind of olive-y, soy-ish sauce. Don't quote me on it but it was delicious none the less.

We also ordered two port wines and a coke for Oli (bread basket and starter salad come with the meals). I would say for the portion and quality, it's worth the money. If you're a super saver whose used to Berlin prices, maybe it's not the cheapest. But seriously, for the amount of yummy seafood entering your belly, you won't regret it.

Zur Alten Flöte
Koppel 6
20099 Hamburg

Zur Alten Flöte (Hamburg) Restaurant Review

Friday, June 20, 2014

Okonomiyaki is a popular Japanese street food and it literally means "grill as you like it". Very suitable because depending on the region you're in, the fillings can vary immensely. The base of it though is a cabbage-filled savory pancake made on a hot pan.

This is my first attempt and I suppose it doesn't look much like the ones you would actually get in Japan. But hey, I had to improvise with what they had at the Asian store (and the amount of cash in my wallet).

It is fairly straightforward. In fact, it's pretty hard to mess up. Just cut the greens, mix in the wet, put it on a pan, and you're good to go.

If you're like me and flipping okonomiyaki is not in your genes, don't worry, you can just push in the broken edges and try again.

Shredded cheese is a totally acceptable topping!

Katsuobushi and Aonori is found on many Okonomiyakis but since neither were available, I cut up Nori and just left the Katsuobushi out!

If anyone is curious, the recipe I used can be found HERE. Give it a go if you're ever in the mood for an unconventional savory pancake that is different from the Western traditions!

My Attempt at Okonomiyaki

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Hey guys, it's Aya! It's a lazy Sunday over here and I thought it was only fair to post a few pictures of what I've been up to. Summer has more or less arrived so Oli and I kidnapped the best people living in Berlin for a good ole fashioned BBQ.

Look at this gorgeous fire that Sebastian and Daniela tended to. People that know their grillin' amazes me (maybe because I know gar nicht a.k.a. absolutely nothing).

Only a small sample of the spread.

The goods.

Basically the night ended in . . . well, I don't quite remember details for reasons you can all assume. But there's not much point in asking the others because we all had similar experiences. ;)

In other not so new news, I got a new bike to replace the one that was stolen!

It's a Hauptstadt bike, made by BBF (a German company and the same company as my last one). My only qualms is that it is a smidgen too tall because I got a bigger bike with the seat just lowered to suit me. It only affects me very slightly on long distance rides but otherwise, I can ride my daily 30 km with no problem.

Finally, a simple salad:

I have a penchant for cleaning-out-the-fridge salads because I leave the flat on weekends to stay in Brandenburg and then I come back to a fridge full of things that need to be consumed immediately. This one is the latest and I do recommend it! It includes:
  •  A mix of Arugula, Mint, and Coriander/Cilantro
  • Cucumbers
  • Carrots
  • Shiitake Mushrooms
  • Green Olives
  • Chopped Roasted Peanuts (unsalted)
Basically from there I added a bit of olive oil, lime juice, and salt & pepper. I think if you omit the olives, it's fine (I just had them on hand) but the other flavors really make it refreshing and delicious! Try it out!

Anyway, that's all for today. Have a lovely Sunday and until next time!

Barbee, Bikes, and Quick Salads

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Vacations are necessary, even if the destination is only 300 kilometers away. It's how people keep sane when they feel trapped at work or can't look at themselves because they hit the gym only once the whole week.

I'm sorry to admit I am that person but acceptance is the first step, right?

Oli and I took a trip out to Hamburg this weekend. Wandering around, I found what may be the Dean and Deluca equivalent (okay, more like the hipster daughter of Dean and Deluca). In case you don't know, Dean and Deluca is a pricey little gourmet food emporium in New York. You can get nice baked goods, coffee, cheeses, as well as plenty of food gifts to take home to your ma and pa. Mutterland is kind of like that, except with more kitsch and cute chalkboard drawings on the wall.

I'm kicking myself a bit for not grabbing one of the fisherman mugs on the bottom shelf. I have a soft spot for mugs and this would've made my morning green tea taste extra nautical.

After wandering around for a bit, Oli found a few bins with Pfeffi's and went completely bananas. Even a woman nearby overheard his excitement and they gabbed about the delicious Pfeffi mint candies of their childhood.

Oli said they are GDR candy and he didn't think it was being produced anymore. But lo and behold, a company in Leipzig seems to be bringing back the retro sweets! They're shaped like PEZ (now that's my childhood candy) but taste like a refreshing breath mint. I also grabbed the lemon flavor for good measure.

If you're ever in Hamburg and feel like grabbing a few foodie gifts for yourself or loved ones, make sure to check out Mutterland!

Mutterland GmbH
Ernst-Merck-Straße 9-11
20099 Hamburg

Mutterland in Hamburg