Spätsommer Fest at Goldhelm Chocolate

What a magical, magical night. In what was possibly the last warm summer night of the year, the border to France magically moved itself 600 kilometers to the East, and a small public party to the loyal customers of Goldhelm Chocolate Manufacturer. There were crepes, a photo booth, a corner to make your own truffles, a graffiti corner for kids, and Momo, a French chanson, and his kick-ass accordion player!

partyI’ve been wanting to attend their late summer party for two years now, but I only had the opportunity to go this year. It amazed me how so damned twee everything was.

I had a wonderful caramel-encrusted cheese (camembert?), a chocolate and hazelnut crepe, and a non-alcoholic drink mix in what could be the cutest packaging ever!

Striped  paper straws!

Striped paper straws!

And that the team of Goldhelm pulled everything off wonderfully. Everybody had a great time, especially after the guests had imbibed a good deal of alcohol.

Thanks Goldhelm, I had a lot of fun, and I hope I could attend next year!

Selera/Frankfurt

Maaaan, I miss living in a country with a Chinatown. I didn’t realize how desperate I was for authentic Asian cuisine until I ate at Selera, a Malaysian restaurant in Frankfurt. It’s like realizing that there had been a drought after the first rain.

My friend M and I with our boys in tow had a quick lunch at Selera while I was waiting for my train, and boy, was I knocked off my feet! Selera serves more Chinese-Malaysian dishes, but I was as happy as a bug in a rug after eating my first bite of Char Kwe Tiauw, pictured above. Then we had the steamed shrimp rolls, and I was in heaven. And the shrimp shumai? TO DIE FOR!! I washed it all down with salty plum soda, which is known to Pinoys as Champoy. Can you tell I inhaled the food? The best part was that it was really cheap! A dish costs 5 euros on average. The conspicuous absence of non-Asians during the busy lunch hour is a very good sign!

I promised my friend that I would go and visit her again in Frankfurt, if only I could eat at this restaurant! Thanks M for taking me to this place!

Selera

Münchener Strasse 52, Frankfurt (Street right across the train station)

Phone 069 24009601

Open from 11 am-11 pm

Giardino/Weimar

Is it wrong to like a restautant for its atmosphere rather than its food? This is what Giardino, located in Weimar’s Oppel’scher Garten is really good at. Located in a picturesque garden, the highlight is the historic 19th-century pavillon, with a ruined fresco painted on the dome.

salmone giardino

We tried the noodles in cream and salmon sauce, and the Capricciosa pizza. While they were well prepared, they weren’t anything to write home about. Maybe I was distracted by the scenery and the warm summer night? The restaurant wasn’t cheap, as a meal would set you back at least 10 euros.

Another thing I like about this restaurant is that it is very kid-friendly, and they hand out lollipops to the customers’ children, just like they do in Rome.

They also hold cultural events in the garden, which is very typical of Weimar. Come for the music, stay for the garden.

Giardino

Oppelschergarten, Seifengasse, Weimar

Open from April-September, 9 am-11 pm

Udagawa

Pardon the absence, I was busy entertaining a dear aunt, who visited me all the way from the US.

While I haven’t done any real cooking lately, I’ve been eating out in Germany’s towns and cities, and this week will probably be filled with restaurant reviews.

I came across Udagawa quite by accident. I was in Berlin on my way to the shopping center in Wilmersdorf, and was starving. I noticed a strip of Japanese-themed shops along Kantstraße and noticed this shabbily-renovated restaurant staffed and filled with Japanese people, and a table of Germans with this huge pile of Tonkatsu on their plate.

My Asian alarm went off, and made a beeline to the counter. To my surprise, the giant chicken Katsu that you see in the picture cost only 5.50 euros. That is a steal! It was so huge I shared it with my kid, a picky eater, who to my eternal gratitude ate the Katsu after some convincing on my part.

It  could have needed a bit more salt, but really, I have no complaints. As I was leaving, a group of Japanese college girls went it. It seems really popular with the Japanese crowd, and if I have the chance, I’ll try this restaurant again.

Udagawa

Kantstr. 118

10625 Berlin

Opening hours 12:30-11 pm

Phone (030) 312 30 14

Cafe Süden

Isn’t it strange that when you realize that you almost never leave your neighborhood? If it weren’t for my co-workers, I would have never discovered Cafe Süden, a delightful, French-styled Cafe, at the other end of Erfurt.

clafoutisThey only have 2-3 dishes a day, and have two pastries. When it’s gone it’s gone. They also have an array of wine and home-made drinks to choose from. I had this wonderful Clafoutis, a french dessert of black cherries baked into a custard or flan. Not too sweet, and just the right amout of tang.

When I grow up, I want to open a place like this at some beach in the Philippines. Just two to three dishes, and two desserts a day. Ah, well,a girl can dream.

Café Süden

Tschaikowskistraße cor. Bodelschwinghstraße, Erfurt

0361 240 20091

Open from 10am-6 pm

Christoffel

Erfurt is a town that has an intact city center that dates back to the middle ages. Walking through its cobblestoned streets, it is not hard to imagine what it was like before there were cars, the internet, or the invention of the deodorant.

But I digress. What is a medieval town without a hokey medieval restaurant? I’ve been to Christoffel a couple of times, and I’ve thoroughly enjoyed the experience, as long as you don’t take anything too seriously. From the court jesters to the use of faux olde Deytsche, Christoffel is a fun place to spend an evening.

The portions are huge, and I’ve never been disappointed by any of the grilled meats that they have served. The photo above is a platter of eat-all-you-can ribs, and I was so stuffed that I had to take home two of them.

This is the place to take an American visiting Erfurt. It has a very Disneyland/Ren Faire vibe to it, and be forewarned none of the dishes are authentic medieval (gasp!). If it were, we should be eating turnips and horsebread. Although sometimes I do wonder if the guests actually buy that. I get the impression that they do.

Wirtshaus Christoffel

Michaelisstraße 41

99084 Erfurt

San /Weimar

A couple of friends and I went to Weimar a few weeks ago to try out San, a Korean restaurant in Weimar. I’ve been wanting to try it out for some time now, and I was pleasantly surprised by it. I was told not to expect so much, but hey, you gotta take what you can get.

I tried out their traditional Bibimbap and a sweet ginseng tea. It is totaly not how Bibimbap is made in the Philippines, meaning drowned in soy sauce, but it is authentic enough, and I liked it.  I was told not to expect much, but I liked what I was served. Does this mean they have to work on the consistency of their dishes? I believe it depends who is in the kitchen that day. The Kimchi is made fresh, and I really enjoyed it, even if it was a bit too spicy for my tastes.

Weimar is a hassle right now with all the construction going on, but it is a great place to eat! I would definitely make the trip to Weimar if only to fix my Korean cravings. If you don’t like spicy food, ask them to tone it down, ‘cos the food really gets hot and I mean HOT if you don’t say so.

San Restaurant

Eisfeld 4, 99423 Weimar

Phone number 03643/ 25 89 42

Open Tue-Sun 12-10 pm

“Solange die Fahne Weht”–Backstube Erfurt

Fresh, artisanal bread is one of the best things to eat in the morning. No matter if it’s Filipino pan de sal or German bread rolls, nothing beats the simplicity of melting butter on warm baked goods.

When I could, I try to patronize Backstube. It is a bakery that I discovered last summer, near the playground I took  my son to behind the Krämerbrücke in Erfurt. Germans hate the fluffy, airy pan Americano style, and are proud of their bread–coarse on the outside, dense yet pliable on the inside. These things are heavy. You could actually take these loaves to demonstrations and throw them at policemen. Maybe they’ll thank you for it.

They use organic flour from the region, and do not use preservatives on their bread. I am not a strict granola mom, but I am a big fan of buying local. The loaves are pricy, 3 euros for a 500g loaf, and 40 cents for a roll.  They would cost half of that at another bakery, but I am more than happy to spend that money on a quality product. they have rye bread, wheat bread, and a mixture of both flours, known here as Mischbrot. Not a lot to offer, but they are really good at what they do. They also have Spanish wheat bread, since one of the owners is Spanish.

They are part of the growing food culture here in Thüringia, and I am very happy to be part of that!

They don’t really have regular hours. But if you see the flag up, you know they’re there!

Backstube Erfurt

Kreuzgasse 2, 99084 Erfurt

Open from Tuesday to Saturday, 9 am to 6 pm.

Cupcakeria Erfurt

The storefront has always intrigued me, ever since they opened about a year ago. In a country where people don’t even know the difference between a muffin and a cupcake, I thought it quite brave of the owners to open a cupcake shop. I’ve tasted their creations a few times already (cupcakes and cake pops), but I’d never been to their shop. I finally got the chance to go in last Friday.

cupcakeEntering the store is like entering a six year old girl’s bedroom. All pink and frilly and…pink. The decor is very saccharine, and the cupcakes were soooo cute! Check out this chocolate sheep cupcake. They may look sweet, but they don’t taste too sweet, something that I like. The frosting tastes substantial, and not airy.

 

floorThe concept was obviously American-inspired, which was also shown by the cute linoleum floors,  a map of New York. The cupcakes were reasonably-prized, a little less than two euros per cupcake. The artistry of the work is totally worth it.

I can totally recommend their cupcakes as a gift for a potluck or children’s party.

Cupcakeria 

Magdeburger Allee 5 Erfurt

Opening times Monday-Friday 10 am-530 pm, except Wednesdays, 12:30-5:30 pm, 

Saturday 10 am-2 pm