For about a year I used to live on the Otto-Braun Straße, in one of those huge DDR Plattenbau houses, on the tenth floor. Practical, yet hidden away from any ‚authentic‘ Berlin life. An actual elevator instead of too many stairs and a bathtub in a normal square bathroom instead of a small quaintly shaped box that was to function as your shower. Not Berlin at all. So I happily moved away to a 8 stairs (no elevator) 1 room apartment in Prenzlauer Berg where the bathroom is crazy and the building old. One thing I miss from my days at Otto Braun: the close vicinity to Volkspark Friedrichshain. In summer I used to drawl to the Märchenbrunnen entrance with a big bag filled with books, a blanket, drinks and some food. I would find the nicest spot in the grass and enjoy the day by just simply resting and reading in the sun.
These days, I need to get on a bike and cycle to the nearest park – which, unfortunately, is the continuously overpopulated Mauerpark that lacks in the abundance of nature that made the Volkspark so fabulous.
When she likes sushi and he likes lots of pork
Anyhow, enough about the park. The reason I mentioned this, is because of the restaurant that a fabulous man took me to, opposite of Volkspark Friedrichshain. He had found a nice restaurant and, as he even took my food blogging into account, he even chose a restaurant that was exciting. Now let me elaborate on this type of man. He is a German through and through. The kind that likes creamy, fatty and over-spiced foods and prefers a daily intake of 2 kilos of meat. (However, he looks surprisingly attractive and healthy for such a lifestyle.) We always have this little friction when it comes to food. I like vegetarian, sleak, exciting and ‚uncommon‘ kinds of food. The sushi I love, he cannot stand and the pork sausages he adores, do not particularly excite me. We always used to cook together – which, on ocassion, would lead to some disappointment on both sides. I am a very tolerant eater. I will eat and like almost everything and I will choose being polite over being honest. He is different, he likes being honest and will tell me so whenever the food I prepared or invited him to, is a personal disappointment.
To say the least, I was surprised when he proposed dinner. But happily excited. After a short bus ride we ended up opposite of the Volkspark, which brought back fond memories of the ‚olden‘ days. There, right opposite of the park, was a Lebanese restaurant called Qadmous.
Personally, I have to admit, I do not know that much about Lebanon, but the food reminded me of the Greek and the Turkish cuisine. Not strangely so, since Lebanon is a small Arabic country south of Turkey and bordering on the mediterranean sea. Apparently, the Lebanese food tradition is considered to be one of the best in the Arabic world, considering its cuisine has had so many different international influences and is most well-known for its great variety. This variety was clearly represented on the menu, which went on and on with many different and all delectable dishes. Different grilled and baked meats, ranging from lamb to beef were complemented by fish main courses and a very extensive offer of vegetarian dishes (such as couscous). In the end, he had the grilled lamb and I had a mix plate (vegetarian) with dolmas, coriander salad, chickpeas with spicy tomatoes, mushrooms in garlic and humus with nice bread for dipping. The food was authentic, very varied and simply scrumptious. I tried some of the lamb, which was spiced into perfection and still retained it characteric lamb flavour.
Because it should be summer by now and we are smokers, we sat outside on the large patio with lots of lamps warming us up. But the inside of the restaurant actually also looks fantastic. The deco is very luxerious, with romantic-meets-mysterious blueish lighting and a proper cocktail bar. Many comfy looking posh couches invitingly lure you to sit down in one of the many comfortable corners.
What makes this restaurant fabulous:
- The menu, which is huge and has so many offers and suggestions that you can eat here for months without ever eating the same thing twice.
- The food, which is simply authentic, original and with real flavour. Really nothing more I can say about it.
- The deco. The place looks beautiful and you do feel like you are actually dining out, which makes the experience much more pleasurable.
What makes this restaurant less fabulous:
- Even though the prices here are decent enough (7-12,50 euros for a great main course), the drinks are rather pricey (4 euros for a small glass of wine). Especially the cocktails, which cost 8,50 according to the menu. Definitely not the restaurant if you want to get drunk.
- The location. Although it is opposite of the Volkspark Friedrichshain (which is a lovely view), the 200 bus to and from Prenzlauer Berg stops here every – what feels like – two seconds. Less fabulous when you’re dining outside, not really a problem when you’re cuddled up inside.
Update (May 2010)
The man in the story turned out to be an asshole, of course.
Where to go?
[googleMap name=“Qadmous“ width=“400″ height=“400″ mousewheel=“false“ typecontrol=“false“ directions_to=“false“]Am Friedrichshain 1 10407 Berlin[/googleMap]
Am Friedrichshain 1 (Ecke Hufelandstraße)
(030) 424 62 55