Rum Trader – your place for rum in Berlin

I previously posted about the cocktail bar Buck and Breck but there was also another cocktail bar that we enjoyed and is worth a visit, Rum Trader, which one could say is tiny with a single table and a dark cherry wood counter with stools. The dried armadillo lazing on its back gives you a glimpse of how you will end the night.

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When we arrived, we were greeted at the door by whom seemed to be a very proper English gentleman, I was instantly reminded of Mr Carson from Downton Abbey, but Mr Scholl ended up being German of course.  He informed us that Rum Trader has been around for many years as he proudly oversaw that everything ran smoothly.

Rum Trader specializes in of course rum and rum based drinks but don’t let this put you off as they have a very decent selection of other spirits.

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A small little nook in Berlin where time seems to stay still.

Rum Traders

open Monday – Saturday

40 Fasanenstraße 40, 10719 Berlin, Germany
Telephone: +49 30 8811428

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Buck and Breck – fabulous cocktails in Berlin

IMG_1281.JPGI have to say that Buck and Breck is up until now my favorite cocktail bar. I fell in love with their perfectly balanced cocktails and it is a shame that I don’t live in Berlin because I would be going their on a weekly basis.

There is an aura of secrecy to this bar where you ring a doorbell and then lingering about the entrance inside is perpetual “closed” sign glowing in the dark. As you are led inside you are kindly reminded that photos are not allowed in order to respect the anonymity of the customers inside. Once in, you are surrounded by black and gold and sat either at the large center table or at tables in the back.

The cocktail menu features signature cocktails but if in doubt, let them guide you making your choice.

Buck and Breck

177 Brunnenstraße, 10119 Berlin, Germany
Telephone: +49 176 32315507
Open daily from 7:00pm

 

Hokey Pokey- ice cream worth the queue

IMG_1207When it is hot out, who doesn’t feel like ice cream? That is what happened to us and thanks to the Monocle Guide, we happened to stumble upon what is allegedly the best ice place in Berlin, Hokey Pokey. I am not going to argue if this is true or not but I can say that the ice cream is delicious. I tried hokey pokey which is vanilla with caramel, chocolate with espresso and sherry, grapefruit and passion fruit with small bits of chocolate. Out of the four, passion fruit was my favorite.

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When our beloved googlemaps got us to the address we were surprised that there were two Hokey Pokeys. The reason behind this is because the line was so long that they decided to open another one almost door-to-door, that way the waiting time wouldn’t be so long. Both are basically the same except that one is a bit bigger and therefore has more flavors.

IMG_1212Don’t be put off by the line because it goes fast.

In case you want to take a pint home, not to worry, they have take away.

IMG_1211Hokey Pokey

73 Stargarder Street, Berlin

 

Punto MX- fabulous tasting menu

I already wrote about Punto MX when it opened several years ago raving that it was the best Mexican restaurant ever. Well, several years later and my opinion stays the same. Today I am writing to share with you their newest update and that is that the restaurant is no longer a la carte but it has evolved into a tasting menu where you only decide how long you want it to be the rest is up to chef Roberto Ruiz. There is no doubt that over the years the recipes have gotten even better and now the team has reached a point where everything is delicious, from the first appetizer to the last petit four. I left the restaurant thinking that I want to travel to Mexico to discover where these flavors originate but since I won’t be doing that any time soon I will definitely be going back for more.

The tasting menu varies with the season and market availability. This is the menu we had at the beginning of July.

The appetizers were corn or should I say corns:

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vegetarian ceviche with nopal

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and beef “salpicon”

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Then came the starter dishes. We had guacamole with smoke marlin and 36 month parmesan cheese. It was good but since their signature guacamole is already fantastic we really didn’t see the need to improve on perfection.

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Green aguachile with scallops and green summer shoots. This dish came with a side drink made with cucumber.

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Carabinero, guajillo (which is a type of chile) and citrus. The side crisp was made from the carabineros and it was heavenly. They should sell them by the bags!

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Now onto the main dishes. Pumpkin flower and huitlacoche quesadilla

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Iberian pork taco with green tomatoes

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Sole, black beans and pickled onions

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Sirloin, a sauce made with bone marrow and ancho chile

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For dessert

Citrus dessert

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Chocolate and corn

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To finish off petit fours and coffee

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To drink we started off with a classical margarita and one of their newer cocktails served in a passion fruit. The only bad part about the passion fruit cocktail is that it was too small, I would have drank a liter.

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I left Punto MX levitating and I can’t wait to go back.

Please note that you need to book way in advance, at least two months.

Punto MX

La Bomba Bistrot- your place for rice

Tourists often come to Spain with the intention of trying one of our most renowned dishes: rice or paella. We produce rice in the south of Spain, in Valencia and there is no doubt that we love rice, rice with chicken, with game, with rabbit, with pork, with vegetables… I am sure that you grasp the idea. Although many come with the intention of eating a mind boggling paella, few do and that is because a rice dish is a somewhat difficult dish to master. The rice has to be cooked just right and it must be very savory cooked by slowly incorporating the broth. It is no secret that in Spain we often say that the best rice dishes or paellas are prepared at home. Not to fret, there are places where you can have great rice and one of those places is La Bomba Bistrot.

La Bomba Bistrot is a French decorated bistrot run by Christophe, the chef and by his wife Cristina who is in the dining room. The restaurant also has a lovely terrace which is surrounded by greenery making it a delight on a spring or summer night.

If you are a Bloody Mary fan you might want to start off your meal with one. As you can see two of us went for it and the other two had vermut.

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Christophe knows his rice and he has been perfecting his method for years.

Do not let the post lead you to believe that all you can have here is rice. Christophe also prepares a delicious roasted chicken and he carries butifarra (a type of sausage) from Hermanos Rovira. There are always season vegetables as well.

I love his cannelloni stuffed with guinea fowl.

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And when it is time for dessert there is no doubt that the pavlova is the way to go. I have fallen in love with this merengue based dessert filled with chianti cream and topped with passion fruit, berries, raspberries and strawberries. It is the perfect way to end your meal and leave you craving for more.

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La Bomba Bistrot

5 Pedro Muguruza, 28036 Madrid

Canalla Bistro by Richard Camarena- funky

 

 

Richard Camarena is one of the most sought after chef’s in Spain with a Michelin star restaurant in Valencia he has also taken his business to more informal, casual territories where he doesn’t sacrifice flavor but adds a dash of funkiness. Now he has brought his playful style to Madrid where he has opened a second Canalla Bistrot, the first one is in Valencia, in Platea right next to Colon Square and on Goya Street. Platea is a former theater turned into a gastro arena. Where the orchestra used to be you will now find two floors of a food market filled with different options for you to choose from and then once you have mixed and matched you can sit to have your meal. The stage remains as a stage where live music is performed. At the mezzanine level is where you will find Canalla Bistro and then further above at the balcony level, a cocktail bar.

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The idea behind the menu is to order dishes to share making it a great place to go with friends so that you can try more things.

I loved Avocado Cannelloni with marinated white tuna and pico de gallo.

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A great dish to share and one which will have you popping them constantly into your mouth is the Vegetable Tempura with a slightly spicy sauce.

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Duck Nigiri, it was tasty but it was hard to pick up on the duck flavor.

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Pizzajapo Okonomiyaki with Chinese cabbage, bacon, mozzarella and okonomiyaki sauce (which is basically made with ketchup, worcestershire or tonkatsu sauce, honey and soy sauce) This isn’t your typical pizza but we would it to be very tasty.

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Canalla Bistro both in Madrid and in Valencia. A fun place to check out this summer!

Platea – 5 Goya Street

Telephone Number-915 77 00 25

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Fika in Copenhague and Stockholm

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You have to love the Danes for coming up with fika which is cake drank with coffee or tea in the late afternoon. Although the concept is not exclusive to them by any means it is a widely spread and as you walk around the city you will find that cafés start to fill up at around four o’clock with groups of friends, couples and even people on their own working on their laptop as they enjoy the afternoon.

The winters in these Scandinavian countries are long and hard with very few hours of sunlight and low temperatures so needless to say, they spend countless hours indoors therefore the feeling they perceive inside their homes or restaurants need to feel right. It needs to be a place where you don’t mind hibernating during the winter solstice. Danes put in great time and effort into their decoration and they have a word in their vocabulary which I love, “hygge” pronounced hoo-ga which means cozy. It means green plants and flowers on your window sill, drinking coffee wrapped up in a warm blanket on your sofa or sipping wine with friends in a candle lit living room among other things. Since I have come back I am always trying to have a hygge feeling at home.

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We were in Copenhague during spring break but the temperature and the weather felt like winter to a gal used to spending her winters in Madrid so I was very eager to have fika every day. These are some of the places that we went to:

COPENHAGUE

The Coffee Collective

Laura’s Bakery

Mirabelle

STOCKHOLM

Robert’s Coffee

Vete-Katten

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