Cookies Cream

“It was destiny,” they said when two things came together tonight and we dined at Cookies Cream. One, a preference for vegetarian fare, and another, trying to tap into the wonderfully hidden subcultures of Berlin. Seeking vegetarian fare in Berlin, Cookies Cream is one that you would eventually stumble upon. It had good reviews on both Tripadvisor and The Happy Cow, although it’s “vegetarian fine dining” that you don’t really run into that often. I’d been to Vanilla Black in London, so I kind of knew what to expect. Trade off in quality for portion size, but that’s fine with me.

I’m pleased that our table of ten didn’t have too many problems finding the place. It is, after all, located right next to a set of dumpsters around the back of the Westin Berlin Hotel, and the least expected place you’d find. You walk through, what I think is, the club part of Cookies, ascend a staircase and open up into a warm and modern dining room with tables lit by candlelight. Exposed ceiling and industrial brick wall surrounded us although I noted a number of art pieces hanging.

Service was excellent for a place in Berlin, where I’m starting to expect even worse than that you’d get in the UK. Not because people are rude, but often because the wait staff seem to always be disproportionately outnumbered by the diners. We were offered a wonderful aperitif – the house cocktail made out of vodka and rhubarb. I hadn’t expected such strong rhubarb flavour, although I also wasn’t expecting the strength of the vodka to hit me so quickly.

Originally offered the tasting menu, I’m pleased that they opened up the a la carte menu where we had a lot more variety and the kitchen wasn’t going to be too fussed. We all had three courses in the end so saw a good variety of the menu. Many of the dishes made me think about definitely returning someday.

I started with the Vacherin Mont-d’Or in brick pastry with salad of Jerusalem artichoke with vinaigrette of truffles, and pears marinated in pepper. I had no idea what would come in the “brick pastry”. What it ended up being was a very thick custard filling where you could really taste the truffle infusion that I love. I’d definitely get this one again.

Many people also went for the red lentil soup with beluga lentils, apricot goat cheese and basil.

We also got some nice heavy bread to go along with a strong curd (ricotta?) in some sort of green mixture that we guessed as avocado mixture.

For mains, I ordered the parmesan dumplings with braised artichoke, a BBQ tomato sauce. After having this dish, I’m compelled to know how they made them. My dumplings were light, full of flavour and the artichoke and tomato provided perfect balance with that hint of bitterness and tang. I would have been very happy with the dumplings.

I liked the look of the brussels sprout cannelloni, cassis apple, black walnut and truffles cream sauce as well. Good choice Sha Sha. I think someone also got the Potato tarte stuffed with winter asparagus but I didn’t get a chance to take a photo.

I’m pleased that everyone really enjoyed their meal, even the self-proclaimed anti-vegetarian diner at our table. It must have been that good!

Everyone tempted by dessert, we got a good mix of all at our table including the toffee cheesecake, marinated kaki (persimmon) and raspberry sorbet.

I couldn’t help but go for the chocolate slice with acacia honey ice cream, cocoa tuile in old balsamico marinated blackberries simply because you don’t really find honey ice cream nearly as much you should. Without that, I would have opted for the final dessert.

Curd cheese dumplings with blueberrymousse, saffron vanilla sauce and butter cookie crunch. This last dish would have won me over with the saffron vanilla sauce and crunch providing texture.

We had fantastic wine recommendations, lovely surroundings and I’d definitely come back here for vegetarian fare you wouldn’t get every day.

Name: Cookies Cream
Found at: Behrenstrasse 55, 10117 Berlin, Germany (behind the Westin Berlin Hotel)

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