anabelas Kitchen – When A Portuguese Cooks
It was an early Saturday evening when we sat down at 'anabela's Kitchen'. The walls are drenched in a juicy green. Dark wooden furniture is set along the walls through to the kitchen, the ceilings are festooned with diamond-like spheric lamps made of glass. A Portuguese Berliner Zimmer – wonderfully intimate and oozing comfort.
Among an abundance of photographs I could also spot one of the owner Anabela Campos-Neves, who came out of her kitchen a moment later to greet us in person. All this while she's the chef and prepares the daily lunch menus all by herself. A very sociable quirky woman who, as it seems, is doing her job with the utmost dedication and passion.
Sommelier Marcus Reinhardt was our waiter for the night. It is among his responsibilities to maintain our satisfaction and keep our glasses full. We ordered a young white wine, fresh and very low on acids, and are served exactly what we expected. A little bowl of wild olives came along, Nat King Cole was playing in the background, and we got into studying the menu.
Out of four appetizers we chose a fish soup with grilled sardines, and ''Grilled Swordfish & Angler-Fish Cheeks with a Salad of Lentils and Cilantro'. For entrées we went with 'Dry Aged Irish Kettle Beef with Potatoes, Asparagus and Sauce Hollandaise“, as well as a Eifel regional „Rack of Lamb with Green Beans, King Oyster Mushrooms and Roasted Potatoes“.
I probably beamed with joy when the swordfish arrived. And let me tell you, I've rarely come across a dish that beautiful: a single pansy throned on top of the fish, the beetroot dressing covered the lentils in a glowing red on the turquoise plates. And oh, the flavor! With just the right hint of cilantro!
My friend was just as enthusiastic about her appetizer, but got into swooning even more when her main course arrived. I took a bite, and it proved her right. The meat was unbelievably tender. But my lamb was in no way less perfect and had me devour the whole thing.
Anabela Campos-Nevos has been in her kitchen on Pestalozzistraße for six years now. She puts together her creations from fresh seasonal ingredients that she buys on the local markets, an aspect that guarantees a diverse range of meals on a regular basis. It was a true pleasure and we will make sure to come back!