Cookies Cream – A world of contrasts
Passing the neighbouring hotel’s dumpsters and laundry rooms, we approach a plain door with a simple sign indicating that this is indeed Cookies Cream. The worn doorbell alone gives away the entrance's frequent use.
We are received and take a seat at the dimly lit bar while we wait for a free table upstairs. Delicate vegetarian cuisine awaits us.
Charming Turk Suzan greets us in the restaurant and handles intolerances and allergies with utmost attention, speaking directly with the kitchen. The result is a carefully selected menu that leaves no room for want of any meat.
A chicory salad with camomile kicks things off, accompanied by skinned grapes, clover leaves, and brilliant baked walnuts as well as an incredible celery essence with apple gyoza, finely seasoned with thyme and chilli. Wonderful!
Suzan takes care of us with authentic Turkish hospitality and provides an on par wine pairing for each course. Between dishes our gaze wanders around the light-flooded room, from retro furnishing designed by the team itself to a piece of art some guests have already taken offence to.
An appetiser at the table next to use grabs our attention: the watermelon with pastoral cheese looks fantastic! We later learn that its bright colour is owing to a special spray treatment in which the watermelon juice is removed, refined with spices, and later sprayed back in. Fascinating!
From mid-twenties to seventy, the guests are a colourful mix enjoying birthdays, business dinners, or just satisfying their curiosity and lust for unique vegetarian cuisine – as we're about to continue doing.
My baked aubergine looks similar to a saddle of venison and melts on the tongue. It comes with crispy green beans, corn puree, and a heavenly gravy. The peak of excitement, however, comes in a potato filled with buttery potato puree and creamed spinach, garnished with chopped raw spinach and a fried egg.
To finish things off we select cherries with herb sorbet and roasted fennel and grilled pineapple with a decadent coconut sorbet and brioche. Exquisite, creative, and rich in contrast, as is everything at Cookies Cream.