Hafenküche – A Restaurant with a View on the Spree
There are places in Berlin that I wish I would've discovered sooner. Restaurant Hafenküche is one of them. Situated on the premises of a bus company, this pearl of a location is almost impossible to spot from the street and hides an impeccable river view. From the terrace and through the big window front of the dining hall, you'll get a breath-taking picture over the small harbor and the Spree.
The beautiful interior drenches the place in a naval flair, somewhat like a mountain hut on the sea shore, which makes us sigh in an instant. For the colder days, there's an open fire place and the mixture of dark walls, light wood and white chairs, as well as many little details in blue lend a sommery touch to it. The open kitchen in the back of the restaurant offers an insigh into the cooking and makes you hungry for their Viennese schnitzel with potato salad, Fish&Chips or the individually prepared dishes of meat, fish and different vegetables.
From Monday through Friday, Hafenküche transforms into a cafeteria after breakfast hours: like the real German classic, you'll find self-service on the highest standard and a daily changing menu with two 'plats du jour'. Among them, all-time favorites such as braised chicken, fried Swabian vegetable pockets and 'Matze's rice pudding'. There's a fine selection of cakes behind a beautiful glas counter and flavorful coffee, roasted by Andraschko, all proving that quality is a top priority.
When we arrived at Hafenküche in the evening yesterday, we were awaited by the dinner menu from which we chose a selection of appetizers with assorted smoked fish, beef tartar, blackpudding and pickled vegetables. Our main courses consisted of filets of salmon and peppered beef, each served with two sides of vegetables of our choice. The food was served on beautiful wooden boards and matte black plates, again showing the utmost love for detail.
The meat is cooked on point and beautifully tender, the fish is juicy and with a mouth-wateringly crispy skin. The sides of Pak Choi is perfected with gingko nuts, that we had not heard of before and were curious to try. Amazing! So was the order of fennel with artichokes, green beans and bacon and the green asparagus too. We were head over heels and quickly started making future plans for this place.
We asked around and were told that Hafenküche can be rented out, along with the appended lounge area above the small marina, for family events or other festivities. We started organizing that very minute! It's just too beautiful! Another special of the house is the available boat rental for tours along the Spree – with rarely beautiful boats that take up to four to twelve people, you can even opt for a Hafenküche catering. But that's a whole other story. To be continued…