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Café Blumental Zero waste and love of plants

Tuesday, March 07 2023
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Opening Times

Monday to Thursday 9-22
Friday + Saturday 10-22
Sunday 10-18

Address

Blumental
Engeldamm 64
10179 Berlin-Kreuzberg
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...
.blumental-berlin.de

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When the founders of Blumental, the new café near the Engelbecken, asked themselves how many houseplants they wanted, the answer was probably yes. For the past seven weeks, the spacious café has been attracting breakfast and lunch eaters to its light-flooded and lovingly planted interior.

Simon Staudigl and Maximilian Kocher decided on a name for their café in the beautiful brick building, which used to house Germany's first trade union building and the Tropical Institute. In keeping with the green concept, both in terms of the food and the interior design, the name of Max's family's inn near Nuremberg was unceremoniously brought to Berlin: Blumental.

Close and at the same time underlining the sustainable gastronomic concept, the name is thus appropriately chosen. The small menu for breakfast and lunch dishes is primarily vegan, apart from the optional breakfast egg. The kitchen also has a special zero-waste concept. All vegetable waste is turned into humus in the restaurant's composter, which is currently given to neighbours and will also be given to farms in the Berlin area.

Blumental I Foto Isabel Spantzel
Blumental I Foto Alessa Flemming (8)
Blumental I Foto Isabel Spantzel (3)
Blumental I Foto Isabel Spantzel (1)
Blumental I Foto Alessa Flemming (9)
Blumental I Foto Isabel Spantzel (2)
Blumental I Foto Isabel Spantzel (5)
Blumental I Foto Alessa Flemming (3)
Blumental I Foto Alessa Flemming (4)
Blumental I Foto Coletta Lindenthaler

Not far from the rather congested Kottbusser Tor, the interior allows you to slow down. A spacious room with a large, south-facing window front, light-coloured walls, and simple but colourful furniture creates a warm atmosphere, even on cold days. The generously placed indoor plants do the rest.

Yet Blumental is not small. The café offers about 115 seats, and yet: due to the size of the room, it never feels cluttered. The kitchen, separated by the display, is a hive of activity; apart from the bread from Zeit für Brot, everything here is homemade. Even the excellent cakes, because it is run by Colette, a chef with patisserie experience, and Laura, a pastry chef.

We see both sides of their expertise for ourselves. Since we're having brunch, I choose a lax (carrot salmon) sandwich with pea guacamole (11.50 euros), a welcome alternative to the ecologically questionable avocado. I order a breakfast egg to go with it, served on some crumble and with just the right consistency.

My companion is inspired by local sounds and chooses Schwammerl vom Grill (12.50 euros). The marinated mushrooms are convincingly spicy and complement the celery puree, spring potatoes and intense mojo verde wonderfully.

Although I'm not averse to a little glass of Bubbles at brunch, we still (!) have to stay alcohol-free. This is because the young Blumental will only be adding an alcoholic menu focusing on sparkling wine in a few weeks, which Simon will thoughtfully fill thanks to his background as a sommelier. There are also plans to use the café as a bar in the evenings, as the beautiful bar is an invitation to do so.

So back to dessert. A delicate piece of hazelnut-orange cake (4.50 euros) is convincing, especially as the orange note is well-balanced. The highlight, especially visually, are the pink pancakes with sour cherries and a beetroot reduction (8.90 euros). Very Instagrammable, but also delicious.

We are curious to see how Blumental develops with its further ideas and look forward to our next visit!

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