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Café Botanico An oasis in Neukölln

Wednesday, December 08 2021
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Opening Times

Evening menu
Tuesday to Saturday 5:00pm - 10:00pm

Brunch
Saturday & Sunday 10:00am - 4:00pm

Address

Café Botanico
Richardstraße 100
12043 Berlin-Neukölln
.How to get there

Contact


+49 30 89622000
.www.cafe-botanico.de

price level

Terminanfrage Gartenführungen unter +49 1511 225 13 20

In the middle of turbulent Neukölln, Richardstraße is home to an unexpected oasis. Café Botanico already attracts pedestrians with its lovely greenery in front of the entrance, but you can't guess yet what kind of special restaurant you're dealing with here.

In 2013, owner Martin Höfft, together with his Italian father-in-law, came up with a special concept. Originally an apartment with an accompanying plot of land, this was converted into a restaurant and the garden was used as a direct and versatile source of ingredients, true to the motto: farm-to-table.

While his father-in-law cooked, Martin Höfft let his green thumb work and together they created Italian dishes with slight Berlin influences, too subtle to call it fusion. Meanwhile, others are in the kitchen, but the concept endures and pays off.

As an aperitif, we are first served two cocktails of their own creation. The Botanico Smash is emerald green, similar to a Basil Smash, but with garden-grown herbs such as ground ivy and, of course, basil, plus gin and lots of lemon juice. My companion chooses a Botanico Spritz instead, which has a rich champagne color due to the homemade herbal lemonade.

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Co-Founder Martin Höfft

While we're still enjoying the intensely delicious cocktails, the appetizer arrive: Original Italian burrata along with confit tomato, arranged on a bed of sweet and sour red cabbage mousse, decorated with homegrown cress. The finely balanced notes of sweetness and acidity, as well as the break of crunchy garden herbs with the delicate cheese, left us wanting more.

While it's unfortunately already too dark to really appreciate the garden when we visit, you can already see the cress in the indoor herb boxes scattered throughout the living room-like cozy restaurant.

For the second appetizer, things continue briskly with a good glass of Italian red wine. We're served Taleggio croquettes - breaded and deep-fried cheese - with homemade paprika-chili jam, which rival the successful start.  As intimate as the interior and the history of the Café Botanico restaurant is the service.

Not only does the ambience make you feel safe, but you are also lovingly taken care of. In addition to the many plants, the premises also offer other details. An open kitchen, where you can watch the two Italian chefs in their element, a piano in the corner, as well as a small record collection for background music and of course the garden terrace, where you can switch off a bit from everyday city life.

The main course is brought by the chef himself, it is worth every praise. A ragout of Havelland wild boar on a potato-celery puree, garnished with roasted cabbage delicately blends Tuscany with said Berlin touch, while the second dish beckons to the Mediterranean: a cod casserole, also with the fantastic confit tomatoes and olives from Geita. Side dishes include baked potato with black garlic butter, as well as salad from their own garden, which complements the main dishes with a wonderful freshness.

To round off the dinner, we opted for the finely arranged cheese platter and toasted the successful evening with a sweet herbal liqueur with the nice team. As inconspicuous as Café Botanico may seem in passing, a visit reveals a Neukölln oasis not only thanks to the lush planting, but also through the finely tuned, fresh and authentic flavors that are served here. 

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