Rocket + Basil Of pistachios, saffron rice and fusion cuisine

Wednesday, April 27 2022

Opening Times

Tuesday to Friday 11.30-15
Saturday + Sunday 10-16


rocket + basil
Lützowstraße 22
10785 Berlin-Tiergarten
.How to get there


+49 178 3235089

The best pistachios in the world are said to come from Iran. So it's no surprise that the whole Rocket & Basil seems to be bathed in a delicate pistachio green, although that's actually more because Sophie and Xenia simply didn't want white in their shop. The outstanding Persian cuisine still seems to be relatively unknown in Germany, so it's all the nicer that the sisters are bringing it to the heart of Berlin with Rocket & Basil.

But even though Khoresht, traditional Persian stews, are regularly served during lunchtime at Rocket & Basil, the kitchen doesn't actually do traditional cuisine. "We simply make what we grew up with and like," Sophie explains. And that is a delicious international mix, in which a few Persian flavours are allowed to deliciously contribute.

The two sisters inherited their love of good food and fresh produce from their Iranian mother (and the recipe for Mum's Azerbaijani chicken soup, which is also served regularly at lunchtime). Since the two German-Iranians were born in Hamburg but grew up in Australia, many of these influences also flow in the direction of relaxed cuisine. 

Xenia und Sophie (v.l.n.r) Rocket + Basil Berlin Tiergarten
Salat Rocket + Basil Berlin Tiergarten
Sandwich Rocket + Basil Berlin Tiergarten
Rocket + Basil Berlin
Granola Rocket + Basil Berlin Tiergarten
Pistazienkuchen mit Rosenwasser Rocket + Basil Berlin Tiergarten
Rocky Road with a Twist Rocket + Basil Berlin Tiergarten
Rocket + Basil Berlin Tiergarten
Rocket + Basil Berlin Tiergarten (2)
Rocket + Basil Berlin Tiergarten (1)

They have both been living in Berlin for some time now and have been running the cute bistro near Potsdamer Straße for three years. Xenia is in the kitchen, Sophie bakes and takes care of the service. Working together has turned out quite well, says Sophie. Nevertheless, it was clear from the beginning that they both needed their own workspace. When their restaurant was just one year old, Corona also made life difficult for them; they constantly had to adapt the concept.

Rocket & Basil mainly offers lunch during the week and brunch on the weekend: "Then the whole place completely transforms," Sophie reveals. At lunchtime, Rocket & Basil always serves delicious sandwiches and the daily changing salad - which is always a mix of grains, roasted vegetables and fresh salad leaves. This would go down very well with the local office customers.

This is usually accompanied by slow-braised stews, always something vegetarian and something with meat. They are also served with lots of fresh greens and delicious tahdig - the saffron rice that all the family members in Iran fight over the crispy crust of. The recipe for the apricot saffron chicken we tried during our visit is Sophie's own invention. Still, its harmonious balance of fruity, sour and salty flavours is a prime example of the balanced flavours of Persian cuisine.

All the recipes are slightly modified. At Rocket & Basil, for example, no fenugreek is added to the Ghormeh Sabzi, as Sophie prefers the milder lovage. However, it's still delicious - if it's on the menu, definitely try it! For lunch, by the way, you can pre-order your meal at Rocket & Basil and simply pick it up at the counter. Add a glass of Sherbert, a wonderfully refreshing Persian lemonade, and you're perfectly fortified for the rest of the working day. 

But be sure to leave some room for one of the sweet temptations call for you in the Rocket & Basil display case: the Australian classic Rocky Road with a Persian twist (pistachio and barberries!), for example. Or for the delicious Halva Brownie with barberries, which is quite rightly one of the bestsellers at Rocket & Basil. This is how fusion cuisine works: you take the best products and combine them wildly, just the way you like it. 

Tip: The incredibly delicious recipe for Rocky Road and other Persian delicacies is also available on the website. 

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Rocket + Basil – Of pistachios, saffron rice and fusion cuisine
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