Sticks ‘n’ Sushi in Berlin

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Just a few steps from Andreas Murkudis and Acne Studios, there’s the two-storey heaven called Sticks ‘n’ Sushi. Although I rarely go to restaurant chains, this one from Copenhagen is an absolute exception. Opened more than a year ago in Berlin, this place has the most refined sushi (and other Japanese specialties) in the city. From the signature rice paper rolls and beef tataki with yuzu sauce to wagyu tartare and the most sensational versions of maki, Sticks ‘n’ Sushi pleases with freshness and inventiveness. Also, I really love the atmosphere in here, which makes me think of New York and those crowdy, stylish Sex & The City-like restaurants. If only the prices could be slightly lower! Still, they’re totally justified, as the quality of every single plate is perfect. And that matcha for dessert…

If looking for something more ‘casual’, but equally good in Berlin, go to Sasaya (good luck with booking a table there, though…).

Potsdamer Straße 85 / Berlin

All photos by Edward Kanarecki.

Mistu

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If you’re coming to Porto (see my guide around the city’s loveliest spots here), make Mistu your must-go restaurant. It’s the best restaurant I’ve been to in entire Portugal – it’s heaven. After recovering a neo-Arab building and transforming it into the Flow Restaurant & Bar, the restaurateurs’ desire to develop new experiences at the table took them to a former locksmith’s shop behind the Stock Exchange Palace. Black, white, brass, straw and green are the tones that predominate here, creating a chic, groovy atmosphere. But what’s most appealing about Mistu is that several gastronomic cultures of the orld with references of Asia and South America arrive at the table with an Portuguese accent. Chef Rui Mingatos is a magician! Try the tuna ceviche for starter, Uruguayan picanha for the main course. An ecstatic experience! Oh, and you better book a table in advance.

Rua do Comércio do Porto 161 / Porto

All photos by Edward Kanarecki.

Sasaya

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Ok, let’s make this clear: Sasaya is the best Japanese restaurant in Berlin. It’s just so pure in taste, and so Japanese in everything, from the simple interior to the way the asparagus tempura is served on ceramics plates (which are sold together with delightful pottery and rare sake next to the restaurant space). Sasaya doesn’t only serve sushi – which is perfect – but as well other traditional dishes and tastes like the tsukemono (pickled vegetables), the takana (fried vegetables), dashi broth or the kukiwakame (seaweed). The gyoza stick is a great addition to your portion of maki and nigiri, while green tea cake with matcha macchiato is an ideal desert (at least for me!). Really, Sasaya won’t disappoint those who look for Japanese cuisine, not some kind of philadelphia-cheee-stuffed hybrid.

Photos by Edward Kanarecki.

Eating in Lisbon

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Lisbon is not only great art, mind-blowing architecture and stylish concept stores. It’s also all about food! And really good food, I should admit. And no, the don’t only eat baskets of freshly picked clementines here (as pictured above) – even though a fresh juice made of them is an actual seventh wonder. Here’s my short guide around some of my favourite eating spots and dinner places in the Portuguese capital.

If you’re planning your dinner at Cervejaria Ramiro, read carefully the following: beware of the queue! No reservations, which is usual for the best restaurants in Lisbon. But before you induldge yourself in all those spider crabs, razor clams, tiger prawns and goose barnacles, you’ve got to wait for about half to one hour outside. No worries – they serve beer for the patient ones. And the waiting is really worth it.

Av. Almirante Reis N.1

After an exhausting excursion to Alfama’s most important churches and a few hours of walking down and up the hilly streets, Pois Café is the right place to take a break. The interior is an eclectic mix of brick, vintage furniture and local artists’ paintings. Food is simple, but tasty – take the plate with mozzarella bufala or the passion fruit cheesecake. A fast brunch / lunch in an intriguing spot.

R. de São João da Praça 93-95

A Chevicheria is Lisbon’s hottest dining place. The huge octopus hanging above the bar tempts to enter and try Kiko Martins’ signature seafood menu. Whether it’s a tuna ceviche with radish or St. Jacob’s mussels, you won’t be dissapointed with the restaurant, that’s for sure. Again, no reservations, possibility of waiting in a queue. But the locals know what’s good!

Rua Dom Pedro V129

Morgadinha de Alfama is not a busy, fancy kind of place, but it has one of the most romantic patios in town. And delightful tapas! It’s especially refreshing when the temperature rises and you can hide hear from the scorching sun.

Beco do Alfurja 2

Everybody heard of Time Out Market in Lisbon. You can eat anything here, from the best pata negra ham and fried squids to soaps in the most stylish packages at A Vida Portuguesa corner. The food here is good, true, but the prices are slightly too high. Also, don’t expect Berlin’s market coziness – Time Out is much more commercialised. But the flower shop located inside is a total must visit – even if you can’t buy a bouquet due to approaching airplane travel. Just beautiful.

Av. 24 de Julho 49

In case of traditional Portuguese patisseries, Padaria e Pastelarias Panificação R. Sao Roque is unrivalled. Try tapas served in a more contemporary manner at Tapisco. I hope that the next time I’m in Lisbon, I will discover equally delicious places. Any recommendations, maybe?

All photos by Edward Kanarecki.