One evening last week, I thought it might be interesting to write about African restaurants that I’ve tried in Berlin.
In the end, I stayed local, eating at Senegambia, Blue Nile and at Aicy & Mimi’s. I decided not to go for the restaurants that claimed to “make your life exotic” or that served, as someone aptly put it, “European-style food with African animals” – for extortionate prices. I think my reasons for leaving these out are self-explanatory. (If not, please feel free to ask; I’m quite happy to elaborate).
I began with Senegambia because it was on the way to where I needed to be that night. They offer a relatively wide selection of Senegalese/Gambian food with options for fish, different meats or vegetables for most. I had the jollof rice with chicken.
It tasted good and the giant portions served were more than worth the very reasonable price of ± 5 Euros. You can also take the food away, which is certainly a welcome find. Great hangover food.
The Blue Nile is an Ethiopian restaurant on the Tempelhofer Ufer. I chose this one instead of the highly recommended Langano near Kottbusser Tor because I had often walked past it and wondered what it was like. It doesn’t look very inviting from the outside, but once you go in, the warm, private but cosy set-up is quite charming.
We ordered the platter for two (and an extra dish because we thought it might not be enough. We were very wrong).
It was an absolutely wonderful meal and the complementary coffee, popcorn and ouzo (you could indulge in all or none or anything inbetween) were a nice addition. It was more expensive than most restaurants I would eat in, but I’d definitely go again.
My third visit was to Aicy & Mimi’s, the restaurant/café for the Werkstatt Der Kulturen. I’ve eaten there several times in the past year – on a random day in the week, at their Brunch ‘n’ Music on Sundays, or at one of several events they coordinate there. I keep going because Aicy & Mimi are very versatile cooks who prepare a few West African recipes as well as different kinds of cuisine to suit the Werkstatt Der Kulturen’s function as a cultural centre. I sat myself down in their lovely garden and ordered the Mafé.
Not only did it taste fantastic, it was also beautifully presented and fairly priced.
They also offer amazing cakes and tarts, which is great if you have the space for it!
These women have known each other for about 26 years and have forged a great relationship, which is reflected in the warm and familiar atmosphere of the place. I really like that. I always feel happy when I leave.
So which one would I recommend? For me, the combination of good food, an easy atmosphere and decent pricing is best experienced at Aicy & Mimi’s. Of course, this opinion is highly subjective and so I urge you to go out and try them for yourself and make your own mind up.