Review: Cafe Morgenland, Berlin Germany

As a child, the one thing that I knew about Berlin and its relation to food was the ‘Berliner’ donut…and the only reason I knew about that was because of my unhealthy obsession with reading about the glamourous Kennedys. JFK’s infamous “Ich bin ein Berliner” statement of his status as Berliner, or a sugared doughnut on his visit to Berlin in 1963 has gone down in history.


What I know now, is that a Sunday brunch buffet is a new tradition in the city of Berlin. Many cafes and restaurants will open on Sunday for a day-long ‘brunch’ buffet, where for only about 10 Euro per person, you can go and eat to your heart’s content. One of the most popular of these cafes is Café Morgenland in Kreuzberg, where K and I headed for our own experience of the Berlin Sunday Brunch. We got there just after it opened for the day and were just lucky enough to get a table. If you arrive later in the day, be prepared to wait for at least half an hour to get a table!


We started off with a tall glass of freshly squeezed Orange Juice each – not cheap at 5 Euro (especially as the buffet is only 10 Euro per person!), but I suppose that’s how they make their money – if they lose a bit on the food, they make it back in the drinks! Still, given how large the glass was, and how sweet yet tart the orange juice was, it was worth what we paid.


The buffet itself is situated in a room just off the main dining area, in what seems to be a bridging room between the dining room and the kitchen. There’s a window from this room into the kitchen, where you can see the chefs prepare more platters of food for the buffet. The space is small and crowded – so there’s no time to stand back and contemplate what you want to try, you have to make some snap decisions!


There’s not much in the range of hot food in this brunch buffet – cold foods are definitely the highlight. There’s a range of cheeses, from sliced Emmental to wedges of soft brie and chunks of smelly blue cheese. There’s a large range of sliced meats – mortadellas, salamis, hams. There’s a range of salads as well – garden salads, pasta salads, cous cous salads.


There’s a large selection of baked goods to choose from – mainly a variety of simple bread rolls rather than sweet pastries. I was confused about why people would just choose to have plain white bread, then I saw this display of tapenades – clearly the bread is really just a vehicle to try these tapenades! Olive, tomato, capsicum, beetroot, tuna…there’s a few to try!


The cereal table was surprisingly popular as well, though I personally wouldn’t bother with generic Fruit Loops and Coco Pops at a buffet when there’s more exciting foods to try!


The little hot food available was made up of grilled chicken wings and frankfurts, wedges, and eggs cooked a few different ways. I wouldn’t normally buy or eat frankfurts at home in Australia, but I did get a bit addicted to them while I was in Germany and Copenhagen – hot dogs are just done so much better there than at home!


To finish off the buffet on the sweeter note, there’s a table of fruits and fresh yoghurts as well. Strangely enough, they also offer a dish of sliced bananas drizzled with chocolate sauce…it almost makes sense? I avoided that though, and just finished off my meal with a plate of fresh cut fruit to cleanse the palate.

Café Morgenland offers a pretty comprehensive cold buffet for an extremely reasonable price. The hot buffet is less impressive, but by the time you try a little bit of each of the cold dishes available, you can barely fit in the hot food anyway. I can see why it’s a popular brunch spot for Berlin locals, with large families and groups of friends all dining together in the small and crowded restaurant. I’d definitely recommend going to Café Morgenland on a Sunday if you’re keen on having a Berlin brunch buffet experience!

To finish off this post, here’s a few photos of the few dishes that K and I managed to sample off the buffet…we were absolutely stuffed by the end of our meal!





Cafe Morgenland is located at 25 Skalitzer Strasse, Berlin.

Review: Restaurant Alter Keller and a Day in Rothenburg ob der Tauber, Germany

Note – photo gallery at the bottom of this post.

Every Buzzfeed article about “26 Real Life Disney Locations” or “13 Most Beautiful Towns In The World” or “7 Best-Preserved European Medieval Towns” will include the Bavarian town of Rothenburg ob der Tauber on their list. This beautiful town is a key part of the famous German ‘Romantic Road’, a route which will take you through some of the quaintest small towns of southern Germany.


After a few weeks of visiting larger cities, K and I were ready for a slice of small town life lived at a slower pace. Rothenburg was the obvious choice for two days of ridiculously picturesque living and immersion into another era. After a three hour train trip from our last stop in Munich (two train changes!), we arrived at this picturesque town. With every step from the train station to our little Airbnb studio in the attic of an old townhouse, I found myself falling in love with the cheerfully colourful town.

A highlight over the two days of our stay was going on the Night Watchman’s Tour, a late-night tour of the old city recounting stories of the glory days of Rothenburg’s past – and some of its less reputable history as well. We made friends with a number of extremely friendly cats in the town, and given that we were there to rest and relax away from big city living, we also treated ourselves to a 90-minute massage at ‘Wellness Massage’ for a very cheap $75 AUD per person.


Given that we had splurged on the massages, we decided to be a bit kinder to our travel budget by preparing most of our meals in our little studio with some help from the local supermarket. We did treat ourselves to one meal out though – at Alter Keller, a traditional Bavarian pub not far from our studio.

It’s interesting to note that a number of restaurants were closed in the month of November – as a slow trading period between the heights of summer and the Christmas season, many shopkeepers and restauranters choose to take their breaks at that time. Our first choice for dining out was closed for this reason, but luckily Alter Keller stepped up and offered us a pretty excellent meal.


It was most definitely evident on our arrival that we were dining in low season. We were the first diners in the restaurant for lunch, and in the time that we were there, only two other groups came in for a meal. With such low traffic during the day, I expect that they make the most of their night-time trade with the locals.

Hacker-Pschorr, 3.30 Euro
Hacker-Pschorr, 3.30 Euro

An Apfelschorle for me, as per my habit when dining in Germany. I still love that combination of bubbles and slightly less sweet apple juice, and do hope to buy a Sodastream when I return to Australia so that I can make myself apfelschorle any time I want! K had a Hacker-Pschorr beer, which he found more savoury and less sweet than the Augustiner beers that he had been having in Munich.

Kalbsrollbraten, mit Champignonrahmsosse und hausgemachte spatzle, 13.80 Euro
Kalbsrollbraten, mit Champignonrahmsosse und hausgemachte spatzle, 13.80 Euro

The benefit of travelling as a couple is that if you can’t decide which of two meals to order, you can always split the difference and order one of each to share! The first meal we ordered was a Kalbsrollbraten, or a veal roast with mushroom sauce and spätzle. This was actually the first time that we had tried spätzle while in Germany, and I found it surprisingly eggy, reminding me of Chinese egg noodles. Though it was a bit plain by itself, it worked extremely well with the rich creamy and slightly peppery mushroom sauce which came with the tender veal roast.

Saftgulasch vom Bayerischen Weiderind mit hausgemachten Servittenknodel und Krautsalad, 13.80 Euro
Saftgulasch vom Bayerischen Weiderind mit hausgemachten Servittenknodel und Krautsalad, 13.80 Euro

The second meal we ordered was a rich and savoury Gulash made of tender and flavourful local beef, served with two slices of bread dumplings and a side salad. The salad (pictured below) was actually a sweet and tart sauerkraut accompanied with a few limp lettuce leaves – unremarkable. The gulash was another thing all together, with the most delicious rich meaty sauce that had me wishing for another ladleful of sauce to eat with some fresh crusty bread.


Alter Keller is pretty good as far as restaurants go in an extremely touristy town like Rothenburg. They serve up a hearty and decent meal at a reasonable price, in a quaint and traditional wood-panelled Bavarian restaurant. I’d love to see what it’s like at the peak of tourist season though – whether they manage to maintain their standard of cooking, and whether the atmosphere in the pub is made more convivial.

As for Rothenburg the town itself, it’s so ridiculously picturesque that it really does deserve to be on those Buzzfeed ‘best of’ lists. I wouldn’t mind visiting again – perhaps next time as part of a driving holiday where we’ll visit all the different German towns on the Romantic Road.

Restaurant Alter Keller is located at 8 Alter Keller, Rothenburg ob der Tauber, Germany.

Chanoy Honeymoon: Munich, November 2015

Note – photo gallery at the bottom of this post.

For all its grandeur, size, and number of inhabitants, Munich is still nothing more than a large village. I don’t say this to be demeaning or to discount its attractions – I actually think that it’s one of the greatest things about a visit to Munich. No matter how large and cosmopolitan this capital of Bavaria becomes, it maintains a cosy village-feel where every face you pass on the street has a smile and a friendly ‘Guten Morgen’ to offer.

This sense of village camaraderie is most evident on Sundays in the Englischergarten, the large public park to the north-east of the city. All shops are closed, and the focus is on family and friends. Everyone comes out in force – young lovers holding hands strolling through winding lanes through the parklands, families with kids in strollers having picnics, teams playing soccer on the sporting fields, performing artists busking and playing music, older retirees sitting and sharing a beer in the biergarten, even keen surfers making the most of the artificial wave in the park’s river.

We were lucky enough to join everyone on a beautiful sunny Sunday in the park, just as the season was turning and the autumn colours were coming through. With blue skies above and crunchy red and golden leaves below, it felt like we were walking through a fairytale. The Englischergarten on a Sunday is definitely a prime people-watching experience I would recommend for any visitor to Munich!

If you want to spend more time in nature, I can also recommend spending some time in the Olympiapark, the site of the sadly tragic 1972 Munich Olympic Games. The green spaces and lakes there are extremely tranquil, and well worth a walk around. If you’re into motorcars as well, I can also recommend the BMW Welt located in Olympiapark, where you can see displays of their latest models and visit a museum as well (not so much of interest for me, but K certainly enjoyed himself!).

If you’re limited on time, you could also consider a free walking tour of Munich for a quick snapshot of Munich’s history. Like the ones we did in Torino and Lisboa, the free walking tour of Munich by Sandeman’s New Europe is run entirely on a tips basis – you pay what you think the tour was worth to you. The day we did the tour also happened to be the first day of the Bavarian ‘silly season’, so our tour started off with a performance by a local oompah band. Now that was a pleasant surprise!

Food-wise, there’s no denying that Munich is the star of Bavarian cuisine, and Bavarian cuisine is the star of German cuisine world-wide. We had a great traditional Bavarian meal at Tattenbach, a less impressive meal at Augustiner am Platzl, and had many casual snacks of pretzels and ‘meat rolls’ from butchers and delis, where they’ll slice off bits of their cold meats to make you a sandwich on demand. (Randomly, we also had an Italian meal at San Benno which was surprisingly excellent.)

I loved our visit to Munich, and I have to admit that I’m glad that we visited when we did. It was a few weeks after Oktoberfest so we missed out on the orgy of Australians vomiting Bavarian beer everywhere. As a result, we had a much more sedate time in Munich, enjoying nature, food and community, rather than wasting our days getting drunk. I’d definitely be interested in visiting Munich again, but perhaps using it as a base for exploring other parts of Bavaria on our next trip.