The visual experience of a film combined with all-sensory enjoyment of a delicious meal can relieve the stress of a very demanding work week or the boredom of a cold winter day. The Culinary Cinema (Das Kulinarische Kino), which has become a regular feature of the Berlinale, offers quite a tasty selection by matching all kinds of films with dinners prepared by Michelin-star chefs and served at the lovely tented restaurant called the Gropius Mirror. The price of a ticket, however, is very dear at 85€ for dinner and a movie. The motto of the Culinary Cinema this year is: “We like it hot…but don’t let it burn.” The 85€ price tag will probably burn many of those potentially interested. Even if you want to splurge, online tickets sell out in minutes and it can be impossible to buy as many tickets as you want even at the ticket counters. But this year the Culinary Cinema provides another option to indulge your movie and meal desires at very reasonable prices.
The introduction of Street Food Berlinale is truly inspired. The location of the food trucks on Josef von Eichendorff Strasse is convenient to all the movie theaters on Potsdamer Platz and the variety of street foods available gave virtually everyone a choice of something to eat on the street. The Culinary Cinema partnered with Markthalle Neun and Slow Food Berlin to provide six different food trucks. On a cold winter evening, a terrific way to make it hot is with a bowl of Korean soup. At Mr. Susan, steaming hot broth is filled with homemade rice noodles, seasonal vegetables, self-fermented Kimchi cabbage, fresh herbs including coriander and a poached egg swirled into the mix. If you missed stopping by at Street Food Berlinale, you can still treat yourself at the Markthalle Neun where Mr. Susan, run by Susan Choi and Stefan Endres, sets up soup at the weekly Street Food Thursday. Markhalle Neun is located at Eisenbahnstrasse 42/43. Details of what is currently happening there can be found at www.markthalleneun.de.
If you’re hungry for something meatier, Big Stuff Smoked Barbecue gives a choice of pork or beef sandwiches. Anna Lai and Tobias Bürger brought a smoker from Tennessee to set up shop at Markhalle Neunin 2012. The pork is hand pulled into a succulent mound of delicately smoked pork set on a fresh roll with extra barbecue sauce, lettuce and cheese. Delicious at any time of day! For a contrast to the more traditional pork or beef sandwich, Ándale Arepas! fills crispy cornbread with roasted pumpkin, spinach, and goat cheese covered with a lime, mint, chilli dressing.
European fare is served at the Heissen Hobel truck. Florian Rohrmoser and Myraim Touka prepare the original Allgäuer Kässpatzen with freshly made Spätzle, roasted onions and hot cheese. Glut & Späne offer smoked fish and shrimp but include a unique entrée of ceviche, a spicy marinated fish salad. Then there is, of course, dessert, specialty drinks and coffee available from Café 9. Local ingredients are used as much as possible.
Street Food Berlinale offers great food at very reasonable prices, freshly prepared and served in a lively street atmosphere. Let’s hope the food trucks park at the Berlinale every year.