Archive for reviews

the glass den 2


After arriving home from Europe, I caught up for brunch at the Glass Den with my friend who had been housesitting while I was away.

I chose the Glass Den because I love it and it caters to both vegans and non-vegans alike.

The food is modern, delicious, beautiful to look at and a cut way above your average cafe.

I chose a vegan “chicken” burger and my friend had the porridge. Both were great. The porridge was so beautifully decorated with fruits and flowers. The burger was enormous and I foolishly fell for the “Would you like fries with that?” up sell and ordered the sweet potato fries which were excellent. The tomato relish on the burger was swoon worthy.

vegan chicken burger with sweet potato fries

I’ve also included a photo of a breakfast udon noodle dish that I ate on another visit that I didn’t blog about. It gives you an idea of the range of creative food that they do. Udon noodles with kale and crumbed mushrooms. For breakfast. Delicious.

breakfast udon noodles with kale and mushrooms

The coffee is great too.

I really cannot fault the Glass Den, it remains high on my list of favourite places. I have never had a disappointing meal.

15 Urquart St,
Coburg, 3058
(03) 9354 5032

berlin – kopps for dinner

white grilled asparagus, broad beans, leek and potato cake, truffle foam

I’m now running behind terribly on the blogging of my trip. I’ve been back for two weeks, but in that time I headed to down to Hobart for 5 days for a series of workshops to sing the Bach St Matthew Passion with the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra and Chorus as part of the Festival of Voices.

So I’m now heading back to Berlin (virtually) to review the last of my food highlights there.  Having sampled and LOVED brunch at Kopps I was keen to go back there for dinner. I was also keen to compare it to my other fine dining experience at the Lucky Leek.

Kopps do a 3, 4 or 5 course menu with or without matched wines. I was on my second last night in Berlin before heading back home so I decided to splurge on the 5 courses with matched wines. It saves agonising over what courses to choose. 🙂

Here’s what I ate:

This was a lovely amuse bouche of a tiny raviolo with a leek cream.

amuse bouche - ravioli with leek cream

Next up was a dish that sounded more promising in theory than it turned out in practice, coconut polenta balls with avocado and sesame crisps.

It was very pretty and pleasant enough, but lacking in real flavour. The sesame crisps were great though. Accompanied by a lovely late picked riesling from the Rhine.

coconut and polenta balls with asparagus puree and sesame crisps

The soup that followed was delicious, which is not something I’d often say about zucchini soup but they had the seasoning in this one just done perfectly. The soup was in fact zucchini and okra with tomato jam and the contrasting crunch of some raw kohlrabi spirals. The wine with this was a German white burgundy.

okra and zucchini soup with tomato jam and kohlrabi

Next up was a pea ravioli dish with pea puree and a mint and coriander foam. Nice enough but not earth shattering and the pasta could have been more delicate. And so far there had been foam on three out of four dishes! This was accompanied by a lovely buttery French chardonnay.

pea ravioli, pea puree, mint and coriander foam

Next up my definite favourite of the night. Asparagus season was in full swing in Germany while I was there and they favour big fat white asparagus. It was on the menu everywhere, including here. This dish was just perfect. Grilled asparagus, potato and wild leek cakes with broad beans and another foam. This time I could forgive it because it was black truffle foam. This came with a beautiful crisp white from Austria.

white grilled asparagus, broad beans, leek and potato cake, truffle foam

And then on to dessert. This dessert could have been great, if only the chocolate elements had been dark. I’m being picky, it was faultless in most respects, but it just needed that great bitterness that dark chocolate gives. It was accompanied by a lovely Austrian dessert muscat, not sticky like a lot of Australian dessert wines but light and floral.

choc mousse, choc parfait, strawberry salad and sorbet, mint pesto

And finally a post meal amuse bouche of a small bite of apple strudel. Delicious.

apple strudel post meal

It was good, with a couple of slightly disappointing dishes, but I’m glad I did it. Kopps is still the hands down winner in the perfect brunch category though.

For fine dining I enjoyed my meal at the Lucky Leek more, mostly because it was more varied and just a bit more refined.

I waddled home to my hotel glad that the tram took me right to the door…

Linienstraße 94
10115 Berlin-Mitte

berlin junk food, momos and a turkish bath


My holiday posts are a bit out of order, so here I am back in Berlin, at least on the blog page. In fact, I am at home, writing up my blog posts that were plagued by some terrible wifi and difficulty uploading photos while overseas. I was also busy doing things rather than writing blog posts about them. 🙂

While I was in Berlin for a week, I ate both junk food and did some fine dining. There are great examples of both. The fine dining meals deserve posts of their own, I’ve already reviewed the Lucky Leek and there is another post coming up about dinner at Kopps.

On the junk food front, one of the yummiest things I had was a double cheese meatball sandwich with a beer at an all vegan bar called Chaostheorie, a five minute walk from where I was staying in Prenzlauerberg. It was really tasty even though it was inexplicably served on dreadful square white sliced bread. Germany has such great bread, so it is really hard to know why. It would have been really spectacular on a crispy roll. The bar staff were friendly and there was a bonus of a dog sleeping next to my table, though she was more interested in tidbits than smooching. They have limited food and most of it isn’t going to win any awards but the sandwich I had was perfect with a beer.

Now, speaking of junk food, we need to talk about currywurst. It is an obsession in Germany, Berlin in particular, and it is really hard to know why. There are stands and shops selling them everywhere. So against my better judgement I tried a vegan one.

A currywurst, for the uninitiated, is a sausage cut into sections, sprinkled with curry powder and drowned in ketchup. If you say you like it spicy they’ll throw on some chilli flakes. It is hard to know what kind of mind dreamed it up. I can only assume it started life as a late night food for drunks.


For the record it was bad. Worse than bad. Just inexplicable. Once I’d sampled a couple of bites, for science only, I threw the rest in the bin.

I had booked in for a Turkish bath at a hammam for women that is situated in an old chocolate factory in Kreuzberg that is now a women’s centre.  I’ve only had one other Turkish bath in my life and that was in Turkey. They are a wonderful experience and so I was delighted to find one in Berlin and booked immediately. I spent a few hours steaming and pouring warm and cold water, getting scrubbed and soaped and doused and emerged relaxed and sparking clean and soft. if you ever get the chance, I can highly recommend it.

Later that night I grabbed a quick dinner at Momos (not junk food at all) where they make 6 kinds of vegetarian dumplings, 4 of which are vegan. I ate 3 kinds: pumpkin and chickpea, potato and mushroom, and tofu, broccoli and shiitake with a couple of dipping sauces. I demolished 18 of them (pictured above), half steamed and half fried at the tiny shop.


Delicious. They were so good that I went back a second time later in the week.

Schliemannstraße 15, 10437 Berlin, Germany

Fehrbelliner Strasse 5, 10119, Berlin

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