A couple of weeks ago now, four of my oldest friends came to visit me here in Berlin. It was a whistle stop tour that involved food, food and more food. Attendance on my food tour was of course compulsory, and they were delighted with the introduction to the variety of things to eat in this city (though they had to say that). Naturally, our food tour did not end there.
We delved further to explore what Berlin has to offer and as always, the place that stood out, was Txokoa. Nestled on a corner of the popular Weserstraße in Neukölln, it is described as a Basque Gastro bar. The menu here is special and offers far more than the typical Spanish tapas available in Berlin.
Slow roasted pork belly over 24 hours, watermelon gazpacho with almond mousse and truffled potato croquettes are just some of the choices to entice you. There is something for both carnivores and plant eaters alike, though perhaps not for those vegans among us.
We chose a selection of dishes, which is my recommended way to order here, as portions are small and believe me, you want to enjoy the variety of this menu. The squid ink orzo with prawns was phenomenal and had a rich, salty silkiness that stained your lips obsidian. Tip- check your face in the bathroom mirror before leaving.
The pork belly with apples is exquisite and you'll also need the pork belly croquettes, trust me. As someone that eats mainly plants, this was by no means a pork overload. Divine.
The Mallorca tartlet is a must, with aubergine, Sobrasada and gratinated goat's cheese and always takes me to another plane whenever I have it.
As we were on holiday, (my friends at least), we decided to have dessert.
The right decision.
The hot chocolate fondant with mandarine sorbet and wasabi was genius and though I know we've all had a fondant somewhere before, this was special.
Prices are perhaps not as cheap as Berlin can be, but any penny spent here is a penny well spent. I promise. Enjoy.
Txokoa is something of an old faithful for me now, somewhere I always take anyone that visits. The quality never diminishes but seems to continue to improve and become more interesting every time I go.
Afterwards, as we did, you can roll out onto the busy Weserstaße and duck into one of the ever-growing bars that adorn this street. If all that pork will let you.