A wonderful petit restau in Keramikos
There are some places in Athens that I simply love! Berlin raki, at Keramikos is one of them and there are many reasons it holds such a special place in my heart: excellent food, excellent drinks and awesome people!
Keramikos is a very lively area. If you are in central Athens, your footsteps will naturally lead you there. As you will be strolling the streets of the ancient city center, leaving the Parthenon behind, you will be just roll a bit down hill on the cobbled street towards Keramikos museum. From there, you cannot miss the imposing structure of the 1850s gas factory. It is, now, home of a cultural center that holds special events throughout the year, from food markets to gigs, this is where I found out about my food blogging award, too.
At night, Keramikos is certainly one of the areas that stays up the longest in Athens, from dine & wine to bars, cafes and clubs you will certainly find something to match your mood. It can get really crowded on the weekends, but fear not I have found a shelter: Berlin raki! It has become my favourite spot because it feels just like home, any time of the day, any time of the week. Chilled atmosphere, wonderful people and good food is all you need, be it a light bite for lunch, a hearty evening meal or just popping by for some excellent strawberry raki and listening to the special DJ sets.
As you can guess I am a repeat offender, at Berlin Raki. I visit quite often and the menu is so versatile it can accommodate either a light tapas style meal, the Greek mezze or a full three-course dinner. Talking of tapas my absolute favourite is their taramosalata mousse, the texture is exactly as you imagine it, airy, creamy, simply divine. Second to this comes their wonderful ‘scumbretta’ like bruscetta but based on finely grated zucchini and smoked mackerel. Super-healthy Cretan cuisine could not be missing, they chose the best: crispy cheese-pies, ‘mizithropites’ along with the famous rusk-tomato and feta salad, ntakos and of course excellent quality liquor of Crete, the famous raki to match their name, it is Berlin raki after all. If you haven’t tasted raki, think of ouzo without the aniseed or the Italian grappa. In the summer we have raki frozen, in equally frozen shot glasses, to quench our thirst and lift the spirits. Raki has a habit of doing this very quickly.
But there is more, my last visit could only be described as sheer gluttony. Thankfully, it was a large table and I did share. I tried their mussels, there are a couple of options you can choose from. I didn’t go for the traditional herby and slightly boozy Belgian mussels, although I am a huge fan. These mussels were swimming in a velvety, rich red sauce and gave you a spicy kick. Needless to say I was mopping up the sauce. I had some divine grilled shrimps, wrapped in thin slivers of our traditional cured pork from Mani, siglino – sucking and smacking noises ensued this. And imagine these were for starters.
If you are a meat lover, you will find their tagliata exquisite. Perfectly seasoned, perfectly cooked and with a great side of caramelised onions and baby potatoes salad. In case you are a little squeamish and medium-rare is not your thing, fear not – there are excellent burgers. I must have fallen in love with burgers again at Berlin raki. They have an 8oz burger that is the chef’s special: imagine juicy burger hiding under a fluffy bun along with crispy bacon, melting cheddar, homemade mayo and onion chutney, also homemade. And did I say hand-chopped, golden fries for a side? And refreshing salad of course. The best bit of this is that Berlin raki does home deliveries, too.
Now that summer is here and you are definitely in need of a cosy place to chill, think of Berlin Raki, think of the summer special strawberry flavoured raki – a house speciality that puts daiquiri to shame – head over there and have one for me too! I promise to do the same.
from Athens with love,
PS 1 Berlin Raki is at Konstantinoupoleos 44 & Elassidon 29, Athens, phone: 210 30 31 519
5 minutes from metro station Keramikos, on the blue line
Price range: €
PS 2 The photos are courtesy of Berlin raki, I was too busy eating.by