by James Glazebrook

One of the few downsides of living in Berlin is a lack of mid-range, refined restaurants. There are great street food vendors and homely, local-owned eateries, and, at the other end of the scale, Michelin-starred “dining experiences”, but not much in-between. That’s why we were delighted to hear that PANTRY had opened at Friedrichstrasse, on the site of the short-lived second location of Chipps.

PANTRY specialises in “Iberian-Pacific” cuisine, a fusion of the chefs’ training in Melbourne’s Thai restaurants and love of the Mediterranean. For us, that meant starters of an expertly-spiced hot and sour beef salad with rocket, wild herbs, pomegranate and orange couscous, and grilled Pulpo Fuego with corn crackers, chili and caramelised crispy pork. I then suppressed my envy as Zoë tucked into a succulent entrecôte served with sweet potato pommes and PANTRY’s “Double Impact” blend of Bernaise sauce and BBQ paste… but when I sunk my teeth into my perfectly-crisped free range chicken with liquorice Spargel all my jealousy melted away.

My only criticism is that PANTRY’s crème brûlée-like “Californication” (!) take on key lime pie strayed a little too far from the American pud I love so much. Never mind – as the menu changes monthly, we look forward to seeing what other sweet treats emerge from their open kitchen. Overall, PANTRY is a sleek but welcoming restaurant which turns out some of the most distinctive, well-flavoured dishes we’ve tasted in Berlin; an exciting addition to the city’s cuisine scene.

Freidrichstrasse 120
10117 Berlin-Mitte