Monday, May 5, 2014

Get Lucky With Lucky Leek

 Seitan Roll in Bretzel Dough, Molten Pak Choi, Sauce from Rollberg and Orange, and Beetroot and Walnut Confit
German Vegan!
     When browsing through the listings of Berlin on Two places were at the top of my list Kopps and Lucky Leek. We arrived in Berlin on a late sunday night and Lucky Leek is only open Wednesday through Saturday, which meant I had one single day to make sure we got to visit this gem. It was so stressful that I was shifting tourist events to make sure we would be back in the city in time to visit Lucky Leek. Yes, it was worth the wait and stress.

Brandenburg Gate

    I botched the times and missed an organized tour of sachsenhausen concentration camp, but luckily I was able to navigate on our own thanks to the amazing Berlin public transportation system. After a sobering day revisiting the horrors of humanity, it was nice to get to Lucky Leek to see how humane humanity could be, if it chooses to be. Inside Lucky Leek, I could already tell that we were in for a treat. Despite not having a reservation, we were seated quickly and the staff came over to take drink orders (german beer, folks!) and drop off the menu. Lucky leek is exciting since there isn't a set menu, but 5 different menu items that you can order ala carte or order the whole 5 courses. Along with the 5 courses, they offer a special soup and entree. Do I even have to tell you which one I did? In case, you're still scratching your head, I went with the whole enchilada, 5 courses. I'll go in order, but just like Kopps, the desserts are worth noting. And stay tuned, I'll move unto Paris for the next post! Maybe even start strong with one of if not the best place I've ever eaten at, Le Potager du Marais.

Prelude: Tatar From Herbed Tofu Caprese, Carrots and Sesame Cream, Melon and Cucumber Salad
A Taste Of Things To Come!
      When this salad came out, I knew that picking Lucky Leek was a good choice. While I'm not a caprese expert, the tofu part was light and refreshing, the carrots and sesame cream was more like a hummus or carrot butter, but was still delicious. 
Sour and Spicy Vegetable Soup, Pumpkin Tortellini, Kimchi 
      Did I mention that it was October and kinda brisk, I was running myself ragged trying to fit everything in. We kinda stayed late, missed the bus so let's not even mention the walk back to the train from sachsensausen. This soup hit the spot. I'm on a spice kick, so I would've upped the spice, but the kimchi was an nice addition to fulfill my spice addiction. The pumpkin tortellini were a nice play on the dumplings that would normally be found, but with the October special of pumpkin filled, allowing us to fulfill the as much pumpkin as possible wish.

Radishes Risotto, Black Salsifies, Cream from Almonds and Figs, Baby Spinach, Ginger Dumplings
    The second risotto that I found in a German restaurant I was starting to think that it was a German dish. Not that I am complaining. What I liked about this risotto was the Ginger dumplings on the top. Maybe it's my vegan meat and potatoes but I'm always look for something else to compliment the risotto. I resist the urge to have rice be a dish as itself, no matter how long you stirred it! The ginger dumplings provided excellent relief, but as I always say I would put more ginger in it. I even put some shadow on the picture for a nice artistic touch! 
Inside of Lucky Leek
Life IS Beautiful at Lucky Leek!
     Now scroll up the the lead picture. Now, stop drooling. Two commands in one paragraph. Sorry, but it was that delicious. I would put this on a postcard. While the other dishes were excellent, this was the dish I gravitated towards. You can't say pretzel wrapped seitan and not want it. Add a beer based sauce and confit and this was a home run. My only compliant is it was one the small sized and I wanted 3 or four of these. A quintessential german dish veganized. Suck, it Huffington Post.

Caramel and Nougat Slice, Fig, Banana Ice Cream
Best Dessert Ever!
     Perhaps my sweet tooth shows, but Germany really knows there desserts. First Kopp's Semolina Balls, La Mano Verde's tabled flamed creme brulee and now Lucky Leek gets into the fray. How good was this? I told the server that I've tasted many vegan desserts and this caramel and nougat slice was and might be the best vegan dessert I've ever had. The server was a little taken back, but relayed my message to the chef. If I wasn't a little self conscious and leaving Berlin in the morning I would've ordered a togo of this entire cake. The banana ice cream was awesome as well. Slightly overshadowed by the cake slice, but they had these cute edible spoons the ice cream was served on. *Swoon* I'm officially in love. Move over, New York City, Berlin is the best for vegan dining. 

 Herbed Ravioli and Pesto With A Beer Sauce
Beer Based Sauce!

 While I was good with the five courses, I forgot what the special one ordered. Besides what the five course menu offered, they offer two other items. This was the entree, I'm guessing maybe pumpkin filled but with the same beer based sauce from the pretzel coated seitan.
Soup of The Day
Soup Du Jour!
Sachenhausen Conentration Camp Gate Entry

Memorial To The Victims

Memorial To The Victims

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