13th May 2012

Yildiz

246 Friedrichstrasse, Berlin

Don’t be alarmed at the signs outside promising Pasta and Pizza, for this is a proper Middle Eastern restaurant with a variety of vegetarian dishes. Order falafel and a plate arrives with six pieces of freshly cooked falafel on a sliver of pita bread, hummus (what I would call mayonnaise), potato chips, rice, and two large bread rolls…more carbohydrate, anyone? But the side dishes include a wonderful puree of capsicum, onion and tomatoes, full of flavour without being hot and decorated with sprigs of broad leaf parsley; its moisture goes well with the slightly dry main course. The drinks menu ranges as widely as it usually does in Berlin, with the addition of bottled water from Turkey! While not being up-market, this is the most formal of the Turkish restaurants reviewed in this series, and like the others it makes vegetarian food available in an environment which veggies won’t always find particularly friendly.

Apologies to Turkish readers; I have spelt the name of this restaurant using the letter i, not being able to generate the similar Turkish letter without the dot.

The nearest U-Bahn is Hallesches Tor.

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6th May 2012

Marmari’s

44 Taunsstrasse, Frankfurt am Main, Germany

Among the variety of Turkish restaurants in Germany serving vegetarian food, this establishment, while unpretentious, is a step above Habibis, reviewed recently; you order your meal at a counter and find a table, to which it will be brought. The vegetarian range is very good. They do a hearty lentil soup (linsesuppe) that hits the spot on a cold day; beautifully red and bursting with flavour, it comes with a large piece of Turkish bread, a wedge of lemon, and a chilli. There are fresh salads with plenty of greens, with or without cheese, and enormous plates of potato chips (pommes frites) with sauce. Of the range of drinks in the fridge the fizzy apple juice has a strong taste that goes well with this food. While the staff prefer to speak German or Turkish they are friendly and easy to communicate with.

Only one thing holds me back from giving this restaurant top marks. It’s located close to the main station, and the lights are neither green nor orange in this district. Ignore the sleaze.

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