Despite Berlin’s so-called Spanish invasion, tapas aren’t yet available at every street corner, so celeb-actor Daniel Brühl, teamed up with Atilano González and Mark Beyer to give Kreuzberg the ‘real’ tapas bar it was missing. González and Brühl met on the set of Goodbye, Lenin!, where they bonded over their Spanish heritage and love for the country’s food. When González’ cousin opened a Spanish import company, the four joined forces: Bar Raval opened in February.
Next to Görlitzer Park, Raval’s grey, high-ceilinged space feels exclusive, but the food is actually low key – just a huge assortment of hot and cold tapas, simple and delicious.
We started out with the obligatory glass of Cava (Rimarts Especial, €3.50 for 1cl) and olives, then a montadito canapé topped with a generous slab of potato omelette (€1.80 for one, €4.90 for three), laying a nice foundation. The patatas bravas – fried potatoes with garlicky aioli mayo (€3.60) were well done, but not as scharf as described.
To cut through the heavy mix of bread, potato and mayonnaise, we went for fried green paprika (€3.90) and a cold glass of house white, a 2009 Bodegas de Castilla (€2.60 for 1cl, €5 for 2cl).
Meat-loving Spain is no place for vegetarians, so González created the Raval salad, consisting of thinly sliced vegetables, sautéed and formed into a medallion, then topped with fresh greens (€4.90). The salad led well into buñuelos de bacalao, or od fritters (€3.70), little balls of fish and potato fried to perfection.
The meal climaxed with some jamón Ibérico de Bellota (€19.50), thinly cut, cured pata negra ham, and a glass of rosé (2009 Vidal del Saz, €2.40 for 1cl, €4.80 for 2cl) provided a graceful ending.
Though Raval’s prices are a little steep for Kreuzberg, this might just be the most authentic Spanish food you’ll find without buying a plane ticket.