In the wake of Sage Restaurant and Tin Tin, yet another nightlife bigwig, Cookie, has been expanding his culinary empire – aiming, this time, at the well-heeled Mitte lunch crowd.
The entrepreneur behind Cookies club and the high-end veggie restaurant Cookies Cream snapped up two locations of the bankrupt bio chain Gorilla: one in the posh new neighbourhood behind between the Foreign Ministry and Gendarmenmarkt (open since early May), and one soon opening on Friedrichstraße.
The name is a little misleading. “Chipp” here refers to the wafer-thin, à-la-minute-made potato pancakes (photo) that are the mainstay of the mix ‘n’ match menu. The concept is a mix of table service and DIY: deli-style food and fancy à-la-carte cooking. Veggie, mostly – with perfect sides of superior animal flesh. Build your own salads (€4 for one topping; €7 for three) with toppings as varied as quinoa and avocado with eight dressings to choose from. Warm dishes (€8.50) are built around the aforementioned Kartoffelchipp, a cheese Knödel, a summer roll-type Reispäckchen or a Nudelblatt (giant noodle). Add two veggies, a sauce and a topping, and presto… a custom-made lunch cooked up in a jiffy in the open kitchen.
It’s easiest to just go for one of the six lunch combos. We went for No 3, a Kartoffelchipp with asparagus, baby spinach chive-cream sauce and nut butter (€8.50); and No 6, a Nudelblatt with mini asparagus, basil and tomato-caper butter and a side of luscious Irish roast beef. Both combos came with a choice of palatable wild garlic soup or a simple lettuce salad with spot-on balsamic dressing. There was nothing to complain about, with the exception of a way over-salted Kartoffelchipp, which was promptly replaced.
Here again, Cookie proves he’s no novice. After scouring London for ‘creative’ eateries, he’s brought to Berlin something innovative with just enough sleek design gimmicks (an open storage cage, gold-lined lamp shades for great light…) to please while not skimping on quality or hospitality. The service was impeccable; our young Berlin-born waitress was friendly and totally conversant in English.
Chipps is also open for dinner, and they’re working on a breakfast menu beyond the croissant and coffee on offer now. More goodies from Cookies.