For chef Mischa Smeljanski, there are few things better than the sparkle in his guests’ eyes when they receive their plates of pie, fluffy mashed potatoes, peas and gravy. Berliners with British, Australian and New Zealand backgrounds have gone without their Anglo-Saxon comfort food fix since the much-loved Kreuzberg pie-maker HelloGoodPie closed down a few years ago.
German-Ukrainian Smeljanski didn’t grow up with the pub classic himself, “but every culture knows meat in dough,” he says. He was introduced to the art of upscale pie-making as an employee at St. Bart’s – the Graefekiez gastropub works closely with Donau101.
When it comes to the pie, Donau101 is all about traditional flavours and techniques: expect tried and tested combinations like chicken and mushroom, cheese and onion, or cheddar and beef. But they’re also not afraid to surprise their diners with pulpo and chorizo, or mac’n’cheese-filled pies. Vegetarian and vegan options are also available.
It’s not just the pastry and delicious fillings that are homemade, but all the trimmings too. Creamy mashed potatoes, peas, gravy (both vegan or chicken-based), as well as the traditional brown sauce, ketchup and piccalilli (vegetables pickled in turmeric, mustard and vinegar).
If you want to eat in, there is a table a bench in front of the door with blankets and cosy cushions for the colder days. Stick around for glass of natural wine and look out for their special desserts.
- Donau101, Donaustraße 101, Neukölln, details.
Wondering where else to eat in Neukölln? Have a look at our list of the neighbourhood’s best restaurants.