Dining in Mitte can be a fraught exercise. It’s not that there’s nothing good in the area, but trying to find an eatery that falls in that sweet centre spot of a Venn diagram with the categories “good”, “affordable” and “not too touristy” certainly feels like more of a challenge than in other districts.
The plate was loaded with petite dumplings with a juicy ground beef filling and a smear of slightly garlicky sour cream
So, with these problems in mind, I’m pleased to report that a neighbourhood classic of sorts, the Tadshikische Teestube, has still got it. This is probably due to the restaurant’s design, which has novelty value, but in a cosy way that doesn’t goad you into photographing it. After all, it predates Instagram: the interior is a replica of Tajikistan’s pavilion from a 1970s trade fair in Leipzig. With Central Asian carpets scattered all over, it gives the air of an oversized yurt; you’ll take your shoes off and sit on plush cushions at low tables, which you’ll share with other customers unless you’re in a bigger group.
Unsurprisingly, tea is a major component of the offerings – for the full experience, you can get the Russian tea ceremony with robust, slightly smoky black tea in an ornate samovar and a full spread of jam, cookies, rum-soaked raisins and fondant candies. The ‘ceremony’ part is a bit of a misnomer: service here is a little hands-off (but serviceable, by Berlin standards). If you’re expecting someone to tell you that there’s a proper way to work through this assortment of treats, well, don’t. But I’m also not sure authenticity is the point here, considering there were some Italian cookies slipped into the mix. Rather, it’s just a good ol’ tea time, with a bit of a central Asian bent.
With Central Asian carpets scattered all over, it gives the air of an oversized yurt
Despite the name, the Tearoom is a full restaurant with a mix of Russian (vareniki, blini) and Central Asian (Uzbek lamb-and-rice dish plov) dishes. You’d be remiss not to dive into this side of the menu: the blini were fantastically pillowy and filled with a generous layer of salmon and a dash of dill. The pelmeni were also a hit: the plate was loaded with petite dumplings with a juicy ground beef filling and a smear of slightly garlicky sour cream. Those dishes almost all come in under €10 – a good deal, and a veritable steal for Mitte.
With this careful balancing of price, quality and vibe, it’s pretty clear why the Tadshikische Teestube is so enduring.
- Tadshikische Teestube Oranienburger Str. 27, Mitte. Hours vary