You may remember that some time ago I wrote about a rather disappointing cake-away I'd had from Barcomi's in Berlin's Mitte. Well, in the spirit of fairness I decided it was time to go back. As I reported late last year I have been to Barcomi's - both the Mitte & Kreuzberg branch - many times and last Christmas was the first time I'd been anything other than impressed.
Well I am very pleased to report that this return visit proved that Barcomi's is as nice as I'd remembered and that that previous trip was just a one-off. Over the last week or so we have been going all over town visiting galleries for the European Month of Photography and finding ourselves in Hackesher Markt at afternoon tea time we decided to pop in. And we were lucky, it seemed like we got there just in time - fifteen minutes later and we'd have struggled to get a table. I am always amazed by how many Americans are in this place: given that the menu is full of American favourites such as brownies, cheesecakes and drinks like Celestial Seasonings teas perhaps homesickness drives them there - or perhaps it's just the quality of the goods.
Although things didn't necessarily start that well. Coffee Boy (of course) went for one of their wide selection of coffees, a latte in fact, and reported that it was acceptable if a little thin. I decided to have a chai tea latte which sadly was also very much on the thin side. I suspect both drinks were made with skimmed milk which I hate; as far as I'm concerned you might as well drink white water. Really, why does anyone bother? But I was prepared to overlook it as it was the cakes I was really interested in. I again chose the raspberry and ganache cake because it just sounds too darn tempting, and CB went for the chocolate espresso cheesecake. It soon became clear we had chosen well as both were huge and delicious.
The cheesecake was creamy and very chocolatey with a lovely espresso kick; the base was nice and crunchy and also chocolatey. The overall taste was pretty rich; this was no tea time snackette I can tell you! And the ganache cake even less so. I actually struggled to finish it and had to rope in a far-from-reluctant CB to help me out. The chocolate sponge was properly chocolatey but my favourite bits are the thick layers of ganache - yummy. And then just to cut through it there are two lovely thin but sharp layers of raspberry: truly a divine combination. Both cakes were fresh and did I mention they were huge?
I was so pleased to have returned to Barcomi's and found it to be as nice as I'd remembered. I particularly like the location of the Mitte branch: hidden in a little courtyard it feels like a secret spot - although the busyness of the place attests to the fact it's not a very well-kept secret. The decor also has a really pleasing vibe: a nod to an American diner with its Formica tables but still very much an overall Berlin style. All round Barcomi's is definitely worth a visit when you're in the Hackesher Markt area. But please save a table for me: now I've made a return I think it won't be long before I'll be heading back.