Monday 1 November 2010

Review: Barcomi's, Mitte - Revisited

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.

Barcomi's Mitte interior

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.

Barcomi's Mitte coffee counter

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.
Barcomi's chocolate espresso cheesecake

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?

Barcomi's raspberry ganache cake

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.

Barcomi's Mitte courtyard


  1. So happy to hear you had a good experience this time! Nothing is more disappointing than a poor piece of cake...btw, we only use fresh, whole milk. I agree - skim milk is just too watery :)


    Cynthia B.

  2. Thanks for stopping by again Cynthia. Glad to hear there's no skimmed milk in Barcomi's - perhaps the tea/coffee to milk ratio was not quite what I usually go for. But no matter, the cake was superb! Keep doing what you're doing!

  3. Oh yum yum, I would so love a bit of that cheesecake right now. It looks so chocolatey - chocolate cheesecake is often not chocolatey enough.

    I'm afraid I'm all about the skimmed milk! For years and years I just hated all milk, and then skimmed became bearable, and now I'm just used to it i guess! I can agree with you that having your preferred type of milk can make or break a drink though, I get very grumpy when people put full-fat milk in my tea!

  4. Hmmmnnnn, interesting Jane. I'd assumed that skimmed milk was only favoured as a diet aid. It's something of a surprise that you drink it by choice... That cheesecake was totally amazing - no diet aid though to be sure!

  5. That choc cheesecake looks AMAZING!! Shame Berlin isn't on the tube line. Loving your site Natalie. Definitely going to check out some of your tea recommendations.

    Miss Immy

  6. That sounds delicious - a bit far from me to pop and have a cuppa - what a shame :)

  7. Hi there I have nominated your blog for an award :-) see my blog for details. x

  8. I think Barcomi's is a good option in that area, that or the barn.

  9. Missimy & BarMc - I know Berlin's not nearby but think of all the cake places you can try next time you visit! You won't have time for anything else!

    Lady Cherry, thank you so much. My first nomination - I am touched.

    Foodieinberlin, I haven't tried The Barn yet - I was put off by all the English being spoken outside :o) But it does sound good...