Berlin is one of the greatest cities in the world: it’s a fascinating city, and I love the atmosphere there. And it certainly helps that it is indeed vegan heaven. In February, Dr HH and I popped along for a weekend and treated ourselves to brunch at Kopps. It was my first ever all-you-can-eat brunch buffet, but not my last (in fact, the next one I had was also in Berlin!). It was all vegan, and was extremely plentiful.
By the door is a cereal table with muesli, cornflakes, and these delicious coconutty clusters. There were several varieties of yoghurt and a whole host of dried fruit. The perfect breakfast starter!
We moved on to a plate of cold savouries. There was a huge basket of bread, though Dr HH somehow managed to nab the last pretzel (or possibly the only pretzel – everything else was replenished regularly, but I never caught sight of another one of these). There were two kinds of cheese and two of salami, both of which were great, and some delicious creamy orange spread for the bread buns. Then a wide range of cold salad dishes and antipasti, the highlight being the nachos (though the crisps were a bit soggy from the dip, unfortunately).
Next we had some hot food: an exquisite medley of mushrooms that was beautifully seasoned; tofu scramble; crispy potato cakes; a sweet root vegetable gratin; and some short, fat noodles. Everything was good, and, most importantly, still hot.
And to finish, of course, we shared a dessert plate. There were three kinds of cake, but they were all a little dry. The top of the coconut cake was amazingly crunchy though, and the brownie was good with some of the banana cream from the little pot. There were a couple of hot dishes too, though this little pancake was the only one left. It was nice though! There were some other little pancake-style crumbs with fruit in, but I have no idea what they were, except that they were delicious. Still, surprisingly for me, I found that the savouries were better than the sweets this time around.
If you go for brunch, I’d recommend booking: it was absolutely packed. It wasn’t stressful though, as stocks were regularly replenished (except for the aforementioned pretzels) and table service for drinks and plate-clearing was excellent. Drinks need to be ordered from the staff, and we asked for some tap water to accompany our hot beverages, only to be told that they didn’t serve tap water. This is one of my biggest hates, and also it’s just baffling. Unless there is a problem with the water supply in Berlin, I just don’t think there’s an excuse for this.
We were given glasses containing about 0.25l of water each, and charged €3.80 for the privilege. Worse, we were given the water in glasses rather than bottles, so for all we know it actually was tap water. This gave me such a negative impression of the place. What if someone is sick and needs some water? We started stealthily drinking from our supply of water for the bus trip home, because unsurprisingly we got through those glasses pretty quickly.
If Kopps was previously losing money from serving unlimited tap water, I wonder why they didn’t add an extra euro to the price of the buffet – €13.50 for all you can eat seems pretty good to me, so I wouldn’t have resented an extra euro for the amount of food I had. €3.80 for a few mouthfuls of water though? No, thank you. I contacted Kopps afterwards to ask about the policy, but nobody ever replied. So the food gets a thumbs up, but the restaurant itself gets a thumbs down.
From a brunch that sounded like my kind of thing but left me a little angry, to an attraction that sounded awful but was really fantastic: the Game Science Centre. Even if, like me, you are not a fan of computer games or science, chances are you will love this. It’s a few big rooms with various games and activities to try. Instructions are in English and German, and it wasn’t that busy when we visited at Sunday lunchtime – two families and another couple (it’s perfectly acceptable to visit without kids). I excelled at this game, where you had to rhythmically hit the button to match the square on the screen…
…but I was utterly baffled by this one, which involved pumping to lift a balloon into the sky, turning wheels to control the direction and using a magnet to collect things I needed. Whatever I did, nothing seemed to happen.
There were lots of other games, including one that tracked eye movement to fire lasers, and one in which you killed aliens by firing a ping pong ball at them.
We finished off with occulus rift: I was advised to remove my glasses for comfort, so it was a little blurry but still very exciting.
It’s easy to focus on the history and art when you’re in Berlin, but I hope you’ll be inspired to visit this place and enjoy a little glimpse of the future too!