I can’t quite remember the last time I wrote about a restaurant here. It felt like it was still cold then and pitch dark from 6 p.m. And now this text is at least two weeks overdue again. It was my own vacation and that of my colleagues to blame. But enough excuses, now everyone is talking: I recently went to the newly opened Kitten Deli and now I want to go every week. The restaurant in Neuköllner Friedelstraße is the big little sister of the neighboring Katies Blue Cat and an asset to the neighborhood.
Because of Corona, you will probably spend the summer in Berlin this year. If you had to cancel your planned Israel vacation, you should definitely come to the Kitten Deli for late breakfast, lunch or dinner to get a helping of Tel Aviv feeling. In the restaurant, which is located in the former traditional Neukölln bakery (see outside facade), you get fantastic Mediterranean-Israeli cuisine from Middle , homemade challah and cakes as well as wine.
The woman behind the Kitten Deli is Ngoc Duong, a veteran of Friedelstrasse. In 2011, she and Olivia Wood opened the Katie’s Blue Cat café here . “Neukölln was completely different back then. Not the Neukölln that we know today,” recalls Ngoc. Almost ten years later, her small empire grew when she opened Kitten in May 2020 together with her Middle business partner Itamar Lanner and chef Yuval Belhans . In the summer of 2019 she had already taken over the premises of the bakery from next door and converted it together with her husband. In order to be able to finance the renovation, the two had started a Startnext campaign at the time , I reported about it in February.
The restaurant is a mix of old and new, preserving tradition and still making room for the modern. Paneled walls and wooden furniture meet modern design elements such as the lamp above the bar and the glass chamber in the dining room. Ngoc’s husband built both himself. The bakery, which has been baked in for over 100 years, has also remained. “That was very important to the landlord.” Challah breads and cakes are baked here every day. Warm air not only flows from the bakery into the kitten’s guest room , Ngoc and Itamar also radiate so much warmth and hospitality that you can’t help but feel good here.
A visit to the Kitten Deli is like a short vacation to Israel. The menu includes classics like hummus, green and red shakshuka, roasted cauliflower and sabich, a roasted eggplant with tahini, small potatoes, a boiled egg, homemade mango chutney and harissa. There is also homemade pita bread and pickled olives. Because I came to the Kitten Deli when I was really hungry and had to try the range for you, Ngoc served me a few more slices of challah and a selection of homemade specialties such as pickled vegetables and hummus Labneh cream cheese with za’atar and an extra portion of harissa. The spice paste with paprika and tomato goes perfectly with the creamy cheese. It tastes particularly good when you smear both on the challah.
Afterwards my hunger is satisfied, but there is always room for dessert. That’s why there is a warm Apple Berry Crisp with a dash of cream to top it off. “Trust me, it tastes even better that way,” says Ngoc as she pours the cream over the crumble. And what can I say: the woman is right!
Definitely try: Sabich, Challah and the Apple Berry Crisp.
Veggie: Everything is vegetarian, and a lot is also vegan.
Special feature of the store: The mix of old and new, classic and modern. Also great: the large bakery.
Who are you going with: Hummus and aperitivo fans.
For fans of: Yafo, Katie’s Blue Cat and Beba .
Prices: coffee between 1.80 and 3.40 euros, food between 4.50 and 10 euros, home-made food in a glass (pickled vegetables, labneh etc.) 5 euros.