10 Favourite Places To Eat
The title of Mogwai’s new album, “ Hardcore Will Never Die, But You Will”, is a truism that reminds us that in the end, we’ll all end up in a wooden box. But in the meantime, we all have to eat. So Barry Burns, the guitarist and keyboard player of the most epic band in post-rock, forgets about the trivial stuff and recommends the things that really matter: ten spots in Glasgow and Berlin to stuff oneself until your body begs to be taken home. In no particular order, here they are.
1. The Banana Leaf (Glasgow).
It's about the cheapest place to eat in Glasgow, but that's hardly the appeal of this place. I discovered it with a blinder of a hangover one autumn afternoon, a Sunday when I realised that South Indian food is, for me, preferable to the northern stuff. I miss this place most about Glasgow but don't go on a romantic date there, it's not so beautiful aesthetically.
Address: 76 Old Dumbarton Road, Glasgow G3 8RE
Phone: 0141 334 4445
2. Gel Gör (Berlin).
The only 24-hour place that is actually exceptional. It's a Turkish place and busy even at 6 in the morning. Anyone who has been there will know about the legendary lentil soup which comes with some of the most delicious and chewy Turkish bread. They also have a pile of ready to be cooked sausages that I like to call Side Show Bob's Hair. The beer fridge contains quite the assortment and the milchreis pudding is comically tasty.
Address: Kottbusser Damm, 80 (Kreuzberg, 10967) Berlin
3. Ron Telesky’s Canadian Pizza (Berlin).
Berlin. The toppings are never standard pizza toppings but it doesn't put people off because the boss knows exactly what he's doing. One of my favourite slices is the flammkuchen which has bacon, cream cheese and tomato atop. The gorgonzola and pumpkin seed pizza is another but the extra sauces are not to be ignored for when you get to the crust... chili infused maple syrup and chipotle relish. Good God.
Address: Dieffenbachstraße, 62. 10967 Berlin
Phone: 030 61621111
4. Balbir’s (Glasgow).
Another curry place but this time you eat in more refined surroundings - the orders are taken on an ipad. The Goan curry here is fantastic but practically everything is great. It's a Mogwai favourite and the owner actually invented the classic Chicken Tikka Masala and Chasni. But do NOT get the Xacuti. Even the brave Scottish tongue is beaten by this fire.
Address: 7 Church Street, Glasgow. G11 5JP
5. Dolores (Berlin).
I'm not saying this place is perfect but for a San Fran style burrito you are going to have difficulty finding better anywhere else in Europe. If you attacked a person with one of these giant things, a hospital visit would not be out of the question. Plus, there's an English menu and wholewheat / brown rice option if you're so inclined. I am.
Address: Rosa-Luxemburg-Straße, 7 10178 Berlin
Phone: 030 28099597
6. Il Casolare (Berlin).
A very famous proper Italian trattoria around the corner from my flat. This place is heaving in the summer and you'll find out why if you don't hate food. Duck ragu was a favourite last year but the place is really known for the perfect Italian pizzas. The simplest are the best, buffalo mozzarella and tomato. I might go and get one after I write this.
Address: Grimmstraße 30, 10967 Berlin
Phone: +49 30 69506610
7. Asia Style (Glasgow).
It's well known as the best Malaysian / general Asian delights place to go in Glasgow, if not the UK. The seafood laksa kills but so many little vegetable dishes will also make you gloat with glee. You have to tick little boxes on an order form to receive your fare and it's pretty chaotic, but it's magic and you'd better try it.
Address: 185-189 St. Georges Road Elvingrove, Glasgow G3 6JD
Phone: 0141 332 8828
8. Via He Hai (Berlin).
One of many great Vietnamese places in Berlin and highly endorsed by my Californian friend Lee (who should know) with all the Vietnamese places on the US West coast. They do an amazing variety of authentic and often smelly dishes. The coconut red curry is somehow nicer than the Thai version and the summer rolls are pretty good too. There are loads of cheaper places but I cannot remember the names of them so Via He Hai wins.
Address: Dieffenbachstraße 58ª 10967 Berlin
Phone: 030 71533742
9. Little Otik (Berlin).
This is the sort of "posh" one that my wife and I have been to only once for my birthday but it was amazing. The owners used to do the typical berlin supper clubs until they decided to open a proper place on Graefestrasse. The chef was trained in New York and has a keen grasp on what tastes great. Really great mashed vegetables alongside simply cooked proteins and great wines. The music is probably the best available in any restaurant, with mixtapes by co-owner Jeff. The time we were there they played Eisbär by Grauzone, what a tune.
Address: Graefestrasse 71, 10967 Berlin
Phone: 030 5036 2301
10. Room 77 (Berlin).
Room 77, Berlin. It's burgers and wedges, and chili and nachos and all that. The chili won an award from the American Farmers Association (or something) and it's delicious but we go for the burgers, the firecracker being a favourite with jalapenos and chipotle mayo, and you'll also get wedges with homemade onion dip. If you like Tequila, they do Corralejo with little oranges that you dip into either coffee/sugar or cinnamon and chocolate. Jesus wept.
Address: Graefestraße 77 10967 Berlin
Phone: 030 31102260
A list that will make you hungry: Barry Burns, guitarist and keyboard player with Mogwai, recommends his ten favourite place to stuff himself. A lot of pizza and a lot of spice.
Hardcore Will Never Die, But You Will