I-ke-Su, Wilmersdorf

We’ve been trying new places all over Berlin and I-ke-Su, on Uhlandstraße in Wilmersdorf, is going to become a regular on our list of go-to restaurants.

I-ke-Su is a kai tan sushi restaurant, the kind of place where the rolls are pulled around the restaurant on a conveyer belt and you grab what you like. I-ke-Su takes the concept to a delightfully kitschy place by using a tiny stream with wooden boats.

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Sorry for the blur. Those boats were moving at a nice clip!

The best part, from a family perspective, is the decor. In addition to the boats, the entire bar area is surrounded by a salt-water aquarium. S was especially charmed by the itty-bitty starfish clinging to the glass directly in front of her. What’s more – we got her to try a bit of a cooked salmon roll even though there was sauce touching the fish!

A major victory on more than one count!

You can find I-ke-Su at Uhlandstr. 157  by taking the U9 or U3 to Spichernstr.

Dokmai, Steglitz

We were in need of a change of culinary pace. More specifically, we needed a Thai restaurant. Now you may see in my archives that we have a neighborhood Thai place, but no more. Sadly, Sarod’s changed management and isn’t up to what it used to be.

And that’s why we had to go to Steglitz. I can’t tell you much else about Steglitz, since my experiences there are limited to walking from the S-Bahn to my new favorite Thai restaurant. I can’t take credit for the find, however, that was entirely Jon. It was his idea to look up the nearest Thai restaurant to the Thai embassy and voila! There’s was Dokmai.

The restaurant is small and the service is friendly. We’ve been twice and both times I ordered the basic – but telling! – Pad Thai. Its perfect; its tasty, and what’s more, it was exactly the same on both visits!

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This spicy, basil chicken was delicious, too. Can you see the peppercorns? So good.

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Don’t mind the schlep? Find Dokmai Muthesiusstraße 38 by taking the S1 or U9 to Rathaus Steglitz.

 

 

Neta, Mitte

Oh, Neta.

After a very hot Schifffahrt down the Spree, I insisted on stopping at Neta for lunch. Like most Americans, I have a strong possibly ironic relationship to Mexican food. There cannot be enough of it and it can’t be spicy enough. A terrible lack of good Mexican food is the scourge of most European expats. So it was a surprisingly hot day – we’ve had more than enough of those in Berlin – and we’d just gotten off of a boat. I hate boats. I needed comfort.

So off to Neta.

At 12:30 there was only one other table, which should have been enough of a warning, but I reasoned it away with the the idea that its Sunday morning and most of Berlin is either still asleep or nursing a hangover over brunch.

I can’t say there was anything I enjoyed about the meal. The tacos were overstuffed and cold and Jon’s burrito came with the wrong filling. We very quickly decided that Delores is the better Mexican option in Berlin — although we still have to try Maria Bonita or Chapparo.
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The boat ride down the Spree, however, was a big success for those of us who enjoy water-related activities. S spent the entire hour incredibly transfixed on the water.

Our boat, with Reederei Riedel, started outside of Hauptbahnhof and sailed east just past the Nikolaiveirtel. There are plenty of other cruise companies should you have a more specific wish to see something. We were just looking for something new to do with S. The hour-long ride was a little too long for her (there were a few babies on board who were very vocal about just how long it was), but she found the experience interesting enough and now we can check it off of our Berlin list.

Next she wants to take a train trip to a new city. Where should we go? S doesn’t care as long as she’s in the train for a long time!

Sam Woo, Irvine

For a while I wasn’t sure if I would continue to write about eating out with kids now that we’re back in the States. It seems that the diversity of restaurants gives parents so many more obvious choices, that there isn’t really a need. On the other hand, there may be families new to the area (or sort of new like us) who are looking for a place to go and, more importantly, I like doing it.

Here’s our first meal out back in Kalifornien. We went to one of our favorites, Sam Woo, a Hong Kong style Chinese restaurant. The first thing you’ll notice when you walk up is that there are two front doors; Sam Woo is actually two connected restaurants: a full-service restaurant and a take-out place. We’ve never eaten at the BBQ-Express half of Sam Woo, but its always full of people. I suppose its just up to what kind of dining experience you’re up for. We like to go the full service route. For the grown-ups, this means extra spicy, dry, sautéed string beans.

…yum.

For S, this means FISH!

HI FISH!

S now walks into the restaurant, right up to the hostess and asks, “sit next to da fish, pease?” Its pretty irresistible — and such a easy way to keep her entertained. Too easy. You see, we forgot why the fish are there. Not for decor or toddler entertainment. No, some people think these guys are pretty tasty. The first time the net appeared to scoop up somebody’s dinner, S leapt into my lap so quickly I barely had time to realize what had happened. Then it came to me. The fish, it went to Grandma’s house! Yes, look right at me when I say this to you little girl and not at the waiter carrying a plastic bag with a living creature in it when I say to you that fish wanted to see its Grandma!

Not sure she bought it.

But she really liked the extra fortune cookies and watermelon she got after the waitstaff realized why their favorite customer was hiding in a corner.