One of the truisms of life: You can’t go wrong with a restaurant recommendation by a food blogger in their own home town.
Uncharacteristically for me, I had dropped the ball in making dinner reservations for the Saturday night of The Hive conference in Berlin. On the plus side, there were lots of food bloggers and Berlin locals at The Hive.
So I was pretty comfortable when one of the other attendees I knew at The Hive conference, the lovely Natali from Kochen, Kunst & Ketchup, made a reservation for us to eat dinner at a popular new restaurant in town, Spindler Berlin, in the trendy neighbourhood of Kreuzberg.
The original plan called for dinner with Elisabetta, an architect and design blogger at Italian Bark, and Sarita who blogs at The Orange Gift Bag. We had all been to The Hive last year and had become friends. By the time we had left the Scandic hotel for dinner though, we had morphed into a happy chattering group of people.
We didn’t have a problem until we got to the restaurant.
“The reservations you made are for 5 people.”
“Yes, but there are 10 of us now.”
The German waiter looked flustered. Not surprising. It would be hard to accommodate 10 people on a Saturday night at any popular restaurant in any big city.
We were offered a table outside. After the afternoon rain, all the outside tables were empty. The evening though still had a chill in the air from the rain. We apologised to the nice waiter at Spindler and went en masse to the restaurant next door. Good thing we were on a street known to have lots of good restaurants, Paul-Lincke-Ufer on the canal.
The twinkling lights of the lanterns in the front garden of Chan Asian Food Market were welcoming.
The fragrant smell of delicious Thai food wafted through the air. The waiter at Chan, likewise, was a bit flustered but offered us drinks in the garden until a table could be found.
Fairly soon, he had tables for us even though the restaurant was pretty full. The atmosphere of the restaurant itself was friendly and relaxed. The food was as delicious as it smelled. We were all talking and laughing the night away.
You know you are with bloggers when everyone takes photos of the drinks before they start drinking. This place had great cocktails!
I had the tofu Thai red curry which was excellent. Elisabetta pronounced her Pad Thai as terrific as well.
Good food and good conversation – what could be better? I loved that our group was so diverse. As with any large group though, you chatted with the people who sat nearest you. In my case, that was Anita, a Hungarian interiors blogger living in Budapest writing at Creative With Love; Agata, a Polish design blogger living in Milan writing at Passion Shake; and Magdolna, a Hungarian luxury fashion blogger living in Germany writing at Silk So Fine.
We discovered we were all dog lovers. Even though some of us had children, it was photos of our dogs that were passed around! I think that is another life truism: People who love dogs are good people!
The Hive is just that sort of blogging conference. It’s very easy to make friends and meet lots of new interesting people who share your interests.
Our dinner plans came together somewhat haphazardly but all’s well that end’s well. Natali told me later that Chan is well known among locals for having excellent Thai food at reasonable prices. I also have every intention of returning for ‘new regional German food’ at Spindler Berlin sometime in the future.