The restaurant scene in Berlin leaves nothing to be desired – one might think. Really nothing? So far we had not found a good Southern Indian restaurant yet, where you can indulge in dosas and idli. But last week we tried the recently (in November 2014) opened Chutnify in Berlin Mitte.
„Indian Street food,“ promises the sign at the front. We went with a friend who (similar to us) considers himself “a good vegetarian and a bad vegan”. The Chutnify is in fact not even a vegetarian restaurant. They do have meat dishes on the menu, mostly chicken, some pork. But they offer a number of vegetarian and vegan choices and label all their dishes accordingly: G – gluten free, veg – vegetarian, v – vegan.
The core of the menu is made up of different varieties of dosa, a thin lentil-rice pancake with various fillings and accompanied by several sour and sweet chutneys. All three of us opted for the Classic Masala Dosa, which was labelled v for vegan, but came with a small pot of yoghurt raita. Masala dosa with a spicy potato filling is the most popular type of dosa and benefits especially from the contrast of the slightly crisp pancake and yummy soft potato mix.
It was suited for fork and spoon as well as the classical Indian way of eating with your body-attached eating tools (as Isa did). The Chutnify also offered some not so typical Indian varieties, like “meditarranean” with aubergines, tomato, and feta. What we missed, however, were the large, thin and very crisp paper dosa that you can get in South India.
We loved the atmosphere and the decor of the one small room, which was packed with guests on a weekday evening. Small wooden tables, coloured chairs, a shelf with spices in glasses and a large wall painting resembling one of those Indian educational cartoons.
For drinks we broke with the “same for all” rule and ordered differently. A salty lassi which came with a variety of interesting spices besides the salt, a sweet mango lassi, and a home-brewed lemonade with sea salt (unusual, but tasty). Portions were quite huge, but if you are still hungry they have interesting desert options as well, like sweet dosa or pistachio kulfi (we will have to come back for that). The bill came in a small wind-up tuk-tuk – a lovely detail.
Prices are moderate for Mitte (7-10 Euros), and the service was a bit slow, so bring good company.
Where in Berlin is Chutnify?
Chutnify, Sredzkistr. 43, 10435 Berlin, 030-44010795, http://www.chutnify.com. Reservation is recommended (via the homepage).
Meanwhile, they have opened more restaurants in Berlin and Portugal.