In 1928, legendary Weimar Berlin writer Kurt Tucholsky claimed ironically that ‘a restaurant menu is always a calamity’. Thankfully, the menu in Tucholsky’s, named after the famous writer, is no calamity at all. The cozy dark restaurant with terrace on fancy Torstrasse serves a modern take on traditional German cuisine – on the menu heritage food like Königsberger Klopse (meatballs in white sauce) and fried liver sits next to more modern dishes like prawns in garlic and pikeperch from the Havel river.
Given that the owners also operate the nearby Neue Odessa Bar, Tucholsky’s also serves excellent cocktails and aperitifs. In a city with an abundance of cheap restaurants, this is not one of them, but I do like to come here to celebrate or just to enjoy an exquisite meal. This is not a stereotypical German Gasthaus where one is pelted with enormous heaps of potatoes and sausages, but a civilized place for excellent food and drink, a place where it nevertheless feels appropriate to slap your belly after finishing your plate and lighting a cigar or cigarette afterwards.
I guess that Tucholsky, a bon vivant with an expanding waistline in his lifetime, would have loved it here as well. After all, he also said: ‘It’s a shame that you cannot caress wine.’