Review of the Dwin Restaurant Berlin Germany
Berlin is one of my favourite cities to visit ; a vibrant city offering history, culture, art and nightlife. A sprawling metropolis packed with towering flat blocks, roads of exquisite shops and boutiques, cinemas, theatres, museums – everything you could ever wish to see packed into this great city, not forgetting a plethora of restaurants.
On my last visit to Berlin I was determined to find an Armenian restaurant and I was lucky enough to find one just around the corner from the hotel we were staying in on Kurfurstendamn. The Dwin restaurant, named after an Armenian provincial capital in the Middle Ages is situated on the street Kurfursten Uhlandstrasse and the address is: Kurfursten Uhlandstrasse 157, 10719 Berlin (Wilmersdorf), near (Kurfurstendamm). Telephone +49 (0) 30 881 29 15.
The restaurant is small, probably the smallest I have ever been in. I think about 6 large tables in all. The decor is very simplistic – white walls with two shelves of various wines and spirits on the right as you walk in. As we arrived at the door the waiter came and took our coats and showed us to a table on the left hand side facing the window. The atmosphere was very smoky which didn’t go down too well as neither of us smoke, and quite noisy with the music of Norah Jones blaring away mixed with family banter from the rest of the occupied tables.
Straight away I noticed on other tables that a lot of food had been left on plates and my initial thought was ‘Oh!Oh! This is not a good sign! But realised later that this wasn’t because the food was unsavoury – it is the Armenian way. They like to choose several different dishes from the menu, sample a bit of each and then leave the rest. I have seen this happen in Cyprus also and amazed how much food is wasted.
At this point we hadn’t ordered any food only drinks. A party of about 8 people suddenly came to the door and the waiter kindly showed them to our table. I was beginning to get a little irritable as the smoke was making my eyes run and it was very claustrophobic being in such a small environment with all these people. I am not generally anti-social but I always feel a little uncomfortable when having to share a table with people I don’t know. I find I can’t concentrate as I am too busy listening to other peoples conversations.
The menu wasn’t too extensive so it was easy to read and choose a dish. For a starter we ordered a feta salad with olives which when it arrived was enormous – enough for two people and we had ordered one each. It was delicious and had all the normal ingredients you would expect. Feta cheese, shredded carrot, cabbage, cucumber, peppers and so on. It was very tasty. The price was 6 euros each.
Main meal – we had been told by a colleague that this restaurant was famous for the dishes cooked on the lava stone. Basically these are meats like chicken, lamb , minced meat, marinated and then cooked on the famous lava stone served with basmati rice, potato gratin or salad. As the feta salad had been huge we were quite full and didn’t fancy this option so instead we both chose a Rollo which is home made Armenian flat bread filled with a choice of vegetables or chicken. The chicken fillet was tender, dressed in yogurt, tomato sauce and pomegranate syrup. I thoroughly enjoyed my Rollo but I do love flat bread but my husband wasn’t too keen.This was priced at 8 euros each.
To drink we had a bottle of French red wine – Chateau de Pena which cost nearly as much as the meal – 29 euros to be precise. The wine was smooth and adequate but nothing special. It’s ridiculous what restaurants charge for wine. I am not a cheapskate but I do begrudge paying over the odds for wine but then I feel like an old misery if I don’t have any so I can’t win on that one.
We always give desserts a miss but there was a fresh selection of home made desserts and they looked very filling and extra sweet. To finish the meal we had an Armenian coffee which is called ‘surdch’ and cost 2 euros. Very strong I might add. Tea is also served as well.
After we had paid the bill I couldn’t wait to be outside in the fresh air. My head was buzzing with listening to Norah Jones whine on for nearly 2 hours. I have nothing against this lady. In fact I think her voice can be enchanting but the same album played for 2 hours nearly drove me bonkers. What with that noise, cigarette smoke, clanking of plates and boisterous voices I was ready to go to bed or at least have a nightcap in the hotel.
Unfortunately I wasn’t very impressed with this restaurant. It seems that they prepare and cook a handful of good dishes and they do this extremely well. The service is excellent but the restaurant space is too small making it claustrophobic. The only remark I can make about smoking at the dinner table is – Put an end to it as it does really spoil the atmosphere for other guests. All and all I will give the experience 5 out of 10.
Summary: Not bad but not really good.