When I was apartment searching in Berlin in March and it was snowing every day (for almost 3 weeks); I would go to the food hall at Ka De We (I am referring to the penultimate floor here) and I would instantly feel better. I think Holly expresses it best in Breakfast at Tiffany’s when she says
“Listen…you know those days when you get the mean reds?”
Fred (Paul) “The mean reds? You mean like the blues?”
Holly “No… the blues are because you’re getting fat or because it’s been raining too long. You’re just sad, that’s all. The mean reds are horrible. Suddenly you’re afraid and you don’t know what you’re afraid of. Do you ever get that feeling?”
Fred (Paul) “Sure.”
Holly “When I get it the only thing that does any good is to jump into a cab and go to Tiffany’s. Calms me down right away.”
Well the Ka De We foodhall is my Tiffany’s. It’s like the Harrods Food hall in London without the crowds. Every nook and cranny is filled with some wonderous food or ingredient that you never thought you had to have but now that you have laid eyes on it, it beckons to you like the ring to Sméagol. I could easily spend an entire day there. They have something like 3 cheese counters! Open deck fridges positively full to the brim with sausages. A walk through the coffee section sets you buzzing without even a small sip. The teas are stored in large porcelain urns. Incredible really!
The fruit and vegetable stalls really let it down. It’s conceivable that nobody ever buys them because they are over-priced, so they languish on the shelves. They can’t exactly claim to be the food hall without fruits and vegetables so I can see that they are somehow stuck between a rock and a hard place on that one.
And it’s expensive. Of course it is! It’s a food hall in a department store. I think a bottle of Dr. Pepper was €3.50? You can get some really good value meals at the various food stations dotted throughout. I tend to buy a sausage and pretzel and perch up on the bar stools.
The top floor on the other hand. Well. Go visit, do a tour, maybe get a coffee and sit in that grand window overlooking Berlin. But whatever you do. Do not. I repeat, do not get a meal there! Or do, if you have a big roll of hundreds in your pocket and diamond shoes. Keep in mind though that they charge per 100g with non meat / fish items at €6.25 / 100g and the rest at €2.85 / 100g. Now a block of butter weighs 250g so if you were to get that at the Ka De We it would cost you….
….wait for it…..
I often see skirmishes at the check out when punters are presented with a bill for €40.oo and all they got were some mushrooms and a couple of shrimp. You can seem them thinking “but I wasn’t even really hungry? She must be weighing the plate!” What I find highly amusing, although probably a really clever move on the part of the management, is that the cashiers rarely if ever speak English. So they just shrug and eventually the customer moves on, conscious of all the people in the line behind him are probably thinking he is such a cheap skate. Until it’s their turn!
Don’t avoid the top floor though. It is beautifully laid out, just order with care.
KaDeWe Department Store
Kaufhaus des Westens
Tel +49 (0)30 2121 0