Lavanderia Vecchia, Italian, Neukölln

Everyone seems to be talking about this restaurant (it’s on the cover of Zitty’s Essen + Trinken and listed as No. 1 Italian restaurant in Prinz). Some are even being very London about it all and saying it was all the rage when it first opened but not so much now. All I know is: it’s bloody difficult to get a table.  So I did something I often used to do in London, I called 3 weeks before, booked a table for four and then found some friends to go with me. 

It’s rather far away, I drove past the grand old Tempelhof airport and the large green expanses of Volkspark, marvelling at how every time I think I’ve got Berlin figured, it shows me yet another of her faces.

From light and airy, to congested and dingy, Flughafenstrasse is a smutty narrow two lane street.  When you look for the restaurant, it’s best just to look for the number, 46, rather than any obvious sign.  The 3 hanging towels and flourescent tube lighting give a taste of what’s to come.  The most theatrical set up I’ve seen since Pret a Diner: exposed brick walls painted white, flourescent tube lighting everywhere - even, under the table to light up our feet, domestic scenes set up behind glass and lit by yet more flourescent light.  The theater continues when our waitress turns out to be an older woman, in a black house dress with small white polka dots, worn black loafers and silver hair.  It’s wonderful, although entirely unusual to be served by a woman over forty.  We find out later, that the woman is called Andrea and she is half of Lavanderia Vecchia (the other half being her husband) and the crazy interior is her brain child. Read more of this post


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