CLOSED: The Berlin (Kitchener)

Brunching at the Berlin ensures you’re satisfied right away. You’ve experienced it - the hunger pangs from a delayed breakfast; for a person who eats by 7:00 am during weekdays, waiting until even 11:00 am seems like an eternity. The Berlin gets you – they’ve set-up a harvest table with cold dishes so you can get into the meal quickly after being seated.

Soon after our drink orders were taken (a mimosa for me that’s already included in the meal price), I descended upon the table with a promise to bring back only one plate. After all, I couldn’t fill up and not eat any of the hot dishes.

With a changing menu, depending on what the local producers have in season, there was a nice combination to choose from. Half of the table was dedicated to sweets (black berry muffins, coconut chocolate scones, and an iced citrus loaf, to name a few), in the middle a make-your-own granola section, and on the other end, my kind of end … the savoury affair.

Gorgeous slices of smoked pork neck and lachsschinken (a brined cured pork loin) charcuterie and a pile of Beemster cheese. Placed onto their yeasty crusty bread, it transformed everything into an ultimate ham and cheese sandwich.

Aside from an extremely over salted shaved cabbage and green apple salad, the other options were delicious:

  • Citrusy cubes of the lightly cured rainbow trout with creamy avocado and a hit of mystery spice that gave the dish extra pep (could it be a ginger salt similar to the ginger sugar used on the grapefruit)?   
  • Despite having my fill of beets this season, the liberal sprinkling of green onions mixed into the traditional goat cheese mixture was fantastic and gave the salad a fresh spring-like quality.

Be warned, the harvest table is a test to your self-control - despite knowing I had already ordered a poached egg, I couldn’t stop myself from grabbing a slice of the leek and goat cheese frittata as it came warm from the oven. Just step away from the table and strap yourself into your seat.

Berlin’s brunch ($24 for adults and $10 for children including a beverage) is my kind of buffet. To ensure the hot items are at their peak, these are made-to-order. Order one or many and they will arrive individually plated, perfect for passing around the table so everyone gets a taste.

The medium poached egg already arrives with spiced lentils and a creamy yoghurt. But, you could easily combine it with a slice of jowl bacon and bread or English muffin to make a DIY eggs benedict. As for the bacon, meat lovers have to try it. Don’t let the thick layer of fat scare you; it tastes light in the mouth and simply melts away into deliciousness.

Put together their hot juicy garlic sausage (accompanied by a lovely grainy beer mustard) with a crispy dense potato latke and you’re in for a hearty meal.

Yet, it’s the French toast with the maple syrup that got our table in a tizzy. The thick piece of pumpkin spiced bread with pumpkin seeds (?) must have been soaking for a long time in the egg and milk mixture. Once you cut through the caramelized exterior, the middle in piping hot and has a soft custard consistency. Just take a moment to savour the French toast … it’s … just … so … good.

So delicious that once I went back to the harvest table for “dessert”, the freshly made cinnamon sticky buns and crispy sesame-poppy seed palmier seemed so normal. Forget the sticky bun, I could have had another slice of the French toast any day.

It’s a shame that the Berlin isn’t located closer to home, or perhaps it’s just a saving grace for my waistline. The meal was friendly and fantastic. Oh Chef Jonathan Gushue, how do you make the first meal of the day so satisfying? And now, for a nap.

Overall mark - 9 out of 10
Disclaimer: The above meal was complimentary. Rest assured, as noted in my mission statement, I will always provide an honest opinion.

How To Find Them
 Location: Kitchener, Canada
 Address: 45 King Street West

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Gastro World's Grading System

  • Anything under 5 - I really disliked and will never go back
  • 6 - decent restaurant but I likely won't return
  • 7 - decent restaurant and I will likely return
  • 8 - great restaurant that I'd be happy to recommend
  • 9 - fantastic restaurant that I would love to visit regularly and highly recommend
  • 10 - absolute perfection!

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