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Choosing a restaurant for lunch in Berlin is tricky; no, near impossible. With ample caf├ęs, five-star restaurants and food stalls on every corner of the old {or as my bike tour guide said: young in terms of European standards} city, I walked around the city centre for almost an hour before deciding on a perfect little lunch spot, Kantine Deluxe.

I chose this particular restaurant on a Sunday afternoon, as the restaurant looked reasonable in price, and I chose it because its look and feel reminded me of home; like a trendy restaurant from Parkhurst has been transplanted in the centre of Berlin. 
And while its menu was far removed from the typical South African Sunday lunch of rys, vleis and aartappels, I still enjoyed having my first official currywurst here, accompanied by a delicious peppermint tea and the BEST panna cotta I have ever tasted. I was not disappointed, as it was quite filling. I would not need to eat for the next few hours after this lunch, and when you are hopping from tour to tour, there is little time for meals.

The restaurant, which is located on Spandauer Strasse, about 450 m from the famous Alexander Platz – the transport hub in the Mitte district, as well as the home of the TV tower and a couple of famous churches and fountains – was opened in April this year. It already features in the top 50 of almost 6 000 restaurants in Berlin on TripAdvisor.

Restaurant manager Alexandros Psifidis – from Greece, but fluent in German – told me that the decor of the restaurant truly reflects its name and idea of a cantine. “We are deluxe in our look and feel, but we are a cantine in the sense that our order system is electronic and you collect the food yourself. The exposed ceiling, with the pipes showing, also lends to this industrial feel of a cantine. But, the tables, the bar, our moss wall and our lighting gives that deluxe feel.”

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