Following research, we loved what we saw about Ohlala and asked to drop by to take some shots. They were kind enough to provide us with the following meal, however all thoughts and opinions are – as always – formed independently and without agreement to be favourable.
The weekend should be the perfect time to indulge in our little pleasures, to stop rushing and running around, instead taking it easy, perhaps having a long lie-in in bed and just seeing what happens afterwards.
Since time is the last thing any of us will worry about on a Saturday or Sunday , it’s easy to get up too late for breakfast but still too early for lunch, that’s why the two simply merge into a unique and long meal. Having brunch has become a very popular thing to do on weekends in Berlin especially in the growing vegan community.
One of the very first animal-free brunches in Berlin was offered at the French café/restaurant Ohlala, which if you think of traditional French cuisine might seem the least probable place to enjoy a vegan brunch. Personally when I think French cooking style, the first things that comes to my mind – probably from a very stereotypical view – are butter (a lot of it), cream, eggs and plenty of pates and meaty dishes, which aren’t really vegetarian or vegan friendly at all. That’s why when we’ve heard about this vegan French café in Friedrichschain we couldn’t help wanting to try it out for ourselves.
We’d been warned to arrive at Ohlala not too late as it’s not possible to reserve a table for its famous vegan brunch, so rather than miss out on a seat, we got there with time to spare. The brunch at Ohlala is in fact incredibly popular in Berlin because not only is it 100% vegan, but it’s also gluten-free.
Ohlala has a very cozy atmosphere because of how it is designed and how everything is arranged. It is a very petite place with minimal seating inside with a few tables and chairs outside which are perfect for a sunny day. Ohlala has a delicate decor and design that in some ways reflects perfectly the French style of its owner and Parisian pastry chef, Clarissa (who’s also a burlesque artist).
It was interesting to know how Clarissa (vegetarian herself for more than 20 years) turned Ohlala from its origins as a classic non-vegan French café that served quiches and crepes, into a fully vegan café instead that still serves French classics but without the use of any animal products, only plants based ones.
The light pink coloured walls create a very relaxed atmosphere where eating isn’t only a necessity but also a social part of the day to stop, slow down and have a chat whilst enjoying the food. This is what the brunch at Ohlala is all about: appreciating the food without any rush or pressure. I loved the fact that the kitchen is open and everyone can actually watch the cooks preparing the food and drinks, I think that it adds more to that cozy feeling.
The French Luscious Touch
There were so many different things to choose from and what I liked a lot about this particular vegan buffet brunch was that everything was in bite-size portion to gobble slowly, meaning I could fill my plate with a little bit of everything, trying not to miss out on anything, tasking as much as possible. As you might have guessed, I love tasting new and different kinds of food.
Apparently we arrived too late to enjoy the French breakfast classics, an unfortunate fact was that there weren’t any croissants and pain au-chocolate left that we’ve heard many good things about, but there were still plenty of sweet delicatessen available starting with mini crepes with various jams, muffins, various breads and cute little dessert cups of apple crumble, and vegan-tiramisu as well.
Needless to say that everything was of course interpreted and cooked in a vegan fashion, omitting any animal product.
It was hard not to instantly fill up on these delicious looking sweets, but we are so glad we held back so that we could fully enjoy the savory part of the brunch first.
Apparently the dishes on offer are never the same and change every week depending on seasonal products. Luckily we tried some delicious tofu curry which was very tasty and not too overwhelming in terms of seasoning, also some ‘al dente’ sliced courgette dressed with sesame seeds, a classic version of potato mash with a little twist of and dash of chives, some outstanding polenta bites, and cute looking rostis.
The salads were also very refreshing and creative with a combination of different raw ingredients and and interesting tangy vinaigrette to go with that gave them a little extra character. We helped ourselves with generous spoonfuls of homemade spreads to mix with the various food, our favourite surely was the apple BBQ sauce which had an interesting and complex flavor from anything else we ever tasted before. I wish I knew how to make it myself!
My personal favourite was the cute looking tzatziki and rocket tapenade (I might in fact have had a couple of them), and the desserts of course. It’s not easy to please an Italian with a vegan tiramisu, but I have to admit that Ohlala’s surprised me, it was pretty good indeed. Dale also really loved the small muffins that, if it wasn’t because he was already pretty full could have easily eaten like crisps, one after the other.
The chai soy latte we both chose to drink was also very tasty and quite large too. We aren’t used to such generously sized drinks usually, but enjoyed the flavour from top-to-bottom. There were so many cakes displayed in the display that I would have also happily tried, they all looked intensely appetizing and perfect for my sweet tooth, but I was too full to eat any more. It only means we must return to Ohlala and try some more, perhaps we get some of its famous quiche too.
We enjoyed our brunch-time stop at Ohlala, the atmosphere was so rich and welcoming that it was hard to leave. If you are looking for a vegan brunch in Berlin with a French twist, we recommend a visit to Ohlala, not matter if it’s the weekend or not.
Would you like to stop for vegan French sweets at Ohlala?