Berlin, Germany (Weltexpress). Since it opened in 1982, and for about 35 years now, the skewers are turned as fine raki fills the glasses in the Adana Grillhaus. This Turkish liqueur delight made of clear and dried, fermented and baked grapes, added after the first distillation and before the second dissolution, plays a major part socially and is a special treat at Cevat Akpolat’s restaurant.
Well, if our host is there, he not only invites good friends and fellows, he also pours out himself, because the oldest man at the table traditionally fills the glasses. The 57-year-old Akpolat also likes to tell stories. For example, that before the Adana Grillhaus settled in Kreuzberg next to Swabian conscientious objectors and Turkish migrant workers, this place was a butcher shop.
This fits, say we from WELTEXPRESS and drink after adding ice-cold water a now milky-cloudy Yeni Raki on the health of our host.
While we continue to talk about the fact that the processing of meat has long played a major role in Manteuffelstraße 86, the table is covered and as if by magic hand, a Raki meal emerges on the table. Great. We recommend Meze Tabağı, a mixed cold starter platter and the classic chickpeas cream with sesame called humus. Now as we’re already enjoying the mixed plate, we stick to it and advise to take the special dish of the grill house with lamb fillet, lamb chop, lamb spit, lamb ribs and meatballs. But also Kuzu Kaburga, Izgara Köfte and Cupra Izgara (Grilled Dorade) look great and taste delicious.
If we do not taste, then we talk about Raki and the region from which our host, who introduces himself as a German who had a Turkish passport, as a man who once played in the midfield for Türkiyemspor Berlin, as a Kurd and an Alevit. He came from a village near Erzincan in the east of Turkey. We talk about Adana, the city in the south of Turkey far beyond Antalya and Alanya, after which the grill house was named, again and again about football at bygone and today, but also about the first Kurdish charcoal grill in Berlin.
“Our aim is to combine the Turkish cook-shop with the Kreuzberg flair,” says Akpolat, looking around the restaurant where relatives and acquaintances, friends and guests of the cooking kitchen sit, even at the barbecue and all seem to feel at ease, due to informal dealings of the grillers and waiters among each other and as they serve their guests.
And thanks to the brandy. Yeni Raki is available in several varieties – more about it in another article for WELTEXPRESS.
That the meat has such a great odour and guests don’t smell the grill is due the coconut carbon, which burns without soot and smoke, but with a great aroma, Akpolat explains. Lets have a Raki then. Here meals are “grilled and devoured with love”, he says a little later and we lift our glasses again for a toast to him.
The coconut charcoal, the lamb meat, the Yeni Raki and the grill house: we will return. We must return and visit Cevat Akpolat. Maybe in the new Adana Grillhaus just around the corner.
Adana Grillhaus, Manteuffelstraße 86, 10997 Berlin
Opening hours: from Monday to Sunday from Noon to 2 am at night