Moden Hoptop at Emely, Sat 30 July 2011

My daughter's name is Amelie, a young lady who tends to get a little touchy when people call her Emily. She would politely say, "It's A-melie, not Em-ily" and apologise for her father for giving her such a silly name. As if I care.

Anyway, I came across a pretty neat restaurant in Charlottenberg recently which reminded me of how Chinese people spell English words and names. Years ago, I was in a posh restaurant in Guangzhou where I saw a waitress wearing an interesting name tag which had a name that sounded like Virginia but was actually not Virginia at all. And of course, there were quite a few places selling "high quority" goods - they must have used the same sign-maker. And it always amuses me when Japanese people say "Hai!" because that is a somewhat impolite word in Cantonese.

But I digress. Actually, come to think of it, as this is my email after all, I will digress even further and let you know that this summer is Berlin has been rather awful, probably the worse one in years, according to some people as it is much colder than normal. As I have evolved an extra layer of subcutaneous fat over the last century or so, I am not so bothered by the 19C summer days but I can almost sympathise with people without this evolutionary advantage.

Which brings me back to the point, which is that, due to the unreliable cool weather, we will be dining indoors at an orthographically-challenged restaurant instead of doing our usual summer outdoor al fresco evening. Despite the inability of the owner to spell names, the restaurant is actually a very cool place and I am not at all sure how long it will survive, which is a pity as the dining there is actually pretty good and a little unique. The style of dining is modern hotpot as you might be able to see from the pictures - you get your own little personal hotpot and you select the raw ingredients from a kaiten belt and cook the food yourself. Exactly what you would want to have for dinner on a chilly summer's evening - it is a sort of BBQ but done with soup. :o)

To make things slightly more attractive, we have arranged a special eat-all-you-want deal where you pick a stock for 2 Euro and then have anything and everything you want for an additional 15 Euro, making it 17 Euro in total for all the food you want, excluding drinks. The place is called Emely and they don't seem to have a website but you can see some reviews on The address is Kantstr. 50 so it is very easy to get to.

Although the restaurant is quite big, the best kaiten hotpot places are rather limited (perhaps 12 or 14 seats) so if you are interested in escaping from an unusually cool summer, please drop me an email quickly (by Sat 23 July) and I will let you know if you get a place by Mon 26 July. Sorry for the tight timescales but I have been rather busy.



How it went on the night...

To be perfectly honest, although in general the food was really quite good, this has to be ranked as one of the more disastrous nights in our history. For a start, I think we were seated a little too far apart to be able to have a good conversational night and even worse, a few fuses blowing up meant that half the people had to wait over 30 mins (more like 40 mins) before they could start using their hotpots.

However, once everything got going, the food was quite good, although it also got a little repetitious after a while. Andreas also kept saying that the place must be doing money laundering as there is no way they can make money running such an establishment, and I have to sort of agree. In the end, the night ended OK - it was very cheap, there was a lot of quite delicious food but I won't come here again in a large group!

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