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For those who haven’t heard about it yet, Allan’s Breakfast Club is going to be a new firm favorite. Free up a lunch break or plan an indulgent Saturday morning to enjoy what is quite possibly one of the most excellent brunches in Prenzlauer Berg. There’s one key rule for getting the most from your experience: don’t rush. Those who only have a quick half an hour and plan on popping in will wish they had planned their time more wisely.
Prolong the anticipation for what awaits and take a wander around the ever-beautiful Kollwitzkiez, a part of the city which somehow feels like a quaint little village while also hosting some of the trendiest cafes, restaurants and boutiques in Berlin. Walk the cobbled streets and admire the pre-war architecture: a mix of pristine white-washed buildings and tasteful, pastel-coloured shopfronts. Savour the moment knowing that not only is this one of the most picturesque spots in the city, but also, that a passionately curated feast can be ordered from a menu located only a 5 minute walk away…
Take a seat and expect to be greeted warmly – perhaps by the man himself – who always makes time to mingle with his customers, most of which have been a number of times and keep coming back for more. According to Allan, many of the regulars at ABC are German locals. He was expecting to be drawing in mostly expats, he said (though they are catching on quickly), probably due to the Aussie-appeal of the Sydney-inspired food. But the locals know quality, and they know they will find it at Allan’s.
Having a number of years as a chef in both Sydney and various Berlin establishments under his belt, it’s hardly surprising that the whole thing works so well. Inside, the décor is exactly what comes to mind when asked to imagine a rising brunch spot in this city, but it doesn’t feel overdone. Copper hanging lights, framed contemporary posters, plenty of greenery and a sturdy-looking bar where much of the magic happens, are the key ingredients. Outside, unpretentious little wooden tables and chairs spill out on to the sidewalk, with cherry blossom trees casting some welcome shade on hungry diners. It’s just too perfect.
Although really, it isn’t perfect until that lazy, full feeling sets in. Enter Eggs Benny, Avo Toast and Quinoa Salad. Above all, this place is about the food. Every detail is carefully considered and there’s no cutting corners. The salmon is cured with beetroot for three days and the buttery sourdough is a thing of pride. Even the side salad, which is all too often a half-hearted afterthought, is well-seasoned and brings an ‘extra something’ to the table. Appealing to every sense, the dish is presented in such a way that there’s an initial sense of guilt when cutting into the perfectly poached eggs – but this is soon replaced with the overwhelming desire to polish off every morsel.
These refined aesthetics run throughout the interior to the food, and even through to the green-tinted water bottles which hint at the French influence at play. Sharp and refreshing homemade lemonade is served in repurposed jars with a sprig of mint. Ideal for the current sweltering climate, it’s also a classic that deserves to be a permanent fixture of the menu (if it isn’t already). In the mood for something a little stronger? Try out the wide selection of wines which demonstrate why Allan’s is so much more than a brunch spot. Things really kick off in the evening, and Allan knows how to please his grape-thirsty guests. A selection of red, white and rosé are sure to take the edge off a long day in the office, and the relaxed atmosphere makes it a popular place to linger and indulge from 7.30pm until late.