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Top Chef: Sven Blättermann

At a brewpub out in Marzahn, a carpenter turned chef cooks up hearty German classics and bar snacks that provide the perfect accompaniment to freshly brewed craft beer.

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Photo by Phuong Hoang

An oasis of South German pubfood culture within the Alte Börse – a strange complex of old brick buildings and new warehouses in suburban Ossi land slowly relaunched as a creative hub – Braustube Marzahn quenches visitors’ thirst with great beers brewed on the spot (Marzahner Pils, €2.50 for 0.3L) and feeds the hungry ones with simple Bavarian pub fare such as Knacker sausages, potato salad, homebaked flat bread, hefty soups and cakes – and a great breakfast on weekends. The man behind the stove? Sven Blättermann, a carpenter and lifelong Marzahn resident who learned to cook from his mother and grandmother while growing up in the GDR and took over the Braustube with his friend Jens Scheidemann in what he calls a “happy coincidence”.

What type of food do you cook?

It’s no grand cuisine – it’s mostly little things, snacks. German food. The menu’s changing every day – we just opened a month ago, and we’re still trying a lot of different things out. Today, for example, I made tomato soup and mini-pork shanks with homemade potato salad.

What is your most popular item?

Our goulasch is already popular. It’s a mix of beef and pork, stewed with dark beer from the brewery and served with our special **Braufladen**: homemade flatbread with beer in the dough.

A cooking tip?

You don’t always have to stick to the recipe – you can experiment, it’s a lot easier. Of course I look at recipes sometimes, but often I end up ripping them up…

A dining tip (other than your own restaurant)?

Hmm… I don’t go out very often, I don’t have the time and there’s not so much in Marzahn! The last good place I remember was Sakura Garten, a Vietnamese restaurant (Alt-Marzahn 70). I had some kind of big soup there, it was delicious.

The best thing about owning a restaurant in Berlin?

That you come into contact with lots of interesting people. And there’s a lot of change: every day is different, and every guest is different.

The worst?

Having a biergarten makes you very dependent on the weather. It’s cold and windy today, for example, so I’ve only got a few customers… who I’ve got to go take care of now!

Braustube Marzahn, Zur Alten Börse 59, Marzahn, Mon-Thu 9-22, Fri 10-24, Sat 9-24, Sun 10-22