At Kottbusser Tor, there's a hideous block of apartment buildings built over Adalbertstraße. Tucked underneath the apartment block is a Kurdish Iraqi restaurant called Lasan that boasts an authentic tandur (tandoor) oven for bread-baking.
I've spent many an afternoon standing at the window looking in at the ovoid clay tandur oven, its interior glowing red-hot. A baker neatly portions off balls of bread dough, all the exact same size, then rolls them out quickly with his hands, drapes them over a towel-wrapped mold and then, using the mold, quickly sticks the raw bread dough onto the glowing wall of the tandoor oven. Minutes later, the bread dough puffs and blisters and soon enough, the baker pulls the finished disc of bread off the hot oven wall and flings it, rather elegantly, really, onto a cooling rack. It's mesmerizing stuff.
But I'd never actually gone in and eaten anything there before. Until last weekend, when we were out for a long stroll on Sunday afternoon and found ourselves famished at a strange, in-between time when it wasn't quite lunchtime anymore and it was still far too early for dinner. We headed inside Lasan and figured we could find something light to tide us over. I ordered a plate of hummus and Max got a plate of tabouleh (tabbule, taboulé, as you wish) and a kebab.
I'll get to the bread in a minute, but first of all, people, this tabouleh was a revelation. I'd go so far as to say it was the platonic ideal of all tabouleh. It was incredibly fresh and zingy. Every mouthful felt refreshing. There were tiny flecks of minced onion all throughout, but the onion flavor was really restrained and delicate (which won me over, since big chunks of harsh onions in my mouth never fail to irritate me to no end) - perhaps they'd soaked the onion in ice water before using it? Light and fluffy and with just the right ratio of parsley to bulgur and tomato (equally finely diced as the tomato), I couldn't stop stealing forkfuls off of Max's plate. It was delicious. (Lasan offers a tabouleh sandwich, which might be what I have to order next time I'm there).
The hummus was just fine, creamy and earthy and not too heavy on the tahini. Swiping it with piping hot pieces of tandoor bread torn off the round placed between us was the real fun. Make sure when you go that you get a fresh, hot round of bread. It's crispy on the bottom and chewy on top and fragrant and irresistible. If it's cooled, it loses a lot of its charm.
Another highlight on the menu for a slightly, um, larger gathering is a whole roasted lamb with enough bread for 20 people for the bargain price of 190,- euros. (They'll deliver to your home, if you like.) You'd have to order the sides separately, but doesn't this sound like a pretty great reason to have a party?
(030) 698 14 098