There’s no shortage of standout dining in Berlin’s flourishing culinary scene, but one restaurant shines with an extraordinary origin story and home-cooked, traditional dishes. Syrian eatery Malakeh is not just about heartfelt food; it showcases the resilience of its chef-owner Malakeh Jazmati.
Before coming to Berlin in 2015, Malakeh fled war-torn Syria and hosted a cooking show on Orient TV (an anti-government station broadcasting across the Middle East from Jordan). Determined to introduce cherished cultural flavors to her newfound community, the chef set up her own restaurant, Malakeh, in Berlin’s Schöneberg district soon after.
Since opening, Malakeh has cooked for attendees of the prestigious Berlinale film festival and former German Chancellor Angela Merkel. She’s even published her own cookbook.
With interiors inspired by a traditional Syrian living room, including crochet decorations and dark wood furniture, the restaurant offers a treasure trove of traditional dishes. The nostalgic menu satisfies cravings for the homeland, with specialties such as homemade hummus, lamb platters and muhammara, a blend of roasted red peppers and pomegranate molasses.
The restaurant’s inviting interior also includes pictures of Syrian artists and activists as a poignant reminder of Malakeh’s roots. It’s not unlikely to see the chef herself socializing with tables of diners, or hosting evenings with Syrian storytelling and live music to keep such cultural traditions alive abroad. Malakeh is a restaurant which doesn’t just offer great food; it’s a celebration of the rich flavors of Syrian cuisine and the diverse community it enduringly nourishes.
Know Before You Go
The restaurant is cash-only and does not serve alcohol.