Two pints of lager and a … pint of prawns please! Some days a visit to the pub requires something a little more than a bag of crisps or a packet of pork scratchings. The British pub scene is probably one of the things I miss the most about the UK. Of course I am not talking about the large chains such as Wetherspoon’s that serve plastic food at knocked down prices. I am talking about real and good quality pubs. Pubs that care about their food and actually make the effort to make it something of it’s own, not a cheap two for one fish and chips with a free pint deal, but somewhere that people can go for a good quality meal. Not a hungover pub lunch, queuing at the bar and trying to find your way through the mountain of students lined up with their discount vouchers for a 2.99 full English breakfast.
While the UK has significantly improved on the pub front it isn’t something that I can really expect to find in Berlin. Pub culture is particularly British even though I always say it is something the Germans would love! Beer – check, cosy environment with a fireplace for a cold day – check, beer garden – check, hearty food that mainly involves some form of potato, pastry or meat – check. The likes of Salt n Bone, a gastropub close to my apartment run by some Irish guys have tried to take on the pub food scene that would still fit in Berlin. During the colder months they serve fish pies, sausage and mash and chilli but all made with good quality ingredients and served in a nice presentation. All year round they have their famous scotch eggs, succulent ribs and pork pies. But it is always the burgers that go down the best. I guess there is still some work to do before taking the British pub food scene by storm here in Berlin.
A Pint of Prawns is a real British classic, especially in the summer months sat outside in a beer garden with a cold beer. They are also a perfect starter or as part of a sharing platter at any time of the year. I buy raw prawns and fry them up with olive oil and chillis before patting them dry and leaving to them cool. You can also use ready to eat prawns and simply drizzle a little oil and chilli flakes over them. I serve a classic Whisky Marie Rose Sauce on the side and a creamy and lemony Chive Dip.
- 12 large prawns
- 1 tsp chilli flakes
- 1 small pot crème fraîche
- Juice of half a lemon x 3
- Handful of fresh chives (finely chopped)
- 2 tbsp plain yoghurt
- 1 tbsp mayonnaise
- 1 tsp tabasco sauce
- 2 tbsp tomato ketchup
- Dash of whisky
- Tiny pinch of cayenne pepper
- Salt/ Black Pepper
- Olive oil
- Heat a dash of olive oil in a frying pan. In a small bowl mix together the prawns, another dash of olive oil, juice of half a lemon and the chilli flakes. Mix together then add to the frying pan and cook on all sides until cooked through. This will take just a couple of minutes. Plate them up on some kitchen paper and leave them to cool down.
- For the Marie Rose: Add the yoghurt, mayonnaise, ketchup, tabasco and juice of half a lemon to a small mixing bowl. Gently whisk with a fork until all ingredients are well combined. Stir in the whisky and the cayenne pepper and season with a little salt and pepper. Place in the fridge until needed.
- For the Chive Dip: Add the crème fraîche, juice of half a lemon and chives to a small box and mix together until combined. Season with a little salt and pepper and place in the fridge until needed.
- Once the prawns are cooled down pat them dry with some kitchen paper from any excess oil. Plate them up in a pint glass and then serve with the dips.