The day arrived when my friend Charlotte and I thought we should settle a Berlin-wide debate: Which side of the fence to stand on as far as Daluma is concerned. Daluma is the raw food haven for raw-foodies, vegans and generally anybody young living in Prenzlauer Berg or Mitte who owns a pair of black Nike trainers for purposes other than jogging.
Were we entitled to mock it? Catcalling it pretentious, over-priced and all for show? Or, were we wrong to be so harsh? Only one way to find out, dress to impress Daluma-style and shimmy on over for lunch.
It began to drizzle outside, but that wasn’t going to hamper our spirits. We donned our best neutral, hipster-ish outfits and entered the plywood hub of raw food. Green leafy plants and crates galore filled the inside. A plus point in my book.
A blackboard with indecipherable scrawls put pressure on you to chose your meal. Confronted with new terminology in the form of exotic dressings and berries, I sort of randomly picked something, along with a mixed juice in a nice glass bottle, which I was already planning to take home and use as a vase for flowers.
There was a man tapping away animatedly on his Mac Air, without shoes. Did he forget them? Perhaps in his rush to purchase a bowl of achai berries and hazelnuts with toasted quinoa seeds he left them at home, running barefoot along to Daluma? Maybe he doesn’t own any shoes, unable to afford any since his funds are spent on over-priced sweet potato and spinach smoothies. Or maybe he was just trying to make a point, a big, fat pretentious point: that he’s such a raw-foodie, that he couldn’t find shoes ‘raw’ or organic enough to suit his needs. So he just doesn’t wear them.
I’m sure the more realistic reason is that he took them off once seated on his crate-like seat, but that still makes him pretentious in my opinion -who sits barefoot in a public café?
This other pretentious man was friends with ‘man with no shoes’. At least his friend had found trainers to wear, and a necklace.
The decor- minimalist – is a clever way to save money on fewer seats. Instead, they have purchased some thin cushions and encourage people to sit on the window sills, a trend which has now become fashionable, despite, or perhaps because of, its lack of practicality.
A plethora of designer sports clothes and Nike running shoes were on show on the outdoor step-like seating structure. Steps are clearly passé. I doubt many would have enough energy to jog after sipping on their gluten free, lactose free, joy free, expensive vegan mixed bowls. On the other hand, I can’t talk -I never go running. (Picture of the outside coming soon -I have misplaced it).
Joking aside, the juices taste like feet. Maybe this was influenced by the shoeless man, sharing his foot odour with the café, but I’m pretty sure it has more to do with the fact that juiced potato and spinach tastes about as good as it sounds.
Proof that it was awful.
My order arrived: a mixed bowl of chia seeds and something with a yoghurt-like something blended together, along with a thin line of desiccated coconut, a few hazelnuts and three blueberries. Let’s just say, I was still hungry afterwards, but also then broke. Arguably, many of us do eat too much. On the other hand, raw food, requiring very little preparation or any artistic presentation, should not be costing me an arm and a leg.
My friend, Charlotte, ordered a salad with one of the dressings which comes under the above “new terminology”, so I have no idea what it was. Charlotte was unimpressed, to say the least. I have therefore concluded that it is always best not to order something you don’t understand, or just not to order anything from Daluma again.
Life lessons learnt: The food served is fine -nothing spectacular or particularly complicated, but fine, unless you accidentally order something which tastes horrible (which, statistically, from my experience there, is 50% of the time). The problem is the image it has created for itself, or rather, the image that the clientele have created for it. And the prices. The prices are silly. And the smoothies taste like feet.