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Berlin: Curry 36

November 29, 2009

You know when you visit somewhere new and they tell you all about their local delicacy and you think to yourself, ‘that just doesn’t sound right’ and yet you still feel compelled to try it out? Well, I had one of those moments yesterday. Here in Berlin, their signature snack is the curry wurst and after weeks of hearing so much about the odd grouping of sausage, curry powder and a ketchup-like sauce, I finally acquiesced to my curiosity. I love wursts, I love ketchup and… well okay, I don’t love curry powder, but I do love curry… so how bad could it be?

Of course, I really ought to realise by now that if I’m asking myself this question (with the requisite shrug and ‘what the hell’ attitude), I will oftentimes find out just how bad it can be. Luckily for me, the target of the experimentation this time was a mere German sausage with some unorthodox toppings.

As a good friend of mine was visiting me in Berlin, I decided that now was the time to try out their beloved wurst dish. Okay fine, I dragged her with me. Almost the same. Ahem. I had done my research and it pointed south-west to a place called Curry 36 where according to many locals, one finds the best curry wurst in all Berlin. Quite a claim to make in a city where it’s sold at almost every other corner. A few U Bahn stops later we arrived at Mehringdamm and down the road we caught our first glimpse of it. It was around 3:30pm and yet the front of the stall – for a glorified stall was all it was – was blocked by a five row deep crowd of curry wurst lovers. Things were looking good. We waited in line, suddenly eager to try this curious concoction. Finally our moment came.

“Ein Curry Wurst bitte mit Pommes rot-weiss!” we cried.

– ‘Pommes rot-weiss’ is fries with ketchup and mayonnaise

– See how bright that sauce is? That’s not me mucking with the colour saturation; it is that bright?!


And how was it? Very disappointing. The Germans make some great sausages, but the sausage used in the curry wurst is very mediocre. On top of that… the sauce… oh god, that sauce. It was like a watered down mixture of tomato paste and ketchup; not sweet, not salty, just really bland and characterless. I’m not sure where the curry was or if they forgot it, but there was not a sprinkling of it in sight. Even the fries were average! I really don’t think it’s the dishes fault here. Having tried it, I’m positive curry wurst could be made to taste better than this. Absolutely positive. Oh what an anti-climax!

If you’re in Berlin, give it a try… but perhaps elsewhere. I honestly don’t know why they’re as popular as they seem to be. They’re quite cheap, so perhaps that’s why? If you want to try the Curry 36 version, their details are below. Best consumed after a big night out, I think.


CURRY 36

Address Mehringdamm 36, 10961 Kreuzberg, Berlin.

Closest U Bahn Mehringdamm (U6 and U7)

Hours During the week: 9am – 4am, Saturdays: 10am – 4am and Sundays: 11am – 3am (according to their website)

Website click here (in German)

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