Kochfreunde.com is the culinary magazine of Oliver Wagner. Here, everything revolves around the almost most beautiful thing in the world: good food. The focus ranges from reports on exciting restaurants to recipes from his own kitchen, cookbooks and culinary gadgets.


Kochfreunde.com ist das kulinarisches Magazin von Oliver Wagner. Hier dreht sich alles rund um die beinahe schönste Sache der Welt: Gutes Essen. Dabei reicht der Fokus von Berichten über spannende Restaurants bis hin zu Rezepten aus der eigenen Küche, Kochbücher und kulinarische Gadgets.

The Big Balmy, Hamburg

In recent years, Hamburg has been relatively successful in avoiding following global culinary trends. Or set your own. There are so many creative ideas and projects that I would like to see here. How I would love to have a restaurant like Geist on my doorstep or a first class gastro pub or a modern and really good vegetarian restaurant like Vanilla Black or just excellent dim sums. But there is not (yet) between the Elbe and the Alster.

However – and I take this as the first silver lining on the horizon – a small, black food truck has been driving through Hamburg’s streets for a good three months. What has been part of the cityscape in the U.S. for many years and was even celebrated in Berlin a few days ago as part of the Bite Club Festival with no less than 12 local trucks, now seems to be slowly making its way here as well: High-quality food on wheels.


Already a few months before the actual launch, I met the two founders Claudio and Nikolaj and exchanged ideas with them about their project, about ideas and possibilities that social media and the mobile web offer especially for traveling restaurants.

And the other day I went to see The Big Balmy live for the first time, right in front of the Betahaus in Hamburg. Despite rather autumnal weather, numerous hungry customers always crowded under the small canopy of the cart and chose between the classic Premium Hamburger, the Supreme Cheesburger, the General with Cheese & Bacon or the Vegetarian Burger. Each dish is served with a fresh side dish of the day upon request. The other day you could choose between small baked potatoes and a carrot salad.


And the burgers are good, really good even. That actually surprised me. And the buns, the rolls, are also much better than many other commercial burgers. Overall, the Balmy Burger tastes more like what you would imagine from your own grill, light and fluffy and only cooked medium.

Every morning Balmy is supplied with fresh ground beef, currently pre-formed into 120gr burger patties. In the future, however, the new premises, which will soon be occupied near the Elbe River, will also map this process itself, including its own meat grinder. This is ultimately to further increase control over product quality, so from what I’ve met Claudio and Nikolaj, there may be some more margin in this. Because, of course, business is also an important aspect in a new venture. But, that seems to be developing splendidly here. The team has already grown to seven, and the new office provides a secure shelter for two more food trucks….

The Balmy Ltd.
At the old gasworks 5
22761 Hamburg

E-mail: hello@thebalmy.com

The current locations of the food truck will always be communicated on short notice via the Big Balmy Facebook Page.

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