Now a longstanding Berlin restaurant, when Pasternak first opened its doors in 1991 to the public it was one of the first restaurants to start trading in this area. Formerly a ‘pasamt’ (passport control building), it was a familiar meeting point for the local Russian Jewish community. Owner Ilja Kaplan, himself a Russian Jew, chose to name the restaurant after Boris Pasternak, the author of Dr Zhivago. Filled with antique lampshades, sepia-toned photographs and even a piano, the interior has been modelled to resemble the writer’s 1930s living room. At night, there are few restaurants to rival Pasternak for romance, as dappled candlelight fills the intimate space. For more personal occasions, ask for a table in the back room, hidden behind a thick red curtain, where anything goes. Along with the warming smell of szarkoe (Russian stew, made the Jewish way) and traditional borscht, a sense of nostalgia hangs heavily in the air. The menu, essentially traditional comfort food with the occasional twist, is prepared with delicacy and the Sunday buffet brunch is worth reserving a table for.