A few introductions - the Falko in question here is Falko Burkert, originally from Heilbronn, Germany. Falko now earns his crust (ahem, sorry) as an artisan baker in Bruntsfield, Edinburgh, or ‘a master pastry chef’ to give his ‘konditormeister’ job title the proper German translation. He’s assisted by Heinrich, the 100 year-old rye sourdough starter that Falko uses to make the bread. The breads are changed daily - today there’s a spelt, house and multigrain bread (dinkel, haus- and mehrkornbrot) on offer in the Bruntsfield café (there’s another ‘kaffeehaus’ in Gullane too); tomorrow it’ll be freshly baked ‘hunter’s crusty’, spelt-rye-malt and five-seed varieties.
Falko and the team make their mission statement pretty plain: ‘Bread is taken very seriously in Germany, and very seriously by us.’ Their patisserie selection is to be treated with the same respect: pristinely layered black forest gateaux, neat lemon tortes, perfect triangle slivers of raspberry and white chocolate cheesecake - this is a cakehouse for lovers of precision and quality as much as sugar and dough. Where sugar’s concerned, they show restraint as much as they can - they like to keep the flavours subtle and natural, rather than loading the cakes up with additives and sweeteners. They’ll dodge the short-cut of adding in raising agent, and keep things old-fashioned by just whipping the eggs a bit longer by hand instead, for example.
If sweet cakes and pastries don’t strike you as a suitable breakfast option, there are set breakfast and brunch menus for around £11.50, which include a bowl of bircher muesli (sweetened with apple juice), then salmon and eggs, ham and eggs, or a meat and cheese platter with pretzels (baked in house, as if you needed to ask), plus coffee and orange juice. Get there early though; they don’t take bookings and the place fills up fast at weekends.