In a city that still seems to think sushi the be- and end-all of Japanese cuisine (honorable exceptions of course include ramen-haven Cocolo and that onigiri stand at Schönleinstrasse station), it’s a rare treat to come across Nazuna, a quietly popular lunchroom on a rather unsightly stretch of Danziger Strasse. With its understated butcher’s shop interior and minimal bench seating, however, Nazuna is at first sight perhaps not encouraging you to bide awhile, instead kindly sending you on your way back to the office, bento box in hand.
Yet those settling in for a sit-down lunch and a few bowls of tea are in for a soothing and well-composed experience. From a simple clear broth to the various sizes of boxed lunches, the emphasis here is on subtle texture and flavor contrasts–not your usual sandwich and soup combo then. The bento box contents are usually not warm and change day by day, their compartments filled with traditional spinach salad, perfect little pork and tofu balls, crispy-sweet fried chicken, tender cabbage salad, or finely calibrated rice.
These are the kinds of lunches that won’t set you back too much and still manage to both get you fed and make you feel healthy about your veggie intake. But don’t forget to share a dessert, though, as their beautifully presented, homemade chocolates, lollipops, cakes, and puddings are exactly the kind of supersweet and delicious Japanese cuisine is famous for–I’d recommend this yuzu cake or that green-tea mousse.