Honestly, I am very delighted by the continuing growth of the Japanese deli-scene in Berlin. It makes lunch just so much more easy, because although daily Käsespätzle might be delicious, they certainly don’t bring the same health-value like a light Japanese lunch. For which we’ve got delicious Udon soups at Smart-Deli, very enjoyable Bento boxes at Mamecha and Nazuna and let’s not forget the lunch options at the restaurants Sasaya and Hashi. One of the newest to join is cocoro, a small place on Mehringdamm.
It shares the name (but nothing else) with another highly acclaimed Japanese place in Mitte, Cocoro Ramen, where a ridiculously delicious Ramen soup is served, but it’s so small and ever so crowded, the owner actually asked me to not review it.*
Cocoro on Mehringdamm furthermore joined forces with a specialist in Japanese pastry shop, Nazuna on Danziger Straße, serving for example their highly praised Yuzu cake.
I went to Cocoro during Gallery Weekend, after visiting Galerie Neu’s breathtaking Altbau apartment in which they currently present Nick Mauss. Although the deli is located on a very busy street, I opted to sit outside like every Berliner as soon as temperatures rise above 10 degrees, and ordered a portion of Edamame and a Kitsune Udon with seaweed and sweet tofu. Both of it was delicious, to say the least, although Smart Deli’s broth remains unbeaten to me.
I also ordered a Matcha Latte, and despite being a small cup, the green milk drink was just a little too much. Nevertheless very tasty, Matcha Latte can quickly turn out being too tart or being oddly sweet and this one was nicely balanced.
I have a special soft spot for Japanese plates and bowls, they never seize to amaze me in their ability to actually serve as a visual completion to the food. The Edamame served in a wooden bowl made them look even greener and more mouth watering, and the many brown colors of the soup bowl repeated as well as contrasted the broth and vegetables. And then I just like the prettiness of carrots cut in flower-shape.
Cocoro is a perfect addition to the lunch places in this area, so if you’re there, don’t miss out!
*You might ask, why I mention it now. Turns out, I’ve been the only one listening to his plead, the place has been in every guide you can name and thus always has a line – outside (and I mean always as in also during the minus-ten-degrees of the past winter). Means one has to wait an average of 20 minutes to enjoy your soup in a completely crowded inside.
As a little reward for reading through the whole article, even this appendix, I hereby reveal that the team behind cocoro ramen will actually open a spacier location in Kreuzberg in June. I can assure you I am working very hard to be their first guest and then inform you here.