To call this place Kantine (canteen) is of course a total understatement, not only because it belongs to the David Chipperfield Architect’s office and is thus impeccably designed, but also because the offered dishes only revoke memories of bland canteen food while actually being delicious. After closing down their first location just before the construction work for the new Chipperfield offices began, the team opened a new restaurant called Das Lokal (a personal favorite of mine thanks to its beautiful atmosphere and down-to-earth local and seasonal food) a couple of years ago. Now the entirely new build structures are finished and so is the remise in its backyard, the new home of Kantine.
We went there during lunch prime time at 1.30pm where it was quite filled already but the lunch menu was still completely available. The kitchen is surprisingly small, taking up merely a quarter of the ground-floor room that is dominated by a huge concrete bar. The interior design is, of course, amazing. Chipperfield is known for their minimal-clean and perfect design that pays attention to every little detail. You won’t find any joint or jack improperly designed, even the cuttlery, dishes and glasses were especially manufactured for the canteen – I mean, obviously!
The menu is short but appealing, we chose a classic German dish, Senfeier (boiled eggs in a mustard sauce) with spinach and mashed potatos for 5 Euros from a list that also offered Boeuf Stroganoff with pasta (7,50 Euros), a salad with radishes and goat cheese (6,50 Euros) and an organic chicken leg with green beans and potato salad (8,50 Euros). Fresh bread and water comes for free, which is never wrong. Our eggs were served in a bowl and despite being a little overcooked it was an overall pleasurable lunch, maybe also because Senfeier is a favorit from my childhood.
Besides the ground floor that’s buzzing with noise from guests and the cooking, there’s a quite serene floor upstairs with benches in light grey, huge windows and simple shiny concrete walls. I wouldn’t go as far as Sylee of the gorgeous Berlin Reified blog and plan to come back with a book to stay a while, but it certainly is a good atmosphere to have lunch. And finish it with one of their yummy tarts like the above pictured with what I consider the last rhubarb of the season.