Dining at Zenkichi is an all-around experience, beginning when you open the door to the stairs leading you to the basement, in this bleak, completely unremarkable office building. Once you’ve descended, you’ll wander through a lobby that looks like a bamboo forest, to immerse into a selectively lit dining space composed of small, semi-private booths. As with the upstairs bistro called House of Small Wonder, Zenkichi’s perk is its all-embracing conceptual design – the basement has been completely remodeled from floor to ceiling to re-create a truly Japanese – In’ei Reisan – atmosphere, using black lacquered wood and bare bamboo, where guests enjoy a seasonal Omakase menu in seated in alcoves.
Author: Mary Scherpe
You might have heard it already, maybe you’ve already eaten here during their weeks of tasting, but now it’s finally official: Stephan Landwehr and Boris Radczun, the master minds behind Grill Royal and Pauly Saal, opened a new restaurant: dóttir. Located in a still rather deserted part of Mitte (that weird block between the Spree and Unter den Linden just past Friedrichstraße), in a vacant house on the corner of Mittel- and Neustädtische Kirchstraße (?!), head chef Victoria Eliasdóttir creates dishes inspired by Nordic cuisine that already look gorgeous (on their instagram account) using ingredients like Scandinavian herbs, Icelandic barley and moss. Can’t wait to try it.
Entering Silla I immediately thought of the Simpson’s foodie episode (brilliantly called “The Food Wife”) where Marge, Lisa and Bart start a food blog to discover Springfield’s most hidden yet incredibly original food spots. Silla definitely fulfills all criteria of authenticity that so many foodies are longing to find – it’s not a restaurant, but more a food shop with some tables and a big open kitchen, all seats were taken by Korean people (one of them being a huge group of Korean women in very similar colorful yet functional attire, happily munching neon-green popsicles), the waitress’ and chef’s German was basic but friendly, and the menu was short and focussed on pork belly. My choice, however, was quickly made: Bibimbap. (Another advantage of being vegetarian is too never have too much choice.)
I seriously love how the art of brunch is evolving in Berlin – more and more spots embrace this culinary and social highlight of the week and offer elaborate menus. (The only thing missing is (still) cocktails for a beautiful day time drinking experience… but I heard some are working on that). However, the delicious brunch menu I am going to present to you now was a one-time event by two very talented young chefs from the Netherlands spreading their food love on various occasions in this city. This time, Lode & Stijn took over Silo to create a brunch that I wish was always available.
You know about Gonzales Haase’s work although you might have never heard their name before – but you’ve been in their interiors, like the stunning Andreas Murkudis shop, the Artek x Vitra store at Bikini Berlin, the MDC cosmetic store in Prenzlauer Berg, the Deutsche Bank Kunsthalle, the C/O Berlin photography gallery… and so on and on.