Trends to watch
Oil-cured sardines, anchovies and the like aren’t just a delicious snack – they’re a convenient way to relieve the burden of an overstaffed kitchen, and a shortcut to sustainable seafood sourcing (extra important now that ubiquitous suppliers Fish Klub have stopped operating for the moment). As long as new wine bars keep opening, so will cans of conservas.
By the end of its run as a pop-up at The Panda Noodle, Malaysian project Ma-Makan was getting absolutely mobbed. Now that it’s taken over the little Lausitzer Platz space full-time, we’re betting a lot more Berliners will develop an appetite for kaya toast and roti jala. We wouldn’t be surprised if the increasingly popular, laksa-centric pop-up Lilian found a permanent home this year as well.
Commitment-phobic Berliners, beware – in a climate where one flaked-out-on reservation can send a restaurant spiralling towards insolvency, more and more of the hottest dining spots (like Happa, pictured) are demanding you pony up before you chow down. You already pay for concerts and theatre tickets in advance; you’re about to start doing the same with your meals.
Jeff Claudio and Jessica Tan spent 2022 getting us ‘stoked’ for their woodfired fine dining venture via yakitori popups at Ernst, collabs with Chung King Noodles and Baldon, and banh mi kebabs grilled in a Reinickendorf parking lot. Is Stoke still even a restaurant at this point, or just a vibe? We’ll find out this year.
Already the talk of the Kollwitzplatz market, Hesse-born chef Justus Will’s locavore cooking project is making the transition from street stand to brick-and-mortar. Let’s hope he still serves the Frankfurter Grüne Soße (a cold herb sauce) that market- goers have come to know and love.
Kantstraße legend Duc Ngo is entering the Japanese-Nordic fine dining game with all guns blazing. Pop-ups at his ultra-exclusive new spot have already included a €350 seafood tasting menu and a €50 bowl of ramen. It’s unclear whether this will become a proper restaurant or remain an ‘event space’, but either way, there’s definitely much more Duc to come.