Berlin, Germany (Weltexpress). If you like to embark on a culinary journey here, lets say from Tel Aviv to Paris, then put your trust in Klaudia Boyke and Octavio Oses Bravo. The two of them are plain wonderful, so friendly and knowledgeable. He is the outstanding cook, she the splendid host – and between them they make it that really magnificent Mani Restaurant.
The restaurant within sight of Rosenthaler Platz in Mitte is on the ground floor of the Mani, a member of the Armano Group founded 2009 by Ariel Shiff and Artur Süsskind. To be seated or on the way to your table just saunter through the hotel lobby, pass by the bar (it will stay open, to be sure) arriving in a well arranged and nicely balanced dining space. At first glance, the restaurant looks darker than it is. Black seems to dominate even if the portraits on the wall are in shades of grey, and the wooden floors together with leather seats add brown tones. That puts the focus on the chimneypiece, a glass case design on green marble. And makes you startle as soon as you get a glimpse of that yellow crocodile on the crouch. Don’t worry it’s one of the works of art around. Do give it a hug from us!
Out from the terrace lit up greenery unfolds through a glass front giving the interior an exotic appeal matching with that – alligator? Splashes of colour that enlighten our plate get’s us carried away – in another direction, towards the Mediterranean and on the route from Tel Aviv to Paris. Off we go then bravely to start our culinary adventure with Chuzpeles. The “small obscenities” include grilled eggplant and cauliflower, Calamaretti with a quail egg, Harissa of mayo and lime, Lamb Paties with hummus, tomato and coriander – and much more. At the end (being only the beginning) we had a break and strengthened, regarded the crocodile – with jaws wide.
Now is the time for the main course. Croco and us decide to take a Tel-Aviv-Schnitzel. It turns out to be a hammered tender corn-fed chicken cutlet with an Israeli salad prepared with eggplant, Aioli, Amba and Harissa potato. And if one orders the mixed grill there’s Entrecote, saddle of veal and lamb to go with the corn-fed chicken and on top sweet potato fries plus pita bread with dip. Prefer fish instead of meat? A real treat, yes for me even something near to a dream is the Balaboosta-bream. Served in one piece not sliced it is very tastefully rounded off with cinnamon tomato and salt lemon.
For dessert, enjoy a Torrija with brioche, cinnamon coffee ice plus yogurt, or lemon tart with rosewater meringue and crème fraîche ice cream. At the end of the evening we had sweet, salty, bitter and sour tastes – and, you name it, some or many umami in Mani.
To go along with the savoury dishes we recommend Israeli, Italian and French wines, as they fit perfectly into a culinary trip from Tel Aviv to Paris. And now, summer coming up, you can sit outside on the green terrace, in the shade or the sun, enlightened as if inside. Bete’Avon and Bon Appétit at Mani Restaurant in Berlin!
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Mani Restaurant, Torstraße 136, D-10119 Berlin, E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Opening times: Lunch Monday to Friday between noon and 3 pm, dinner Monday to Saturday from 7 to 11 pm.