'First we take Manhattan,' as the song goes 'And then we take Berlin'. Advice heeded by New York husband and wife team, restaurateurs Motoko Watanabe and Shaul Margulies whose Zenkichi Japanese brasserie downstairs at Johannisstrasse 20, has had Berlin gastronomes frothing at the mouth with its robust, dramatic Japanese flavours. Upstairs in the same location is House Of Small Wonders, a beautiful, airy light space crammed with plants and diverse vegetation amidst striking, simple decor and a menu which twists a dizzying array of influences and flavours, drawing on the owners' Japanese and American culinary heritages.
Based on a similar venue in Brooklyn, HOSW has become a bit of a Mitte hipster hotspot, who pack the place out for breakfasts and brunches. The menu is packed with unusual flavours and juxtapositions - poached eggs with wasabi hollandaise for instance, or Okinawa taco rice, dished up with a soft boiled egg. There's plenty of pastries, cakes teas and coffees as well. Less a case of forced fusions, more tasty, wholesome dishes filtered through a very New York culinary prism and a very welcome addition to the flourishing Berlin dining scene.