After our short detour that took us to an extraordinary traditional Arabic breakfast experience, we’re back to the East Asian kitchen. Japanese food is commonly known exclusively as “Sushi”, allegedly healthy raw fish with sticky rice drowned in soy sauce. Guess what? There’s more to the Japanese kitchen than Sushi, and even if it were only Sushi it would be much more complicated than simply “raw fish” that you can order from cheap take-out restaurants, but I digress.
Ramen soup is the Currywurst of Japan. It varies from locality to locality, although the main components stay the same: it’s a noodle soup based on a meat-broth with a variety of toppings, usually pork meat. That rules out most vegetarians to go through the whole menu, but I promise the Miso — the vegetarian option — is just as delicious. For the last year and especially during the freezing winter, Cocolo Ramen in Mitte was my feel-good place for a nice, cozy and comfortable dinner. The small restaurant, basically consisting of a traditional counter where you’re served straight from the chef, was always packed though and sometimes you even had to wait in line in front of the door to get your shot at wonderful and perfect noodle soup.
This problem was solved by opening up a much larger franchise in Kreuzberg, right at Paul Lincke Ufer. And like any good and trustworthy restaurant, the menu is lucid, with only varieties of their speciality offered: Ramen soup in plenty of variations. The soup is hearty and filling, don’t underestimate it. For those really hungry, snack yourselves through the entrees. The Kimchi, the Edamame and the Wantans are crazy good and worth a shot. But not only the food is worth a shout out. Both restaurants are decorated in a very authentic manner without coming on as too cheesy. The dishes are all hand-made from clay, a sweet little touch. Sitting at the counter you can see exactly what the chefs are doing and how, which makes for another nice touch to the experience. I’ve always wanted to go to Japan for the culinary adventure and for the curious cultural difference; a stop at Cocolo really soothes that feeling. Finally: High quality Japanese comfort food in my vicinity. I couldn’t be happier.
Paul-Lincke Ufer 39 – 40, Kreuzberg
Gipsstr. 3, Mitte