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TASTY VEGAN DRINKS AND SICHUAN TAPAS — KONG OPENS A NEW OFFSHOOT ON PRENZLAUER ALLEE
You asked for it – now it’s here! Kong II, the new offshoot of the popular Friedrichshain restaurant that puts vegan drinks front and center. The founders of the original Kong, Tong Liu and Ling Madas, came up with their tasty beverages as a way to serve takeaway customers during the onset of the pandemic. Customers came in their droves, and so when the pair came to open the second venture – located next to the imposing Immanuel Church in Prenzlauer Berg – they decided to focus on drinks. Their homemade creations are not classic milkshakes, but made from a variety of plant-based alternatives. The “Tofu Concubine”, for instance, is a mix of soy, caramel tofu and fermented rice, while the “Coconut Princess” (the owner’s favorite drink) comes in a natural purple color thanks to the rice and sweet potato puree. All drinks come with a snack on top in the form of three sesame rice balls and if it’s warm you can also order your drink on ice for subtle, cool refreshment.
While the focus is on drinks, Kong II also serves treats to eat, with small Sichuan tapas such as spicy edamame and another speciality: Baozi steamed dumplings. They come filled with tofu and vegetables or meat and homemade roasted pepper sauce for the perfect spicy kick. Since opening in May 2022, Kong II has been more of a daytime place, but a little bird has told us you’ll be able to sip evening cocktails here very soon. We’re looking forward to it.
Text: Annika Hillig / Photos: Arundhati Shenoy & Kong II
BRAND POP-UPS, VINTAGE MARKETS, WORKSHOPS AND A BALLROOM EXTRAVAGANZA — THREE DAYS OF STYLE AND CULTURE AT THE GROUND
Fashion from Karl Kani, a talk on legalizing cannabis and a full-blown ballroom extravaganza. Yes, you will certainly have enough things to see, do and buy at The Ground, the progressive style and culture festival coming to Messe Berlin next week (07–09.07.2022). The three-day gathering will bring cutting-edge brands (Marispieper, Clara Colette Miramon, Drykorn), DJs (Floyd Lavine, Kikelomo) and industry experts together for a program of fashion pop-ups, music, panels and live talks. The festival kicks off on Thursday (07.07) with a march from the Siegessäule to the Messe event location under the banner #FashionUnites. There you’ll find new and vintage fashion, upcycling workshops from Platte and talks on topics like genderless fashion, the Metaverse and drug legalization.
There’s also the chance to pick up cool merch and support a good cause with the limited “Must-Have Peace” charity collection featuring specially-designed pieces from Carry, Closed, Drykorn, Eastpak, Lala Berlin, Lee, Le Specs, MCM, Merz b. Schwanen and Wrangler. All proceeds from the sale go to the Be an Angel Foundation. But the highlight of the line-up will be the “Larger Than Life” ball by The House of Gorgeous Gucci, hosted in the festival garden on Saturday (9.07). This celebration of diversity will bring to the stage voguing, fierce costumes and all-round good energy. This is not one to be missed, so get those front-row seats secured.
Text: Benji Haughton / Photos: The Ground
Messe Berlin, Eingang Nord, Hammarskjöldplatz, 14055 Berlin–Westend; map
Tickets for The Ground are available exclusively online. The first 50 readers get free entry with the following code: CeeCeexTheGround2022
COOLS COLLECTION — MOTHER-DAUGHTER OWNED LABEL FOR STYLISH FURNITURE WITH MEDITERRANEAN FLAIR
An afternoon basking on the terrace with your favorite people: it’s what summer is made for. This observation is what led mother-daughter duo Stefania Andorlini and Maria Francesca Staehle to launch a range of carefully-crafted indoor and outdoor furniture called the Cools Collection. “Cools” stands for “contemporary objects of love”, and you certainly notice the thought and care the pair put into their functional, stylish designs. Take the “N’ice Table” for example: made entirely out of stainless steel, the circular table top (available in black or white) has a recessed hole in which you can put flowers or ice to cool your drinks (we’d suggest a spritz for the sun). Of course, a table needs chairs: enter the “Capri” and its customizable laid-back counterpart, the “Capri easy”. You can complete the set with the ottoman foot stool for even more luxurious lounging. If the fickle German weather doesn’t allow for outside gatherings (or you aren’t lucky enough to have a terrace) the table and chairs will work just as well inside, too. The minimal shapes are reminiscent of mid-century lounge chairs and make a statement addition to the living room or kitchen. Once the sun shows up, you can bring the whole ensemble outside for a gathering with a German-Mediterranean design twist. Pass the oranges and ice, please!
Text: Rosie Gilmour / Photos: Cools Collection
FISH KLUB SUMMER RESIDENCY: POP-UP RESTAURANT FOR FRESHLY CAUGHT FISH AND SEAFOOD — RECOMMENDED BY INES SPICKER
We say “Fish” – you say “Klub”! Time to head to Manitiusstraße 23 in Neukölln, where you’ll find the Fish Klub Summer Residency, a temporary restaurant serving seafood dishes with names that instantly evoke the French good life: “Fine de Claire”, “Claire de Jade”, “Odette”. Fish Klub managers Margaux Friocourt and Yves Marie Origlia place special emphasis on sustainable fish imports, buying only products caught using techniques that respect the marine environment like fishing with traps or by hand. This dedication to their products is palpable as soon as you enter the pop-up restaurant. The interior is not kitschy or overdone, but informal and honest: neon lights light up large wooden tables with iron frames. This layout means you can easily make friends with your tablemates should you want to, while the atmosphere has something of the riviera about it. After a glass or two of Cremant (or a bottle of white) good vibes are all but guaranteed and strangers will become seaside soulmates.
The menu is inspired from cuisines stretching from Japan to France and Mexico. An absolute highlight is “36h§“, a slow-cooked hamachi from Japan that melts in your mouth, with roasted flavors that have to be tasted to be believed. If you’re unsure what to pick, the welcoming waiters will gladly make a personalized menu for you including wine selections. In addition to importing for the restaurant trade, Fish Klub also sells fish and seafood for cooking at home, with a regularly changing selection according to season and the catch. Drop by their stand at Markthalle Neun for fish, seafood, oysters and a bottle to go with it. For the full sensory experience, however, a visit to the restaurant on Manitiusstraße is a must – it’s open Wednesday to Saturday until 16.07.2022, with the Saturday lunch a particular highlight.
Text: Ines Spicker / Photos: Zoe Spawton & Arundhati Shenoy
Ines Spicker loves the U8, our colleague Arne in the Cee Cee design team and the campervan they go traveling together in. She moved to Berlin on account of the city’s culinary offerings.
THE HOUSE IS OPEN — AIRBNB INVITES YOU FOR FREE TOURS, TALKS AND MUSIC AT C/O BERLIN
Music, art and the night – in few cities are these three things as enjoyable and intoxicating as in Berlin. Every year, throngs of experience-hungry visitors flock to the city, strolling along Alex, Ku’damm and Bahnhof Zoo. This is where exhibition house and photography foundation C/O Berlin moved in 2014. Now, after two years of pandemic, events are finally returning to Amerika Haus. Tomorrow (30.06.2022) Airbnb is welcoming visitors for an all-day cultural program (11–23h) dedicated to photography and the exhibitions at C/O Berlin with free admission and guided tours, music and talks. Without advance reservation you can stop by for a drink at the bar, take part in the “Close Up – Rediscovering Photography” tour created by C/O Berlin on Airbnb, and listen to the sounds of DJ Bonnie (In Love With) well into the evening. Not to be missed is the “Lightning Talk” in the auditorium with American photographer Susan Meiselas, whose major retrospective “Mediations” is on view until 09.09.2022.
A Magnum agency member, Meiselas’s work spans more than 50 years and reveals a sensitive yet unflinchingly powerful eye. Whether it’s war, identity or sex, the rawness of her photographs, accompanied by personal notes, documents and records, draws viewers in, and her subjects and themes seem more current and relevant than ever. Upstairs, photographer Bieke Depoorter’s works deal with life’s chance encounters in a conceptual, experimental way. Playful and candid, Depoorter negotiates boundaries in her artistic work: Authenticity, authorship, narration. That too feels very Berlin.
Text: Hilka Dirks / Photos: Visitors in front of Amerika Haus at C/O Berlin, 2019 © C/O Berlin Foundation, Stephanie von Becker; Agata, Paris, France, 2. November, 2017 © Bieke Depoorter . Magnum Photos; Pebbles with Enzo and Tina at Carmine Street Pool, Little Italy, New York, 1978 © Susan Meiselas/Magnum Photos