What happens when you mix Chinese dining with mindfulness? You get UUU: the restaurant with space for eight guests, who eat a fixed eight-course menu and drink tea instead of alcohol. All diners sit at a single U-shaped table that reminds you a little bit of sitting in class, though this place – a former butcher’s shop in Wedding – looks much nicer than a schoolroom. And there is a teacher of sorts: Jonas Borchers, who delights in telling you about the different types of white, red and black tea (served cold, warm or as kombucha). Jonas studied in Shanghai and it has had a lasting impact; he effortlessly switches to Mandarin when speaking with his partner Yuhang Wu who does the cooking. Born in the far west of China, she helped her grandfather prepare the fish he caught himself before moving to Germany to work at Restaurant Tim Raue, Sven Elverfeld’s Aqua, and Coda.
The dishes have delicate, often fleeting flavours, though they remain striking and are always beautifully presented. The homemade tofu has a crispy deep-fried skin, while the creamy egg is whisked up with salty pork crackling, bitter vegetables and green Szechuan pepper for top notes. Desserts are unusual in Chinese cuisine, but here they’re a triumph: Yuhang’s pear sorbet with salted plum and almond and clay bean puree is wonderful, and could easily be served at Coda. At UUU, your senses are sharpened, and you and your neighbors eat quietly and reverently. If you want Chinese cuisine that’s a world away from what you find at takeaway restaurants, this little place is worth a booking.
Text: Tina Hüttl / Photos: Berlin Food Stories & Lorraine Haist
To get the full story on UUU check out Episode #13 of Teller Stories, available on Podigee, Spotify and all major podcast platforms.
UUU, Sprengelstr.15, 13353 Berlin–Wedding; map
Teller Stories is available on Podigee, Spotify and all major podcast platforms. New episodes of the current series are released every Thursday.