If you bring upscale cuisine and casual bistro character together, it results in what is known as a “bistronomie” restaurant – a place where good cuisine doesn’t have to be accompanied by a fancy atmosphere and expensive prices. Yann Mastantuono opened Mastan, his small bistronomie restaurant located between Mehringdamm and Südstern, in April 2023. The concept is all about fine food, casual get-togethers and affordable prices – in other words, everything you could want on a night out! Born in Marseille, Yann grew up with the cuisine of the South of France. Later he moved to Paris, where he gained his first insights into first-class bistro cuisine and honed his technical skills as head chef at Le Verre Volé sur Mer and Aux Lyonnais – Alain Ducasse. Yann then moved to Berlin on account of the openness and joie de vivre of the people here. “They see through glitz and want honesty,” he says.
When you enter Mastan, you are greeted warmly and immediately understand the concept from the interior: an inviting wooden counter right at the entrance just like in French bistros, and small seating areas at the windows covered with white tablecloths. At the counter you can relax with a glass of wine (a selection of organic and natural wines from France, Germany and Austria) and sample typical cheese and sausage specialities. Then, if you’re still hungry, you can order à la carte. Here you will find the likes of a cream of pea soup with fresh goat’s cheese and Pimentón de la vera, veal tartare with crisp Granny Smith apple, tarragon and Cedri lemon gel with slivers of wild oysters hidden inside. For the main course there’s guinea fowl with wild garlic, white asparagus and bacon, or a Mediterranean fish soup with gurnard, fennel and rouille. For dessert, you can’t miss out on the cheese platter, which Yann gets right next door at Les Epicuriens in the Marheineke indoor market. Direct contact with producers is important to the chef, and he is keen to discover the best regional products. He also doesn’t want to miss out on contact with his guests: he likes to leave the kitchen in the evening to greet diners and share a glass of wine. You can spend hours at Mastan without having to go all out. It might get noisy and crowded at times, but that’s the charm of a French bistro. Combining delicious, unpretentious dishes and fine-dining cooking techniques, this place will have you parting ways on a high: Merci et à très bientôt!
Text: Robyn Steffen / Photos: Robyn Steffen & Florian Kroll