“Jetzt bitte schütteln!” says Tong Liu, founder of Chinese restaurant Kong, as he serves us each a plate with a paper bag on it. We shake, and are amazed, for the resulting culinary artwork is not just highly Instagram-worthy, but the most intense taste experience: tofu balls marinated with Ma pepper (a type of Sichuan pepper) with notes of cooling basil entwined with delicate rice noodles. The first of five courses, the dish is a triumph of careful design – no doubt thanks to chef and co-founder Ling Ma’s architecture training, which she has also put to work on the lovingly handcrafted Chinese urban-chic interior. Kong attaches particular importance to authentic ingredients and genuine spice rarities, such as the hard-to-find “Fish Mint”, which the team grow themselves. The menus change every month, with vegan or meat options available. Select teas and rice wines complete what is a memorable dinner. (Text: Carina Schmitz / Photos: Savannah van der Niet)
Carina Schmitz is a digital marketing specialist and hobby beekeeper and calls Friedrichshain her home.
Kong, Niederbarnimstr.4, 10247 Berlin–Friedrichshain; map
Wed–Sun 19–22h, booking required.