Zenkichi is a Japanese brasserie, bringing the authentic dining experiences of Tokyo right here to Berlin. Instead of serving the typical sushi or teriyaki dishes, Zenkichi offers exquisite Japanese dishes, which can be ordered à la Carte or as a set menu.
SOME specialities range from: homemade tofu served with light dashi sauce, black cod Kyoto miso marinade, and Berkshire Kakuni – simmered pork belly in traditional dashi broth with soft boiled egg.
The owners, Motoko Watanabe and Shaul Margulies, moved to Berlin to open up the 2nd location of Zenkichi. The original, Zenkichi in Brooklyn, New York, has been open since 2006 . “After each visit to Tokyo, Motoko and I missed the delicious food so we decided to open our own restaurant”, explains Shaul Margulies. His wife Motoko is the creative mind behind the restaurant and is responsible for all interior design, and also decides upon the menu with the head chef.
“Some Japanese ingredients, flavors and preparations are uncommon and rarely seen in the west. We found that most of our diners are eager to have a new culinary experience and enjoy the so-called ‘acquired taste’ as it challenges the taste buds.”, explains Motoko. Being a certified Sake sommelier, Motoko is very passionate about the Japanese traditional drink and would like to bring the widest selection of premium sake to Berlin.
The Tokyo-style interior is equally as unique to Berlin. Zenkichi is hidden away in the lower ground floor; in the entrance of the restaurant is a lounge and sake bar, leading to a dining area past the reception. Motoko Watanabe and Shaul Margulies explain that, “The Japanese like to concentrate on their food and their company”, which is reflected in their distinct seating concept. Instead of a large room with many tables, there are 35 semi-private booth tables of varying size with space for two, four, six or more guests. The subdued lighting and organic material establish the intimate atmosphere, composed of dark stained wood, bamboo sticks, granite paving, black pebbles. Those who desire more privacy can pull the bamboo blinds down and use the bell to call for service.