A spotlight on the Japanese and Buddhist-inspired cuisine at Oukan Berlin, an evocation of the “Shōjin Ryōri” kitchen philosophy, where the focus is on providing the body with precisely what it needs. Prepare to embark on a gastronomic journey that redefines luxury dining, where artistry meets ethics in a symphony of plant-based delights.
Oukan stands for a celebration of the finest vegan cuisine of Japanese inspiration, meticulously crafted to tantalize your 4+1 taste buds, try new -and unexpected- combinations to awaken your senses. Each course is thoughtfully paired with exceptional freshly brewed tea or wines to elevate your dining experience and your knowledge to new heights.
The ambiance is outstanding in its aesthetic perfection – as a “dark” Tadao Ando could imagine – with very intimate, private, dimly lit and zen spaces emphasising consistent minimalism and creating serene spaces for the soul. It also incorporates the concept of Wabi-Sabi, related to Zen Buddhism, celebrating simplicity and imperfection. The restaurant, adorned in various shades of black, exudes minimalism and tactility, with textured structures on walls, tables, and dishes. Tinted mirrors in the corridors encourage introspection, allowing guests to reflect and possibly discover more about themselves. Amidst this, the three-meter-high bonsai ficus is the true focal point, emanating a unique tranquility.
We will refrain from divulging extensive details regarding the seven-course seasonal menu intriguing in its syntactic minimalism as it deserves firsthand experiential discovery. Nevertheless, it is noteworthy to mention that the grilled Maitake & Koji was a particular highlight, a manifestation of reflected culinary excellence in its purest form. We decided to pair the dishes with both wines and tea in order to have the complete spectrum of possibilities: the two specialised sommeliers helped with their well crafted and explained choices to create a unique culinary scenery that reminds of distant lands, oceans, perennial forests and warm horizons.
Oukan is a culinary masterpiece that demonstrates how fine and ethical dining can harmonize in perfect synergy. Each course is an ode to the choice of the ingredients, showcasing the artistry and creativity that can be achieved. This experience is not just a meal; it’s a celebration of another culture that will leave you with a lasting appreciation for the night you had.