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Konträr The great art of nonchalance

Wednesday, April 13 2022
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Opening Times

Sunday to Friday: 6pm - open end

Address

Konträr
Winsstraße 53
10405 Berlin-Prenzlauer Berg
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Contact

info@konträr.com
.konträr.com
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To describe Konträr only as a natural wine bar would not do it justice. Of course, it is a natural wine bar and an excellent one at that. But it is so much more than this.

When you enter the restaurant in Prenzlauer Berg, you immediately feel one thing: you have arrived. The interior is simple yet stylish, and the casualness of the service adds to the atmosphere. On the right is the open kitchen with a long bar that invites you to sit down and relax, and in the front, the plain black tables resemble a French bistro.

The concept is quickly explained: small dishes meant for sharing, accompanied by first-class hand-picked natural wine, often spontaneously fermented. Surprisingly, the evening opens with a classic-looking Crémant du Jura, which has something unique: It is a Brut Nature, the liqueur d'expédition, i.e. the shipping dosage, is dispensed with, which gives it an outstanding dryness.

Each of the plates served hereafter makes us pause and reminds us of various beautiful moments. The "liverwurst sandwich", chicken liver sausage on brioche bread, is so buttery and satisfying that we are reminded of a lovely afternoon in a French bistro. The scallops au gratin conjure up images of a Portuguese dive where mussels are served with football and beer as they have been for decades.

Kontraer Prenzlauer Berg (1)
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Chefkoch Taran Kontraer Prenzlauer Berg
Kontraer Prenzlauer Berg

"We do things until we get really good at them, then it's boring," explains owner Taran Schiffer, so the menu changes frequently. New on the menu during our visit is the Blue Crab. At first bite, the very dominant soy sauce glaze is surprising. Still, it contrasts perfectly with the almost sweet meat and the fluffy rice and proves they are not afraid of intense flavours here. The vegetarian dishes, such as the very earthy white radish and the fantastic herb mushrooms with thyme beurre blanc, also know how to impress through solid craftsmanship with a pinch of something special.

This cheerful round of dishes is only interrupted by the wines that Taran recommends in between. They all have in common that they can hold strong flavours with a lot of character without wanting to push themselves too much into the foreground. Even in Berlin, where natural wine shops are springing up like wild garlic this season, the selection here is something special.

"I have simply drunk a lot of wine in my life," says Taran. His recommendations are correspondingly accurate. We tried a lot and found that hardcore natural wine lovers, who love reductive flavours, as well as newcomers, who prefer conventionally produced wine, will find something to love here.

And so, at the end of an evening at Konträr, the only question is whether "Shall we try another?" refers to the next plate or the next glass of wine. But beware: this is precisely why you can also get wonderfully carried away here!

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