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Mana Vegan food for the soul

Wednesday, March 02 2022
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Opening Times

Daily: 10:00am - 11:00pm

Address

Mana Restaurant
Merseburger Str. 15
10823 Berlin-Schöneberg
.How to get there

Many of Berlin's vegans will be familiar with Mana in Schöneberg. Here you can find vegan delicacies at any time of the day. I have frequented this lovely restaurant many times and actually wanted to visit it during Veganuary to test it out. Still, of course, I also like to eat vegan food in February.

So on February 15th, after the hustle and bustle of Valentine's Day, we set off for the restaurant on the corner of Merseburger/Belziger Straße. Bar manager Niklas gives us a friendly welcome and answers all our questions. Madga and Tina founded Mana in 2017. Ma-Na, therefore both as a combination of their names and a reference to Mana, the spiritual energy. It offers vegan creations that deliberately don't want to be meat substitutes but creatively explore the possibilities of plant-based food. The concept has proven so successful that they have also opened another Mana in Moabit, but with a different menu to maintain originality and give the chef space to develop.

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The elongated restaurant is pleasantly open and airy, with a long counter in the middle. Furthermore, it contains a room at the back with a stylish dark blue wall colour combined with various indoor plants that have a pleasantly calming effect. There are plenty of tables outside for the summer, but some guests are brave enough to sit at them even in the colder months. The varied breakfast, lunch, and dinner menus don't have many dishes, but they are very different and constantly changing.

We try the in-house interpretation of a shakshuka (for which I already confessed my love in the Honiggelb article). Shakshuka fans might be a little surprised: The starter here is effectively a combination of the essences of Israel. The shakshuka, naturally without egg and cheese, is in the middle of the plate, framed by hummus, garnished with peppers, sesame- and pomegranate seeds. With it, we order olives, which come very richly and excitingly marinated, with a vinaigrette of oil, dried tomatoes, lemon juice and whatever herbs are available in the kitchen. Honestly, I have rarely tasted olives so good. This is accompanied by pita and baguette.

After the great starters, we allow ourselves a break and enjoy a Gewürztraminer from the Hermer winery. Next to me stands a tempting cocktail and long drink menu, also their own creation, but we decide to stick to wine today. Then, just as the glass is empty, the main course arrives. We quickly order a Riesling from Weingut Keth and turn to the main courses.

We eat Mana's Tajine: Couscous with sultanas, spring onions and dried tomatoes, served with tomato chickpea sauce with roasted peppers. The delicious dish complements the starter well. To go with it, we try the Valentine's Day special from the day before: Grilled herb mushrooms with celeriac, green and Brussels sprouts.

Actually, almost too full, we still have to try the dessert. I opt for the Magic Poppy Mousse, wonderfully airy and grainy, with coconut cream, tonka beans, rice milk and plum puree. Sinking the spoon into it is as satisfying as a chocolate mousse. Simply delicious. My companion chooses the carrot cake, which is surprisingly subtly sweetened and impresses with its fruity frosting and sauce. Again, we are very full and satisfied. With friendly service in a pleasant ambience, Mana, as promised in its name, recharged our energy and let us off happily into the night.

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