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136 Restaurant Italian-Peruvian fusion cuisine at its finest

Wednesday, July 28 2021
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Opening Times

Tuesday to Saturday: 7:00pm - 11:00pm

Address

Sagrantino 136
Linienstraße 136
10115 Berlin-Mitte
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It's been a year since we visited 136 Restaurant with its excitingly unconventional Peruvian-Italian fusion cuisine, then still known as Sagrantino 136. To emphasise the focus on the flavours of his homeland and to distance himself from the Italian focus of sister restaurant Sagrantino on Bergmannstraße, Peruvian chef Matias Diaz has renamed 136 this summer and invited us to another tasting of his refined menu.

So we obediently choose the five-course experience menu that chef Matias Díaz recommends. It is supposed to be five courses, but realistically it is eight, as we are treated to three delicious courses in between. For the experience menu, you can choose between five or seven courses, with wine accompaniment if desired.

Matias Díaz changes the menu every two months, combining the tastes of his childhood with high culinary artistry and demonstrating visual and taste inventiveness. Only one dish may always remain. We will find out what that dish is and why it is always allowed to stay.

Sagrantino (8)
Sagrantino (6)
Sagrantino (2)
Sagrantino
Sagrantino
Sagrantino IV
Sagrantino II
Sagrantino V

First, however, we are served a Pisco Sour and a fine, hearty introduction to the evening ahead, which impresses us not only with its visual presentation. In particular, a tramezzino with buffala cream, anchovies and pickled carrots is a poem, a kind of mini sandwich that already looks like a miniature work of art. More delicious bites follow, and to round things off, a kombucha made from red corn with a watermelon ball.

We don't wait long, and chef Matias brings another greeting from the kitchen: a visually slightly guacamole-like pea trio: pea puree topped with peas and pea leaves, plus slightly spicy pickled tomatoes and red flowers as further splashes of colour. In an eastern way, everything is extracted from the pea here. The chilli variety Aji Amarillo gives the dish a surprisingly tone-setting but not unpleasant spiciness. The kitchen is daring. Now we have an idea of who we are dealing with here.

Peruvian-Italian fusion cuisine. How come, we ask the chef, who spent his childhood in Peru? Quite simple: the owner of the 136 restaurant is Italian, hence the large selection of Italian wines. He trusts Mati's cooking skills and vision, so he can act freely in culinary terms. Mati grew up not only with Peruvian cuisine but also with the cuisine of his uncle, who is Italian. Moreover, there is a large community of Italian descendants in Peru.

The actual menu begins with the course we discussed earlier: Mati serves us his involtini with eagle fish, lemon pearls, straw and sweet potato puree. The leche de tigre is poured fresh at the table. Of course, ceviche is a must in Peruvian-inspired cuisine, a much-requested classic. And we don't wonder at all why this dish is not taken off the menu.

Perhaps it is the best ceviche we know in Berlin. Since the leche de tigre is added just before eating, the sashimi-quality eagle fish retains its delicate sweetness. The pithy acidity of the leche de tigre, delicate aromas of coriander oil and red onion, as well as excellently used rocoto chilli, make the Peruvian national dish an overall composition that combines the best qualities of all the ingredients to create a dish that is as elegant as it is refined and surprising. Simply great.

Then there is the not-so-simple task of recommending a wine to go with the dominant acidity. The service pours a L'atteso, a Boschera Frizzante from Barazza, aged for eight months in terracotta. Italy and Peru also complement each other wonderfully in the wine pairing.

The following courses in the 136 restaurant also put us in an ecstatic mood. Needless to say, the wagyu was cooked to perfection and the scallops, with their fine additions, were an incredible work of art. We are particularly impressed by the artichoke dish, which, like the peas, gets everything out of a vegetable: custard with saffron, cream, salad, pickled pieces, chips, powder and sauce, rounded off with capers, dill and orange pearls. Visually and tastefully a highlight.  

Diaz, who incidentally previously cooked in the kitchens of the Mandala Hotel and Hugos, among others, knows precisely what he can do and intends to demonstrate it in the 136 restaurant in the entire capital. The dessert can undoubtedly contribute to this. A lovingly arranged little tree of coffee mousse complements Dias with a toadstool of white chocolate and strawberry jelly, yuzu sorbet, kiwi mint sauce and much more. Accompanied by a dessert wine in the glass: Napolini Sagrantino di Montefalco.

"Everyone who comes here should feel at home," says Matias Diaz, and they do. Each dish is lovingly explained by Matias or a team member, the atmosphere is cosy and informal, and the warm red tones of the restaurant allow visitors to relax. This is a beautiful way to sample colourful dishes. We are curious to see what awaits us next time.

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136 Restaurant – Italian-Peruvian fusion cuisine at its finest
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