Mana Food - Berlin
Located in Schöneberg, not far from the shopping street of Akazienstr, Mana Foods (Mana is mostly translated to empowerment) offers the type of food that one dreams of when they go out for a vegan meal. They aim to have dishes that are loaded with flavor, good for you (mostly), not filled with processed foods and preservatives and strive to source their ingredients locally and of organic quality.
What I loved about my experience there was that while the food was indeed innovative, the dishes didn't feel forced, far too often right now, restaurants and other food related businesses are trying so hard to come up with really original ideas, as opposed of working hard and doing the little things right first and than start to innovate from their. Mana Foods get the basics right, which may not sound sexy but when you have eaten out as much as I have and having been in the industry for the past 20 years, you know that getting the basics is far trickier then it sounds.
My wife and I started off with drinks, as is the custom.
I ordered an interesting combination of cold Earl Grey tea, elder-flower, lemon, ginger and mint (left) and my wife's drink had elder-flower soda, ginger beer, cucumber and mint.
Both were absolutely amazing! Flavorful, balanced and perfectly refreshing. With my wife commenting that; her drink tasted like when she steps into an esoteric store, which for my wife is a huge compliment. Mine had the slightly flowery flavors of the tea and the elder-flower perfectly balanced with the ginger and the slight taste of mint added an intriguing component.
As for the food, that too is fantastic. Normally we would order the black hummus (so crazy amazing, worth a trip alone), they happened to have sold out of the black hummus and so we had the regular hummus, which was definitely not disappointing. In fact, it turned into a real highlight for us as the regular hummus was so loaded with a perfect blend of flavors and creaminess.
We also ordered Pauls Burger, which is a 100 gram seitan patty with herb butter, salad greens, tomatoes, red onion, Mana's special burger sauce and cucumbers and it comes with a salad and sweet potato fries and one of the best housemade mayo's I have ever eaten. The burger is immensely satisfying, it has a nice blend of being hearty and flavorful without being heavy confused. Each ingredient adds something to the overall dish and while I have had better burgers this one is definitely in the top 5.
Overall Mana Foods is one of the very best vegan restaurants in all of Berlin. Nice decor, friendly staff and cool without trying too hard to be cool. It's a neighborhood restaurant that is so much more than that, if you find yourself on the Akazienstr. or any where in Schöneberg give yourself a treat and check this fantastic restaurant out.