The beautiful Kastanienallee, just next to Zionskirchplatz, is home to Nauta Berlín, a pisco bar and restaurant where traditional Peruvian food gets a Japanese flair. The address is a very exciting place to experience thought provoking fusion cuisine.
The Peruvian-born chef and owner’s passion for their home country is ubiquitous. The Japanese influence is not only reflected in the food; it’s also omnipresent through the interior, combining the Japanese minimalism with the rich colors of Peru.
Although we don’t want to spoil anything, we have to admit that we really enjoyed trying such interesting new food combinations, accompanied by the Peruvian national treasure: the pisco sour — highly recommendable in a hot summer evening. The tone of the dinner was set with an amuse-bouche, focusing on the taco, a key ingredient that has become a globalized therefore familiar fast food. Playing with our familiarity and prejudices towards this dish, the chef Diego Jiménez matches perfectly these emotions by serving a freshly prepared taco, topped with calamari infused rice. It was already enough to make us realize how little we knew about Peruvian cuisine!
As starters we were served a mixture of the regular menu. Part of it was composed by another Peruvian food staple that has recently gained great popularity, the ceviche. Jiménez gives it a very tasteful twist by adding vongole, sweet potato cubes and chili caviar. Every ingredient is carefully placed on the plate, creating a very appealing and thoughtful presentation. The Nikkei touch is represented by combinations like tuna, edamame and avocado: a tasteful combination inspired by the search of Japanese immigrants for substitutes for their missing home country ingredients.
The main courses are colorful, flavor-packed dishes. The tender char with vongole, short seared prawns, spicy chili caviar and algae was outstanding, as well as the Barbary duck breast (perfectly crispy, almost like a Peking duck!) with a colorful risotto rice, mango and crunchy choclo corn. Although the menu is strongly focused on fish and seafood, the entrecôte was also perfectly and tenderly seared, served with a spicy and delicious salsa.
The main courses are generous, perfect for sharing, and can be accompanied by a great glass of pisco sour or by a pint of cerveza cusqueña, the Peruvian beer. And on the sweet side, the desert menu is also intriguing, with a tempting choice of exotic fruits ice creams.
In Peru and in Japan great food is meant to be as an appreciation towards the guests. And since we ended the evening more than satisfied, we will definitely return to renew the experience and the newly introduced brunch, served on Saturdays and Sundays!
Kastanienallee 49 10119 Berlin
Tuesday-Sunday: 18:30-23:00; Saturday and Sunday: 11:00-16:00
*This article was written by Max Tschöpe, after an invitation by NAUTA Berlín, and edited by Domingos Ruiz Lepores.