When in Berlin, what else is a Korean-American family to eat besides German cuisine?
That’s right. We tried another Korean restaurant called Wawa (와 와, which means “come, come”). Sounds like an inviting place to dine, right? Thankfully, Wawa had space available for us, if we could finish our meal before 7 pm, when other restaurant guests had their reservations.
The interior space was eclectic bu warm and inviting. Of course, Linus fell asleep at the table. However, the three of us decided to feast like kings and queens.
What’s for Dinner?
We started with an appetizer, mandoo (fried Korean dumplings), which were frozen from a pre-packaged bag. But the flavors reminded me of mandoo that I would buy and eat at home, which was good. On the other hand, the soy sauce marinade was light and refreshing. When Sun, our waiter, and friend of the owner of the establishment, told us how it was made, we were impressed.
As usual, Piano Man wanted bulgogi, Korean grilled beef, a favorite and the measurement by which we can compare one Korean restaurant from another because everyone makes bulgogi differently. While the bulgogi serving size was smaller than expected, it was very typical of European serving size. Sun added freshly made vegan kimchi, which was new to me. I usually make my kimchi with fish sauce, but not in Wawa’s kimchi version. I think it tasted light and fresh. (Are you starting to notice a theme in Wawa’s food?)
We ordered a doenjang jigae, bean curd Korean stew, which can be made with an anchovy base, but not at Wawa. This small soup/stew dish was a beef broth, which is how I like my doenjang jigae.
For dessert, Sun recommended that we try their specially made hotttoek, a pan-fried sugary dessert, with a side of vanilla ice cream. Piano Man ate a melon-o bar that tastes like a melon, no joke. You could buy these at a Korean grocery store, but sometimes you miss access to those flavors and have to order it at a restaurant.
Linus slept right through dinner, so we ordered another bulgogi to go.
Wawa is a relatively new Korean restaurant in Berlin, only about 2.5 years old, which in the restaurant biz is considered young. Thanks to Sun, we learned so much about the history of the restaurant, the chef’s background (a third generation restaurant owner from Korea and former barista), and the way the food is prepped and served. If you crave fresh Korean food in Berlin, you will like Wawa Korean Restaurant. You don’t smell like smoked Korean BBQ, and you don’t feel like the grease is caked on your face and clothes when you leave.
NOTE: Make sure you make reservations because Wawa Berlin opens only during evening hours.
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