La Mano Verde, Charlottenburg, Berlin

HONESTLY’S VERDICT
In a word:  Pure
Food:  Gourmet vegetarian, vegan and raw
Service:  Gut, yah! (that’s German for Good, yes)
Presentation:  Food-wise; simple yet eye catching
Ambience:  Quiet and calm
Location:  In a leafy square in the upmarket area of Charlottenberg
Value for money:  Not super expensive, around 16 euros for a main, and they do have good value lunch time deals.
Worth a visit?:  If you’re into raw and vegan fine dining then it should be on your Berlin must do list!

We chose Berlin for our summer holiday this year, a mix of business and pleasure; I was excited to check out the foodie and yoga scene in this funky and fresh capital city.  I visited Berlin back in 2008 and fell in love with the vibrant, history-steeped city with it’s love of all things (considered) alternative; holistic health, organic food, and the alternative art scene.

Berlin certainly hasn’t changed in these respects and it didn’t disappoint in terms of yoga (check out Yoga For All Mankind & Yellow Yoga) or food, and five years on, I’m still in love with this leafy city!

La Mano Verde

La Mano Verde

One of the first foodie adventures was dinner at the famous La Mano Verde; a recommendation from Tommy, the organiser of Berlin’s, brilliantly named, street food festival on the Spree, Bite Club.

La Mano Verde is the brain child of Jean-Christian Jury, and their tag line “purely plant based” gives you an idea of what you’ll find on their menu.

The kitchen.  Where all the magic happens!

The kitchen. Where all the magic happens!

The team at La Mano Verde are doing wonderful things to promote vegan and raw fine dining; aside from being a great restaurant, La Mano Verde is also behind the Living Food Academy, which trains both professional chefs and budding foodies in the art of raw and cooked veggie cuisine.

Food:

The nifty iPad menu isn’t particularly extensive however it still manages to offer a good mix of deliciously healthy vegetarian, vegan and raw dishes for your taste buds to explore.  We chose the raw lasagna, vegetarian tortellini with a refreshing glass of elderflower and sparkling wine, followed by dessert of course!

The design of the restaurant and location of the kitchen meant we could watch as the chefs cheffed around and prepped up our dishes right before our eyes, before winged their way to our table in what seemed like a matter of minutes!

Tasty tortelinni

Tasty tortelinni

The vegetarian tortellini was exactly what I felt I needed, although when it was served up, suffering from my usual case of ‘eyes bigger than belly’ syndrome, I was sure i’d be hankering for another serving.  Happily, my belly was satiated with the tasty little squash filled pasta morsels and flavourful tomato sauce.

Raw lasagna

Raw lasagna

La Mano Verde’s raw lasagna was delicious – simply layers of sliced seasonal veggies held together with a cashew ‘cheese’ sauce.

The raw plum and walnut dessert...yum!

The raw plum and walnut dessert…yum!

When eating somewhere like La Mano Verde where you’re offered raw dessert, always, always say yes!  We opted for the plum and walnut cheesecake…an interesting combination…it as good, just really tasty; creamy, fruity, nutty. Yum.

Presentation:

Crisp and clean white plates are all the decoration these colourful veggie dishes need.

Looking out past the kitchen

Looking out past the kitchen

The restaurant itself appears like it should have a contemporary feel, one that might have been contemporary 10 years ago.  It’s by no means dated, just nothing eye catching or particularly attractive.  Maybe it’s a German thing…?

La Mano Verde creeping into Kempinski Square

La Mano Verde creeping into Kempinski Plaza

What is great about the place is that you pretty much get to eat outdoors all summer long, thanks to the outdoor dinning area in the square and to the large folding windows that bring the outside in to the restaurant!

Service:

No complaints here, the guys at La Mano Verde spoke good English (along with the rest of Germany!) and were able to explain that the raw lasagna was indeed raw and hence served cold.  I think they feared that the dish would be returned to the kitchen complaining that it was cold and by warning us were preventing such a scene from occurring!

Owing to a relatively quiet early evening seating, our distance from the kitchen and minimal preparation time, our food was swift to arrive at our table.

Value for money:

Mains at La Mano Verde are between 15 to 20 Euros, starters and desserts around 8 euros. They have lunch time offers on their website.

It’s expensive for a bunch of veggies on a plate if you see it that way, however, to find veggies that have been artfully transformed into really flavourful vegetarian or vegan or raw creations you’re going to have to pay.

As I may have mentioned in other reviews, I personally think raw and vegan cuisine are worth every penny; labour intensive preparation methods and use of quality ingredients shine through time and time again and La Mano Verde certainly did not disappoint.

Contact:

Kempinski Plaza, Uhlandstraße 181-183, Charlottenberg, D-10623 Berlin

Email: contact@lamanoverde.com

Facebook

Tel. +49 (0) 30 827 03 120

Word of advice: definitely call to make a reservation, as the place gets busy in the evenings and at weekends. 

Opening hours:

Everyday
Lunch 12.00 – 15.30
Dinner 18.00 – 23.00

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