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  • Dotori: Introducing Berlin’s first Korean anju bar


Dotori: Introducing Berlin’s first Korean anju bar

Out in Weißensee, Dotori is Berlin’s first Korean anju bar. Except here, the food is perhaps even better than the drinks.

Dotori in Weißensee offers a firsthand view into Korean anju culture. Photo: Marianne Rennella

Looking for a cosy new spot for a bite and a beverage? Consider travelling out to Weißensee for a table at Dotori, Berlin’s first Korean anju bar. Be warned, though, this isn’t your average Kneipe. Here, the food holds an importance that equals – if not surpasses – that of the drinks.

Alternative to aperitif

You may get away with ordering a single Aperol Spritz at your neighbourhood Italiener, but such practices wouldn’t fly at Dotori. The new Korean bar in Weißensee turns aperitif culture on its head, specialising instead in anju – foods that are meant to be consumed alongside alcohol. Though alcohol is certainly on the menu, in anju culture it’s the food that takes centre stage. 

Enter almost any bar in Korea, and you’ll quickly notice that no one is consuming alcohol without an edible accompaniment. You may even find that some forgo the drinks altogether in favour of the food! Whether paired or flying solo, the key to anju is sharing. It doesn’t matter if you’re on a cosy date for two or gathered around a communal table with your entire friend group – everything you order will be for sharing. 

At Dotori, European beers and wines meet Korean drinks and dishes. Photo: Marianne Rennella

Flavour at the fore

As Chi, part-owner and head of the kitchen at Dotori, brings out the small dishes one by one, the dining room’s long counter is increasingly populated with colour. The pajeon, a Korean answer to the pancake, stands out with vibrant greens and rich golden browns. Topped with seafood and scallions, its spicy warmth lingers pleasantly in the mouth. The red-orange hue of the fried chicken, another anju classic, beckons enticingly; a quick bite reveals a beautifully crisp texture in spite of its generous marinade. 

Also not to miss: the restaurant’s namesake, Dotori-Jelly. As “dotori” translates to “acorn”, Chi uses acorn flour to make these traditional jelly cubes, accompanied by a green salad and fresh coriander. You can eat acorns?!, you may be tempted to ask. As long as they’re properly soaked or boiled to break down the harmful tannins, acorns are perfectly safe – and actually quite healthy – to consume!

Chi, one of the owners of Dotori. Photo: Marianne Rennella

Transnational tasting

Anju is typically paired with the Korean drinks makgeolli (a Korean rice wine – opaque and lightly sparkling) or soju (a clear starch-based spirit). However, Dotori happily travels further west for their pairings. As Chi explains, Korean anju also goes well with natural European wines and craft beers. On our table, a southwestern German rosé with the catchy name “Boom” more than proves the success of these exotic pairings. 

After testing the waters with a few pop-ups, Dotori officially opened their brick-and-mortar Weißensee location in May this year. Reviews have been rave, and anju culture has already become a favourite within the neighbourhood. As for the rest of the city, a trek out to Weißensee may just be worth it! 

  • Dotori, Gustav-Adolf-Straße 159, Weißensee, Thu–Sat 5:30 p.m.–11 p.m

This article has been adapted from the German by Alexandra Ertman.