Berlin has emerged in recent years as one of the world’s great creative capitals, brimming with exhibitions and parties. A city full of contrasts, Berlin is edgy but comparatively safe with its own solid, distinctive style. It has grown famous for its concept clubs and cafés. But recently the city has developed from the illegal clubs in hard-to-find, crumbly ruins with little ventilation and few fire exits (which sadly are fading into a legend). The German compulsion to make everything neat and tidy has brought a new phase to the city, especially East Berlin. The city has smartened up its image and hip bar and restaurant interiors have moved to the opposite extreme with white upholstery and clinically clean lines currently in vogue.
And the names even reflect on the clinically white interior, Shiro I Shiro (‘white castle’ in Japanese). Designed by Korean Hyun Jung Kim and Vietnamese-born Truong Ngu who seem to anticipate a futuristic Louis-XIV salon.
In another part of town, the Simon-Dach-strasse area in Friedrichshain, had until recently, been the preserve of backpackers, students and the odd pioneer. But now the restaurant density has reached interesting proportions, in the form of Schneeweiss – Snow White minus the dwarves. This minimally designed winter wonderland-like restaurant proves yet again that Berlin does concept better than most other cities.
Last but not least there is Bangaluu. The dinner club demonstrates clearly the belief that ‘New Berliners’ want decadent, they want pristine and they want somewhere to flash their smart togs without snagging them on a rusty nail. Bangaluu is just the ticket for clean freaks on a night out: white carpets, upholstery, curtains and walls reflect the current penchant for snowy hues. It is similar as to walk into a live version of ‘Blank Canvas’ an ad which was made to launch Ford Kuga. No more dirty habits and no more grubby clubbers, what ever is Berlin coming to?