At the Klosteralle w/h Koral Elci
Every hvv switch point is a story in itself - and an invitation to make a point. More than 100 hvv switch points in Hamburg offer a variety of ways to get from A to anywhere. We introduce you to exciting people from Hamburg - on their routes through the city.
Koral Elci does not have a restaurant. Nevertheless, he is probably one of the restaurateurs who feed the most people in Hamburg every day: With his company Kitchen Guerilla, he is behind the company canteens of companies like Meta and Yelp. "The word canteen is banned here," says Koral. "It immediately conjures up the image of curry sausage and dino nuggets - but for us it's not just about getting your fill. It's about a daily culinary experience."
But that is far from all that Kitchen Guerilla stands for. It stands above all for pop-ups and events: in 2009, the desire to cook for people grew in him. "But I didn't want a restaurant," says Koral. So he first invited guests to his flat. His brother Onur joined in, followed by taking over restaurants for an evening - the name Kitchen Guerilla was born. Today, Kitchen Guerilla also hijacks sailing ships, construction sites, galleys or other surprising places in the world, for its own events or for companies. The team sees itself as a creative agency for food and drink.
Koral now wants to open restaurants so that even more guests get to know Kitchen Guerilla: He and his 25-strong team are currently planning one for business lunches in the Hamburg Triiio skyscraper in the city centre, which is scheduled to open in January 2024. A signature restaurant is to follow in the Grindel in 2025. "You evolve - and today we want to install permanent places where you can experience our signature."
We meet Koral in the Grindelviertel, at the hvv switch point Klosterallee, not far from the Isemarkt.
Koral, you came to Hamburg in 1999. Why?
I moved here to study product design. I didn't plan to stay this long, but I immediately fell in love with Hamburg. So much green, nice people. And also the mobility: I grew up in Istanbul, lived in Argentina - there it's chaos when it comes to traffic. Here, everything was suddenly so orderly and you could get from A to B reliably even without a car. People got nervous if the bus was a minute late. I didn't understand that at all...
Where did you end up back then?
I found a flat in Uhlenhorst, close to the Academy of Fine Arts. But everything here was close for me at first: Within 15 minutes you can be almost anywhere. Unthinkable in Istanbul! Hamburg is a big city with a small-town character, even today.
So it was too small for you?
No, it was just different. I found it strange that there is no neighbourhood that is lively around the clock: the city centre is dead in the evening, Schanze or Kiez in the morning.
Why did you want to meet here, at the hvv switch point Klosterallee?
I've lived here in the district for eight years and for me it's the closest station from home. When I start in the morning, it's often the shortest way - if I don't find a car parked closer. But I am dependent on a car. I would like to cycle more, but as a restaurateur and family man I often have to transport a lot.
Do you have a favourite place in the city?
My favourite place to look at Hamburg is from the Elbe. I think the panorama you see from the water, the Elbphilharmonie, the harbour, the Landungsbrücken, is beautiful. It always gives me a feeling of wanderlust and adventure. I'm a sea dog, I have a small sailing boat with friends. And the staircase district, that's also wonderful, you immediately feel like you're on holiday.