Vietnamese food in Berlin
Heralding signs of a proud Australasian, it is a great relief to finally see Berlin catching up to the Vietnamese food craze many other parts of the world have been draw in by. City wide, a huge variety of traditional kitchens with the notorious kitsch-Asian-plastic style and themes are opening up everywhere. Not to be forgotten are old favourites that kicked this whole thing off Thai Park and Lon-Men’s Noodle House Chinese in Charlottenburg but moving into the next phases bringing genuine Vietnamese with a side of Thai and lesser known Burmese, Laos and Cambodian cuisines together on the centre stage. Sure Mitte’s saturated Vietnamese-Japanese fusion-confusion is here to stay but if you are looking for a candid experience, these Vietnamese restaurants can’t be missed.
Flying the flag of contemporary Viet style street food, District Môt has been serving up ultra traditional and modern takes on Viet dishes for the past couple of years. With it’s kitsched-out plastic decorations and a throw-your-food-on-the-table approach, the creators have since opened Si An and Chen Che – two more subdued but vehemently traditional restaurants. The menu can be formed in three distinct ways: modern – introducing the Bao burger to our vernacular and sweet potato fries (unheard of in Saigon!), traditional – phô, Bún chá and BBQ and peasant-traditional – deep fried silkworm, pan-fried frogs legs and stewed eel.
67 Sixty Seven
Taking street junk food to a new level, 67 Sixty Seven have syphoned off of District Môt’s success opening a carbon copy just 400 metres down the road. With a menu only offering street food versions of Môt’s staples – the Bao burger, ribs, spring rolls and sweet potato fries, 67 builds strong flavours, fast food and neon lights into one super fast experience. With a small seating area and limited menu, your experience is quickly over but well worth the bursts of flavour.
Less kitsch, more Zen, Quà Phè is the perfect lunch spot with a huge menu of small portion sized dishes, loaded with flavours all simple and delicious. Starting with the humble Bun Bao and moving up from sticky rice, rice crepes filled with a range of delicious sweet, salty and sour flavours to rice porridge, one hundred million versions of tofu and glass noodle salads. They also make kick arse Viet coffee.
With lines down the street before the restaurant is even open, Monsieur Vuong on Alte Schönhauserstra, touches on the bare basics of traditional noodle soup. With a menu restricted to the Viet street food staple along with some spring and summer rolls, the flavours are centralised on condiments and what you add to the soups delicacy. Decent, full bodied phô is really hard to come by in Berlin and whilst a little watery and lacking some of the stronger flavours developed with a longer stewing time, Monsieur Vuong is as close as you will get to the real deal in central Berlin.
Dong Xuan Centre
The Mecca of Vietnamese food in Berlin and well worth the journey beyond the ring. The Dong Xuan Centre is home to electronics salvaged off the back of passing trucks, polyester clothing for no occasion and the nail salon wholesale kingdom where every foot massage chair and shellac UV machine begins its European journey. Here you’ll find the very best in South East Asian groceries from 20kg bags of rice and fresh morning glory to curry pastes and pork buns as well as all the fresh and correct ingredients to cook at home. There are also many hawkers’ style stores around the complex that serve the most legitimately authentic dishes this side of Vietnam.