I’ve been bitten by the writing bug again – it’s been difficult coming up with words when your day job requires you to churn out coherent sentences, but since moving here, I’ve been itching to write. And so here’s a post to pay tribute to the city I’ve been learning to love and the crazy multiculturalism that makes life interesting.
Funny thing: I hardly ever cook Asian food for myself. Other than dousing my broccoli with oyster sauce and marinating my meat in bulgogi sauce, I’ve been cooking lazy western-style fry-ups and pasta dishes. And yes, I’m guilty of eating breakfast food for breakfast, lunch and dinner (hey, eggs are a cheap source of protein). But thanks to Asian-crazy friends and one particular Asian-crazy Asian, I’ve sampled some of the best Berlin has to offer.
I’m sorry to our local delicacies, but the first Asian food I truly craved since leaving was Korean. Not any dish in particular, but a general hankering for that sweet, spicy taste of gochujang mixed with savoury ingredients, or the belly-warming, slightly sour tang of kimchi jiggae. Every mention of Sauerkraut brought to mind kimchi, my preferred form of pickled cabbage. Even though my German classmate insists kimchi tastes like farts. OMG. NO.
My bibimbap! The egg really needs to step up its game, but otherwise it was decent, if a bit lacking in spice. Korean food is supposed to make you cry and I didn’t even shed a tear.
Wok Show (Chinese)
I have serious issues with people asking me what kind of Chinese I speak – do I speak Mandarin? Cantonese? Dialects? And if I do speak Mandarin, does this mean I speak the dialects too? To educate the ignorant: they may all be written the same way, but the intonation is vastly different. I’ve used the example of 吃饭 to illustrate my point. chi fan – sek fan – jiak peng. Do I look like I can speak all dialects to you? NO. I DON’T EVEN SPEAK MY OWN.
Back to the point: food! These jiaozi are dead authentic – the meat is well-flavoured and there’s SOUP inside my jiaozi. We stuffed ourselves with 20 jiaozi each (10 fried, 10 boiled) and abused our stomachs in the best way possible.
Also many LOLs were had because jiaozi apparently translates to ‘ravioli’.
Daeji bulgogi juseyo. Met up with friends from Hindi class for a well-deserved treat and the restaurant really lives up to its reputation! 25 Euros for this giant portion is a fantastic deal. The three of us couldn’t even finish all of the meat, let alone the side dishes.
CAN YOU SEE THE SMOKE. The meat is gloriousssssss!!! Partially because I hadn’t been eating much meat and partially because the marinade was absolutely gorgeous.
It did look a bit frighteningly red though. And we ended up charring a good portion of our meat because slightly burnt meat is ridiculously delicious (hi cancer).
Restaurants Ohne Fotos
Come Buy is probably the only bubble tea store in Berlin and while the quality doesn’t match up to true-blue bubble tea, it’s a comfort drink that’s affordable enough to drink with some regularity. “Come Buy”, they said. How can I say no to that???
My favourite pho place is so a-ma-zing I have dreamed of it. The pho is the best I’ve eaten in Berlin so far, but Hamy Cafe‘s real star is the glass noodle salad. I like my pho slightly minty and tangy, rather than just savoury, and I’m still looking for that perfect bowl. The glass noodle salad hits that exact spot between sweet-sour-savoury-spicy. It’s happiness in a bowl. My pocket is happy too – every dish in Hamy Cafe only costs 4,90 Euros!
Japanese Christmas Market
‘Tis the season and kitschy, novelty Christmas markets are all the rage. The yellow fever was stronk – I think 20k people said they were going on Facebook? Considering we had to pay to get in AND queue forever for the food, it was a letdown, but hey, we went for bubble tea after that so not too bad.
The shoyu and miso ramen were disappointing, but it’s alright! I’ll be in Japan in two weeks!! And at least they look pretty enough for an instagram post. Such is the Social Media Life.
Our gyoza was hard earned – we stood in line for a good half an hour or so. And the result? THE VINEGAR WAS GREAT. Seriously. I need this vinegar in my life.
To be continued…
There’s still lots I haven’t eaten in Berlin and lots more I want to see. When it’s warmer outside I’ll be packing away my winter clothes and tramping around Berlin to my heart’s delight – maybe there’ll be proper touristy photos in the future!
And more exciting news I’ve mentioned earlier: JAPAN, here I come!!!! Thank goodness for holidays and flights halfway across the world. This time, I’m taking on the anime side of Tokyo, hunting down cheap eats and going south to explore more of the ever-beautiful Kyushu ❤ Bis dann!