It was the only sunny table in the almost empty restaurant, the winter sun tentatively highlighting a ‘Reserviert’ sign, yet a quick question-mark smile and I had taken a seat, basking in the light and leafing through Aroma‘s extensive menu. It was lunchtime, though, and there’d be only the two of us, so we couldn’t try everything, as much as I’d have liked to. Having heard good things (in the vein of ‘the best in Berlin’) about the dim sum, we ordered the barbecued-pork buns, the spicy pork ribs with black beans and, trickiest of all, the turnip cakes.
Turnip cakes can be quite disgusting really, mealy and greasy slabs dead on arrival, but when they’re done just right, as I’m happy to report they were at Aroma, their sweet and soft interior joins forces with the crisped-up exterior in a way that works wonders with a drizzle of chili oil. The pork buns were fab too, never a bite with just the steamed dough, the pork actually barbecued and wonderfully textured. The ribs presented more of a challenge, at least in terms of elegance and etiquette, but having to stealthily dispose of little chunks of bone is a small price to pay for the tender and highly flavorful morsels of pale meat.
For our main course, I was recommended the gai lan, or Chinese broccoli, which arrived glistening and fragrant, a nice steamed bite and none of the congealy starch sheen you sometimes get when ordering veggies at a Chinese restaurant. The vibrantly red pork was a good match tastewise, although we were missing those crispy-dark edges that make grilled pork such a treat. In all, I have to come back, try the Peking duck, the rice-noodle rolls, hell, I want to bring a crew and just Lazy Susan out; good thing they’re also open for brunch…
10625 Berlin Charlottenburg
+49 30 3759 ext. 1628