You might already know the name “Shaniu” from a previous recommendation for Chinese food on Pariser Straße – just now they added a new spot: Shaniu opened a café a couple doors down the road from her restaurant, calling it Shaniu Café, where she serves Korean food (she’s Chinese-Korean herself) plus, every now and then, Chinese breakfast dishes!
I only know about it because one morning I received an excited text message from my friend Ash Lee, obviously her excitement easily caught me, and sooner than later we were both on the way out West, decoyed by pictures of plump dumplings and thick churros.
Once there, I started with a tall glass of their house made soy milk, which I pimped with a tea spoon of sugar (not necessary, but delicious), before we got plates with two steamed buns filled with a mix of mushrooms, cabbage, carrots, and peppers. It’s hard to find good steamed buns with a veggie filling in Berlin, most of it are disappointingly bland – not this one, though! Earthy and intense, and with the right ratio of bun and filling, I would’ve eaten more, if there weren’t other things coming. (Yes, I do hear your cry for dim sum in Berlin, but it’s difficult!! Try Aroma, but don’t expect too much.)
What followed were two smaller dumplings filled with meat, a pounded sticky rice ball filled with chocolate and coated in coconut shreds, a pastry filled with matcha cream, Chinese churros that we dipped in soy sauce, and another steamed bun filled with egg custard that was my absolute favorite of the whole thing, because it was still warm, and not too sweet, and just perfect with its yeasty dough and custard.