When I had a Sichuan dish for the first time, I was entirely confused – it was way too spicy for my palate and evoked an unsettling sour taste in my mouth and yet it was so delicious, I just couldn’t stop eating it. Months later, I learned about Sichuan pepper, which is actually not a pepper, but much closer related to the citrus group, hence the lemonlike or acidic taste and started to understand the wonders of Chinese cooking. One of my favorite Sichuan dishes is Mapo Tofu (although it is still rather painful to eat, but still so enjoyable, you know… a dilemma!), which is why I was beyond excited to see that Hot Spot, a Chinese restaurant in Wilmersdorf that I’ve heard so many people raving about, has a vegetarian version on the menu. And so much more…
Do you remember our little Berlin’s Best Bread tasting last December? And the winner in the dark bread category? It was the Spezial by Weichardt Brot made on the premises of this Wilmersdorf bakery with a long history of organic bread. Starting out with selling organic whole grain breads in front of Waldorf kindergardens in the 70s, the family Weichardt had a huge influence on organic baking in Berlin since they started the first whole-grain and Demeter organic bakery in the city. With only four own shops and three market stalls, all but one (Thursday’s organic market on Kollwitzplatz) out West, Weichardt’s bread is not necessarily easy to get if you live on the Eastern side of Tiergarten, but especially their main shop including the bakery and mill is very much worth the travel.
I wouldn’t say it’s necessary to go out West to have a Bibimbap, there are very fine options on this side of Tiergarten. Still, I am looking for more than that, maybe even a full-on Korean dinner with the table bending because of all the delicious sides, kimchi variations, steamed eggs, soybeans and the likes. So I went West, and what I found was a delicious Bibimbap.
After an astonishingly bland dinner at Ming Dynastie last week, I gave up on the idea to get good Chinese food in the East of this city and went back to where Berlin’s Asian heart resides: the West. And I found what is now my favorite place for Chinese, especially Sichuan food: Tian Fu.
Berlin has a nice choice of Asian food stores, with some being better, some being worse. This one deep in the west of Kantstraße is outstanding, though. You even get the bubbles for your home-made bubble tea.