Just as I thought I did my fair share of Kantstraßen-exploring and covered all things worthwhile, I discover something so exciting, I couldn’t stop talking about it for days. I think I found the best Vietnamese food in Berlin, I repeated to my friends over and over again. But it’s true, I had the best Vietnamese lunch in Berlin ever.
And yes, I’ve been to Dong Xuan Center and ate at numerous restaurants there. But none of them was as fresh and flavorful as the Súp Rau I had at Saigon Green.
Some over motivated guides to Berlin call Kantstraße the Chinatown of Berlin, and this is certainly an exaggeration, offensive to all “real” Chinatowns of the world. And also quite short sighted, since this long and rather ugly road starting at Bahnhof Zoo and leading all the way to ICC, is featuring more than Chinese restaurants, but a great choice of Thai and Japanese as well. And this Vietnamese gem, I would’ve never entered, if not Luisa Weiss of The Wednesday Chef once told me this was her favorite.
The outer appearance doesn’t promise much – the place looks nice and clean but also oozes this 90s lounge vibe too many Vietnamese places choose as interior style. I visited during lunch time, the place was well visited, yet not overcrowded and enough waiters seemed to handle orders and dishes quite fine and quick.
The menu made me even more excited, it featured a smaller choice for lunch but a big selection of fresh juices, lemonades and shakes. Like an iced tea with fresh lime juise, hibiskus blossoms, ginger and basil seeds. Or a shake made of fresh mint and pineapple. I went for the homemade lemonade with fresh lime juice and cane sugar, and chose Saigon Rolls (3,50 Euro), vegetarian summer rolls with tofu and fresh herbs as a starter. They came with a dipping sauce so delicious I asked for refill to finish the second roll.
And then the soup, advertised as a traditional Vietnamese soup or Súp Rau (7 Euro), with the first view being already so mouthwatering, I was flushed with happiness: fresh vegetables were arranged in a circle around a bed of glass noodles topped with tofu and filled up with a broth so delicious and hearty. I enjoyed it so much, I hoped I’d never finish this perfect mixture of crispy broccoli, zucchini and carrots with soft noodles, aromatic herbs and rich broth.
Well, of course this was only lunch (where most dishes are a Euro off) – what made me even more excited to come back, was their choice of small dishes they offer after 16:00. For 3,50 Euro each you get delicacies like lotus stem salad, duck with hoisin-sauce rolled in pancakes or homemade buns filled with pork and much more. And then for dessert they’ve got black sticky rice with mango. I love sticky rice. And I love Saigon Green. Can’t wait to go back.