I imagine if you live and work in Mitte, you want a delicious lunch and you want it fast – something that’s feeding you without making you tired, that’s tickling your taste buds without being unnecessarily experimental – all of which you can find at Qua Phe, the Vietnamese coffee house that serves really good lunch fare.
I finally went for lunch after already having enjoyed their Vietnamese coffee and sweet treats last winter, and chose the xôi, sticky rice with marinated herb-tofu (4,80 Euro), as well as the phở cuốn, rice crepes filled with Vietnamese coleslaw, coriander, tofu, and herb and soy sauce (4,50 Euro). A more logical addition to the sticky rice – that I had to order because I love sticky rice and think it’s way underrepresented in Berlin – would’ve probably been the gỏi, a salad with glass noodles, celery, mint, pickled baby eggplants, and lotus roots for 5,00 Euro. However, the crepes were really good, especially when adding hot sauce.
My favorite was the sticky rice though, for once: obviously. But also because the herb marinade just added loads to the tofu, and I feel like sometimes Berlin chefs forget that tofu actually doesn’t taste like much on its own. It also had roasted onions on top and came with a little slaw, all in all making this dish a pleasure for a quick lunch break. If you want to make it longer, have a dessert: the Vietnamese coffee is a must, slowly dripping on the sweet condensed milk, and then add a steamed chocolate bun, or vanilla-mungbean-mochi in ginger and coconut sauce, or even more sticky rice, this time in red and in the shape of cake with mungbeans, sesame and coconut sauce – or the black one with Vietnamese yoghurt. So many options!