Fries and public pools are tightly connected in Berlin – when you’re spending a day at one of the city’s pools, it’s inevitable to eat fries at one point during the day. It’s a Berlin summer ritual. And one that one of my closest friends, Nele Heinevetter, has been following meticulously for years, until she had the opportunity to become the master of the ritual herself and take over the Imbiss at the pool inside of Humboldthain park, where she now serves fries with a side of contemporary art.
My, it’s been too long already. Almost four months since we had the chance to feast on the excellent brunch dishes of sisters Sophie and Xenia von Oswald at their crowd-pleasing Das Brunch event. For the spring edition – happening on April 1st – they moved north to Wedding’s Silent Green, a former crematorium, now landmark turned arts center and café. I’m delighted to present you the menu, that has everything we waited for so many winter months: Asparagus! Fresh spring greens! Rhubarb! All served with a heavy load of Middle Eastern delicacies like the tart Sumac spice, green chili paste better known as Zhough, cardamom, chickpeas, star anise. And a super special extra appearance of the much beloved Fine Bagels’ Challah French Toast.
Discovering this spot last summer was a very important moment for me and made my life instantly better – sublime Chinese food at very affordable prices in a run-down deli on Wedding’s Seestraße: Asia Deli became my summer-love, to which I returned time and time again, each time with loads of friends to make sure we’d be able to taste as many dishes as possible. Alas, many romances end as fast as they start. When I heard that the original chef had left at the end of last Autumn and disappointed eaters reported a decline in quality, I intuitively knew it was never gonna be the same. This is maybe why I waited so long to return myself, too scared to face the facts. It’s only food, you say? Why the drama, you ask? This must mean you’ve never eaten at Asia Deli before November 2014 and the only thing I can say is: I’m sorry you missed this.
I still like to believe that somewhere in Berlin there’s this fantastic Chinese restaurant, serving the most delicious and flavorful dishes, giving you goosebumps thanks to its Hunan freshness and makes you cry thanks to Szechuan pepper numbness. When I found the seriously good Tian Fu and Hot Spot though, my search didn’t end. Because I heard about this one place where you had to ask for a special red menu, a place that looked like any other cheap “Asian” deli, serving fried noodles but also Sushi and Thai-style plates. But if you asked the right questions, they’d serve you the best Chinese you can get in this city. I finally went there: it’s called Asia Deli. (No joke)