I recall us being really tired from an entire day of walking and my lousy pair of walking shoes didn’t help (lesson learnt!). Given Monsieur Vuong was highlighted as a recommended restaurant on our trusty Sandeman’s map, we decided to give it a go. Plus, I vaguely remember having come across the Vietnamese restaurant’s name a number of times during my pre-trip research but at that point didn’t give too much thought to it since I thought we would be more inclined to hunt down German pork knuckles and sausages.
Monsieur Vuong was packed both indoors and outdoors by the time we got there. There was even a short line which was surprising for us especially since we hardly saw a queue anywhere in Berlin save for tourist sites. We were pretty lucky as we were ushered indoors immediately when they learnt there were only just the two of us. It was a bit of a squeeze, to be honest, and everyone was seated shoulder to shoulder but clearly no one was too bothered.
Deep red, pink and orange walls coupled with warm lighting made the Vietnamese restaurant feel much more upscale than your usual pho joint. We decided to go straight for the mains after flipping through the simple menu, ordering the Pho Hanoi (large size at 7.90 euros) and Glass Noodle Chicken Salad (large size at 7.20 euros).
Have I mentioned soup is one major thing I crave for whenever I’m on holiday? The Pho Hanoi was exactly what I was craving. I really appreciated how the soup was light (not oily) yet flavourful. The mixture of spring onions, mint leaves, ginger, beansprouts and fried shallots was extremely refreshing. If I had to nitpick, the chicken breast slices were slightly tough and I wish they were marinated better. The soup, though, more than made up for it.
Glass Noodle Chicken Salad
Well let’s just say the Glass Noodle Chicken Salad wasn’t exactly the most photogenic of dishes. But what did mama say? Don’t judge a book by its cover. Turned out I absolutely adored the Glass Noodle Chicken Salad! Julienned carrots, purple cabbage, beansprouts, chicken breast meat, fried shallots and glass noodles in a concoction of fish sauce, tamarind, lime and sugar. Tangy, savoury all at the same time. I told the Hubbs, “we need to recreate this at home please!”.
Still peckish and rather delighted at how the dishes were turning out, we decided to order another main. Very greedy, I know. This time we asked if the waitress had any recommendations. She said there were some specials that weren’t on the menu and starting rattling off some of them. We settled for the Caramelised Pork with Rice Noodles (8.40 euros).
Caramelised Pork with Rice Noodles
So glad we were greedy as this was the clear winner! Rice noodles, black sesame seeds, beansprouts, spring onions and sesame oil topped with thin slices of caramelised pork with its juices.
Service was extremely brisk but not brusque. Monsieur Vuong is definitely not a place to chill/linger; diners were there to have a great meal and adjourn elsewhere for drinks. By the time we left, there was a long line outside which really says something given we hadn’t seen any food place this packed in Berlin.
I didn’t realise how much I enjoyed Vietnamese food till I met Monsieur Vuong.
Alte Schönhauser Straße 46
Nearest train stations: Rosa-Luxemburg Platz