Thursday, July 29, 2010

Asia Deli

Let me share a little secret between the Chinese and that is Asia Deli at Seestr. This tiny Imbiss sell cheap and homey Chinese dishes. Most of people who visit this imbiss are either poor students or simply Chinese people who just crave for home-cooked style food. I visit them frequently and try almost every single dish they offered. Most of their dishes are very tasty, with their price (mind you, Everything cost under 10 euro and most dishes cost around 6 euro). Be warned though, if you have MSG-allergy, this is not the suitable place for you.

My most favourite dish is their steamed dorade with chopped chilli and cilantro. For €8,90 you got a whole fish and even though it's a frozen fish, you barely tasted it because of the cilantro fragrance and the spiciness of the chili.

asia deli steamed fish hunan style

Another popular dish is beef in ceramic pot. And trust me, the beef are tender and some beef are adorned with some tendons, which not only chewy but also absorbed all the goodnes of the spices and soy sauce. Btw if you like lamb,they also offer lamb for variation.
Asia Deli beef tendon in topf

For the cold dish they have spiced tofu braised in soy sauce. The sauce are sweetish and salty and the porous tofu absorbs all the goodnes.
asia deli tofu in soy sauce

For a real home style chinese stir fry, I recommend this bok choy with egg drop filled with minced pork. My grandma used to make this egg drop filled with minced pork, and when I saw this at their menu. I was thrilled and the first bite brought back all the memory that I have with my grandma, like Anton Ego when he took the first bite of remy's rataouille.

asia deli stir fry bok choy with egg drop

Stir fried spicy beef tripes ... chewy and bursting with spiciness and garlicky flavour

stir fried beef tripe

Stewed pig intestines .. this dish are for those who dare to eat pig innards. I used to hate pig intestine. My mom usually cook dish pig intestine in a clear soup and it outline the piggy smell of the intestine, I never touch that dish. However I love this stewed pig intestines, it's chewy and spicy, flavourful. the Sliced celery give a crunchines to compliment that chewy intestine.
stewed pig intestine
Sweet and sour pork rib. This dish is my spouse favourite dish. Being a person who loves sweet dishes. This dish is really sweet and he loves it. Everytime he came to this place this is a must-ordered-dish.

sweet and sour pork rib

A simple stir fried bok choy without the egg drop filled with minced pork

stir fried bok choy

Other dishes that I would like to recommend are fish fragrant aubergine (a very mouth watering dish, sweet and sour with soy sauce) Be warned though this dish swims in vegetable oil, water cooked fish or beef (typical szechuan numbing and spicy dish) and if you are advanterous, their spicy pig toe are also wonderful.

Asia Deli
Seestr. 41
13353 Berlin

Sunday, July 18, 2010

The Bird

A German TV show called 'Galileo' made a program called 'Kampf der Nationen' lit. it means battle of the nations. Every day the program compares food from other countries and its german counterparts. For example, battle of hamburger, American burger is compared to the germanized burger. Four independent judges (they are all ordinary people and not German or American) tasted and gave marks to the burgers. The Burger with the highsest score wins. One of phD student in our chemistry group got the chance to join the show and to be a celebrity of the day. After he came back the next day, we all excitedly asked him how it went. I'm going to spare all the details about the preparation and about the mundane shooting procedure and just quote his words about the burgers.

German burger is tasty, there's a lot of fresh veggies and topped with many types of sauces, ketchup, mustard, majonaisse and even bbq sauce. American burger is minimalist with only cheese and some bacon. But the patties for the burger is heavenly, moist and juicy and all the flavour comes from the beef patties. Then the crucial question that I asked next ... which one do you give the highest mark? American burger said he without hesitation. So after his detailed explanation I want one american burger too. Not those from McDonald's or Burger King but a real american burger.

Luckily, the american chef who cooked the burger for the show worked in Berlin, so after noting the detailed address of the restaurant off I went to taste the burger at the bird.

The restaurant is surely american. The waitress who came to our table talks German with American accent and looks like she's more comfortable with English rather than German.

And so is the burger, medium grilled, exactly as the phD student has described, juicy with its reddish warm meat in the middle and with lots of caramelized onion, bacon and cheddar cheese. And there's the french fries which are freshly made in their kithcen ... arrghhh if only I can eat this every day without worrying about calories and clogging my own arteries. Well once in a blue moon is enough i guess

The Bird Burger

My spouse as always stubborn as hell, decides to order a rib-eye steak instead of burger ,eventhough I plead that he order a different type of burger. But the steak was also delicious, one of the juiciest and thickest steak I've ever taste and seen. And I love the garlicky sauteed spinach as the side dishes.

The Bird Rib eye steak

The Bird Restaurant
Am Falkplatz 5
10437 Berlin
U-Schonhäuser Allee

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Madang Korean Restaurant

After the Korean food experience at Arirang Korean Restaurant, I was hooked! I opened my eyes and looked around for other Korean Restaurant in Berlin. Surprsingly many Korean Restaurant sprang out in the last few years for example there are Kimchi princess, Yam Yam and Omoni at Prenzlauer berg and also Madang which just opened their doors last year. After reading many positive reviews about this restaurant, I decided that this restaurant should be the next Korean advanture for me.

Madang is pretty tiny restaurant, the decorations were surely choosen with great care. At one corner there's a pretty Korean doll with some clay tea pots and artificial Korean veggies. I just love this small touch which enchantes a homely feeling in a restaurant

Well but a restaurant should not only offer a pretty ambience but also good food. On that day I choose Sam gyeop Sal (Bbqed pork belly with its side dishes) and also some Korean Seafood Pancake.

Madang Samgyeopsal

And here are the complimentary Ban Chan, soy bean sprout, the ubiquitous kimchi, some soy bean simmered in soy sauce and sugar and for the veggies to roll the pork belly they offered either romaine salad or the usual lettuce. and two types of dipping sauce : paprica paste (gochujang) and a sauce consisted of salt, pepper and sesame oil.

Madang Ban Chan

And here is the Hae Meol Pa Jeon aka Korean sea food pancake. I love the scallions so I'm in love with this dish right away. Even though it is called as sea food pancake but the most dominant part is the green scallions and they also serve some soy sauce for the dipping sauce.

Madang Haemul pa jeon

The food in Madang is surely pricier than in Arirang. But again like a chinese idiom says. for a cent money you got a cent of quality. So even though the food in Arirang is pricier but the presentation of the food are better. I would even say that the food in Madang are dainty whereas the food in Arirang are rough.

Madang Korean Restaurant

Gneisenaustr. 8 10961
U6/7-Mehringdamm/ M 19

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Orange Juices

Orange juice comparison

Do you see anything different from the boxes in the picture above? Okay they are all packaged orange juices but they are different. In Germany there are three different types of orange juices; simple orange juice, directly squeezed orange juice and orange nectar. I'm pretty sure you're confused with all these descriptions. Well, I was anyway. I mean who knows what's the difference between orange juice and orange nectar? They sound similar. So after watching a report on TV about how these orange juices are made, I'm a little bit smarter. So let me try to explain the differences as simple as possible.

Simple commercial orange juice are mostly made by frozen concentrated orange juice. This concentrate are made from freshly squeezed orange, pasteurized and heated until all the water evaporated. This leaves only the essence of the orange juice. This is because it is cheaper for European companies to ship these concentrate from the country, where they are produced to Europe. Imagine the cost of shipping heavy juice water >_<. So after the concentrates arrive at their destinations, packaging companies just need to add water, sugar, some vitamin C, preservatives and voila you got the "same" orange juice.

Still, what is the difference between orange juice and orange nectar? it's in the composition i.e. how much water and how much sugar you can find in the juice or the nectar. Juice should have lower ratio of sugar and nectar is more diluted with water and have more sugar. But how do they taste? That was also my question after I saw the report. So one weekend, my spouse and I went to a German walmart equivalent, "Real" and bought four tetrapak packaged orange juices. We chilled them in the fridge and drink them at the same time to compare them.

Orange juice compared

The left one is branded orange juice from Hohes-C, the one beside it is a generic brand (TIP) orange juice. I want to compare these two orange juices, because I'm curious if branded orange juice taste better than the generic one. The one from Hohes-C cost twice as much as the one from TIP. The third one is directly squeezed orange juice, which isn't made out of the frozen essence. This is self-manufactured by Real, the supermarket. Last but not least, is orange nectar from TIP (the generic brand).

Let me start with the difference between the hohes-C orange juice and the generic Tip orange juice. Surprisingly, there is no difference at all! Not on taste, smell, consistency & sourness. I even tried to drink some mineral water to neutralize my tastebuds. But still I can't taste any differences. I think I will save my 1 euro next time and buy the generic brand when I crave for some citrus drink.

So how about the difference between orange juice, directly squeezed orange juice and orange nectar? There're major differences. For example, as we poured the juices into their respectively glasses/mugs, we noticed how different their consistencies are. The juices are more concentrated whereas the nectar is watery.

Next we conduct a taste-test: The orange juices are very concentrated, sour with a hint of bitter aftertaste. I prefer to dilute them so that the flavour is not too intense. The nectar is extremely watery and very sweet. And lastly, the directly squeezed orange juice is definitely more watery than the normal orange juice, yet not so pungent from acid. It has the right amount of sweetness but unfortunately it has a unnatural smell/aftertaste. We thought it might have come from the vitamin C additives.

Prices: I forgot to take note of the exact price but I still remember vaguely about the price but I'm sure the most expensive one is freshly squeezed orange juice around €1,30 for 1 L, the second expensive one is Hohes C with €1,40 for 1,5 L, next comes the Orange juice from TIP with €0,60 for 1 L and the cheapest one is orange nectar €0,90 for 1,5 L.

My personal favourite one is the freshly squeezed orange juice because it's a beverage that I can directly drink without grimacing either because of the acid or the sweetness. The artificial vitamin c doesn't bother me much. My spouse's personal favourite is the orange nectar, because of the sweetness (he loves sweet beverages, his most favourite drink is super sweet iced tea) and also because of the watery consistent which he said are very refreshing.

Okay the above opinion is my own personal opinion, I'm not paid by any of the companies and it's only small independent experiments. If you are interested and want to know more, a company in German called StiftungWarentest made a very through research about these stuffs.