PHO-NOODLEBAR: BERLIN'S NEW VIETNAMESE HOTSPOT
I was delighted to check out the brand new PHO-Noodlebar in Mitte this week. It is in a lovely area off my favorite bicycle friendly street- Linienstraße, super close to Oranienburger Tor. Although the owners have been living in Germany for quite some time- they did a great job at creating the perfect environment for the hip Vietnamese restaurant. Everything inside is handmade or vintage from Vietnam. From floral cushions to the decorative bowls and jungle inspired plants all over really makes you feel like you stepped away from Berlin for a second.
The restaurant is famous for it’s PHO noodles that are made in the front of the restaurant for everyone to see. Each city in Vietnam has its own version of noodles- these are traditional from the city of Ha Noi. The menu changes daily and has tons of options for meat lovers and vegans alike. They offer smaller finger food portions and salads for starters. I had the mango salad called Goi Dau Hu — with tofu on top to start the meal along with a lemon grass iced tea. It was so refreshing, especially now that Berlin is finally in full blown summer mode. Other than the traditional Pho Noodles, you can try one of their homemade rice curries- choosing between spicy chicken, crispy duck, king prawn or tofu and seitan (which has become one of my new favorite meat substitutes with a great consistency.) Another traditional vietnamese dish offered is the Bun Bao- steamed buns filled with your choice of meat, vegetables, and sauce. You can order a Tiger beer or variety of handmade teas, along with a giant coconut water drink with mint (highly recommended.) If you’re already done for work for the day, don’t fret- they also have a full bar with wine and cocktails. They serve the Berliner favorites like Moscow Mules and Aperol Spritz as well.