Sabai Sabai in Herdern!
We had kind of an Asian food streak this week so it just made sense to throw in a little Thai spree as well. Luckily we made it here early as this outlet is always (always) booked out and so today they still had some terrace seats left for us walk-ins.
We began with a refreshing yet tooth-dissolvingly-sweet Thai ice tea and quickly moved onto the appetizer section. We didn’t go for that kohlrabi Som Tam this time again but instead tried out the crunchy vegetarian summer rolls (Po Pia Sod | EUR4.90) with sweet hoisin sauce and a tard peanut chili dip. Furthermore, the chicken satay (Sate Gai | EUR5.90) wasn’t too shabby either, lean chicken breast nicely spiced and fried with a Thai curry peanut dip and genius pickled spicy cucumber, chili, and onion.
My main was, what a friend so fittingly calls ‘Ente Kross’, which pretty much translates to ‘roasted duck’. The dish (Ped Pad Gaprau | EUR15.90) was quite different from the picture of my imagination since I had ordered a version with Thai basil and chili and expected something more similar to ‘Phat Kaphrao’. Despite the different look, this was a fine dish with a strong fragrance coming from the basil and enough chili to press a few sweat drops from my forehead. M. had Gung Schuschi (EUR15.90), prawns in a red coconut curry served in a whole coconut loaded with vegetables. The prawns were nicely cleaned and fresh and it all had a mild but quite present heat to it. Both went perfectly well with the fragrant rice and brought back some delicious memories.
Although Thai is not necessarily my most missed Asian cuisine, I’m glad to have a place around with people that know what they’re doing and who are dishing up pretty tasty and authentic stuff with a smile on their faces and a kind word for every guest coming in. Oh, and by the way, they have a second branch out in Malteringen. Khob-khun-krab.
Get Your Grub On!
Chada Thai (Freiburg Branch)
79104 Freiburg im Breisgau
p: +49 761 8815 7905
“Know One, Teach One.”
Back in Ha Noi my brother had found another restaurant he wanted to try out, ‘KOTO’ (Know One, Teach One), a non-profit restaurant that offers vocational training and employment primarily to former street kids in Vietnam and was founded by Jimmy Pham.
Even though trying another pho was tempting but after all the disappointments over the last couple of days the ‘Duck in Five Spices‘ sounded much more appetising. The duck breast was fabulous, juicy, perfectly medium broiled and blow-torch-charred. The panfried crisp potato patty was well seasoned and a great side working together nicely with the meat, sweet and fruity chutney, glazed relish and the savoury rich gravy.
This is a great place with simple interior, super nice staff and all above delicious food. All this combined with a good cause and you have a place I would surely go back to again to also try the Vietnamese signatures from their menu.
KOTO Restaurant Hanoi
59 Van Mieu Street
Dong Da District
Tel: +84 4 3747 0337
Super Duck Indeed.
It was my ramen buddy’s belated birthday party plus a welcome dinner for the parents of a friend and our duck specialists booked us a table at the Paragon branch of the ‘Imperial Treasure Super Peking Duck’. What an awesome name.
We obviously ordered the signature ‘Beijing Roasted Duck‘ and two at that. As it has it’s show effect they carved the ducks directly at our table with a precision that must come from doing this over and over again. The duck was dished up in three different and fantastic ways. Firstly we ate the most crispy pieces of the skin, no meat, just dipped in sugar. The skin was caramelized and melted in my mouth, fat at its’ very best. The second version were the more meaty bits which we rolled into transparently thin pancakes with crunchy sticks of scallion and cucumber all covered with a wonderful thick and sweet hoisin sauce that beautifully complimented the savory duck. And the meat itself, especially the breast bits, was moist and soft with this light game flavor.
Even that not as delicate and fancy as the first two, the third way of the duck was one of the surprises of the dinner. I expected another average rice or noodle dish using the leftover duck chunks for flavor but here they minced the duck finely and mixed it together with some sort of grain, mushrooms, fresh herbs and spices. We wrapped the tasty mixture into big salad leaves and dug in. How lovely scraps can be, simple and amazing.
This was probably the best ‘Peking Duck‘ I had outside China and after having tried this I can’t imagine why anyone would call this anything different but “Super”. The place itself, still a faceless Chinese restaurant but with a much warmer light and feel than usual. The staff was very friendly and food and drinks came up pretty fast. This might have just become a new place to bring my visitors to. Quak quak!
Imperial Treasure Super Peking Duck Restaurant
290 Orchard Road
Tel: +65 6732 7838
Crispy Bebek in Seminyak!
We discovered this place during our last visit to Bali out of pure time pressure. We used to go to ‘Bebek Bengil’ in Ubud but for our duck fix but since we were staying in the Seminyak area we didn’t want to make the long drive out there and so ended up here on our last evening on the island.
I ordered their signature special package no.3, the ‘Bebek Goreng‘. Part of the set were also ‘Nasi Putih‘ (white rice), ‘Urap Urap‘ (mixed veggies) and sambal, a real stinger. Additionally I ordered their special ‘Sambal Bledek‘. The duck here was absolutely fabulous, fried so crispy that I didn’t have any problems chewing the thin bones like crackling skin but still moist on the inside with a good and solid duck flavor to it. Veggies and rice were ok but nothing extraordinary but the sambals, oh the sambals. My body always hates me for it but I just can’t go around any sort of chili, sambal and other spicy stuff. The special sambal was supposed to be the burner but I didn’t find it spicy at all. It tasted mainly like anchovies which was interesting but didn’t work for me together with the duck so I attended to their standard sambal instead. This one consisted of red and green bird chilis, thinly chopped onions, all mashed up in oil and drizzled with lemon juice. It was great and hit the spot just right. It didn’t take long for me to breath with an open mouth and feeling sweat drops running down my head. All entirely positive signs of course.
I enjoyed my duck and the place very much. It’s a down to earth and relaxed little restaurant without that fancy setup many Seminyak places have, yet not quite a warung.
Warung Eropa Jalan Petitinget No.9D Kerobokan Bali 80361 Indonesia