Nothing makes my culinary heart beat faster than a new restaurant that claims to offer ‚real, authentic Vietnamese dishes‘. Waterlily at the Karl-Marx-Allee promises to be one of those places that increase your cardiac rhythm.
Upon arrival, I was greeted by friendly, humble staff and shown a table at the window, next to a gently purring radiator. To my untrained, Western eye, the staff looked very much genuine Vietnamese to me, but you could fool me if you would tell me they are actually from Laos, Myanmar or Thailand.
Speaking of Thailand: why is it that their in Waterlily menu resembles so much ingredients typically used in Thai dishes? Green curry, peanuts, fresh fruits and a lot of coconut milk. Delicious, nonetheless, but a bit outlandish when you expect to choose from authentic, Vietnamese specials.
I opted for the R8: Rice with green and red curry, a lot of (western) vegetables and chicken filet baked in coconut milk and a hint of lemon grass. To accompany my meal, I was suggested to drink their fresh made fruitshakes, based on coconut milk and strawberries. Again, nothing typical Vietnamese here.
But hey – I am being a nitpicker here. Because the most important goal tonight was to simply enjoy a nice dish in a friendly atmosphere. And that is what exactly what occured: the ambience is in Waterlily quiet, almost serene, there is no loud background music and the staff is very alert.
The food was de-li-ci-ous: everything had its own, uncorrupted taste while it merged with each other in a surprisingly pure fashion. They have mastered the art of keeping the chicken filet tender and they didn’t overdo the spicing.
The bill was just as pleasant as the whole treatment had been for me: to spend just over ten euro’s for a filled stomach and a relaxing hour away from the busy Karl-Marx-Allee was an hour well-spent. Might not be the legitimate Vietnamese restaurant we are all hunting for in Berlino, but it sure is worth the try.
If only for the lovely, cut-out Waterlilies on the wall.
Karl-Marx-Allee 113, Friedrichshain, open daily from 18:00 to 22:00