Saturday, March 6, 2010

Bun Cha at Dong Xuan Center

Unlike every other major cities in the world, there is no Chinatown in Berlin, in fact there is no Chinatown at all in Germany. There used to be a small china town in Hamburg back in the 30s. But the Nazis deported the Chinese who resided there back to China and since then, there was no development of any Chinatown at all in Germany. Recently in Berlin, Kantstraße is developing into a China Street, but it's still a long way away from a real established Chinatown like the one in San Francisco.

However, even though we don't have a "real" China town in Berlin, we do have a little Vietnam in Lichtenberg. It basically consists of three old factories, which are divided into little shops. Then voila! and we got ourselves a so called shopping center. The moment you enter this place, it's as if you step into a different world. Forget Schnitzel and Sauerkraut! This is a place where Pho, Bun Cha and Ban Chuon reign!

The reason I visit Dong
Xuan Center is to eat Bun Cha at Duc Anh Restaurant in hall 3 (and not to shop cheap clothes or shoes imported from Asia). The most common Vietnamese dish in Berlin is actually Pho (rice noodles in clear beef broth). You can find them everywhere in the city and I must say they are very tasty and I love them especially in cold winter. But then again my most favourite Vietnamese dish is Bun Cha. Bun Cha is grilled pork slices in nuoc nam (sweet and sour sauce made with fish sauce, vinegar and sugar) served with thin rice noodles and tons of fresh herbs and salads.

Naturally, there are other restaurants in Berlin that sell Bun
Cha, but most of them just deep fried the pork instead of grilling them. Mind you, you can't mimic the smokiness taste and smell of charcoal grilled pork just by deep frying them. Moreover some restaurants even serve poorly made Nuoc Nam (psst they diluted the fish sauce!). So if you love grilled meat with sweet and sour sauce, I strongly recommend Dong Xuan Centar on Hall 3. For only €5 you get a bowl of pork, a plate of rice noodles and heaps of salad and herbs.

buncha Dong xuan center Berlin

Duc Anh
Dong Xuan Center Hall 3 (the first shop on the left)
Herzbergstr. 128-139

One more thing, if you already take the time to ride all the way to Lichtenberg, don't forget to visit the Vietnamese supermarket directly across the restaurant. It's still in Hall 3. But it's a must visit because they sell a lot of fresh Vietnamese goodies such as glutinous rice balls that's coated with sesame seed and filled with sweetened mung bean (Onde in Indonesian, Banh Ran in Vietnamese & Ma Yuan 麻圆 in Chinese)


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. hi sis, yesterday I just ate a very similar dish to this "bun cha". it was also in a Vietnam Imbiss. but there were no herbs, and the greatest difference is that the sweet sour sauce was served separately. aside from that though, the meat was extremely delicious. reminds me of "hung shao rou"... and it cost about 5 Euro. I prefer bun cha in Berlin though, es lohnt sich mehr... lol

  3. Hi there
    I just moved to Berlin and was delighted to find your post on Dong Xuan Centre. Will visit it soon - I've been craving Bun Cha too!

  4. HI, i am going to visit Berlin in march, is the dong xuan market opened on sundays?

  5. @Mizdee, I'm sure you've tried the Bun Chan now, how was it?

    @ Anon, yes Dong Xuan Market open on sundays, one of few in Germany. Just remember tuesdays is their day off.

  6. Thank you very much,
    Do you happened to know which tram goes there and which stop to go off?