Chén Chè Teehaus' sign caught my attention and I strolled through the long walkway into a courtyard. The decor, then the menu, fixated me.
Pictured above, we have the Bo Bia, a spring roll with watercress, spicy tofu, green papaya and vietnamese basil, rolled in rice paper with a fine roasted peanut and ginger sauce. Any dish should be able to stand on its own without an accompanying sauce. The translucent skin fell apart beneath my teeth to reveal crisp vegetables. Though the skin was thin, it was remarkable durable as it held well in my hand. Satisfied with the spring roll, I sampled the peanut and ginger sauce. It had an earthy taste masking a slight spice note. It was delicious.
Accompanying the fast service of the Bo Bia was the Che Thach Den, described as a creamy, fruity, black herbal-jelly tea from Hanoi made from a treasured family recipe, with sweet lycheese, roasted sesame and fresh ginger. I grasped the firm tea cup in both hands and gingerly sipped. It was slightly sweet with a gelatinous volume. The fresh ginger slightly spiced its October-suited warmth. The tea soaked lychee were a special treat.
And what's the true test of a great meal? If you can run 800 meters to meet your party in 7 minutes without an upset stomach though you had food poisoning 5 days prior. Go Chén Chè Teehaus! You surpassed my expectations remarkably well. I only wish I didn't have to leave Berlin the next day.