UPDATE 2013. NOW CLOSED. DISTRICT MOT BY THE SAME GROUP NOW OPERATES ON THIS SITE.
Hubby and I could not disagree more about this place. I like it and he hates it!
Yesterday evening he took me there as a treat but me made all his grievances clear on the way there – while we were there – and after we had finished eating.
Mainly it annoys him that this seems to be a restaurant favoured by “hippies” (his words not mine) and that Chi Sing tries too hard with stuff that doesn’t really matter like tufts of grass growing out of the table, decorative paper flowers hanging from the ceiling or candles flickering on the table but don’t get the things that really matter right. We ordered still not sparkling water, we got served panacotta before our starters and the waiters would sometimes disappear en-masse for a good 15 minutes.
Last night I feigned befuddlement at hubby’s complaints but truthfully, I completely understand his points. I tolerate the erratic service at Chi Sing because I like the food! I think “the hippies” which are more like creative Berliner types are fun to watch. And I can’t say the tufts of grass on the table aggravate me in any way.
I am not really a fan of Thai cooking but I love Vietnamese food. I find that their flavors to be more singular. I like that I can make out individual flavors like lemon grass, tamarind, ginger, mint, coriander, chili and sesame.
Chi Sing is particularly gifted at turning out delicious food – visit after visit. There are many vegetarian options that include my hubby’s dreaded Tofu. The vibrant food comes out on pretty painted china and has a generous helping of fresh herbs (watch out if you are one of those eaters that don’t like coriander – it’s in almost everything). And get some spring rolls so you can dip in the moreish dipping sauce and hear the satisfying crunch of a freshly cooked roll! I particularly like the red curry dishes with steamed jasmine rice. The green papaya salad is refreshing and crunchy, it often comes as a garnish to some of the dishes.
Sometimes Chi Sing can get it so wrong though! Like the dish pictured in the foreground which was on of the daily specials yesterday. Deep fried sheets of rice sandwiching a piece of mystery meat. The grilled corn-fed chicken breast with red vegetable curry that featured pumpkin, raw cucumber and lychees was a winner on the other hand!
A word on prices. Mains tend to hover around the 11 – 13 Euro mark. Watch out with drinks though – those frothy concoctions or even a 75 cl bottle of water will set you back €5.50 – which I consider to be on the “ouch” side. The best way to try out Chi Sing is to come for lunch and sample food off the Business Menu where they serve small dishes for €3.00 and you can order a whole bunch and mix it up!
Whatever you do though, don’t leave without ordering dessert!
We always get the black sticky coconut rice with mango. It is somehow salty and sweet at the same time and extremely delicious. Don’t be surprised when you come across a black bean, it’s supposed to be in there. We also ordered the black sesame pannacotta which comes in a kilner jar (something I first saw at Ubuntu in Napa Valley 2 years ago and have been seeing ever since). The pannacotta comes with a good dollop of strawberry coulis and small cubes of pineapple.
Chi Sing. Rosenthaler Strasse 62. D-10119 Berlin. T. 030 200 892 84. www.chising-berlin.de