I am going to start this post with a confession. I have only eaten at Monsieur Vuong once and I probably won’t be eating there again any time soon. I admit therefore, that I am no authority on Mr. Vuong.
It’s not that I hated it per se, it’s just that I didn’t love it. Guide books have to take some of the blame for this. They all go on and on about how great Monsieur Vuong is. And every one who heard I was moving to Berlin said “you have to go to Monsieur Vuong.” It’s no wonder that I was expecting fire works to shoot out the end of my spring roll as I bit into it!
I had the glass noodle salad with Tofu, which was nice and lemony with bean sprouts and coriander dotted throughout. It was served in a quirky big bowl with one end higher than the other, inviting me to hug the bowl and slurp away (incidentally, something that has been copied at many restaurants in Berlin.) The lime, mint drink I ordered was refreshing and the waitress really nice.
But it was like eating in a prison canteen, a bright orange one! I was practically sitting on the lap of the guy next to me and the tables outside are so narrow that every now and then, I managed to spatter my lunch partner with food.
There is a permanent line of people waiting to eat, that eye up your food longingly. It actually made me think of everything I hated about eating out in London. Waiting to be seated, being hurried through your meal and ultimately leaving feeling disgruntled like you have been packed on an over full bus and are just a bit fed up of being jostled and elbowed.
My biggest dissapointment were the spring rolls I ordered. All four pieces had a shrimp tail poking out. I don’t even like shrimp that much, worried that by eating them, I am contributing to the erosion of mangroves. I ordered the rolls nevertheless, I was hankering after something crispy. Upon seeing the shrimp tail, I assumed the rest of the beast was nestled inside the roll. Apparently not. Just a mushroom or two and a gooey interior that I couldn’t even place. Same thing with the second and by that point I just gave up.
With the exception of the whereabouts of the shrimp, it wasn’t bad, it’s just that OK doesn’t cut it. Not when there are so many restaurants vying for my attention, a lot of them Vietnamese and Chi Sing and it’s sister restaurant Chen Che not five minutes away!
Alte Schönhauser Str. 46
Phone: +49 -30 – 9929 6924