Since we tried the unique Tempura-crusted burgers at Ryong in Berlin Mitte, we were in love. Amazing vegan creations with a surprisingly balanced taste, assorted herbs and crunchy bao buns on top. So everytime we are craving some fancy and fresh Asian food, we return to this place. Now can you imagine how excited we were, when we heard about the new restaurant opening of the boys at Ryong?
The new location is called “Con Tho”, also serves vegan and vegetarian food, but more focused on assorted dishes with a new combination of Vietnamese cuisine and local ingredients. You won’t find their famous burger there, but many other dishes you will love just as much.
INTERIOR AND DESIGN
Con Tho opened at Hasenheide in Neukölln. That’s where the name comes from, because it means “rabbit” in Vietnamese. And also, because its owner Huy Thong has a childhood memory of a Vietnamese game, which he used to play at a monk retreat in Southern France since he was little. We met him in the new restaurant and Thong told us about the reed and bamboo landscape at this calm convent – which he wanted to bring to this location in Neukölln. That’s why the restaurant is like a little oasis in the middle of this, let’s call it “vivid” district of Berlin. The guys know what they are doing, because with their design company “Oukan” they are establishing various gastronomy projects per year.
FRESH HERBS AND HOMEMADE LEMONADES
But now, let’s get to the food. Or at first: to the drinks! Because the owners work together with the Pagode, the buddhism temple, in Frankfurt and got support from their nuns when they created their homemade lemonades and their delicious shakes. Thong is aiming for drinks, that are created like perfume and have a wellness effect on the body. And you can really taste it. Try our favorite shake: “Popeye’s After Workout” with spinach, dates and rice milk.
ORDER DIFFERENT STARTERS TO SHARE
The concept is that you can either order a starter and a main dish, or you order many starters instead and share. That’s what we recommend, because it’s amazing to have the contrast of the variety of dishes. One is with local leek, tofu-carpaccio and lemongrass lavender pesto, another one is a grilled rice roll with rosemary lemongrass dip. But our favorite? The steamed flower filled with mushrooms, water chestnut and garlic mayonnaise.
SERIOUSLY. THE BEST CREPES IN BERLIN
If you are into summer rolls already, you will love what comes now: the fluffiest crepes I ever tasted (normally I don’t like pancakes and all that stuff at all), which can be eaten separately or wrapped up in Vietnamese rice paper. The crepes are called Banh Xeo and are filled with a mixture of either beetroot, beans, tofu and herbs of the season. You can order extra cheese if you like. And even when the crepe was a little bit difficult to wrap, Thong and his staff are happy to assist you.
RICE BOWLS SERVED IN STONE
Bowls are having a moment right now. This one is truely special, not because it comes with crunchy rice served in a hot stone, but also because of their delicious toppings. From roasted sweet potatoes, to caramelized onions or grilled eggplant – always served with a fresh lime garlic soy sauce.
THIS MOUSSE. DAMN!
Everyone of my friends, knows that I have a sweet tooth. So of course I had to try the chocolate mousse. And as fluffy as the pancake surprisingly was, the mousse convinced me by being fudgy and firm. The consistency is unique. And it comes with a lime and hibiscus cream and white coconut chocolate fudge.
Con Tho, Hasenheide 16, 10967 Berlin
Photo credit: Gloria von Bronewski