A Taste of Thai Park

Physical charms attract the eyes

Goodness attracts the mind.

Buddhist Quote from Wat Phra Singh, Buddhist Temple

IMG_6602I haven’t seen that many Asians here in Berlin until last weekend. Just three Bahn stops from us and there we were surrounded by Little Thailand at Thai Park right off Fehrberliner Platz. On weekends, colorful beach umbrellas and authentic Thai fare dominate Preußenpark in Wilmersdorf. Thai women sit low to the ground and sell home-cooked dishes. It is a quite a sight to see authentic Thai food sold in such an unexpected area.

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Our friends, Jörg and Doreen along with their kids, joined us on a drizzly Sunday afternoon.

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Boy, was I surprised! Jörg dove right in and tried all kinds of exotic items including fried crab patties, octopus pancakes and grilled skewered squid. Doreen tells me that the best squid she’s ever had was in Croatia. I am not a fan – but it’s nice to know if I ever make it to Croatia I must look for spectacular squid.

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Marlena takes a taste.

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Marlena and Theo decide the mango drink is better.

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They wait patiently for their octopus and veggie pancakes.

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Potstickers in the pan.

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Odd and I play it safe. We sample the potstickers, curry beef over noodles and something sweet wrapped in freshly cooked rice paper sprinkled with fried garlic. We weren’t quite sure what to think of the last dish since we anticipated savory but instead were surprised by its sweetness. Thai food tends to do that – sometimes spicy, sometimes sweet, right?

IMG_6611It was fun trying new things including a coconut milk drink with crushed ice, bits of pink cubes and stringy green jelly. It was pretty to look at and realize after a few sips it was more of a dessert than a drink. If you’re Filipino, it’s similar to halo-halo but with coconut milk.

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Between the German language and the ladies’ heavy Thai accent, I was unable to find out the names of the dishes. We just smiled a lot and hoped for the best. If you’re ever in the Berlin area, it’s a nice change from the Imbisses and cafés that sprawl the city. Make sure to bring blankets as there is a lot of space to enjoy the park especially under sunshine. There is such a large variety that I am already making plans to return with a bigger appetite next time.

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If a restaurant is more your speed, then here’s a glance at Papaya, a Thai restaurant in Charlottenberg that I enjoyed with a friend, Reshma, a few weeks ago. We had the Hibiscus Iced Tea, Papaya Salad (oooh I had no idea it was wildly spicy and more enjoyable once I got past the initial few bites) and steamed fish called Pla Nueng Ma Nau. The menu is in Thai with German description. How convenient for me (*sarcasm*). Fortunately, Reshma speaks fluent German.

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The fish was served over a heating element and was deliciously light in a chili-garlic lemon broth. Just a little inspiration in case you’re in the market to try a little taste of Thailand. Enjoy and let me know some of your favorite Thai dishes. I certainly would love to give them a try too.

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