03 Jan Travel Tuesdays No. 6 – Germany
Cracking place Germany. I mean, ok, I only went to Berlin and Munich (I know, how predictable), oh and a very short stopover in Frankfurt, but I don’t see anything wrong in making such a blanket statement about the whole of Germany based on but two cities!
With Berlin currently being hailed as a sort of vegan Mecca, I’d love to head back now I’m all plant based and that.
Anyway, now read of me avoiding German cuisine and going to all the major holocaust attractions Germany has to offer… enjoy!
Before going to Berlin or Munich, my imaginings of what German cuisine consisted of was simply sausage with some beer on the side and, well, that’s pretty much it. Some sources (again possibly spurious, though I promise Wikipedia was not used in this instance), claim that 800 million currywursts are guzzled in Germany every year. If in each portion of currywurst, two sausages are used, on top of all the other sausages eaten there (your Gelbwursst, Blutwursts and Leberwursts of this world), we’re looking at billions of sausages consumed every year in Germany. Though I feared that my original preconceptions of German cuisine were based on ever so slightly stereotypical ideas, at least, it seems, it was grounded in maths (sort of).
Anyway, this mathematically PROVEN idea of what German food is, didn’t much appeal to me. Relieved then was I, when besides the currywurst vans (of which there were many), to find Vietnamese, Japanese and Korean restaurants aplenty; good old globalism.
Over the course of two days, I went on a Lunch-Dinner-Lunch Vietnamese marathon *. Ingredients were of high quality, food very fresh and flavours adequately Vietnames-y (yes, that is the technical term). Apparently a large influx of Vietnamese people arrived in Germany as refugees during the Vietnam war, who knew!?
*with tea and breakfast in between at the appropriate times of course.
Integrated within the high quantity of Asian restaurants and currywurst vans were some glorious little bakeries, where I’d often find myself in for breakfast; again, I didn’t much fancy the traditional breakfast sausage; the Bavarian weisswurst; a smooth, grayish-white sausage.
Berlin was one city were I actually did a good amount of sightseeing. If you’re interested in the holocaust as I am, Berlin is the place to be! Ok, I’m aware that sounds a little weird and maybe a touch out of place in this easy reading food book, but I am after-all a history student, so I’m sort of academically and not least, financially obligated to have some sort of interest in at least one or two periods of history. So if like me you’re a food and holocaust enthusiast (yes, this is what’s written on my business card), I’ll now give a quick run through of all the best landmarks and museums I visited;
The Topography of Terror
The Jewish Museum
A short trip out of central Berlin to visit Dachau is certainly worth it
Memorial to the murdered Jews of Europe
I can’t quite recall all holocaust based sites I visited, but the above are definitely worth going to.
I was in Germany for the final of the world cup and thought I’d give one of the massive beer halls a go to watch it; this seemed to me like the most German way possible to spend a night. The initial entry was quite a sight; not a sight for sore eyes I hasten to add, with the attendance being mainly middle aged, tipsy German men in their masses. After a few minutes soaking up the quite surreal atmosphere, the reality of a room packed to the rafters, full of people drinking and shouting was actually a little uncomfortable for me. After all, I’m a petite fellow with a nervous disposition, my social anxiety finding the crowd and noise hard to bear! Again, ladies, please form an orderly queue. I lasted till halftime before swiftly exiting and making a rapid journey back to my hostel for the rest of the game, with Germany of course going on to win.
Anyway, watching the final of the World cup in the winners country… what an experience, one to tell the grandkids!
Despite actually being a bit of a tourist whilst in Germany, boy did I eat! Here come the reviews.
Monsieur Vuong – Berlin
Alte Schönhauser Straße 46, 10119 Berlin, Germany
On the street of my hostel, (Alte Schõnhauser Strase) there were a plethora of Vietnamese restaurants and Monsieur Vuong was the best I tried of these. Very fresh and fragrant flavours (how’s that for alliteration). Healthy too, which was most welcome, considering I breakfasted most of my four mornings in Berlin at Zeit fur Brot, on the same street, with their taste bud pleasing, coronary artery constricting cinnamon rolls.
Must go rating:
Tonkin – Munich
Lindwurmstrasse 65 | 80337, 80337 Munich, Bavaria, Germany
A self-penned Vietnamese Tapas bar, where for once my over ordering was not just my own greediness at work. You see, I think they failed to grasp the idea of small dishes, so when the food arrived and it looked more like I had two main courses, alongside a couple of sides I, for one was quite happy by this excess, because as I say, greedy, but simultaneously a little daunted by the intense eating session to follow. The food was solidly good, without wowing. When I was later given a free portion of crispy sushi due to a fairly long wait for my meal, I was rendered completely and utterly defeated. However, with the restaurant offering 50% off sushi and 20% off the Vietnamese ‘Tapas’, the bill was the most pleasing aspect of the meal.
Must go rating:
6.5/10 – unless the offers still apply, in which case go hungry
Yam Yam, Berlin
Alte Schönhauser Straße 6, 10119 Berlin, Germany
I’ll let the pictures do the talking.
In case the pictures do not get your heart racing as they do mine, it was Yam Yam (and if you don’t get that very clever play on words, I mean Yum Yum).
Must go rating:
Auf wiedersehen Germany
Germany was rather grand. From the food, to the landmarks, it was all bloomin’ good. Oh, and when I say the food, I mean in the sense that you are able to avoid traditional German cuisine very comfortably!
Plus, the people spoke better English than me… which to be honest, I didn’t much appreciate! I joke, and actually if it wasn’t for some lovely German people and their wonderful grasp of the English language, I wouldn’t have been unable to find my hostel in Frankfurt. After an hour or so of searching, going down each and every road I could see but to no avail, I finally plucked up the courage to ask someone for help.
Anyway, it turned out that I hadn’t gone down each and every road, I missed but one, Kaiserstrase, the road of my hostel.. the bastard!
A few decent recipes coming to tofuandtempeh in the following weeks. I’ve even made my brother wait on one recipe in a shameless act of self promotion telling him, having asked how I’d made “the best soup he’s ever eaten” that he’d have to subscribe to my website and wait, like every other patient reader out there for me to upload the recipe!
Thank you for keeping with Travel Tuesdays, hope it is providing you with some sort of enjoyment. My favourite bits have yet to come, so quite excited for future editions.. then again I would say that, I’ve just uncovered myself as shameless and let’s face it, shameful self promoter.