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Asian cuisine is booming more than ever and has finally overtaken the stubborn burger hype in Hamburg – THANK YOU! What I like so much about Far Eastern cuisine is the balanced ratio of vegetables to meat and that they understate rather than exaggerate. I love the respectful and refined handling of ingredients and the lack of fussiness – although, when it comes to taste, there is much more to celebrate here than a beef patty that dies a second death on a hamburger bun, smothered in sauce …
You don’t need much to be happy
A decent PHO à la Mama Vu, Michael Bolton and good food!
That’s why this place is number one in my Top 3 Asian hotspots in Hamburg!
#1 Restaurant VU
This casual, DIY-looking deli is rather hidden away on the Kleine Freiheit in St. Pauli. Nonetheless, it has quickly become a real favourite in the very popular area around Paul-Roosen-Strasse. In their tiny food stall, Mama Vu, 70, and her sons send out authentic, terrific Vietnamese soups and stews to hungry customers, perfectly calmly and without stress. The good-natured Mama Vu knows what it’s all about – she has raised eight children, after all! I have no idea what makes the Vu family so different, but I ate the best tofu in my life here and wish the other Asian restaurants in the city would catch on!
The fresh herbs and crunchy vegetables in my fabulous glass noodle soup are sourced from neighbouring businesses to keep the delivery routes short – which wins extra brownie points in my book. And the music! Totally untypically, you hear soft rock from the 1980s from the boxes and I realise it feels like … home!
If you want to eat damn tasty pho and curry without a lot of bells and whistles, you MUST pay a visit to Vu!
Restaurant VU / Kleine Freiheit 68 / 22767 Hamburg
Dim Sum is Cantonese; the words literally mean “touch the heart”. Dim Sum has become a popular subject in one inconspicuous-looking restaurant in Eimsbüttel.
The big love is hidden here and is waiting to be discovered slowly. Owner Benjamin has combined the essence of all the impressions gained from his many travels and experience working in starred restaurants into the tiny packages. His dumplings are not just Chinese ravioli – they are culinary blessings! This dopamine in a noodle disguise is served in threes, and you can take the time to taste the different flavours and try the other varieties – which is great for eternally indecisive people like me!
My fried vegan dumplings were super delicious and, to put it simply, I want more! The very moderate prices will make you want to eat the entire menu – here’s a tip: bring friends and colleagues and share the happiness! And please go to the toilet, even if you do not have to! … and then ask Benjamin what’s particular about the mailbox in the basement …
SomeDimSum / Weidenallee 60 / 20357 Hamburg
From hearty and moderately priced, we now turn to a very different league of Far Eastern cuisine …
#3 IZAKAYA Asian Kitchen & Bar
This recently opened restaurant combines traditional Japanese cuisine with South American influences and is quite posh! You have to either be born into or in the mood for this price range, so if your bank account always tends to splutter at the end of the month, it might not be for you. But HEY, from time to time you feel the need to go all out and IZAKAYA offers everything you need for such occasions. The fantastic location scores big with its sophisticated interior design and a great view of the Nikolai Fleet. The modern bar is such a knockout that I immediately regret having come here for lunch. The open kitchen creates trust in the craft and the ingredients, so I ordered a Teriyaki salmon. The fish, seared beautifully, was juicy in its terrific marinade and came with al-dente vegetables – delicious!
My dining companion chose the salad with grilled strips of beef. It was good, but he could not help noting that it was, at €24, the most expensive lunch he had ever had. We agreed, however, that the atmosphere was so special that money didn’t matter at that moment and we would love to visit IZAKAYA in the evening. Is definitely sexy to dine by the fireplace and then end the evening at the bar…
izakaya / Katharinenstraße 29 / 20457 Hamburg
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