Chinese dumplings are often treated as a side or starter dish in Berlin. I don’t understand why: dumplings are the perfect comfort food. They should be treated as the star of any meal. In Paris, a couple of years ago – in Belleville, to be exact – I had my first encounter with a ‘real’ dumpling restaurant, where you could basically order the Chinese jiaozi (also known as gyoza) by the kilos. I’m glad to announce I found a similar dumpling restaurant in Berlin: Wok Show.
As a strict Muslim (lol) I’ve never had a chance to really enjoy a lot of Chinese food, as it always seems to be made with, fried in or baked into pork. Even vegetarian options often come with an extra layer of pig lard or are cooked in boar blood. And dumplings… surprise pork guaranteed! At Wok Show – a cute, family-style Cantonese restaurant that specializes in dumplings – there are many non-pork options to choose from and that, my friends, is already pretty satisfying.
The dim sum [1. I think they’re practically also dim sum, but then I read that Dim Sum are more like a “form” of eating lightly, and since Wok Show offers stacks on stacks on stacks of jiaozi, I’m not sure anymore of the definition of Dim Sum applies, but call them whatever you want and enjoy the food] come by the 20 at Wok Show, so you can rest assured that there’ll be enough for everyone to go around. They’re best enjoyed in a sweet and sour vinegar sauce or with some Sriracha and other spicy condiments, but that’s really up to your taste. Order them pan-fried or steamed in the classic bamboo baskets – both variants are exceptionally great. Well – not as great as the dumplings I’ve had in Paris, but good enough.
We’ve tried the vegetarian options and the beef options (once with carrot and one with celery), and all of them were great. The shredded potato salad, young kimchi and cucumber salad weren’t remarkable, but welcome and refreshing between steaming hot bites of Jiaozi (burnt my tongue by the first dumpling – of course).
Aside from the food, Wok Show is the kind of restaurant that is unfortunately currently dying out in Kreuzberg and Neukölln (where I live)… restaurants that aren’t overpriced, conceptional and pretentious are a scarcity nowadays, as more and more enterprises are trying to compete in the ‘modern and creative kitchen’ scene. Typical (Chinese) restaurants – you know the ones that are affordable, reliable and perfect to bring your whole family to – are out of style.
Well, Wok Show is the kind of place I wish we had around here, but either way it’s worth taking the (long, long) trip up to the north of Prenzlauer Berg to enjoy a comforting and special meal. Make sure you bring all your friends and make it a Sunday activity.
WOK SHOW, Facebook Page, Mon – Wed:5:00 pm – 10:30 pmThu – Sun:12:30 pm -10:30 pm