Pretty walls, decent food
There were only a handful of Chinese restaurants (that I saw anyway) about 5 years ago, which was the last time I was in Berlin. Now it would seem that Asian restaurants have become more prominent – and not just Chinese or Vietnamese restaurants, there’s also Korean, Japanese, and Thai.
Sida’s restaurant front looked more like a store than a restaurant (and perhaps previously it was one) with its display windows filled with authentic looking Thai dolls and decorations. To be honest, I thought it was one of those specialised country travel agencies.
Walking into the restaurant, I found myself a bit googly-eyed at the decorations – there were quite a bit – and right at the back of the restaurant was a mini pagoda?! That definitely made me dumbstruck for a few moments, especially when I noticed little statues in various Thai dance poses. I found myself rather fancying the murals though – not one wall was the same.
It took us a while to order as I was still rather dazed at the decor – wondering how best to capture it on the camera (and failing judging from the lack of decor photos) – and my brother never had Thai before, which I found it rather difficult to believe (but he’s mainly at home in front of the computer, so I guess I shouldn’t have been too shocked). A few minutes after ordering, the waitress placed a strange object on the table.
I realised that it was a heating tray to keep food warm (let me know if I’m wrong). Interesting! I didn’t think the restaurant room temperature was that cold to warrant one, but I thought it was rather neat and stared at the flickering tea candles inside (why are they always so strangely compelling to stare at?).
No long after, our beverages arrived, with it my “Asia Cocktail” tea. The lychee was very faint, but the mango flavour did linger on the tongue. Overall, it was a bit sweet though it wasn’t too cloying to make me feel sugared-out by the end.
I very nicely asked my brother for a piece – purely for EST review purpose of course – but he wouldn’t let me have any and I watched the prawns disappear though the vegetables were left untouched. He gave the dish a 4 out of 5 stars, citing that the spicy sauce wasn’t spicy at all.
There’s something about Pad Sieu (besides its numerous variations of spelling) that I can’t help but be obsessed about; it is only with great effort (i.e. being bullied by the company I have at dinner/lunch) that I would choose something else. This time I felt fairly justified in choosing this dish, as I wanted to know how the Germans stacked up against my favourite (but dirty) Thai place in Glebe.
It was pretty decent actually – I’ve had worse from some Sydney places. There wasn’t too much sauce or egg and there was a good amount of vegetables (some places I know would overload it with vegetables and then throw in cabbage for some bizarre reason, making it taste a bit funny – but I digress).
I chose this dish for my never-had-Thai-before-honest brother, as I thought it would be a good introduction to Thai food: it’s similar to some Vietnamese dishes, so it wouldn’t be too strange or out there for him to eat. I personally don’t know what the fuss is about Pad Thai, I find most places make them too sweet to my liking, but anywho my brother said it was “okay”, though he did give out another 4 out of 5 stars.
I am beginning to wonder what his scale is based on.
My cousin and his friend ordered this dish and the menu states that it’s a North Thailand dish. Never having seen it before, let alone taste it, I was given a spoonful to try. Oh my goodness, it burnt my taste buds off – it was that hot. Sadly, because it was so hot, I didn’t know what it tasted like.
My cousin’s friend had this dish and she added garlic chilli oil, chilli flakes, and chilli sauce right after I finished taking the photo. She didn’t like the fried tofu and thought the dish was so-so (though I don’t know what she could have tasted under all that chilli stuff on top of being sick).
The duck was wonderfully crispy with a perfect layer of fat; it was also kind of spicy so I could only manage one piece of it (I know, I’m pretty chilli retarded… I’m sorry). I did try the sauce: pushing past the burn factor, the curry was quite sweet (which I attributed to the lychee and pineapple) and light – quite yum actually.
My cousin’s other friend (who wasn’t sick) had this dish and she reported that it was okay – the coconut milk, which she isn’t too fond of usually, got a bit much near the end though and so she couldn’t really finish as much as she wanted.
We asked for the bill and we got this non-alcoholic Pina Colada instead… and then the bill a couple of moments later. Although I wonder why they would give complimentary drinks afterwards, I downed it anyway without a question; lip-smackingly tasty.
Thai-Restaurant Sida had excellent service and the price was pretty decent for the location. Don’t forget to grab a (free) cherry lollipop in a massive fish bowl on the way out!
Ph: (030) 7923670