For a taste of Saigon in Berlin, head out east to the massive Dong Xuan Center, a sprawling industrial zone in Lichtenberg. The Center is situated within four cavernous warehouses on the former site of an enormous coal and graphite processing plant (it was demolished in the 1990s and underwent extensive ground 'detoxification'). Tradesmen hawk all sorts of wares for businesses affiliated with the Vietnamese community, from wholesale nail salon supplies to glitzy chandeliers, but, most importantly, there are enormous food halls catering to trade. Butchers proudly display bowls of various animal by-products, including tongues, sweetbreads and blood sausages made to order with bottles of fresh blood for those wanting to try their hand at home. The powerful smell of Thai basil, coriander, lemongrass and other south-east Asian herbs wafts up from the fresh produce sections while bags of rice form solid walls (watch out for sneaky sparrows, who swoop down from the rafters for a nibble). If hungry, stop off at Duc Anh in Hall 3 for bun cha: a towering pile of fresh herbs and salads, served with steamed rice noodles and a chunks of marinated, roast pork in a delicate broth of sweetened fish sauce.
|Venue name:||Dong Xuan Center|
|Opening hours:||Open 9am-9pm Wed-Mon.|