After my glorius foodie experience at Good Morning, Vietnam, on the Eastern side of the city, I did not find any similar high-appreciation, although I did my best to find. Things changed completely a couple of days ago, when not too hungry, but exhausted after too much walking around Ku'damm and Savigny Platz hunting for subjects, I stumbled upon the newly rebranded and renovated Chao, situated on the already famous fodie avenue of Charlottenburg, at the no. 33 of Kantstrasse. It was around the lunch time, shortly after the opening, at 12 o'clock, in the middle of the week and for more than one hour I was the only guest. The ambiance was relaxing, with some soothing house music in the background, with fast and friendly service and menus written in both English and German.The toilets are not extremely stylish, but very clean.
Besides the service, I really apreciated the interior design, with big beautiful pictures from Vietnam, bushes of natural bamboo and small natural flowers and romantic candles on the table. I repeated 'natural' on purpose, to make the difference with many Asian restaurants where the dusty and kitchy plastic flowers are the queens of the table. The furniture looks a bit unmatched and not that modern, but the glassware looks authentic, with some beige variations and bamboo chopsticks. The prices are moderated and regularly there are special lunch offers.
I started my lavish lunch with a Mekong Mystery drink - a delicate smooth combination of mango, coconut milk and mint. Naturally sweet, creamy and brought cold, made on the spot. The mint brings some sparkling accents, while the mango fits perfectly with the coconut to whom it brings discrete sweetness.
My favourite choice were the summer rolls, with tofu, coriander and many vermicelli, accompanied by soy sauce. The tasted are coming along together very well, and the light fried tofu makes a difference among the many fresh vegetables and the neutral vermicelli.
Curious to taste as many meals as possible - although there are at least two more choices, plus some tempting desserts that I would love to try a next time - I continued with dau phu sot lac: a mountain of veggies soaked in peanut sauce accompanied by a pyramid of rice. The rice was very good, but somehow found that some of the veggies were not well cooked - the carrots - or not necessarily at their place there - the tomatoes, for instance. The slices of tofu were welcomed, but did not always complement the abundant cooked and fresh vegetables.
The overall impression was good - except the last minutes spent there when I felt some cigarettes smoke coming from the direction of the kitchen and did not enjoy it - with good prices and enough interesting meals on the menu that may bring me back very soon.