Lao Xiang is a local hangout for the Chinese population and always a good destination for a great meal. Being one of the best Chinese restaurants in East Berlin, the food at Lao Xiang is only rivaled by the Chinese restaurants in Charlottenburg and Schöneberg, creating a much needed refuge for Northern Chinese food in Prenzlauer Berg.
It's no secret that it's a lot easier to get Asian food in West Berlin compared to the Eastern part of Berlin. This is especially true to Chinese restaurants, pretty much all of my favourite destinations can be found in Charlottenburg and Schöneberg. Shan Shan and Lecker Song in Northern Prenzlauer Berg are the exceptions, but then again Shan Shan doesn't really count since going there without ordering food a couple days in advance really doesn't make sense and Lecker Song only serves Dim Sum.
“ The answer to anytime Chinese food in East Berlin is spelled Lao Xiang and can be found up on Prenzlauer Allee.
The answer to anytime Chinese food in East Berlin is Lao Xiang and can be found up on Prenzlauer Allee. Lao Xiang opened somewhere around 2014 and has since then established itself as a local hangout. Go there on any night and chances are you'll run into crowds feasting away on the massive menu. Lao Xiang serves Northern Chinese food out of a venue on the corner of Prenzlauer Alee and Wichertstraße and compared to some of its rivals, the place is actually semi-cosy. It's also pretty massive, meaning that this is a prime location for any celebration with a larger crowd.
The menu at Lao Xiang is massive and it's going to take you a while to go through this thick book, there must be over 150 items you can order. Now, that's usually the moment when the warning bells go off, but that's only partially true for Lao Xiang. A lot of the food here is very good, but you have to do some serious cherry picking and choose the right dishes. Like the cucumber starter with pork belly, and light and fresh dish that should be a part of your order. Or like the very tasty water spinach dish, a perfect side to the rich meat dishes you'll eventually devour at Lao Xiang. Two more, very essential starters are the cold Sichuan chicken, which might just be the best god damn dish at the whole restaurant. It's a cold chicken breast on the bone in a Sichuan chili oil and boy, this thing is proper spicy. Warning issued. That's also one reason why it's so great though, and the more I think about the more I salivate, it's truly become one of my favourite chicken dishes in Berlin.
“ The more I think about the more I salivate, it's truly become one of my favourite chicken dishes in Berlin.
Then we have the topic of Dim Sum. To my delight I did upon my first visit to Lao Xiang discover Xiao Long Bao Pork Soup Dumplings on the menu and I was pretty damn excited when I tried them as they're actually pretty damn tasty. And for Berlin, they are actually really good, which in the context means that they're still pretty far from what you can get in Taiwan and China, but still tasty as hell. In my humble food world, even a mediocre Xiao Long Bao is a gift from heaven.
“ In my humble food world, even a mediocre Xiao Long Bao is a gift from heaven.
One dish that you should order as well might scare you, I'm talking about the hundred year old eggs. These pickled and green-greyish looking egg slices are quite delicious and, in case you haven't tried this dish, Lao Xiang is the perfect restaurant to do so. Further I also very much enjoyed the deep fried beef dish along with the pork mince filled aubergines, two dishes I haven't seen at any other, Chinese restaurants in Berlin.
Generally the quality of the ingredients and execution of cooking techniques at Lao Xiang isn't as great as at Da Jia Le or Tak Kee, that's especially applies to the pork and seafood dishes. We also once pre-ordered the Peking duck for a bday party and it was just ok, nothing special, the leathery skin a let-down. Lao Xiang is a still a very good Chinese restaurant though and I'll definitely be back to further explore the massive menu.