Respond to Review of Chay Village
Review: I keep asking myself, how has this place earned all the praise?? Being a fan of veganised vietnamese cuisine, and having read the raving reviews on happycow, I thought that this was the place to eat on my one-night visit to Berlin. It was a disappointment. This is a very busy, yet mediocre joint (fast-food quality, waiting times notwithstanding). The food was lacking in authenticity, and was made with raw products that seemed of poor quality. Well, it was relatively cheap; I guess you get what you pay for. (I have to admit one thing, though: they are generous with the grease.) We (a party of three) had a salad, raw (non-fried) spring rolls, and a portion of fried spring rolls for starters. The salad was supposed to contain a variety of mushrooms, which turned out to be just plain white mushrooms. No sign of exotic herbs whatsoever. Disappointing, this being the middle of the summer. Can't say much about the fried spring rolls other than that they were dripping with oil. The raw spring rolls were very nice, though as were all of the dipping sauces. For the main course we shared three different dishes and a bowl of pho that was labeled "spicy". The famed red curry -- claimed to be a best-kept family secret -- was a very oily sauce made with peanut butter and coconut cream (basically satay), which dominated the flavours; it was also very, very heavy. The other two dishes were fried tofu with green beans and chunks of TVP in plain tomato sauce -- and they were literally that; I couldn't resist the impression that the tomato sauce came straight from a carton. The "spicy pho" broth was bland, had little content (rice noodles + fried chunks of tofu) and was VERY GREASY - the soup was completely sealed off by a layer of oil. I occasionally cook vegan pho at home, and honestly, making a decent one doesn't take all that much! Worst of all, the original vietnamese coffee we had after the meal was VERY THIN (obviously watered down); far from the real deal. This place is for the patient only -- waiting times are very long (45+ mins on a Sunday evening). Its also very busy, and if you want to sit outside in the summer you have to queue up. The menu is speckled with inspiring quotations about being thankful for the food, but all that the food leaves you with is regret. Quite a contrast. In Berlin, one is spoiled for choice; if you and looking for authentic, non-westernised vietnamese grub do yourselves a favour and try somewhere ELSE. You have been warned.