The first time I went to Lon-Men's Noodle House on Kantstrasse, I was in the throes of homesickness for New York. The cheap, hot, dingy, cramped little restaurant was the closest thing on Kantstrasse to what I was pining for and it was a relief to sit down at a slightly sticky table, get a mug of hot tea and eat from thick plastic bowls while watching the cooks bang thin metal pots and noodle strainers around in the open kitchen.
The restaurant specializes in Taiwanese noodle soups (which are fine, but nothing transcendent) and the fairly edited menu only has a few other things on the menu (pretty good fried dumplings, a bit of dim sum, a small selection of cold appetizers - of which the thinly sliced marinated beef stands out). There are also gua bao, those little wraps made famous by David Chang at Momofuku, and blogged about here. (I'm partial to the duck version.)
But the other day, I was surprised to see a man sitting next to me eating a dish full of steamed dumplings in chile sauce, something I knew wasn't on the menu. (I, er, know it practically by heart.) I leaned over to ask him and he told me that these were off-the-menu dumplings, to be ordered at the counter. Apparently there are usually a few daily specials tacked up there that I'd never noticed before. Go figure! Of course, I ordered a bowl for myself straight away. They were delicious - just right. Hot and chewy and salty and spicy.
Lon Men's Noodle House
Tel: (030) 315 19 678