This is neither here nor there since it's January and I don't think anyone even goes to the Thaiwiese in Preußen Park in January, but I found this photo the other day while cleaning up my computer and it jogged my memory and I thought it best to share it with you before it gets lost in another rat's nest here.
What you're looking at right there is a bowl of Thai pork noodle soup, eaten last fall on a very blustery day. Hugo was asleep in his stroller and my mother and Max and I were having lunch sur l'herbe and it was lovely, as usual. We've been there several times now and have sampled our way through quite a few stands. The whole fried fish with chili sauce is incendiary, delicious and slightly stomach-rumpling. The papaya salads are lovely, the crosshatched mangoes with chili salt (if you can find them) a very nice dessert indeed. But on this particular day, I found my favorite thing that the Thaiwiese has to offer and that would be this noodle soup.
Now there aren't that many people selling noodle soup there. In fact, I have a feeling the vendor we bought from might be the only noodle soup vendor? The only one I've ever seen, in any case. There are two choices, beef or pork, and watching the soup get made is almost as good as eating the soup. The raw meat is delicately plucked from its metal container and cooked in searingly hot broth while little pork or beef balls wait their turn. Softened noodles are placed in a serving bowl and then the cooked meat and balls and broth (the broth!!) are ladled on top.
The broth is a work of art - full of punchy, clear, meaty flavor that isn't muddied at all. The noodles are delectably chewy while the meat is tender and flavorful. There are all kinds of condiments you can add to your bowl, but the soup is perfect as is - I wouldn't change a thing. This is street food of the very best kind.
Thaiwiese im Preußenpark
between Fehrbelliner and Konstanzer Straße U-Bahn stops