Lon-Men’s Noodle House on Berlin’s own China Town Kantstraße is a genuine Taiwanese Noodle House serving great food in a simple location. Swing by for one of the few authentic simple Chinese meals in Berlin and the best wonton dish in the city.
Before I heard about Lon-Men’s the only two Chinese restaurants worth visiting on Kantstraße in my perception were Good Friends and Aroma. But then the crew from Jung, Grün & Blau were kind enough to enlighten me about their favourite food spot in the city, a Taiwanese food joint right next to Good Friends, and after my first visit with them I’m hooked. Lon-Men’s is visually truly unspectacular, a small food joint tucked in between the institutions Good Friends and Aroma. But for me this place stands out in terms of perfecting a few simple dishes, I’m literally hooked on some of the food they serve and I can wake up in the middle of the night, sweating profusely and longing for chili wontons. The venue is simple and looks tiny from the outside but it stretches into the back. If you feel hesitant about entering, don’t fear it, this place is awesome and an institution. I love the venue because at Lon-Men’s I get that real Asia-feeling, it’s a bright and borderline sterile environment with little charm, but really – who gives a fuck when you can eat real chili wontons and duck in plum sauce? Certainly not me. So enough of the venue, Lon-Men’s is all about the food and the friendly service. All the action at Lon-Men is coordinated by the owner himself, a man who hardly ever smiles but nevertheless has a huge heart, always making jokes and making sure every customer is happy.
You’ll start slurping the real Chinese way in no time, trust me.
The food at Lon-Men’s is Taiwanese with the classic noodle soups taking a central spot on the menu. But there are several other dishes on the menu which also deserve your attention, I’ll get to those. The noodle soups are pretty good for Berlin, especially due to the fact that all the noodles are homemade and fresh and that’s quite rare in Berlin. The difference to store-bought Chinese noodles is vast, the fresh noodles at Lon-Men have that perfect bite and are coated perfectly by the soup. You’ll start slurping the real Chinese way in no time, trust me. Especially the beef soup is recommendable; a hearty broth that coats the thick noodles and feels like pure happiness in your stomach. There is some other food in this place that’s more important though. Actually, if you haven’t been here before, I’ll just tell you what you should order, that will make the whole thing easier. That’s exactly how I was introduced to Lon-Men and the way I introduced my friends, and it’s a guarantee for a great meal. This is how you do it: You bring some friends and you eat communal. First you order the steamed duck buns with special chili sauce. They should be on the menu. One each. That’s the amuse bouche. Then you order chili wontons. Do not, I repeat, do not forget to order chili wontons. They might not be on the menu but just ask for them. Small, steamed beef wontons in a divine chili soy sauce. It’s a bowl licker, one of the best dumpling dishes I’ve had. After that you go for the mains. Beef soup, duck on cabbage with plum sauce, noodles with minced meat. Those are the essentials and the best dishes. And do not forget to to order plenty of Tsing-Tao beer to flush it down. After you’ve eaten this you can start experimenting with other dishes.
The food at Lon-Men is miles away from the standardized crap you get at most Chinese restaurants in Berlin. This place is the real deal with plenty of love going into each dish. But you also have to order the right dishes. After a visit in Taiwan in 2015 Lon Men’s did drop down a bit on my list, especially the noodle soups sometimes lack some depth and flavour. The chili wontons are still some of the dumplings you can get in Berlin though and alone worth a journey from any part of town.