Nestled between the bustling S-Bahn Charlottenburg station and the trusty U7’s Adenauerplatz, Tak Kee, a Cantonese culinary haven, has recently resurfaced on my gastronomic radar. Once a subject of my culinary exploration back in 2015, the restaurant, owned by proud Hong Kongers (who happen also to be the loveliest couple), had mistakenly faded from my consciousness only to be revived by a friend's inquiry (thanks Micha!). Intrigued, I grabbed my Editor, Nathan Gilmour, and we set out to revisit this neighborhood institution with high expectations.
From the moment we stepped inside, memories flooded back. The classic crispy Pork Belly, a dish I fondly recalled from my previous encounter, made a triumphant return and did not disappoint. The Cantonese clay pot dishes, a signature of Tak Kee, also made a strong impression, offering a symphony of flavors that nearly overwhelmed our palettes, in a good way, of course! The Ma'la Spicy Chicken took us by surprise with its bold spice and intense numbing ma’la, a rarity in many Berlin Chinese establishments - we did ask our wonderful proprietress to give us both barrels for heat and spice, a request she triple-double-reconfirmed with us. (note: We passed the test with flying colors.)
However, the real stars of the evening were the specials; fresh abalone dishes adorned our table, each a masterpiece featuring sea cucumber, fish bladder, and shiitake—a true testament to the chef's artistry and dedication to sourcing.
The real show stopper of the afternoon, a shrimp and scallop dish, enveloped in delicate egg whites, and in a BROCCOLI BOWL (yes, you read that correctly) emerged as an ethereal revelation—a punch of wok hei flavors atop delicate and clean creaminess - we’re still talking about it nearly every day here in the office.
The salt and pepper squid, grilled lamb chops, and beef tenderloin with peppers followed suit, further showcasing the chef's mastery of the wok. The evolution of Tak Kee is evident; chef Ben has refined his skills even further, climbing closer to the peak of the endless mountain, and delivering a culinary experience that far surpassed our (already high) expectations.
In my humble opinion, this was one of the best Chinese meals I've had the pleasure to enjoy in Berlin. The quality of ingredients exceeded that of most establishments, and the absence of the necessity of pre-ordering (with a few weekend exceptions, like the coveted pork belly) added to the spontaneity of our culinary adventure. Tak Kee beckons all food enthusiasts to explore its menu fully—a testament to the culinary prowess that awaits within - Yuki will of course help you with the chalkboard.
In the heart of Berlin Wilmersdorf, Tak Kee stands as a testament to Cantonese culinary excellence, inviting diners on a journey of flavors that transcend time and expectation. Whether you're a seasoned connoisseur or a newcomer to the world of Cantonese cuisine, Tak Kee promises an unforgettable dining experience that lingers on the taste buds and leaves you yearning for more. You may even bump into us there - it’s going on the rotation.
If you're keen to see what I wrote about Tak Kee nearly a decade ago, check out the review from the archives, here.