Hoa Rong Of carp, dragons and Sapa cuisine

Monday, September 12 2022

Opening Times

Monday to Friday: 11:30am - 11:00pm

Saturday & Sunday: noon - 11:30pm


Hoa Rong
Georgenstraße 25
10117 Berlin-Mitte
.How to get there


030 43666683

price level

When you think of Berlin's Friedrichsstraße, you undoubtedly think of many things, but not of rest and relaxation. After all, it is one of the busiest streets in Berlin, especially around the station of the same name. However, it is precisely here, on Georgenstraße, that Hoa Rong has been located since June 2022, a classy Vietnamese restaurant in whose wonderful garden you can completely retreat from the hustle and bustle of the city.

The first eye-catcher is an elegantly curved room in warm orange and brown tones, with a vividly highlighted dragon snaking across the entire ceiling. The dragon is no coincidence: Hoa Rong is named after a Vietnamese legend in which a carp leaps with all its might from the water into the sky and transforms into a dragon.

The restaurant was also blessed with a dragon dance for the ceremonial opening, not to be confused with the lion dance: a rare spectacle. So while the interior of Hoa Rong already inspires spirituality with its original décor, the sprawling terrace does even more so. Sitting on pretty wooden furniture, spread out on different levels like in a pagoda, surrounded by greenery, is very pleasant.


In the inner courtyard, you hardly notice the noise of the nearby Friedrichsstraße. Instead, you listen to the water rippling in the elongated fish pond, which, interspersed with water plants, runs between and partly under the seating areas. The whole thing was designed by concept artist Huy Thong Tran Mai, who has already helped design various Berlin restaurants such as Oukan or Ryong, which focus on light, healthy, vegetarian-vegan cuisine.

With his background in fashion and stage design, he is responsible for the architecture of the tastefully decorated restaurants and advises on selecting vegetarian and vegan dishes. And of those, the team puts together an incredible selection for us during our visit. What we didn't expect, however, was the wide range of dishes we were served.

We are allowed to taste a variety of starters and main courses, mainly vegetarian and vegan. As already mentioned, this is Huy Thong's speciality. He spent his childhood in a Buddhist monastery and is accordingly experienced in authentic vegan cuisine and its tricks. Although meat and fish dishes are also on the menu at Hoa Rong, it is the animal-free cuisine that gives it that special kick.

Where do you start? In keeping with a culture of sharing, the dishes come relatively simultaneously and not one after the other. So first, there is the okra stuffed with mushrooms, tofu and tapioca. The very first dish and an instant favourite, so tender and full of flavour it is. Also notable is the enchanted egg, a steamed egg on a skewer. Maybe not everyone's cup of tea, but definitely exciting to taste. As a big mushroom lover, I am especially happy about the lukewarm mushroom salad with beech mushroom and silver ear, whose different textures harmonise wonderfully with each other.

The names of the dishes at Hoa Rong read spiritual and close to nature. The cuisine is strongly inspired by the Vietnamese mountain region of Sapa and the ethnic minority of the same name, which the team wants to give visibility here. Here, too, Huy Thong comes into play, who has studied the cuisine of the Sapa in detail and works together with three Berlin-based advisors from this people.

In Sapa cuisine, a lot is done with ingredients from the forest. This is also the case with the signature dish "Legend of the Carp", where not a real carp ends up on the plate, but a carp-shaped spelt and buckwheat wafer, filled with lettuce (optionally also chicken) and bedded on mushrooms.

Whether tofu on red sticky rice, baked sticky rice balls or an incredibly tender duck, we try a lot, too much to list everything. But we are particularly impressed by a small dish served with the main courses, which could easily pass for dessert. Vegan prawns lie on small pastry bowls with light cream and a few herbs, which develop a wonderful sweetness reminiscent of pancakes.

When we arrived, it was still early in the evening; by now, it is dark and the pagodas and tables on the terrace are pleasantly lit. We are happy and satiated but not too full despite the crowd due to the lightness of Vietnamese cuisine. Talking to Huy Thong, we end the evening with a last cocktail and then leave the Hoa Rong with pleasant feelings and the desire to discover more of the secrets of Vietnam.      

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Hoa Rong – Of carp, dragons and Sapa cuisine
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