Locals call it “die Thaiwiese” (the Thai-Meadow) a charming meadow located inside the small Wilmersdorfer Preußenpark in south western part of Berlin. For more than twenty years this circular shaped spot of green lawn has been the weekly meeting point for Berlin’s Thai community.
By Steen Hanssen
Over the years Vietnamese, Filipino and Chinese people have also joined in for the outdoor weekend event of cooking, eating, drinking and socializing. Even a, it would seem, geographically confused Brazilian couple have set up shop offering chilled Caipirinhas amidst the many Asian food stalls. Most stalls offer standard Thai street food; chicken sate, spring rolls, fried noodles and curry soups with rice. Most of which is prepared at home and brought to the meadow for final heating. The Papaya salad however is done on site from scratch and is definitely one of my favorite dishes at the Thai-Meadow.
Though being a standout social fixture for more than two decades and beloved by many Berliners the Thai Meadow has also had it’s fair share of controversy. There have been complaints from neighboring residents about garbage pile up and foul smells. It is, of course this being Germany, illegal to set up food stalls in public parks without proper authorization and adherence to sanitary rules and regulations. Hence the ongoing cat and mouse dance between the “Ordnungsamt” (Municipal law enforcement officers) and the Asian Guerilla foodies.
When Ordnungsamt officers arrive at the scene the many stalls are quickly transformed into private picnic/BBQ outings which does indeed look quite convincing given that each stall is a family run outfit, with grandma slicing the papaya and taking care of the business side while moms, dads and kids take care of customers or simply just chill out.
All dishes cost around 5 euros. To order you simply point and buy your food and beverage, and then find a spot to sit while taking in the surrounding spectacle of a busy crowd of Thai speaking street food vendors in an obscure Berlin park. An important bonus for your Thai Meadow expedition must be the adjoining “Parkcafe am Fehrbelliner Platz”; a lovely classically styled Biergarten located a very short walk from the underground station “Fehrbelliner Platz”. (Ubahn U3/U7)
Gruß aus Berlin
Steen Hanssen is a Berlin based food writer who loves to eat, drink, cook, read, write and think about good food and beverages. Though Kierkegaard argues it'll lead to failure and despair, Steen embraces the aesthetic sphere of existences striving for novelty, pleasure seeking while edging towards the perfect asparagus experience. Steen is also a contributor to Serious Eats.