My memories of the Asien Shop date back to my childhood. Back in the ’90s, when my parents used to own a shoe shop in the neighborhood, my mother bought soy sprouts here for my favorite dish , the Chinese vegetable pan. I remember the slightly dusty smell that was mixed with smells of other exotic, unknown spices every time we entered the Asien Shop.
Today there is only a few shelves with Asian groceries left, but you can still smell the Asian spices. That’s because the focus is on the lunch table, open from 12:00 to 16:00 which is very popular in the area around the Ehrenstraße and its countless shops. Here, where they used to sell spices and ingredients, there are now tables and chairs made of lemonade crates, which are not comfortable, but sufficient for a lunch break.
The room is filled with the smell of Asian food freshly cooked by the owner Grace. There is only one or two dishes daily which makes the choice easy. But no matter what I choose I always enjoy the crispy vegetables (or tofu/meat) together with the perfectly cooked rice and aromatic sauces, which are mainly Thai or Indonesian-inspired.
Although now more than 20 years have passed and Grace’s concept of the Asia Shop has changed, many things have remained the same. The smell and my joy at a delicious Asian dish. Not comparable to my mother’s food, but cooked with just as much love.