Hidden in the quiet backdrop of a small street in central Hamburg, O-Ren Ishii is the perfect Vietnamese joint for a quick and tasty lunch.
As soon as you walk in, you’re greeted by the friendly staff and join the queue (thankfully it goes real quick!), while reading off the weekly menu off the chalkboard that most times consists of 4 choices (chicken, pork, shrimp, string fry chicken). And, obviously, as in most food joints in Vietnam these are accompanied by noodles or rice along the standard exotic herbs!
The menu is short but delicious and the vibe is really pumped up as many locals join from the various offices around the busy district of Hamburg during lunchtime. Unfortunately, they don’t open for dinner but you can always grab a beer by the bar and enjoy until the late hours of what the Germans call lunch (pun intended!).
In my last visit to O-Ren Ishii, I went for the braised chicken in a thai curry noodle soup topped with chilli and fresh lime – absolutely delicious! The Tiger beer at hand made it even better as I gazed the patrons go in and out in a fast manner – some for eating in and some for take-away.
During summer, they also put out a few tables and umbrellas curbside which makes a Hamburg summer lunch even more exotic!