photo: Robert Rieger.
Berlin is a generous and welcoming host to people from all around the world. Last week we gave you a glimpse into how you can experience Brazil in Berlin, but this week we’ve found the best bits of Thailand that exist right in our Berlin backyard. From Thai photographers, musicians and curators to great, authentic restaurants sprinkled around the city, you can find Thai culture right around the corner if you’re looking in the right places.
Our guide has been created in collaboration with the newly formed collective un.thai.tled that is hosting a really interesting event this coming Saturday bringing together some of the best elements of Thai culture with the first edition of a “Thai Evening in Berlin”.
Read on to see how you can experience Thai culture in the heart of Berlin.
Rirkrit Tiravanija is a Thai installation artist that spends a lot of time in Berlin. His works are known across the world for their ability to bring people together. In one of his best-known works, Pad Thai, he rejected the conventions of gallery art by cooking for exhibition attendees instead of creating objects for display. His works generally draw upon interactivity, encouraging viewers to find meaning through connecting immediately with the spaces he creates.
Nakadia’s journey into the world of techno is truly awe-inspiring. Born and raised in a village in Thailand without running water, Nakadia didn’t hear or engage with techno until she was invited to Berlin in 2002. After one night of clubbing, she was inspired to learn how to make music herself, so she brought turntables back to Thailand. She had nobody to guide her, but she was determined to find her sound. Now she is known across the world for her strong and fearless beats.
Harit Srikhao is a young photographer who uses his work to challenge how objectivity relates to memory. His first photo project examines how he remembers the conflict in Thailand as a child versus how he understands it as an adult. His work is featured in the upcoming un.thai.tled event and exhibition on Saturday, August 17.
photo: Graham Meyer / Lure
Hungry is a German/Thai artist and drag performer from Bavaria who pioneered what she calls ‘distorted drag.’ Based in Berlin, Hungry got her start in fashion design and used Berlin’s vibrant nightlife to start exploring drag. Originally in the House of Presents, Hungry is well acquainted with the Berlin drag scene. Since expanding on distorted drag, Hungry has gone on to collaborate with Björk on her latest album and tour.
Sarnt Utamachote (un.thai.tled)
Sarnt Utamachote is the founder of Berlin-based Thai artist collective, un.thai.tled. Sarnt noticed a lack of engagement between Thai internationals in Berlin and the creative social atmosphere, so he created the collective. The collective also functions as a platform upon which Thai creatives in Berlin can have a louder voice. The collective is putting on “Thai Evening in Berlin,” on Saturday, and hosts other events as well, like Thai Film Screenings. Sarnt himself is a videographer and filmmaker.
Nut Srisuwan is an art curator and sound artist in Berlin, and he also participates in the art jury in Bangkok. He has many curatorial projects coming up, including a few exhibitions for un.thai.tled here in Berlin. His works are inspired by the urban landscape and community structures.
Thai Evening in Berlin 2019
With the “Thai Evening in Berlin” the un.thai.tled collective is presenting a group showcase of Thai creatives that is inspired by the traditional Thai house founding ceremony where guests are asked to give blessings and partake in different activities. The artists of the show are artists Harit Srikhao and Pansan Klongdee who both deal with controversial topics regarding religion and the royal family. Apart from contemporary artists the organizers also invited other members of the Thai diaspora such as the mamas from Thai Park and kids from the Thai Temple who will be telling their stories during the evening. The event will take place this Saturday, August 17, at Schalet in Neukölln starting at 16:00h.
Thai Film Screenings Berlin
The Thai Film Screenings is a series of film events curated by un.thai.tled showcasing the work of Thai filmmakers here in Berlin at Moviemento. On October 19 and 20, 2019, the third edition will take place with feature film screenings of the work of Anucha Boonyawatana followed by a panel talk about gender and sexuality in Thai Buddhism.
Kin-Dee is a truly special place to experience Thai gastronomy in Berlin. The restaurant has been granted a Michelin Star, and for such a high-rated experience, the price is relatively manageable—only 55€ per person. If this is something you’d like to try, be sure to call ahead and make reservations—they don’t accept walk-in guests.
Kin-Dee, Lützowstraße 81, 10785 Berlin, Germany
Open Tues-Sat 18-22:00h
photos: Robert Rieger
Pad Thai is the gastronomic partner of un.thai.tled and, as the name suggests, their specialty is making different varieties of pad thai. The classic noodle-based dish is delicious and Pad Thai is sure not to disappoint.
Pad Thai, Cicerostraße 49, 10709 Berlin, Germany
Open Mon-Fri 11-23:00h, Sat-Sun 12-23:00h
Samakki Talad Thai
Samakki Talad Thai is a delightful little cafeteria-style restaurant with fresh Thai food made daily. There are multiple stations run by specialized chefs who each serve different Thai dishes. We recommend you go with an empty stomach so you can try just a little bit of everything!
Samakki Talad Thai, Kaiser-Friedrich-Straße 41, 10627 Berlin, Germany
Open 12-22:30h every day
One of the Thai Park originals, Thai Art is a delicious and authentic way to experience Thai cuisine. If you’ve had your fill of pad thai at all these other restaurants, we recommend you try Yen Ta Fo (pink noodle) or Rad Na Krob (crisp fried gooey noodle) for a different taste of authentic Thai gastronomy.
Thai Art, Berliner Straße 42A, 10713 Berlin, Germany
Open Mon-Fri 11-20:00h, Sat-Sun 13-20:00h
Another Thai Park original, Chon Thong is sure to delight you with its large selection of Thai originals, sourced from a Thai supermarket just next door. Their fresh ingredients lend to the host of bold flavors you’ll taste in any of their dishes.
Chon Thong, Kantstraße 53, 10627 Berlin, Germany
Open 12-00:00h every day
In Hackescher Markt, you have a wealth of different cuisines to choose from, but Sisaket certainly stands out from the crowd with its bold flavors and elaborate decor. Sisaket is known for its fried catfish (Pla Duk Fu), so don’t be afraid of the whiskers and dive into this Thai classic.
Sisaket, Dircksenstraße 47, 10178 Berlin, Germany
Open 12-23:30h every day
If you’re looking for a really good bowl of curry or a fresh and crunchy papaya salad, Papaya is the place for you! Located in Friedrichshain, Papaya is the perfect place to stop and grab a bite before a night out with friends.
Papaya, Krossener Str. 11, 10245 Berlin, Germany
Open 12-23:00h every day
Text: Liz Ketcham