You might already know Mibap; its founder, Hsin-Yu Ting, has already made her mark on the city’s food scene. Her culinary journey began a few years ago with a small stall at Markthalle Neun serving rice sandwiches inspired by Taiwanese street food culture. They brought joy and long queues, giving the small stall a firm place in the street food community. Since then, the Mibap team have found themselves a fixed spot in the form of a small imbiss with seating and a takeaway window on Torstraße. The concept: bento for lunch, hotpot for dinner. Originally from Japan, bento boxes allow you to get your lunch to go without any dreaded mixing of food. At Mibap they come in several variations, including chicken in a Taiwanese honey barbecue sauce and a vegetarian version with fresh herby mushrooms in a homemade sauce of rice wine, sesame oil, soy sauce and basil.
Accompanying is a changing lineup of fresh side dishes with the likes of cucumber pickled with garlic and spinach with five-spice. The highlight, however, has to be the hotpot evenings, where the choice is between three broths and toppings – a nice change from overwhelmingly long dinner menus. Traditionally, vegetables, glass noodles and meat or seafood are cooked and draped in the broth, though here a vegetarian version is also available. You can order your own hotpot or assemble your friends around a stove in the middle of the table and cook together. To drink, there’s bubble tea and winter melon iced drinks so you don’t overheat. Eating aside, just the experience of doing the hotpot ritual makes Mibap a fun place to spend time with your fave folks.
Text & Photos: Robyn Steffen