This wonderfully conceptualised restaurant is owned by the big-hearted Daeng Khamlao. Since its opening in 2016, it has developed a reputation not only for its tasty dishes (killer DanDan noods), but also as a place for pop-ups that support the BIPOC community, such as Smells Like, – a collective that brings together people who use food histories and culinary heritages to celebrate and negotiate their identities in Europe.
The Pandanoodle has been a place of many moments of growth and connection for me. It was there that I became a part of the Smells Like community, which has welcomed me with wide opened arms as we share our stories and love of food with one another.
In 2019, I hosted a Rice is Life pop-up, where I made Chinese-Teochew food —
– Mue —̄, and first connected with my partner (who is also Chinese-Teochew). Rice is Life is a catering/pop-up project I started in 2017 to guide me in my food-based journey towards discovering and embracing my heritage (Chinese- Teochew, Vietnamese, and Thai).
In 2020, I co-hosted a #Mygration event focused on food, culture and community. We invited Rosalia Namsai Engschuan and Sarnt Utamachote to speak about their connections to and projects with the Thai Park; Daeng Khamlao and Kavita Goodstar to talk about the Berlin BIPoC community, and their relationships to working with food; International Women* Space e.V. to speak about the lack of food in rRefugee camps, or Flüchtlingslager; and Juice Owusu, the founder of African Food Festival, to share the story of the origins and concept of the annual event.
Every time I visit the Pandanoodle, whether for their DanDan noods or for a pop-up event, I’m filled with so much more than delicious food… I always see familiar faces there, embrace friends and have chats with people who are at the forefront of change- making. The interior ingeniously evokes nostalgia, and the staff is always friendly. The Pandanoodle will forever be one of the most important BIPoC spaces in Berlin, not only for lovers of food and those working with it, but also for the wider community to nourish themselves with all the goodness that comes with it.