It’s your lunch break, and you dash from your start-up HQ or oversized magazine showroom to Rosa-Luxemburg-Straße. You’ve only got 20 minutes, and you’re craving something stir-fried. Sure, there’s China Box and Asia Food, but for a little more chi-chi caché, you walk to Wok to Walk, a hot new chain that understands your endless urban rush.
The MSG-free menu follows the choose-it-yourself format of next-door burrito shop Dolores, but applies it to nebulously Asian takeaway. After selecting a base meal (rice, noodles or veg, €4.30) you pick as many extras (various vegetables and proteins, €0.90-1.90) as you want. Next, sprinkle it with one of five toppings (€0.40 each) and drizzle on one of eight sauces (options include black bean, curry and peanut). The cashier takes your order within a split second, and before you’ve even had time to sip your drink (€1.50-2) or smoke a cigarette outside, your box of rice noodles with duck, pineapple, teriyaki sauce and coriander is ready.
It tastes fine, though as you near your office you begin to suspect you should’ve been more bothered by the casual Orientalism of the chain’s “Hot Asia Sauce”. But you’ll think about that after your next meeting. Food, after all, is nothing more than a lifestyle option.