Chai Yo Thai food in Berlin. When the wisdom of crowds goes seriously wrong.

This may be the last post I write.

It’s not because I’m giving up on writing, it’s been an enjoyable experience so far.
The reason is, my stomach aches and I feel like I’ve been poisoned.

They say pride comes before a fall and in this case they are dead on the money.
A couple of days after posting about how to find the best restaurants out there, I get to have a sub-par dinner and a case of food poisoning.
Guess I had it coming.

My friend and I decided to go to Chai Yo due to several reasons, the main being that winter is coming.
When winter strikes in Berlin, the difference between cycling/walking 1 km and 4 km becomes a matter of life and death.
Mae Charoen  , the fabulous imbiss in Neukölln, offers some of the best green curry, massaman and tom kha gai you can find anywhere, but the way there seems to grow longer as the days grow shorter.
Furthermore Chai Yo is an actual restaurant, where you can spend a couple of hours dining and offers a wider selection of Thai food.
It’s also consistently rated as one of the top places in Berlin on Tripadvisor, even as high as #1,  so we thought it was well worth a look.

I had eaten at Chai Yo about four years ago, an OK but not memorable massaman, but I figured it was worth giving it another shot considering the time that passed and excellent rating it gets.

We tried two soups and two main courses, a whole-fish massaman and vegetables in hot sauce.
None of the four items tried was particularly awful, but it wasn’t very good either.
The soups lacked the umami desired and the main courses were uninspiring and wrong.
The fish was decent, the vegetables mediocre and the sauces tasted of an acidity normally associated with lab experiments rather than the coconut juice and lemongrass Thailand was blessed with.

The owner, a weird/friendly humanoid approached us to ask how it was and make some unnecessary  small talk, I have the unfortunate condition of being bluntly honest, but my friend managed a smile and said it was nice.
Looking back now, I’m not sure if he was being friendly or secretly taping us so we can’t claim we already felt ill at the restaurant…

Half an hour after leaving the joint, my friend claimed to feel like he had been drugged with LSD and I  (having never tried the stuff) realized that instead of hitting the Gym hard later, I’d be hitting the toilet bowl. Harder.

So how did this bland and dangerous place get to number 1 in the city?
I can only offer several explanations.

1 We have been spoiled by Mae Charoen and now every Thai place sucks in comparison.
2 Some folks like to be drugged and enjoy the after effects.
3 The owner practices suggestion techniques and hypnosis on his customers and we were blessed with iron wills.
4 People care more about portion size than actual taste when traveling and burning calories.
5 Food poisoning is considered part of the authentic “Thai experience.”
6 There’s one born every minute.

All my food reviews so far have been recommendations.
Writing only positive stuff makes me feel like a sellout ad-man, so I decided I’ll be blunt for a change.

Chai Yo sucks monkey balls.

Far from being the #1 place in Berlin, is not even the best in it’s building.
It shares a wall with a fantastic rotisserie chicken place, where you can eat better and healthier for less than half the price and live to tell about it.

I feel better already.

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