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HOME > CENTRAL TAIWAN > DINING

COMPASS MAGAZINE > August 2011
 

Traditional Taiwanese cuisine: Preserving hometown love and memories --The Home of Bamboo Restaurant, Hui Chung Water Drop Teahouse, Jiu Twa Restuarant, Taiwan Da Shi Guan

By Olly and Niang Chen
Translated by Angel Pu and Betsy Shepard

The Home of Bamboo Restaurant

 

 

The Home of Bamboo Restaurant

1, DongShan Rd, Sec 2, Beitun District
(04) 2239-4321
Hours: 10:30 am-8 pm
No service charge.
Credit cards accepted.

This restaurant uses Dakeng Scenic Area's famous bamboo shoots as its main ingredient and traditional techniques to cook every dish. Therefore, the best time to dine here is summer. Various types of bamboo shoots are cooked in different ways, like stewing and braising, to release their original, savory flavors. You can also taste the chef's ingenuity in every dish. Gourmands especially love the Bamboo Tube Rice, which serves steamed rice in a piece of moso bamboo, as well as the Makino Bamboo Tube Rice (NT$65/a tube), which contains mushrooms, dried shrimp and taro. In addition to bamboo shoot entrees, the restaurant offers many other items like Fried Birdnest Ferns (NT$165/small), Fried Day Lilies (NT$135/small) and Stewed Pork with Soft Bone (NT$220). Visitors to Dakeng should not leave without enjoying these delicacies.

A: Taiwan Giant Bamboo Shoot with Oyster Sauce (NT$165) -- Taiwan giant bamboo shoots are stewed with an oyster sauce, resulting in a very appetizing flavor and aroma.

B: Stewed Bamboo Shoots (NT$145/large) -- Fresh green bamboo shoots are cooked with soup stock, and maintain their delicate taste and crisp texture as they absorb the stock flavors.

C: The shiny elegance of the specially-made makino bamboo tables and chairs, together with refreshing, cool breezes wafting through the restaurant, complement the bamboo shoot cuisine served here and create a wonderful dining environment.

The Home of Bamboo Restaurant The Home of Bamboo Restaurant

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Banana New Paradise Restuarant

Banana New Paradise Restuarant

111, ShuangShi Rd, Sec 2, North District
(04) 2234-5402
Hours: 11 am-12:30 am
10% service charge.
Credit cards not accepted.

Work and play have crossed paths at this establishment, whose owner has a keen interest in the nostalgic world of antiques. Because his collection was so large, he decided to create a space to display it in, a true home for all his antiques. The result was a retro-style restaurant that has more antiques and vintage ambiance than a cultural and history museum. In addition to an "outdoor" seating area along the restaurant's recreation of an old street, customers can also enjoy delicious Taiwanese dishes such as stir-fried items and appetizers, plus specialty drinks, while admiring the vintage toys and displays all around them. The second floor is set up like an old cinema and the space is bigger to accommodate banquet dinners for large groups, enabling even more people to experience this fun, appetizing and nostalgic place together.

A: Boneless Chicken (NT$138) features a marinated chicken leg steak that is steamed and then deep-fried. With gravy inside, the chicken is fried until the skin is golden and crispy, then topped with hot sauce and scallions, orchestrating an unforgettable flavor.

B: To create Shrimp Balls with Fruit (NT$228), huge prawns are quickly fried and then lathered in rich mayonnaise, producing a savory combination.

C: Entering this restaurant with its old Taiwan street setting decor is like being transported to an earlier period by a time machine. The seating area here is surrounded by relics from Taiwan's good old days, showcasing a nostalgic admiration for a more traditional, bygone era.

Banana New Paradise Restuarant Banana New Paradise Restuarant

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Jiu Twa Restuarant

Jiu Twa Restuarant

Jiu Twa Restuarant

22-5, ChangPing Rd, Sec 2, Beitun District (at intersection with ChongDe 9th Rd)
(04) 2422-1331
Hours: 5 pm-1 am
No service charge.
Credit cards not accepted.

"Jiu Twa" means "restaurant bar" in Taiwanese. The owner wants to create a place where friends and families can get together, talk freely and enjoy a moment of peace after work. When the owner worked at an advertising company, he loved collecting various kinds of antiques and wanted to recreate scenes from his childhood memories. The result is this 20-year-old traditional-style eatery, which only uses in-season ingredients cooked with traditional utensils and techniques to underline and bring out the deliciousness of classic Taiwanese cuisine. Regular patrons know that the tastiest dishes here are the owner's daily recommendations, such as Chicken Stew with Mountain Yam, Chicken Stew with Balsamic Pears, and Squid Soup with Garlic Sprouts (NT$550). The slow-stewed soup is definitely Taiwanese comfort food and during the winter a must-try is the very traditional Chinese Brass Hotpot (charcoal-fired pot), best enjoyed with a group.

A: Lard Rice (NT$20) features pork fat prepared the classic way. It goes great with steamed rice and its specially-made sauce.

B: The Chinese Radish Cake (NT$70/ 4 pieces), full of soft, shredded raddish, has a creamy, thick texture. The combination of a crispy outside and soft inside makes this a superb traditional delicacy.

C: The display of antiques fills this restaurant with an old-style atmosphere. That means that in addition to enjoying a great meal here you can also recall childhood memories.

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Taiwan Da Shi Guan

Taiwan Da Shi Guan

22, Lane 400, DaDun 4th St, Nantun District
(04) 2380-5555
Hours: 4-11 pm
10% service charge.
Credit cards accepted.
Parking lot available.

Owner Chen Zhong-xin buys fresh seafood for his restaurant at the Wuqi fishing port every afternoon. In his thick Taiwanese accent, he talks about his persistence in seeking out fresh local ingredients to fulfill his main goals of offering original flavors and healthy food. When dining here, the minimum bill is NT$800 and there's no menu. Instead, the chef designs 6-8 dishes for you based on ingredients of the day. The menu sometimes includes items like Prime Beef Fried Rice, Steamed Fish, and Fried Radish Leaves with Sergestid Shrimp. Most diners here are gourmands who know and value unique restaurants. For a truly satisfying experience of fresh, delicious flavors, they only need to pay NT$1,200-NT$1,300.

A: The vintage-style interior and bamboo-woven walls remind many diners of traditional Taiwanese dining.

B: Steamed Coral Trout Fish features a fish that is much chewier than grouper. The chef takes the softer parts and steams them with fresh balsamic pears, which lend a bitter flavor that contrasts and complements the sweetness of the fish.

C: Oyster Vermicelli with Luffa, Cold Bamboo Shoots, and Cold Cuttlefish are three dishes here. Luffa vermicelli reminds Taiwanese of the good old days. Spring onions and meat are sauteed and cooked with stock, luffa, cooked oysters and vermicelli. These are then put in a bowl and covered with a golden fried egg. The bamboo shoot chunks are served with minced garlic soy sauce, while the fresh cuttlefish is skinned and cooked. These are served with various side sauces and seasonings like seasoned wasabi sauce and shredded ginger with some white sesame oil drizzled on it. The chewy cuttlefish goes especially well with the shredded ginger.

Taiwan Da Shi Guan Taiwan Da Shi Guan

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