26, Lane 81, FuXing (FuHsing) N. Rd.
Tel: (02) 2751-6776
Hours: 11:30 am-2 pm (Lunch),
5:30-9:30 pm (dinner)


A taste of Kunming via Burma
By Courtney Donovan Smith Translated by Priscilla Chen

In my business, I hear a lot about restaurants from fans of various places around town. Many of those recommendations eventually make their way into print, as personal testimonials often are a good indicator of quality.

I recently met a British businessman whose advocacy of Kunming restaurant was so fanatical that I was convinced he was either part-owner or had an very intimate relationship with the owner, or that the food was really, really good. When his opinion was echoed by others around the table, I knew it was the latter.

Kunming didn't disappoint. The meal started with samosas and "Fried Chicken" (NT$230), which is actually small fried pieces of chicken breast. The samosas were some of the best I've ever tasted, perfectly crisped on the outside and moist and well-seasoned on the inside. The "Fried Chicken", though a bit dry, had a beautiful masala seasoning from a process that apparently takes days.

The main course included coconut chicken (NT$220), spicy lamb (NT$240) and cabbage curry (NT$180). Everyone in our party of five raved about every dish we were served and, in spite of being stuffed to the gills, ordered second rounds of most of the dishes. I personally was particularly fond of their spicy lamb, coconut chicken and hummous.
Owner/chef Yacoob Mah, also known as George, is not afraid of taking risks and trying new dishes. Our table was also impressed with his Musakka (Brinjal with beef - NT$240) which, I was told, was Greek in origin. Also on the menu were Thai Tom Yam soup and various Chinese favourites.

Yacoob hails from Northern Burma and his ancestors are from Kunming. He personally has spices shipped out from Burma on a regular basis to ensure quality. His food is billed as Indian/Yunnan cuisine, but other influences are evident. A high percentage of his customers hail from Islamic countries, partly because Kunming's food is Halal but also undoubtedly because of the quality and very reasonable prices. The five of us ordered enough food for 10 and and didn't manage to break the NT$3000 mark.

Because Kunming is an Islamic restaurant, alcohol is not served. If you enjoy a beer with your curry, I suggest politely speaking to the owner and he might let you run out to the 7-11 to pick yourself up one and bring it in. Just be sure to ask first. The only downside to Kunming is the decor, which is a bit on the sparse and drab side. However, that shortcoming is a small price to pay to experience food of this quality.

To get to Kunming get yourself to the corner of FuXing (FuHsing) North and NanJing East roads. Walk south (towards the gas station) on FuXing North Road for about half a block and turn into Lane 81 on your left. It's about 100 metres down.