Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Where the Leaves are more Valued than the Root

(Note: I am in a dreadful hurry to finish blogging about the Taiwanese trip so that I can make room for my upcoming trip this long weekend)

I admit I can be fussy about my food. Don't really care about the price, but the taste and the service.

So we ended up wandering around Ximending looking for food one afternoon, before leaving for Beitou. I was determined not to eat Ah Chung Mian Xian AGAIN. So we circled the streets a few times. The day was wet, and since I wanted dumplings, B1 suggested the restaurant next to Ah Chung, which also serves a very cute golden steamboat hotpot with a tall funnel.

I was strangely not in the mood (I usually love hotpot so much I once threatened B1 that if we do not buy a big enough kitchen for me next time, he should be mentally prepared to eat hotpot forever). So I dragged him into our second choice, a dumpling shop with a cute radish avatar (I cannot remember clearly now). It serves dumplings with several fillings, namely piggie, chives (I think, chinese name: 韭菜), kimchi, curry (??) etc.

We belatedly realised that the shop is famous for its radish leaf noodles, hmm, i.e. they grind the radish leaves into the noodle mixture, so that the end result is green noodles. Not exactly sure how to order that though, as it did not appear in the menu the lady gave us, while everyone around us (mostly female clientele) was eating the same green noodle dish, and there were posters featuring radishes on the wall.

I wasn't really hungry, just fussy. So I ordered the local favorite Braised meat on rice (卤肉饭). I notice that everyone serves this dish a little differently. I have had it as one giant fatty slice drenched with sauce, resting on little bits of fat and rice, fatty meat diced with preserved vegetables soaking the rice, etc. I cannot remember the version the restaurant served. Too much fat in the brain now, think it was the latter version.

I also ordered a corn soup (love corn, as you can see it appears frequently in my breakfast bentos as well) cooked Chinese style. B1 had braised beef slices with noodles. It came accompanied with slices of radish, carrots and 菜心.

But the pièce de résistance has to be the dumplings. Crispy on the bottom, juicy on the inside. The skin was QQ and springy, while very light and thin. I especially like the ones with the chive filling.

Best of all, they were quite affordable @ NT5 a piece. That's about S$0.22 each. Singapore serves them about 5-6 pieces for S$3 (cheapest rate), and sometimes they are not even nice. B1 almost had to restrain my gluttonous self from ordering more.

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