Fri, Jul 30, 2004 - Page 19 News List

Restaurant: Bayphone Town (香港避風塘)

Address: 10F, 138 Bade Rd, Sec 4, Taipei(台北市八德路四段138號10樓)
Telephone: 3762 1188
Open: 11am to 11pm
Average meal: NT$400
Details: English menu, credit cards accepted

By Yu Sen-lun  /  STAFF REPORTER

Durian shrimp rolls and beef with passion fruit sauce are good summer fare.


Since its establishment in Hong Kong in 1985, Bayphone Town has been associated with decent seafood cuisine. But blending fruit with seafood is a new departure for the restaurant this summer, particularly using the pungent durian.

In the old days in Hong Kong's Victoria harbor, boats came to the harbor to take shelter from typhoons and fishermen cooked up fresh seafood cuisine to kill time and make extra money. Gradually the places they created became the famous floating restaurants.

In 1985, Chu Chia Chunag (竹家莊) was the first restaurant to hire chefs from ashore. This restaurant later became one of the three Bayphone Town restaurants in Hong Kong, and one was started in Taiwan in 2001.

Deep fried sugar cane shrimp rolls with orange sauce (香橙甘蔗蝦) is a refreshing starter. Chef Jeffery Lau (劉國華) prepares shrimps and adds sugar cane paste before deep frying. The sweetness of the shrimp and sugar cane is balanced by the sour taste of the orange sauce. The dish serves as good preparation for the durian dish.

Durian is well-known for its strong smell but deep fried it somehow rids itself of the smell and transforms into something altogether smoother. To prepare deep fried durian mousse prawn rolls (榴槤鮮蝦捲), Chef Lau chops and minces the durian into a paste. Then he uses the paste to wrap a whole prawn, before deep-frying. The rolls are creamy and rich and in contrast to the crispy skins. To my surprise, the taste of the durian was like a creamy coconut paste but with a unique flavor. You don't have to be a durian lover to like this dish, but daring people are more likely to check it out.

For the main course, beef fillet sauteed with passion fruit sauce (百香果牛柳) or mangos (芒果牛柳) is strongly recommended. The meat is tender and the passion fruit sauce is fragrant. You can smell the dish long before it comes to the table.

"I've always wanted to retain a seasonal feature for our dishes and the fruits we choose are mainly sweet-and-sour flavor, such as passion fruit, mango and lychee," Lau said.

On a hot summer day, such a sweet-and-sour taste can lift a dull appetite. For desserts, mango milk pudding (芒果奶酪) or passion fruit milk pudding (百香果奶酪) are good choices. The latter has a stronger, sour taste, which is good after greasy main dishes.

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