If you think most Taipei urbanites are stuck in the rat race and would be too busy to stand in line for over 30 minutes to secure a pork chop for lunch, check out the tonkatsu eatery hidden behind the Cathay General Hospital on Renai Road. A beneficiary of the influence wielded by bloggers and online chat room gossipers, the restaurant's sets, consisting of a breaded, deep-fried pork cutlet served Japanese-style, are hot property.
Is the wait worthwhile?
Dinners can choose to fill up on the popular Japanese meal in two ways: traditional or innovative.
PHOTO: HO YI, TAIPEI TIMES
One option is pork chop served with daikon, or white radish, mash.
If simplicity is not your style, the restaurant does a range of pork cutlets stuffed with various fillings. For NT$310, patrons can make their own combinations of pork chop with two choices from over 10 options including cheese, kimchi, tuna salad, egg, crab meat and curry sauce.
Cheese tonkatsu seems to be the restaurant's tour de force. In one bite, the gooey cheese coats the chop's crispy layer and succelent meat creating a sumptuous trio of textures. The cheese and curry chop, on the other hand, tries too hard, and packs too much of a punch with a confusing array of flavors.
The kimchi option is sour, sweet, spicy and piquant, without one flavor dominating the dish. For those who want a feast for the eyes as well as one for the stomach, the laver and steamed eggs set and the plum sauce and crab option are must-tries.
Adding condiments to the meal is a treat in itself as diners are provided with pestles in which to grind white sesame seeds and other spices.
Fresh shredded cabbage, miso soup and high-quality rice come in unlimited supply with the sets.
As the establishment is pretty much full day and night, weekdays and weekends, the motto of the wait staff is to serve up the fare as quickly as possible with passable courtesy. Dishes are served at an admirable speed while wait staff politely ask permission to clean up empty plates from time to time. It is not an ideal venue for a lengthy tete-a-tete with an old lover. Don't hesitate to prevent the eager wait staff from taking away your half-finished food and be careful with the mustard dressing, it is fiery stuff and could have you wincing and blubbering through your entire meal.
Last week the Transitional Justice Commission proposed taking down the statue of Chang Kai-shek (蔣介石) at Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall in central Taipei. It depicted the move as part of a plan for excising markers of authoritarianism from the park. The most important task, the commission said, would be removing the hall’s “axis of worship,” the 6.3m-tall bronze statue of Chiang. Let us hope that if and when that obscenity is finally removed from the memorial, it is placed in the famed Cihu Memorial Sculpture Garden in Taoyuan’s Dasi District (大溪), where it can be properly mocked for all eternity. CHIANG,
The pandemic seems to be far from over, but the Post Pandemic Renaissance Theater (PPRT) is getting a head start by putting on its first event last Friday: the first round of the Taiwan Monologue Slam. Ten contestants delivered passionate and nuanced pieces on stage, and the audience voted with their phones for two winners who will advance to the local finals in November. There will be four finals in the next year, and each winner is automatically entered into the World Monologue Games regional finals, bypassing the preliminaries. The goal is to eventually get a Taiwan team to next summer’s games,
In an industrial unit on the outskirts of Taipei chefs are plating meals that will never be served in a restaurant: welcome to the world of “ghost kitchens.” Even before the pandemic sent an earthquake through the global restaurant trade, the “Amazonification” of commercial kitchens was well underway, but coronavirus lockdowns and restrictions have fueled explosive growth in Asia. The recent boom in food delivery apps meant customers were already used to having restaurant quality meals quickly delivered to their homes. To meet that demand a growing number of restaurants set up delivery only kitchens — also known as “cloud kitchens”
Worried his appearance would detract from opportunities in China’s competitive society, Xia Shurong decided to go under the surgeon’s knife to reshape his nose — one of millions of young men in the country turning to cosmetic surgery. The 27-year-old researcher wanted medical procedures to transform his look from “engineering geek” to something he thinks will boost his life chances. Beauty standards in China can be exacting, from pressure over skin tone, eye and nose shape to the controversial “little fresh meat” look — a buzzword used to describe handsome young men with delicate features. “I feel I should be ‘fresh meat’