Some people take pride in discovering a new restaurant and passing it on by word of mouth and in the process making the place their own.
A few years ago I made such a discovery, Win House: The Buffalo Wings Expert. More food stand than restaurant, it was nestled between two clothing stores across the street from Yongkang Park (永康公園) and served the best buffalo wings I’d ever had in Taiwan.
Then, almost as soon as it opened, the place closed. Fortunately, Win House (贏家) reopened six months ago in a somewhat expanded location in the same area across the street from Mister Donut, just off Xinyi Road.
PHOTO: NOAH BUCHAN, TAIPEI TIMES
What went wrong the first time? Owner Jason Su (蘇宏卓) gave me the skinny: the popularity of his other restaurant meant he didn’t have time to attend to his burgeoning buffalo wings business.
Su does his buffalo wings old style. No sacrilegious breading here, just a proper interpretation of marinade and carefully timed deep-frying.
Old standards such as buffalo hot, which come in mild, medium and hot, and the slightly sweet Moroccan hot, which also come in mild, medium and hot, appear alongside honey mustard, smoky and spicy honey mustard. For local palettes, Su added Taiwanese-style hot buffalo wings.
The buffalo hot was, well, just that: hot. I went for dala, or big spicy (大辣). The vinegar and cayenne flavor crept up and remained pungent long after the juicy and surprisingly un-greasy wings were devoured.
The four-piece chicken wings portion (NT$60) is a little expensive so it’s better to order the 10-piece portion (NT$140) as there’s a buy-10-get-two-free special. Another NT$60 will get you crudites (carrot and celery with a side of ranch dressing or any of the sauces applied to the wings) and French fries. Buy 100 wings (NT$1,150) and get 20 free.
The flour tortillas — vegetable and chicken (NT$60), meat sauce (NT$65) and chicken with meat sauce (NT$70) — are also recommended.
Win House comes in for two small criticisms. Four low-cut stools at the front of the store provide the only seating, so the menu is essentially for takeout. Secondly, and perhaps more distressing for veteran buffalo wing lovers, there is no blue cheese dressing on the menu. But Su said he will try to remedy this in the future. — NOAH BUCHAN
Address: 186, Xinyi Rd Sec 2, Taipei City (台北市信義路二段186號)
Telephone: (02) 2395-4849
Open: Daily, 11:30am to 10pm
Average meal: NT$150
Details: Chinese and English menu; credit cards not accepted
The chills were what first tipped me off that something was wrong. It was an early Thursday evening in late February and I was sitting in my office. I normally hit an energy low this time of the day but this was different, as I suddenly felt chilled, absolutely drained of energy, the lightest of achiness in my muscles and joints and a slight pain behind my eyeballs. I went home, took a long hot shower and went to bed early. After a full day of rest, I felt normal enough on Saturday to jump on my bike and enjoy
1. If you go to the hospital for a check-up, plan for the worst-case scenario — having to stay there without returning home. Have a hospital “grab bag” to either take with you or have someone deliver. Recommended items include: T-shirts, shorts and sleeping clothes, socks and underwear, sweater/fleece, personal toiletries and medications, computer (and headphones) and phone plus charging cables, towel, slippers, nail clippers and reading material. Also, have a water bottle/container that nurses can fill up with drinking water. Remember that Taiwanese hospitals generally only provide the most basic of daily necessities. 2. If you test positive, anticipate
When a man surnamed Chen discovered that his wife, surnamed Chang, was having an affair with a foreign national surnamed James, he hired private investigators to catch them having sex. Chen and three private investigators staked out James’ apartment and, when they heard moaning sounds coming from Chang, burst in and filmed the couple in flagrante delicto. A judge later found the pair guilty of adultery and sentenced them to four months in prison, and ordered the foreign national to be deported. Like anywhere, adultery is a daily occurrence in Taiwan, and rarely a day passes when an adulterous couple
Over a million people flooded Kenting National Park over two weeks in 1986 to see Halley’s Comet, massively boosting the area’s tourism industry March 30 to April 5 About 30,000 disappointed visitors lingered on the streets of Kenting National Park on the evening of March 28, 1986. Established just two years earlier, Taiwan’s first national park had never seen so many visitors — all hotels were full, hundreds of tents cramped the campgrounds and the latecomers slept in their cars. Most had traveled here just to catch a glimpse of Halley’s Comet, which only passes by the Earth every 76 years or so. That year, the comet was more visible the further to the south, and Kenting’s location at Taiwan’s southernmost tip made