Chiachia Seafood Hakka Restaurant 家家海鮮客家餐廳
Address: 10, Ln 2, Yongkang St, Taipei City (台北市永康街2巷10號)
Telephone: (02) 2392-3130
Open: Lunch 11am to 2pm, dinner 5pm to 9pm
Average meal: NT$200 to NT$300
Details: Chinese menu, credit cards accepted
Chiachia Hakka Restaurant’s (家家海鮮客家餐廳) classic dishes and original creations feature the complex yet well-balanced mixture of flavors of Hakka cuisine, which is known for its liberal use of piquant ingredients like garlic, ginger, scallions and chili peppers.
Take the restaurant’s signature stinky tofu (臭豆腐, NT$220). The humble night market snack is the only item on Chiachia’s menu marked with the words “can’t miss” (非吃不可), which turned out to be true. Chunks of tofu and century eggs (皮蛋) are flash fried with plenty of diced garlic, scallions and red chili peppers, then topped with a few sprigs of cilantro. As you bite into each piece of tofu, the crunchy surface gives way to the buttery soft inside and a pungent steam wafts over your tongue. The century eggs lend an unexpected contrast.
Make sure to show up at Chiachia with an empty stomach and plenty of hungry friends to take advantage of its very large menu.
— Catherine Shu
Du Hsiaw Uyea Taiwan Seafood Cuisine 渡小月蘭陽時尚料理
Address: 58, Fusing Rd Sec 3, Yilan City (宜蘭市復興路三段58號)
Telephone: (03) 9314-688
Open: Noon to 2pm and 5pm to 9pm
Average meal: NT$500
Details: No menu, credit cards accepted
On the Net: www.yilando.com
The first thing that needs to be said about Du Hsiaw Uyea Taiwan Seafood Cuisine (渡小月蘭陽時尚料理), located in Yilan City, is that it is not the same restaurant as Jerry’s Chinese Kitchen (祥瑞渡小月), located in Luodong Township (羅東鎮), Yilan County, which has a similar Chinese name. Nor is it Tu Hsiao Yueh Noodle Shop (渡小月擔仔麵), which originated in Tainan and now has branches in Taipei.
Du Hsiaw Uyea is famous for a number of Yilan specialties, but the lack of a menu or clearly marked price list can be intimidating for anyone unfamiliar with the cuisine. It is usually best to order a set menu, which starts at NT$600 for a table of two, or NT$3,500 and up for a table of 10. The steamed shrimp, which contains at least a whole head of garlic and copious quantities of rice wine, is to be recommended. The shockingly black chicken in xian cao (仙草), or grass jelly, might look a little like a chicken stuck in an oil slick, but it has subtle herbal flavors that make it highly memorable. A passion for ornate and often inappropriate plastic plate decorations makes the presentation appear kitsch for some dishes, but this in no way undermines the mixture of innovation and the firm grasp of the many, often labor-intensive, processes involved in the preparation of famous Yilan specialties.
— Ian Bartholomew
Address: 2, Ln 25, Nanjing W Rd, Taipei City (台北市南京西路25巷2號)
Telephone: (02) 2558-0096
Open: 11:45am to 9pm Tuesday through Friday and Sundays, 11:45am to 10:30pm on Saturdays, closed on Mondays
Average meal: NT$500 to NT$1,200 per person
Details: Credit cards accepted; located near Zhongshan MRT Station (中山捷運站)
On the Net: www.galeriebistro.com
There is no shortage of restaurants serving overpriced lunches on Nanjing West Road around Zhongshan MRT Station (中山捷運站), but Galerie Bistro is one of the few that justifies its higher-than-average prices. The restaurant offers a chic decor and a well-executed menu of classic French, Italian and American dishes.