Thu, Oct 02, 2014 - Page 12 News List

Restaurant review: The Shrimp Daddy

By Olivia Wycech  /  Contributing reporter

The Portobello fries with pesto are a delicious way to enjoy these beautiful mushrooms.

Photo: Olivia Wycech

Put your bibs on because there are no plates at The Shrimp Daddy — and things can get pretty messy. The recently opened bayou-style seafood restaurant offers an appealing US Deep South dining experience.

The Shrimp Daddy’s decor is clean and minimal — similar to the rustic vibe of many traditional Taiwanese seafood restaurants. Concrete floors complement white walls, and there is a stack of wooden seafood crates in one corner that will eventually adorn one of them. An oversized chalkboard displays specials along another. The tables are topped with Napkin dispensers and paper tablecloths. You don’t need much more, except an accessible sink, located at the back, since you are encouraged to eat with your hands. Plastic gloves are available if you’re worried about your manicure.

Appetizers, most of which are fried, come delivered in brightly-colored plastic baskets lined with paper. The fish (NT$250), soft-shell crab (NT$290) and fried oysters (NT$290) were particularly memorable because of the different batters, and the dipping sauces that accompanied them: basil, kaffir, and lime aioli, honey wasabi, Sriracha aioli and more. The animal-shaped fries (NT$160) came topped with large portions of caramelized onions, cheese sauce, gravy and big chunks of soft and succulent pork belly. They tasted out of this world.

The gumbo (NT$180) is a must, but if go on a day when lobster bisque (NT$180) is on special, then opt for this rich and creamy soup. There are wings, too, and they come either in a spicy sauce or a miso/honey/togarashi blend and then sprinkled with bonito flakes (NT$230).

The heart of the meal was the southern boil (NT$1380 to NT$7088). We ordered the lobster, which was large, meaty and moist. The waiter arrived with a steaming bag of shellfish and we went to work. It’s a hands-on approach to digging, cracking, peeling and then eating a melange of crustaceans and shellfish, as well as chunks of corn on the cob, sausages and potatoes.

The Shrimp Daddy

Address:No 11, Lane 180, Guangfu S Rd, Taipei City(台北市光復南路180巷11號)

Telephone:(02) 2771-0910

Open:Tuesday to Friday 12pm to 2:30pm, Sundays to Thursdays 6pm to 11pm, Fridays and Saturdays 6pm to 11pm

Average meal:NT$300 to NT$7000

Details:Chinese and English menu, credit cards accepted

On the Net:蝦老爹美食海鮮/125584314278844

There are other options besides lobster to base your boil on, like Alaskan king crab or Vannamei shrimp. You can also choose your seasoning. We went with the “daddy’s shebang.” It was a little bit buttery, a little bit garlicky, with lots of Cajun zing — big clumps of creole-style herbs were studded throughout. We went easy on the spiciness, so there was almost zero firepower. I wouldn’t hesitate to try the medium or even spicy.

One small quibble was that it lacked the kind of citrus punch I like, a problem solved with the addition of fresh lemon wedges.

I highly recommend The Shrimp Daddy to anyone except those who might have a corporate meeting afterwards. You leave smelling like the south — and very full. If you still have room, however, there is a limited selection of desserts. The Shrimp Daddy, whose mantra playfully reads Who’s YOUR Daddy, is just as much about the food as it is about the experience, and it wins on both counts.

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