date april 26, 2011
contact No. 5-5, Lishui St., Taipei/台北市麗水街5號之5/09.1108.5480
hours Tuesday-Sunday [lunch] 12:00-14:30/[dinner] 17:30-22:00 (closed Monday)
price anywhere from 150NT-500NT per person
rating ♥♥♥♥ (4 out of 5 hearts)
nearest mrt Guting MRT (捷運古亭站)
Knowing that I love salty foods, last week my friend Tina tried taking me to this place that has really good braised tuna rice (鮪魚魯肉飯). Unfortunately we went on a Monday and they were closed. So this week, we tried again, on not a Monday.
漁泊食堂 is located on Lishui Street (麗水街) near Yongkang Street (永康街). The inside is quite small. There is only a bar and it seats about 10 people max. We got lucky and grabbed the last three seats so we didn’t have to wait. I heard them say that they do not take reservations. If you want a seat you have to wait there.
The menu at 漁泊食堂 is located behind the bar. Be warned, the staff there does not like to have their pictures taken. You can take pictures, but if it looks like you’re going to be aiming in their direction, let them know first so they can duck out of the way. If not, they’ll say something about it. The menu is in all Chinese, but it sounded like one of the chefs speaks a little English (a foreign couple came in and he was trying to help them order), but it would be best with a Chinese speaker.
My friend and her boyfriend had been before, so I let them order.
So first thing they did was put this giant basket of fresh fish in front of us. They put the daily fish selection in this basket and let you chose what you want. The staff is very helpful. They asked if we were going to order fish individually or one to share, then they asked what texture/flavor we preferred. Based on our criteria (shared and “qq”) we ended up with the rock bass (石鱸魚) for 360NT.
I love bass for it’s flaky but “chewy” (“qq”) texture. This rock fish was grilled with just a touch of salt. I generally prefer my fish with minimal additives, so this was perfect for me. Fish is already so flavorful itself that I feel like it’s best enjoyed naturally.
I had never had braised tuna rice (鮪魚魯肉飯) before, only braised pork rice or lu wei fan (魯肉飯 or 滷肉飯). For 40NT a bowl, this was pretty great. It wasn’t as salty as you would expect lu rou fan to be, but none the less, it was tasty. It almost tasted like there was curry in it, but I’m not sure.
The yu bo mixed rice (named after the restaurant) is like tuna salad on rice. I happen to really like tuna salad and this was obviously better than regular old tuna salad. Like the braised tuna rice, this too was 40NT a bowl. I think next time I’ll get this.
I love apples and I love pumpkin, so when I saw the apple pumpkin side dish (蘋果南瓜) for 50NT, I was really excited. It’s pretty much mashed cooked pumpkin with bits of raw apple and topped with dried cranberries served cold. It tasted like they didn’t add anything to the pumpkin mash, which is good. The bits of apple provided a nice crunch and sweet/tartness.
Nick ordered the squid with fish eggs (魚卵花枝) for 60NT. In the last few years I’ve found a love for raw squid and I’ve always loved fish eggs. This cold dish is just slices of squid smothered in fish eggs. There was some kind of sauce in it that helped the fish eggs adhere to the squid, but I couldn’t make it out. Anyways, this was good.
Nick also ordered this, the horseradish octopus (山葵章魚) for 60NT. I’m generally not a huge fan of horseradish unless it’s in a bloody marry, but for some reason I found myself wanting to eat this. The horseradish is really pungent, so this dish has a kick to it. I liked it okay, wasn’t my favorite, nor would I have ordered this on my own, but none the less, it wasn’t bad. This dish was also cold.
Basically Nick was in charge of ordering, because he ordered the white shrimp (白蝦) 5pc. for 150NT as well. These shrimp were grilled with a touch of salt and then served. They were pretty meaty and tasty. Don’t forget to suck the head!
We decided to add a cup of soup to our meal, so we went with the gobo tempura turnip soup (牛旁天婦蘿湯) for 30NT a bowl. The tempura is not the crispy fried tempura you usually associate with the word tempura, but chinese style fish cake. I happen to love gobo, so I really liked the gobo tempura. I also love turnip soup. There was great flavor in this soup, good balance of salt with the turnip broth. Good for summer weather.
All in all, for a little over 1000NT total for three people, I left very satisfied. There are a lot of other items on the menu that sound good too that I’d like to try. While this place isn’t exactly cheap, it’s definitely a quality over quantity place. Pretty sure I’ll be back here in the near future to try some of the other dishes.