thai/chinese: 雲南小吃 (yunnan restaurant)

date june 5, 2011

contact No. 54, Zhongzheng Rd., Daxi Township/大溪鎮中正路54號/03.388.2249

hours unknown

price <300NT

rating ♥♥♥ (4 out of 5 hearts)

99% of the reviews I’ve done in Taiwan are in Taipei, so here’s one not in Taipei. I went to my hometown, Daxi (大溪) in Taoyuan County (桃園縣), over the weekend to spend some time with my family and ended up at a Yunnan style restaurant with my cousin.

For anyone that has been to Daxi, you know it’s small and rural. There isn’t a whole lot of stuff to do. It’s famous for its bead curd (豆干). My family has a bakery there called Shing Feng Pastry (杏芳食品) that has delicious bread and brownies that they’ve owned forever. I spent my summers working at the front counter with my aunt, cutting bread, and packaging cakes. Daxi is green and there is an “old street” (老街) that is popular for tour buses on the weekends. My cousin and I hadn’t eaten yet so we went on a search for food.

My cousin had remembered that there was a Yunnan style restaurant near our bakery, so we headed over there. The restaurant is literally a giant open space with tables and chairs. We got there around 3pm and it had a few people in it. I think it was the staff’s lunch break because they were getting ready to sit down and eat, but they were very nice and didn’t act like we were bothering them at all. Gotta love Taiwanese hospitality.

The entire menu is in Chinese and I can pretty much guarantee that no one at the restaurant speaks English, as not many do in Daxi from my experience growing up there. You’d be better off with Taiwanese. My cousin and I decided to order the papaya salad (木瓜絲涼拌) for 60NT, sweet pepper sauce chicken (椒麻雞) for 120NT, signature thin pork slices (招牌大薄片) for 100NT, baba noodles (粑粑絲) for 50NT, another type of noodle called 米干 for 50NT, and roti (甩餅一份) for 70NT.

As I have mentioned many times, I love papaya salad. This one is among the best I’ve had in Taiwan. It tastes a lot like the one near my office, which is my favorite and tastes most like the ones I’ve eaten in Thailand; this is a very close second. The shreds of young papaya, cucumber, and carrots along with cherry tomatoes and peanuts in a balanced sweet, sour, and spicy sauce was delicious!  The portion was a decent size for the price, too. I would definitely get this again.

I also love sweet pepper sauce chicken. This one was pretty good. The chicken was tender and it wasn’t overly battered. The sauce was a little more on the vinegary side than I’m used to, but it was pretty good. One thing that I really loved about this was the thinly sliced onion under the chicken. I love onions and because the onions are so thin they get pickled in the sauce under the heat of the chicken. Delicious!

The signature thin pork slices were okay. I’m not a huge fan of  this kind of meat, which I was told was pork by my cousin, but she loves it. What I did like was the garlic chips on top. That was my favorite part.

The noodles that we got were “dry” noodles, meaning without soup. I liked the baba noodles because they were thinner and pretty chewy or “qq”. The noodles my cousin got, which were thicker, were okay but too thick for my taste.

The roti or 甩餅 was more like shredded pancake or thousand layer pancake (抓餅). It was pretty good, crisp on the outside and soft on the inside. They drizzled condensed milk on it which as nice, but this was not roti, so don’t expect roti.

Overall, I liked this place. I rarely eat out when I’m in Daxi because my aunt usually cooks and she’s an amazing cook, but it’s good to know that if I do have to go out and eat there is good Yunnan style food less than five minutes away.

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