Category Archives: orange [zhonghe-xinlu] line (中和新蘆線)

vegetarian: 舒果 (shū guǒ)

date january 07, 2011

contact No. 65, Sec. 2, Nanjing E. Rd., Zhongshan District, Taipei City/台北市中山區南京東路二段65號/02.2541.2511

hours 7 days a week [lunch] 11:30-14:30 (last reservation at 14:00) :: [dinner] 17:30-22:00 (last reservation at 21:00)

price 398NT (+10% service charge)

rating ♥♥ (4 out of 5 hearts)

nearest mrt Songjiang Nanjing MRT (捷運松江南京站)

website http://www.sufood.com.tw/ (Chinese Only)

Sorry being completely MIA for over a month. Complete fail on my part. I should make it a New Year’s resolution to update at least once a week. Let’s see if I can do that.

This was actually my second time to Shu Guo; I took my mom who is vegetarian in December, but forgot my camera. Anyways, my friend Andrew is in Taipei from Berkeley and since he’s a vegetarian (newly a pescatarian) I figured perfect time to go back WITH my camera.

Shu Guo has three locations in Taipei and other various location around Taiwan. We went to the location on Nanjing E. Road (南京東路) near Songjiang Nanjing MRT station Exit 8 (捷運松江南京站). I’ve also been to the location on Roosevelt Road (羅斯福路) near Guting MRT station Exit 3 (捷運古亭站); located on the third floor above the steak house Tasty.

MAKE RESERVATIONS! We originally wanted to eat at the Roosevelt Road location, but when I called in Friday afternoon for a reservation, they were booked for Saturday.

Shu Guo’s Nanjing E. Road location is three stories: the first story is the greeting area, the second story is a dining room, and I’m not sure about the third floor, but I saw people going up and down the stairs.

The inside of Shu Guo is really clean. The tables are a little close together to maximize the number of people that can dine, but it’s not like you’re eating with your neighbor, you’re just kind of close to them.

The menu at Shu Guo is in Chinese only, but luckily there is a picture for every item.

First course to come out is the appetizer course, which is made up of (from left to right) konjac with tomato (蒟蒻蕃茄), water lotus with pepper sauce (彩椒水蓮), and mountain yam with blueberry sauce (藍莓山藥). The first time I was told to eat from left to right, lightest to heaviest in flavor. The konjac has a pickled plum flavor that I’m generally not a huge fan of, but it’s not bad. I really like raw mountain yam for its crunchiness and sliminess; also, I think the blueberry sauce works well with the mountain yam.

The rosemary bread sticks (迷迭香火柴麵包) came out at the same time the appetizer did. They were warm and accompanied with a small shot glass of a ranch dressing-like dipping sauce. The bread was good, but nothing particularly outstanding.

The next course after the appetizer is the salad, which has two choices: seasonal vegetable sticks salad (時蔬棒沙拉) or yogurt fruit salad (優格水果沙拉). I opted for the seasonal vegetable sticks salad. All the veggies were fresh, cold, and crunchy. The sauce in the middle is a thousand island dressing. Best part of this dish is the little lettuce wrap in the shot glass. The dressing in the shot glass is some kind of sesame dressing. It’s delicious. I’d suggest eating the lettuce thing and then using the remaining dressing to dip the other veggies into.

Andrew opted for the yogurt fruit salad. He said it was good.

After the salad comes the soup. There are four choices of soup: Italian style stew (義式燉蔬煲), Milan pumpkin soup (米蘭南瓜濃湯), green bean mushroom soup (青漾蕈菇濃湯), and burdock cashew broth (牛蒡腰果清湯). I opted for the Millan pumpkin soup. The soup is delicious, very lightly seasoned so what stands out is the pumpkin flavor. Tasty! Andrew opted for the burdock cashew broth. It was really good and really flavorful. Inside the broth was burdock, cashews, lotus root, etc.

Right before our main course came we were served with the “non-staple item” which is five-grain rice (果香五穀炊飯). I thought this was pretty good. There are also mushrooms in the rice so it has a nice mushroom flavor.

There are a lot of choices for the main course. The first time I went to Shu Guo I got the calzone (卡洛佐尼枕頭披薩), which was delicious and big enough to share. This time around I opted for the king oyster mushrooms with twice baked potato (花香杏鮑菇[佐洋芋盅]). The king oyster mushrooms are served on top of an italian sauce with some sweet potato mash. The mushrooms were really good: tender and juicy. The twice baked potato was kind of dry and not hot…although, still good. The potato is filled with a mushroom and tomato mix. I would get this again.

Andrew went with the baked vegetable cheese macaroni (烤鮮蔬芝士通心粉). This was pretty good. I liked the cream sauce and baked cheese is always good.

Lastly is dessert and a drink. I chose the angel cheese mousse (天使起司慕斯) and chamomile pomelo tea (洋甘菊香柚花茶). I love cheesecake and this cheese mousse is like a really light fluffy cheesecake. It’s pretty delicious. There is a thin layer of chocolate cake at the bottom and some berry flavored mousse in the center of the cake. I’ve gotten this both times I’ve been and will likely get it next time I go. The chamomile pomelo tea is nice and light in flavor, so if you’re looking for something hot and not sweet, this is a good choice.

Andrew went with the sesame walnut milk pudding (芝麻核桃奶酪) and ashitaba aloe vera drink (明日葉蘆薈露). If you’re looking for a dessert that isn’t very sweet I think the sesame walnut milk pudding is a good choice. The milk pudding is really smooth and pretty tasty. The ashitaba aloe drink was interesting. I only had a sip, but it seemed pretty good.

Last time I was here, my mom got the lemon apple pie (香檸蘋果派), which is served warm. It was pretty delicious. I’d definitely get it again.

Overall everything here is pretty great. It’s clean, the service is good, the food is good, and it’s totally affordable. There are a lot of other main dishes that I want to try so I’m sure I’ll be back. If you have a vegetarian friend or family member, or just want some veggies I’d definitely recommend Shu Guo.

sushi/japanese: hashi sushi (橋壽司)

date november 15, 2011

contact No. 292, Sec. 2, Yonghe Rd., Yonghe District, New Taipei City/新北市永和區永和路二段292號/02.8925.2223/0975.780.275

hours 7 days a week [lunch] 11:00-14:30 :: [dinner] 17:00-22:00

price 300NT-600NT

rating ♥♥♥ (5 out of 5 hearts)

nearest mrt Dingxi MRT (捷運頂溪站)

I think that every time I post about sushi I say it’s my favorite thing to eat ever. So, to drive home that point: I love sushi, it’s my favorite thing ever.

Ashley has been telling me about “the cheap sushi place in Yonghe” for a while now, but we haven’t been able to go until tonight. Totally worth it.

Hashi Sushi is located in Yonghe District right next to the original location of Yonghe Soy Milk King (永和豆漿). The nearest MRT is Dingxi (頂溪). Just walk north up Yonghe Rd. (永和路) toward Zhongzheng Bridge (中正橋) and you’ll see it right past Yonghe Soy Milk King (aka Yonghe Doujiang).

Hashi Sushi is kind of a hole in the wall kind of joint. Nothing fancy, wallpaper kind of peeling off the walls, but honestly that’s my favorite kind of sushi place. My favorite sushi place in San Francisco is Sushi Zone and it most definitely falls under the category of “hole in the wall” sushi joints. Hashi has two floors; the first floor has the sushi bar and about 6-7 tables.

I know this picture makes the second floor of Hashi look like ghosts and creepy Japanese horror film children should be lurking, but Ashley said when it’s open (which it was not when we went) she prefers to sit up here.

The main menu at Hashi is in Chinese and English. There is a picture for every item, which is always helpful. They have a pretty large variety of fish. Most of their menu is made up of nigiri sushi; they also have maki sushi, hand rolls, chirashi, sashimi, and salads. Prices are not listed on the picture menu, but on the order sheet (which is in Chinese only). All the nigiri runs about 30NT-90NT for 2 pieces. Hand rolls range from 30NT-160NT and chirashi 250NT-680NT.

On a white board behind the sushi bar they have some specials that aren’t on the main menu.

Between Ashley and I, we ordered:
– Seared Scallop Nigri Sushi (炙干貝) 90NT
– Sweet Shrimp Nigiri Sushi (胭脂蝦) 80NT
– Grilled Chicken Wings (雞翅; 2串) 60NT
– Hamachi Kama (青魽下巴) 250NT
– Mixed Seafood Chirashi (海鮮丼) 250NT
– Salmon with Salmon Roe Chirashi (鮭魚親子丼) 300NT

I love scallops. Raw, baked, pan seared, whatever, I love them all. Ashley said their Seared Scallops were delicious and she was right. For 90NT you get two pieces of Seared Scallop Nigiri Sushi (炙干貝), or on their menu “Roasting Scallop”. Lightly torched, the scallops were sweet and buttery. Melt in your mouth buttery. Squeeze some of the kumquat juice on the scallops for a little acid.

Another thing I love, amaebi, otherwise known as Sweet Shrimp. For 80NT we ordered the Sweet Shrimp Nigiri Sushi (胭脂蝦) 80NT, or “Big Sweet Shrimp” on their menu. Like the scallops, the sweet shrimp was melt in your mouth delicious. Sweet, fresh, and melted in my mouth.

Ashley ordered the Grilled Chicken Wings (雞翅) for 60NT. One order comes with two skewers of two wings each. The wings are really tender and pretty tasty. Add some lime for acid.

Ashley also ordered the Hamachi Kama (aka Yellowtail Cheek). For 250NT you get a pretty sizable portion of hamachi kama (青魽下巴). The cheek is lightly seasoned with salt and comes with a side of grated daikon radish. The fish was really tender and delicious. Add lime for some acid.

Ashley ordered herself the Mixed Seafood Chirashi (海鮮丼) for 250NT, known as Mix Sashimi with Rice on their menu. I’m not exactly sure what all was in this, but for sure there was tuna, salmon, sweet shrimp, squid, salmon roe, and tamago. She was happy with it and everything looked tasty and fresh.

My favorite fish is salmon, so I opted for the Salmon with Salmon Roe Chirashi (鮭魚親子丼) for 300NT. This bowl had some seared salmon, along with completely raw salmon, salmon roe, sliced onions and tamago. Everything was delicious and fresh. You get a lot of salmon, which is nice. For the price and quality, this is a pretty delicious deal.

Overall, I kind of love this place. The fish is fresh and affordable. There are a lot of other things on the menu that I want try and will most definitely be back here.

bbq: yuan shao (原燒)

date april 17, 2011

contact No. 690, Jingping Rd., Zhonghe/中和市景平路690號/02.2249.1138

hours [lunch] 11:30-14:30/[dinner] 17:30-00:00

price set meal 598NT + 10% service charge

rating ♥♥♥ (4 out of 5 hearts)

nearest mrt Yongan Market MRT (捷運永安市場站)

website http://www.yuanshao.com.tw/

My family randomly calls me and tells me to be ready in 10 minutes because they’ve made reservations that are in 30 minutes. My first experience at Yuan Shao (原燒) was a result of one of these early morning phone calls. For my cousin’s son’s second birthday, we celebrated by eating at Yuan Shao.

The Zhonghe location of Yuan Shao is not really near any MRT station. It’s between Yongan Market (永安市場) and Jingan (景安), but even then, it’s not close. It’s located close to the Zhongshan/Jinping intersection (中山景平路口), across  from the large Carrefour/Hola building.

There is a decent amount of seating at Yuan Shao. I think I saw that there is a second floor as well. This picture is misleading in terms of seat availability. I highly recommend making reservations. This picture was taken as they were closing for the lunch/dinner break, so it’s pretty empty; however, earlier it was completely full.

They have menus in both Chinese and English. Also, they have a full picture menu, which is awesome. The set meal has 7 parts: main meat, salad, soup, slushy drink, stone pot dish, dessert, and drink. I did see that you can order things a la carte as well, but it seems like everyone orders the meal and just adds things if needed.

For my meal I chose the Yuan Shao assorted beef platter, tomato beef salad, garlic clam soup, lemon slush, salmon mixed rice, tofu purple rice dessert, and black tea with milk foam.

Salads were served first. The tomato beef salad (牛蕃茄沙拉) is literally a whole tomato sliced served with pickled onion shavings and a sprinkle of beef with a vinaigrette. I really liked this. The vinaigrette was a good balance of sweet and tart and not oily. The sprinkle of beef provided the salt for the dish. It actually kind of reminded me of bacon bits, but beef bacon bits and pickled onions can really never go wrong.

My aunt and cousin got the fruit yogurt salad (水果優格沙拉). I didn’t have any, but it looked pretty, but standard.

The garlic clam soup (大蒜蛤蜊湯) was pretty good. The were whole cloves of garlic and a lot of clams. Overall there was a pretty good balance between the garlic and clam flavors. There was also a basil leaf that added a subtle basil flavor, too. It might have been a little on the salty side, but for me it was fine since I like salty foods.

I decided to get the Yuan Shao assorted beef platter (原燒牛肉拼盤). I was the only person to order beef. It was really good. The servers give you tips on how to bbq your meat. She recommended that I place the beef on the grill, sprinkle a little salt on it, grill it for about 10 seconds, flip it, grill for another 8 seconds, then eat it. It was delicious. I can’t remember what kinds of beef was part of this assortment, I only remember that it was 4 different kinds.

My cousin and aunt ordered the Yuan Shao assorted pork platter (原燒豬肉拼盤). The server recommended that the pork be throughly cooked before eating it. Like the beef, she recommended that a little salt be sprinkled on during the grilling. I ate some of the pork as well and it was all delicious.

My cousin told me that the Yuan Shao assorted seafood platter (原燒海鮮拼盤) is new. They used to only have beef, pork, and chicken, but now they have seafood for those who do not eat meat.

For the stone pot dish I chose the salmon mixed rice (鮭魚拌飯). They mix the rice in a stone pot for you at the table, then scoop it out into two bowls, probably to save space and so that you don’t have a hot stone pot at your table. I love salmon, so I had to chose it. They ask you if you eat fish eggs or not before they add the salmon roe, so for those who don’t, you can leave it out; however, the rice is not heavily seasoned, so if you want the extra salt, the roe helps. The rice was lightly seasoned, which was good since you have a lot of meat to eat with it.

My cousin got the stone pot bibimbap (石鍋拌飯). It is like korean bibimbap, just without a lot of veggies or any meat. There is kimchi and egg, though. Since they make the rice for you table side and split it into two bowls, my cousin and I traded a bowl each. The bibimbap had more flavor, but I think I preferred the salmon rice.

Part of the meal is a seasonal slushy (季節冰沙). Currently the flavors are lemon and cranberry. I got the lemon. It tasted like it had little aloe bits in it or something. Either way, it was pretty good. Good balance of sweet and tart, pretty refreshing. Also, you can get refills of the slushy for free.

I decided on the tofu purple rice dessert (白玉紫米). This was delicious! The top tofu tasted like it was flavored with vanilla or something. Although it’s supposedly tofu, it tasted more like milk pudding or panna cotta. The bottom layer of purple rice was a mixture of purple rice and red bean. I really liked that this dessert was not very sweet, yet still really satisfying as a dessert.

My cousin’s husband opted for the milk curd with brown sugar (黑糖奶酪). I didn’t have any, but it looked good.

My aunt, cousin, and the nanny got the red bean soup with osmanthus flower (桂花紅豆湯). Along with the soup came a skewer of fried rice balls (炸湯圓). I didn’t have any soup, but my aunt gave me a few of the rice balls, which were lightly crisped on the outside and nice and chewy, or qq, in the middle.

For my drink I got the black tea with milk foam (奶霜紅茶). When I chose my drink I was expecting milk tea, so when it came out looking like a pint of beer with a nice head on it I was confused. We were told not to mix it and to just drink it as it was. It’s kind of awesome the way it works. The milk foam on the top mixes into the tea when you drink it, so while it doesn’t look like milk tea, it tastes like milk tea. Pretty cool, and pretty tasty. It was a little on the sweet side for me, but still not that sweet. For the average person it’d probably be fine. I generally get drinks with only 1/3 sugar (微糖).

For my cousin’s son’s birthday they brought out a cute little ice cream bowl. It wasn’t anything special, but it was pretty.

Overall, this place was awesome. For the price you will leave full and satisfied. This is a great place for a birthday dinner or to take friends. They have locations all over Taiwan, including two locations in Taipei City at:

– No. 23, Sec. 1, Nanjing E. Rd., Taipei/台北市南京東路一段 23 號/02.2567.8338

– B1, No. 383, Sec. 4, Renai Rd., Taipei/台北市仁愛路四段 383 號 B1/02.2775.5783

One in Xindian (新店):

– 2F, No. 86, Minquan Rd., Xindian District, New Taipei City/新北市新店區民權路86號2F/02-2219-1613

And one in Banqiao (板橋):

– No. 258, Sec. 1, Zhongshan Rd., Banqiao District, New Taipei City/新北市板橋區中山路一段258號/02.2963.0477

Anyways, I totally recommend this place. Very good.

japanese/sushi: tsukiji market (築地市場)

date february 09, 2011
contact No. 34-4, Yong Kang St., Taipei/02.2396.8088/台北市永康街34-4號
hours 7 days a week [lunch] 12:00-14:30 [dinner] 17:00-22:00 (last call at 21:00)
price depends. anywhere between 300-1500+
rating ♥♥♥♥♥ (5 hearts out of 5)
nearest mrt MRT Dongmen (捷運東門站) Exit 5

For my induction into the quarter century landmark, my friend and I decided to celebrate with our favorite: sushi. I never realized how many restaurants there are on Yong Kang Street (永康街), but Stephanie said there were a lot of sushi places that looked pretty good, so we decided to try one. After some random walking, we saw Tsukiji Market (築地市場), named after the famous fish market in Tokyo.

Tsukiji Market is a small two story restaurant. The first floor is the sushi bar which seats about 10. We were asked if we wanted to sit at the bar or upstairs. We took a look at the upstairs; it’s pretty small, maybe seats 15 people total with only a few tables. We opted to sit at the bar because we like to watch the chefs in action.

The menu is hand written and only in Chinese, so be warned non-Chinese readers. The menu is split into sections: sashimi, cold appetizers, hot appetizers, fried foods, chirashi bowls (180-880NT), hot bowls (160-380NT), and soups. The waitress pointed out that they do not typically offer nigiri sushi or rolls, only sashimi. However, she said if you wanted nigiri or rolls, you could tell the sushi chef and he would do his best to accommodate you. The waitress was very nice and helped us pick some things out.

We both love sashimi, so we had to get some. We opted for the Tsukiji daily sashimi plate (築地本日刺身) for 580NT. The plate comes with types of fish, two pieces each. I’m not exactly sure what types of fish some of this was, but it was all fresh and delicious. I don’t like wasabi, but I do appreciate fresh wasabi and that is what they served.

While sitting at the bar, we saw the chefs making a salad that looked delicious. We asked the server what it was and it just so happened to be the combination seafood salad (綜合海鮮沙拉) for 280NT. We decided to get it and it was a very good decision. In terms of seafood there was shrimp, octopus, crab meat, and fish eggs. There were a lot of vegetables, too: okra, broccoli, baby corn, cherry tomatoes, seaweed, cucumbers, and red onions. All of this was served on a bed of iceberg lettuce and topped off with a japanese vinaigrette. This salad was delicious! Everything tasted fresh, the vegetables were cooked perfectly, and the dressing was nice and tasty. Definitely recommend this.

Stephanie and I really love cod roe and potatoes, so when the waitress recommended the cod roe baked potatoes (明太子烤洋芋) for 180NT, we had to get it. At first we thought they forgot our order since it took forever to get to us, but I think they might have just been waiting for us to finish other things so that we’d have space on our portion of the bar. It was well worth the wait. It was amazing. The potato slices were pretty thin and baked just so that the edges were crisp, but the center soft. The baked cod roe on top was delicious. We savored every last bite.

The couple next to us ordered the chicken karage (和風炸雞) for 160NT and it looked pretty tasty, so we decided to get an order. The outside was deliciously crispy and the chicken inside was juicy and tender. The chicken was marinated and had a slight sweetness to it that was perfect.

At the last minute, right before last call, Stephanie decided to order the beef carpaccio (生牛肉佐碰醋) for 260NT. Like everything else, this was pretty tasty. Unlike traditional carpaccio, the vinegar was separate from the beef. Everything was good. Get a little bit of everything for the perfect bite.

Stephanie asked if they did anything for birthdays and one of the chef’s asked if I needed him to sing happy birthday to me. He was relieved when I said no, something about he had to sing it yesterday. Either way, at that point it did not sound like they did anything. Then suddenly, sushi appeared in front of me. I’m not sure exactly what kind of fish the white was, but the other was maguro. Either way, both was delicious, lightly torched to bring out the fats. Usually birthday freebies are desserts, and while I am a dessert whore, free sushi is way better.

Basically, I love this place. We started talking with the workers as they were cleaning up, and they were all very nice. I noticed that they do take reservations, so I recommend them if you want to sit at the bar. We went on a Wednesday night and the bar was full most of the night. Really, for the price, you definitely get the quality. The portions and quality of what you get for the price is well worth it. They also have a lot of sake and a few bottled beers. I will definitely be back.