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)
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.