Tag Archives: papaya salad

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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thai: sawasdee

date December 19, 2010

contact No. 10, Alley 4, Lane 286, Sec. 3, Roosevelt Road, Daan District, Taipei City/台北市大安區羅斯福路三段286巷4弄10號/02.2368-4300

hours 7 days a week [lunch]11:30-14:00/[dinner]17:00-21:00

price <NT300

rating ♥♥♥♥♥ (5 out of 5 hearts)

nearest mrt Gongguan MRT (公館捷運站)

Read my updated review of Sawasdee.

I first ate at Sawasdee about a year and a half ago when a good friend who lives near it took me. I really love thai food and Sawasdee has since become one of my favorite places in Taipei for good cheap Thai.

Located in a small alley off of Roosevelt Road (羅斯福路) in Gongguan (公館), Sawasdee is kind of hard to find and also right next to another Thai place. I have not been to the Thai place next to it, which you pass getting to Sawasdee, but have never felt the need to since Sawasdee is delicious.

The inside of Sawasdee is pretty small. They have two large round tables and about six other tables that sit either two or four. Around dinner time it’s always pretty packed. If you have a small group, they might just have you share a large round table with others if there is no other seating.

Like most typical Taiwanese mom and pop shops, the menu is in Chinese only; however, they do have pictures on the wall of some of their more popular dishes.

I usually go to Sawasdee for dinner and get one of their set meals. I often end up with their green curry chicken set meal for 100NT. For 100NT you get soup, steamed egg, veggies, a bowl of curry, and rice, pretty amazing deal if you ask me. Everything is delicious. The steamed egg is always tasty and light. The veggies are always lightly seasoned and never over cooked. The soup is nothing special, but it’s not bad at all. The curry is great: coconuty and creamy with a hint of spice. I really love that the coconut taste doesn’t completely overwhelm the dish. The basil also adds great flavor without overwhelming the other flavors. The chicken is always tender, never overcooked. Really, it’s a deliciously tasty deal for 100NT. AND it’s filling.

Stephanie and I decided to try the papaya salad for 120NT. To be honest, for the price, it’s not worth it. The papaya salad by my work is half the price and better. There isn’t really any wrong with it, it’s just not worth how much you pay for it. Everything tastes fresh, the sauce is a little sweeter than I prefer, but I’ve had much better.

Their signature dish is fried chicken with a sweet pepper sauce. I’ve had it before and really like it. One of my favorite parts is the shredded cabbage they put under the chicken: it soaks up the sauce. You can get it in a set meal for 110NT. Their shrimp moon cake is good, pretty standard. You can get it in a large portion or small portion which is nice. I’ve had other things on the menu, but can’t really remember what. What I do remember is that it was all good.

Overall, I really love this place. You can call in orders to pick up (no delivery), but the portions are much smaller. Eating in is the best option. So if you need some good cheap Thai, I highly recommend Sawasdee.