Tag Archives: sweet pepper chicken

thai: thai ya thai food (泰亞南洋料理店)

date June 30, 2012

contact 1F, No. 47, Lane 313, Fuxing N. Rd., Songshan District, Taipei City/台北市松山區復興北路313巷47號1F/02.8712.7788

hours 7 days a week [lunch] 11:300-14:00 :: [dinner] 17:30-21:30

price 600NT and up

rating ♥♥♥ (4 out of 5 hearts)

nearest mrt Zhongshan Junior High School MRT (捷運中山國中站) or Songshan Airport MRT (捷運松山機場站)

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

All pictures were taken with my iPhone 4S.

After an extremely long overdue reunion with an old college classmate we decided on Thai food for dinner. Her boyfriend said he knew of a good place so off to Thai Ya Thai Food we went.

Thai Ya is located about a 5-10 minute walk from Zhongshan Junior High School MRT (捷運中山國中站) and Songshan Airport MRT (捷運松山機場站). Note that it is easier to find from Zhongshan Junior High School MRT.

According to Thai Ya’s website they have seating for 85. We got dinner around 7:30pm on Saturday evening and the place was pretty packed. I would suggest reservations just in case to avoiding waiting around.

The menu at Thai Ya is pretty extensive and should have something for everyone. It is in both Chinese and English, and there is a picture for each item on their menu. In the back of their menu they have set menus (套餐) for parties of 2 and up. For the three of us we decided to get a set menu for 2 and then order some other stuff a la carte. The waitress allowed us to modify our order to have each dish be a smaller portion so that we could get more stuff. Pretty awesome.

Unfortunately since I didn’t order, I’m not actually sure what we ordered or how much it cost, but I’ll do my best.

As with most Thai restaurants, rice came with the meal. We all appreciated that it was short grain sticky rice vs. long grain jasmine rice.

First out wast the cold pork, which was accompanied by a type of spicy chili vinaigrette. It was pretty good and the pork had a nice “crisp” to it.

I happen to really love pepper chicken and Thai Ya’s Yunnan pepper chicken (雲南椒麻雞) is pretty good. Lightly coated and crispy, it’s not too spicy, vingary, or salty.

I thought we had ordered green curry chicken, but I think we ended up with the coconut chicken, which we had ordered first, but “cancelled” when we ordered the green curry chicken. My friend can’t eat spicy food, so we ordered this sans chilis. The chicken was incredibly tender, but the coconut sauce was not quite coconutty enough for me. While it was good, it could have used a little more coconut flavor.

I know that I’ve mentioned about a zillion times how much I love eggplant, but it’s because I do. I thought this eggplant with meat was very good. It wasn’t too oily, as eggplant dishes often are, or too salty.

Chinese water spinach or water morning glory or whatever you want to call it (I prefer to just call it kong xin cai), is probably my favorite leafy green vegetable. This plate of water spinach (空心菜) was quite delicious. Pretty standard, but nonetheless not overcooked, still crunchy and not over seasoned.

We decided to get another cold dish and based off our server’s suggestion we got the cold seafood salad (涼拌海鮮). Seafoodwise there was shrimp, squid, clams, and fish. If there was more, I missed it. There was also cucumbers, onions, and cherry tomatoes. All the seafood was nice and tender and the dressing on this had a nice tartness to it.

The shrimp pancake (月亮蝦餅) was pretty tasty, pretty standard. We ordered a small portion, which came with four slices, so I’m not sure what a normal comes with.

I’m generally not a fan of bittermelon (苦瓜), but this soup wasn’t bad. This  bittermelon soup had mushrooms and green onions in it. I’m not sure if there was any meat in it, but if there was, I didn’t get any. The broth was pretty good, maybe a little salty for some, but I have a pretty salty palette, so I thought it was fine.

Since we had ordered a two person set meal we got to choose two desserts. These were the low points of the night. We ordered one mixed whatever with sago and other various things, and one with just sago. The coconut soup in both of these were both super watered down and pretty tasteless, which was disappointing because I love sago in coconut soup.

We also ordered a small pitcher of thai iced tea that was not that small. The waitress said that it could pour about 2.5 small cups per person in our party of three, but we think it was way more than that. The tea itself was not bad, a little watered down from what I’m used to, but okay.

Overall, this place is pretty good. Lots of variety, and with the exception of the dessert, nothing was bad. Service was pretty good, too. This place is definitely best for large parties, or small parties like us that like to eat a lot. Based on the prices I saw on the menu, everything is reasonably priced, about 200-300NT per dish, unless you get something super fancy. Thanks to my friend’s boyfriend, who decided to treat us ladies to dinner, I’m not sure what our total was; however, I feel like you could easily eat here for about 1000NT (maybe with less variety than we got) total for a small party of 3-4.

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.

updated/thai: sawasdee

date March 18, 2011
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 original review of Sawasdee.

I went to Sawasdee on a Friday night after work. Got there around 7:15pm and it was full as usual. Luckily I grabbed a table right as a couple left, so I didn’t have to wait.

I mostly just wanted to update this post because I got a picture of their signature fried chicken with sweet pepper sauce rice meal (招牌椒麻雞飯).

For 110NT if you order the meal you get the chicken, rice, soup, steamed egg, and some stir fried veggies (carrots, cauliflower, bok choy, and cabage). As usually all the sides were delicious. Steamed egg was good, soup was flavorful, and the veggies were well seasoned and not overcooked. The chicken was delicious. The batter on the chicken is not very thick; I think it might just be flour and egg. I really love the raw shredded cabbage under the chicken. Let it sit for a while under the hot chicken to warm up and soak up the sauce. The sweet pepper sauce is seriously delicious. It has a pretty good balance of sweet, garlic, chili pepper, and vinegar taste. It’s not too spicy for those sensitive to spice; the kick is pretty light in my opinion, however if you are particularly sensitive to spicy things (for example if you get things small spicy [小辣] or mini spicy [微辣] and think it’s still spicy) I’d maybe stay away. I literally left no sauce on the plate. It tastes great on the chicken and great on the rice. Really I just wanted to share this. Too good not to. Plus for the ridiculously great price of 110NT, this place never disappoints.