Tag Archives: yong kang street

japanese: 紅蜻蜓食事處 (hóngqīngtíngshíshìchù)

date september 28, 2011

contact No. 35-1, Yongkang St., Daan District, Taipei City/台北市大安區永康街35號之一/02.2394.7517

hours Monday-Friday 18:00-01:00 :: Saturday [lunch] 12:00-15:00 [dinner] 18:00-01:00 :: Sunday  [lunch] 12:00-15:00 [dinner] 17:00-24:00

price 300NT-600NT

rating ♥♥♥ (5 out of 5 hearts)

nearest mrt MRT Dongmen (捷運東門站) Exit 5

For the past two years I have been walking passed 紅蜻蜓食事處 on Yongkang St. (永康街) and always thought, I want to eat here, as I love Japanese izakaya places. Finally after two years, my friend Ashley took me.

紅蜻蜓食事處 is located on Yongkang St. past the park, across from the Dante’s Coffee, at the corner of Yong Kang St. Lane 37.

One of the reasons I never made it to 紅蜻蜓食事處 (roughly translated as Red Dragonfly Restaurant) is because it’s tiny and usually full. Ashley and I met at Yongkang after work around 7:30pm on a Wednesday night and managed to grab the last table, which happened to be one of the two tables they have outside by the entrance. In total, 紅蜻蜓食事處 has only 4 or 5 tables inside and the bar at the grill that in total probably seats around 25 people. Outside, where we sat, they have two tables that seat 2 to 3 people.

The menu at 紅蜻蜓食事處 is in Chinese and Japanese only. Luckily, there is a photograph for every item on the menu (note: what is written on the actual menu may slightly vary from what is written on the order sheet). Ashley and I decided to order:

– Chicken leg skewers – 3 skewers (雞腿肉 – 3串) 90NT
– Pork skewers – 3 skewers (梅花豬肉 – 3串) 90NT
– Bacon wrapped asparagus – 2 skewers (培根蘆筍 – 2串) 100NT
– Japanese style mushrooms – 2 skewers (和風香菇 – 2串) 120NT
– Cold tofu with mountain yam (山藥冷豆腐) 120NT
– Mixed stir fried vegetables (綜合炒野菜) 150NT
– Curry korokke – 2 pcs. (咖哩可樂餅 – 2個) 90NT

I ordered the curry korokke, aka curry croquette, (咖哩可樂餅) for 90NT because I love curry and I love potatoes. These were pretty tasty. For 90NT you get two lightly fried croquettes. The curry flavor was just enough and the sauce on top, which tasted like katsu sauce,  added a nice sweet/tartness.

Ashley recommended the cold tofu with mountain yam (山藥冷豆腐) for 120NT. This was probably my favorite thing we had. The cold tofu with mountain yam comes with a chunk of cold tofu with ground mountain yam, raw egg yolk, and nori (dried seaweed) shavings with some kind of light broth. We’re pretty sure you’re meant to mix it all up and eat it. Warning, this is not going to be for everyone. Mountain yam has a very slimy texture when raw, much like the sliminess of okra. On top of the raw egg, this is pretty slimy, but I really like that. To me, all the flavors work really well together, but again, this dish is not for everyone.

One order of the chicken leg skewers (雞腿肉 – 3串) comes with three skewers for 90NT. The chicken was deliciously tender and marinated in what tasted like teriyaki. Very good.

Ashley picked the meihua pork skewers (梅花豬肉) 3 skewers/90NT (left). I thought the pork was okay. I think of the skewers we ordered it was my least favorite, but it was still good. It was lightly seasoned with salt, but I kind of felt like it was tougher than I generally prefer. We also got bacon wrapped asparagus (培根蘆筍), which came with two skewers (3 pcs. each) for 100NT. I loved these. I liked the saltiness from the bacon and the crunchiness from the asparagus. So good.

For vegetables we got the mixed stir fried vegetables (綜合炒野菜) for 150NT. This was a tasty plate of vegetables (cabbage, bell peppers, onions, king oyster mushrooms, carrots, etc.). It was a little on the salty side, but for me that was okay because I like salty foods. The vegetables were cooked perfectly so that they still had a little crunch, which is great because nothing is worse than a plate of soggy veggies.

The last thing we added to our order was the Japanese style mushrooms (和風香菇), which comes with 2 skewers (6 pcs.) for 120NT. I thought these mushrooms were pretty tasty. The were grilled then topped with ground radish, green onions, and a sweet and tangy sauce. If you got one without much sauce they were kind of plain, but I still liked it; Ashley did too.

Ashley said that inside the restaurant they have on their most popular dishes up on the wall. I’m not sure if anything we ordered was part of that “most popular” list, but overall I thought it was all pretty damn tasty. The thing about going to an izakaya, though, is that it can add up quickly price wise. By the end of our meal we had decided that we had ordered the perfect amount of food for two people; our bill came out to 760NT, but we didn’t order and alcohol, so keep that in mind. There were a lot of other things I wanted to try on the menu so I will definitely have to go back and try them.

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vietnamese/curry: feng yan vietnamese restaurant (鳳燕越南小吃店)

date april 18, 2011

contact No. 5-5, Lishui St., Taipei City,/台北市麗水街5-5號/02.2396.4078

hours 7 days a week [lunch] 11:00-14:00/[dinner]17:00-21:30/closed the last Monday of the month

price 100-150NT

rating  ♥♥♥♥ (4 hearts out of 5)

nearest MRT Guting (捷運古亭站)

I love curry and I love cheap hole in the wall places. My friend Tina brought me to 鳳燕越南小吃店 after a failed attempt to go to the Japanese restaurant next door. Lishui Street (麗水街) is located near Yong Kang Street (永康街), where all the beef noodle soup (牛肉麵) and the original Ding Tai Fung (鼎泰豐) is.

The menu is all in Chinese and located on the wall outside of the restaurant. There was a lot of stuff on the menu that looked really good, but I had a craving for curry, as I often do, so I got the Homestyle Vietnamese Chicken Curry with rice (越南家鄉咖哩雞肉飯) for 110NT. Tina ordered the Coconut Milk Seafood Curry Soup with noodles (椰奶咖哩海鮮湯河粉) for 120NT. We also decided to split the Papaya Salad (涼拌木瓜絲) for 50NT. Note that the restaurant is really small, like maybe sits 15 people max inside. It was packed the whole time we were there; she said this place is pretty popular.

I really love papaya salad, so I’ve had a lot of it. This Papaya Salad (涼拌木瓜絲) for 50NT wasn’t bad. There was something about it that was missing, but overall it was pretty good and had a pretty good balance of sweet, tangy, and spicy.

The Homestyle Vietnamese Chicken Curry with rice (越南家鄉咖哩雞肉飯) for 110NT actually comes with the option of rice or noodles. I opted for rice, although next time I want to try the noodles. The rice comes with eggs, stir fry vegetables and rice cakes, all of which were good; standard, but good. The curry was pretty tasty. There is a drizzle of coconut milk and crushed peanuts on top which is pretty good. The chicken is actually a chicken leg, on the bone, and not sliced chicken, so be prepared for that. The chicken was really tender and very flavorful. What I loved most was that buried under the chicken was a piece of taro and some sweet potato. I love sweet potato and taro, especially when marinated in tasty flavors. The curry flavor was pretty strong, which I like. I really am not a fan of watery curry. I would definitely get this again.

Here’s a closer look at my Homestyle Vietnamese Chicken Curry with rice.

Tina opted for noodles and got the Coconut Milk Seafood Curry Soup with pho noodles for 120NT. All of the noodle dishes come with the option for pho noodles (河粉) or vermicelli noodles (米線); Tina got the pho noodles. She said that it was good, but a little salty. I tried a sip of the soup, and she was right, it was really good, but a little salty. Honestly, I wouldn’t have really minded, as I like salty foods.

Overall, I really liked this place. There was a couple sitting at our table who got Pho and it looked really good. It looked like most of the people there were actually ordering the Pho, so I will definitely be back to try it.

japanese: 漁泊食堂 (yúbóshítáng)

date april 26, 2011

contact No. 5-5, Lishui St., Taipei/台北市麗水街5號之5/09.1108.5480

hours Tuesday-Sunday [lunch] 12:00-14:30/[dinner] 17:30-22:00 (closed Monday)

price anywhere from 150NT-500NT per person

rating ♥♥♥♥ (4 out of 5 hearts)

nearest mrt Guting MRT (捷運古亭站)

Knowing that I love salty foods, last week my friend Tina tried taking me to this place that has really good braised tuna rice (鮪魚魯肉飯). Unfortunately we went on a Monday and they were closed. So this week, we tried again, on not a Monday.

漁泊食堂 is located on Lishui Street (麗水街) near Yongkang Street (永康街). The inside is quite  small. There is only a bar and it seats about 10 people max. We got lucky and grabbed the last three seats so we didn’t have to wait. I heard them say that they do not take reservations. If you want a seat you have to wait there.

The menu at 漁泊食堂 is located behind the bar. Be warned, the staff there does not like to have their pictures taken. You can take pictures, but if it looks like you’re going to be aiming in their direction, let them know first so they can duck out of the way. If not, they’ll say something about it. The menu is in all Chinese, but it sounded like one of the chefs speaks a little English (a foreign couple came in and he was trying to help them order), but it would be best with a Chinese speaker.

My friend and her boyfriend had been before, so I let them order.

So first thing they did was put this giant basket of fresh fish in front of us. They put the daily fish selection in this basket and let you chose what you want. The staff is very helpful. They asked if we were going to order fish individually or one to share, then they asked what texture/flavor we preferred. Based on our criteria (shared and “qq”) we ended up with the rock bass (石鱸魚) for 360NT.

I love bass for it’s flaky but “chewy” (“qq”) texture. This rock fish was grilled with just a touch of salt. I generally prefer my fish with minimal additives, so this was perfect for me. Fish is already so flavorful itself that I feel like it’s best enjoyed naturally.

I had never had braised tuna rice (鮪魚魯肉飯) before, only braised pork rice or lu wei fan (魯肉飯 or 滷肉飯). For 40NT a bowl, this was pretty great. It wasn’t as salty as you would expect lu rou fan to be, but none the less, it was tasty. It almost tasted like there was curry in it, but I’m not sure.

The yu bo mixed rice (named after the restaurant) is like tuna salad on rice. I happen to really like tuna salad and this was obviously better than regular old tuna salad. Like the braised tuna rice, this too was 40NT a bowl. I think next time I’ll get this.

I love apples and I love pumpkin, so when I saw the apple pumpkin side dish (蘋果南瓜) for 50NT, I was really excited. It’s pretty much mashed cooked pumpkin with bits of raw apple and topped with dried cranberries served cold. It tasted like they didn’t add anything to the pumpkin mash, which is good. The bits of apple provided a nice crunch and sweet/tartness.

Nick ordered the squid with fish eggs (魚卵花枝) for 60NT. In the last few years I’ve found a love for raw squid and I’ve always loved fish eggs. This cold dish is just slices of squid smothered in fish eggs. There was some kind of sauce in it that helped the fish eggs adhere to the squid, but I couldn’t make it out. Anyways, this was good.

Nick also ordered this, the horseradish octopus (山葵章魚) for 60NT. I’m generally not a huge fan of horseradish unless it’s in a bloody marry, but for some reason I found myself wanting to eat this. The horseradish is really pungent, so this dish has a kick to it. I liked it okay, wasn’t my favorite, nor would I have ordered this on my own, but none the less, it wasn’t bad. This dish was also cold.

Basically Nick was in charge of ordering, because he ordered the white shrimp (白蝦) 5pc. for 150NT as well. These shrimp were grilled with a touch of salt and then served. They were pretty meaty and tasty. Don’t forget to suck the head!

We decided to add a cup of soup to our meal, so we went with the gobo tempura turnip soup (牛旁天婦蘿湯) for 30NT a bowl. The tempura is not the crispy fried tempura you usually associate with the word tempura, but chinese style fish cake. I happen to love gobo, so I really liked the gobo tempura. I also love turnip soup. There was great flavor in this soup, good balance of salt with the turnip broth. Good for summer weather.

All in all, for a little over 1000NT total for three people, I left very satisfied. There are a lot of other items on the menu that sound good too that I’d like to try. While this place isn’t exactly cheap, it’s definitely a quality over quantity place. Pretty sure I’ll be back here in the near future to try some of the other dishes.

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.

japanese/ramen: 樂麵屋 (rakumenya)


date December 10, 2010
contact No. 7, Lane 10, Yong-Kang Street, Taipei City/台北市永康街10巷7號/02.2395.1787
hours 7 days a week 11:30-22:00 (last call for orders at 21:40)
price <300NT
rating ♥♥♥♥♥ (5 out of 5 hearts)
nearest MRT mrt dongmen station (捷運動門站)

So luckily one of my friends in Taipei loves food as much as I do and introduced me to the wonder that is 樂麵屋 (Rakumeya). Located in an alley off of Yong Kang Street (永康街, the street famous for beef noodle soup and what was once Ice Monster), 樂麵屋’s red and white sign can be spotted.

When our party of three arrived at 19:30 on Friday night there was a wait. Luckily the wait was not too long, but really, the wait is worth your effort. There is not a whole lot of seating inside, maybe 10 tables seating 2-4 people and a bar (noodle bar) near the door that probably seats another 10 people.

Upon seating the server asked us whether or not we had been before because if not they would explain the ordering system. Stephanie had been before so she said she had, although we later realized we should have had them explain it to us anyways because ordering can be complicated, especially for those who cannot read Chinese. There are 3 menus at the table for patrons to fill out. Each menu is for a different item. Soup noodles, dry noodles, and I think appetizers were each their own menu. Also, each person must fill out their own menu. Chris and I ordered the spicy ramen (No. 7), so we each filled out the menu pictured above. Best thing about this place, you can pick the thickness of the broth, the width of the noodles,how cooked you want your noodles, and how much noodles you want.

For the broth they give three choices: heavy, medium, and light. The heavy is noted to be what traditional Japanese ramen is like, it is more flavorful, but also more salty. This is what both Chris and I chose. Second you choose the width of your noodles; I went with thin noodles, Chris with the wider noodles. Third you choose how cooked you want your noodles. Chris and I both went with the more al dente noodles, which was noted to be the more traditional Japanese way of eating them. Lastly, you can choose if you want extra noodles or not. If you aren’t sure if you want extra noodles, no worries, you can add them for free (only the thin noodles, but if your order the wider noodles you can still add free thin noodles) at any point in the meal.

I’m totally in love with this place. My ramen was great! If you order the No. 7 or 8 (both spicy) you can choose how spicy you want it. I went with medium spicy (中辣), which I thought was perfect for what I was looking for: enough to taste, but not enough to numb your mouth at all. However I think Chris thought it was a little too spicy (note that I pretty much eat sriracha self by itself). The broth was really flavorful without being too salty at all. The meat was great, tender and flavorful. The veggies added good balance as something not seasoned and fresh to counter the richness of the broth. I LOVED the garlic chips sprinkled on top, so good. My noodles were cooked almost perfectly, I wouldn’t have minded if they were a little more al dente. Basically, this was ramen heaven in Taipei.

I only had one bite of Stephanie’s garlic noodles, but it was enough to let me know that it was good. Although I can’t really recall any specifics about this dish, I know I can say that if you are not looking for soupy, and you like garlicky noodles, this would be a good choice.

Overall, I really love this place. The broth kind of reminds me of my favorite ramen place in San Francisco, Katana-ya on Geary at Mason. We were sad to find that the day we went they were sold out of their signature potstickers, so next time I will be trying those. All in all, while in Taipei I guess you could say that 210NT for a bowl of ramen is on the steeper side of “cheap eats” it is totally worth it.