I’ve just come back from a trip to Taiwan where I attended my friend’s wedding in Taichung. We’ve known each other since university days in New Zealand, so I was really happy that I was able to find this gap in between current examinations and the start of summer school to celebrate with her.
After the wedding, a group of us traveled with the newlyweds for a short trip to Sun Moon Lake. Yes, we were light bulbs, but very happening light bulbs who had not seen each other for many years and were eager to catch up! Interestingly, there were 4 Taiwanese within this group, but when we got to Sun Moon Lake, no one knew where to go for dinner. I had been to Sun Moon Lake 3 years before and vaguely remembered this restaurant recommended to me by the B&B I stayed in. When I tentatively shared this memory with the group, their response was, “Ok Gen is organizing dinner. Set.” OMG!
So I puffed my chest and walked back to the B&B I stayed at, introduced myself to the owner and ask him to direct me to the restaurant he had recommended to me 3 years ago. Laughingly, the owner let me cut through his B&B to the back where the restaurant was located and promptly helped me to book a table for the 10 of us. Hence, dinner was secured.
It’s great being in a big group. You get to try many different dishes. The restaurant was small, but very very busy and very crowded. It was clearly a family run business – little kids took down our orders and they were very good at answering our questions and making recommendations! Being 10 people, we ordered the 10 person set menu and we were allowed to swop dishes as well. For NT3000 in a very touristy area, this was really very good value for money.
Cold chicken with plum sauce (I think) – This dish came out really fast. The chicken was really tender and despite being a meat dish, the chilled meat gave a really refreshing start to the meal.
Wild boar meat with onions and spring onions cooked on charcoal. Possibly one of my favourite dishes of the night. The meat was very flavourful and the spring onions, fresh and crunchy.
Pig skin with sliced turnip and passionfruit sauce.This was like one of those mystery dishes you eat but you don’t know what it is. Everyone was guessing some kind of seafood but when we finally asked one the young servers, they told us it was pig skin. Sure didn’t taste like it….
Bamboo shoots with cheese. I suppose this is what you call a local fusion dish. Local bamboo shoots sprinkled with cheese and seaweed powder. I’m very partial to bamboo shoots, but this was a really awesome simple dish. This went away quite quickly.
Local stir fried vegetables
Bamboo rice – sticky rice and meat cooked inside a bamboo stick
Tempura prawns with mayo and sprinkles. SPRINKLES! Sugary stuff on prawns? When I pointed this out to J, she told me that it’s quite a Taiwanese thing to put sprinkles. Despite that, the sprinkles didn’t make much of a difference. Or rather, I prefer to keep the savoury dishes separate from the sweet components.
Tempura white asparagus with pepper, ketchup and plum powder. I was quite surprised to learn that Taiwan grows asparagus. This was another simple wonderful vegetable dish which we all enjoyed.
Double boiled chicken soup. I’m not usually one for soups, but I really enjoyed this one. Chicken soup is supposed to help you boost your energy levels and while at the wedding dinner (where chicken soup was also served), we were also told by the waiter that this would help to sober one up. The whole table took this piece of advice very seriously and the bowl did not go away empty.
Steamed fish – It seems that my bad luck with steamed fish has ended.No fishy smell, and the meat was really tender, melt in your mouth kind of soft. I especially loved soaking the fish meat in the gravy as well.
Sliced pineapple and black tea jelly – I’ve really grown to like black tea since visiting Taiwan, so much so that I order it at the bubble tea shops whenever I can. Taiwan is also famous for its pineapples, guavas and lychees. The taste is quite different from the fruits that we get in Singapore and I can only say that Taiwanese people are so so lucky.
As it turns out, the restaurant that I remembered from 3 years ago has not failed me. Everyone at the table pronounced dinner a wonderful gastronomy experience (phew!) and we all left with full tummies. Definitely something to come back for the next time I travel to Sun Moon Lake. Please make reservations once you arrive because the restaurant is very very popular!
Add: 日月餐坊, B2, No. 125, 日月潭水社村中山路, Yuchi Township, Nantou County, Taiwan
Phone:+886 4 9285 6806