2nd post of the Taiwan series detailing my eating adventures in Taiwan.
As alluded to in my previous post, I had attended my friend’s wedding in Taichung and as part of the post wedding celebrations, the newlyweds brought us on a trip to Sun Moon Lake. While en route, we stopped by the 921 Earthquake museum which was built in memory of the 1999 7.3 Earthquake that had devastated central Taiwan on 21 Sept 1999. J’s husband is actually from Wu feng, the district where the earthquake hit the hardest, so he told us his personal experience of how the entire first storey of his family’s home had collapsed during the earthquake, and the family members had escaped by climbing out through a window in the second storey. The museum is located on the site of the former Guangfu Junior High School, and the ruins of the school had been left untouched to show visitors (like us) the extent of the damage caused by the earthquake.
After touring the museum, we stopped by the cafe for a quick lunch break. One unique feature of Taiwan is that a lot of effort usually goes into the concept/design of the cafe/restaurant. I remember perusing the facebook page of the Cafe prior to the trip and and was quite amused to find several interesting marketing pictures which were uploaded to try to entice people to visit.
Lunch hour was almost over when we arrived, but we ordered the following dishes to share:
Pork lard noodles/rice: A really simple simple traditional Taiwanese dish. J likened it to Grandma’s food. The name itself is not very appealing. I mean… fats and rice… really? However, we wiped this dish out. Why? The pork lard was very fragrant and the amount given was just enough to coat the noodles/rice but not make it too oily. The owner shared with us that they make their own pork lard and this is one of their specialties which they sell in individual bottles for those customers hoping to re-create this pork lard memory. Very simple no fuss dishes, yet still bursting with flavour. It just shows you that food does not need to be fancy for it to taste good.
Dried scallops rice: If you’re not into pork lard, there’s also a dried scallops rice version which tastes equally as nice, though I’ll admit that most of us were blown away by the simplicity of the pork lard rice that unfortunately arrived first.
Steamed wontons and vegetables with sauce. I could probably replicate most of this dish at home but it wouldn’t taste the same because the secret ingredient here is the sauce…. it just made everything taste better. I think J even used the leftover gravy to mix it with his rice and the dried scallops. High salt intake alert!
French toast with chocolate syrup – bread slices in Taiwan are very thick! The toast was all right, though I found the slices a little too dry for my liking.
It’s unfortunate that we were not able to taste more dishes since the kitchen had sold out when we arrived. However, what we tasted, we really liked and that’s something considering that the dishes were not the fancy ones but the simple traditional dishes that Grandma eats everyday.
Add: No. 46號, Zhongzheng Road, Wufeng District, Taichung City, Taiwan 413