I may have traveled to Taiwan a couple of times in the past, when seldom did I pay attention to the food… well not much anyway, considering the real motives for me to be there, which was for a grand total of two times.
Chicken in soy sauce-wine & sesame oil (3-Cup Chicken)
Apart from a Japanese kitchen experience (I know, it’s not the most local thing to do in Taipei!) in my last trip, all I remembered was the various street food and light snacks my friends and I seem to inhale when we hit the streets.
“Tainan Dan-tsu” noodle
So when I saw Grand Hill Taiwanese Restaurant in Tsim Sha Tsui, I made plan to visit to satisfy that cravings for Taiwanese food. And we did that tonight.
Marinated minced pork rice, Taiwan style
A word about the restaurant: Grand Hill is like your typical Chinese restaurant. Packed with customers, noisy (but somewhat at a comfortable level) and as many tables as one can cram into the space available. While I didn’t appreciate the lack of privacy as we dine, I understood the business reasons behind it. Heck, had I wanted a romantic, cosy dining spot, I wouldn’t have went to a Chinese restaurant, would I?
Sauteed pumpkin & abalone with satay sauce.
The food was generally decent. We went for the set meal seeing that we did not know what to order, and in this kind of situation such a decision is often comforting, more hits than misses. Both of us found different dish to be the highlight of the night. I would recommend the “Tainan Dan-tsu” Noodle, which was basically that; delicious, springy noodle in a rich broth, served with slightly-sweet marinated minced meat. Had I not been watching my calories, I would have ordered a second round.
Sauteed Taiwan “A” vegetable
Also recommended – high on the list of people craving for Taiwanese food – are the chicken in soy sauce-wine & sesame oil (more commonly known as the 3 Cup Chicken), and sauteed Taiwan “A” vegetable (which is basically stir fried yau mak). These were decent fares though I can’t see what they are deemed Taiwanese.
Meat floss, tofu & preserved eggs
For a more authentic experience, the meat floss, tofu & preserved eggs starter will be a good choice. The tofu itself was wonderful; sweet, firm and smooth, only slightly drizzled with oyster sauce and chopped spring onion. The preserved eggs were okay, and the better half sang praises for the meat floss; light, slightly moist (as opposed to the dry-as-sand variety) and not as salty as expected.
Verdict? Perhaps not the most authentic Taiwanese food around (heck, for an amateur like me, what do I know?), but it’s enough to get me yearning to get back to Taipei.
Grand Hill Taiwanese Restaurant 圓山台灣料理
25 Kimberley Road
Tsim Sha Tsui, Hong Kong