Wednesday, February 23, 2011


The setting is nice, clean, brightly lit and spacious. Window seats offer views surrounding in front of the shopping mall. There is also a room set aside for private use. We went there around 5:00 p.m, there were a few other diners at that time and it was pleasant and quiet. While we seated, the waiters brought us a hot of brewed tea. We skimmed through the menu but lots of combo meals to choose from. We had a really hard time picking our choices and figure out what we should get, as everything just looked so yummy but no sushi.
It was our first time at Ootoya for lunch on a weekday and we order the combo set meal it came with pickled daikon for appetizer and mushroom miso soup. The dish arrived at our table, all I could think of was wow too much kind of daikon on the table. My daugther choose the oyako jyu, a flavored grilled chicken and beaten egg simmered in a sweet soy sauce, served on steamed rice topped with green.
I had also tried the pork and kimchi bowl. It consists of a sliced tender pork meat and crunchy Korean pickled vegetable cabbage on a bed of rice and topped with green onions. My first bite leads me to speechless because it was too good or maybe I'm so hungry. It was full with flavour, the marination, the spiciness and the sweetness were all perfect! And it goes so well with rice.
My husband was so pleased with his grilled eel coated with a glazed sweet sauce on a bed of warm white rice a laquered rectangular box with a lid . It was very good, and surprisingly filling.
Charles also choose his favorite deep fried dish is the breaded tender pork loin deep fried & served with hot plain rice, thinly sliced cabbage with sweet brown sauce and sesame seeds in a mortar and pestle. The tonkatsu did not disappoint! the meat had a nice bite and crisp as well. Thankfully it was light beautifully grease-free.
Whenever we go out for lunch or dinner, we always order vegetables is a viable healthy option. The assorted of steamed vegetables it consist with 6 kinds of veggies, loaded with cabbage, daikon or radish, carrot, sweet potato, some greens and cooked in a bamboo steamer, served with ponzu sauce with freshly grated daikon was nothing so special! We gotta eat  more veggies though and so our body we’ll be more healthier.
Then it was time for the sweet tooth, we sampled different desserts. It begins with their tokachi red bean mochi tofu pudding in glass. This was actually really good, the mochi topping they put on top mochi being extremely tender and delicate. The red bean paste it wasn’t too sweet it’s actually quite light in tofu flavor.
To follow an green tea ice cream with azuki red bean paste. The green tea ice cream also very fragrant. The sweetness of the mashed red beans compliments well with the bitter ice cream.
Warabi mochi with azuki red bean paste and ice cream in brown sugar syrup was pretty dense and compact.
An espresso cup of creme brulee it was sublimely smooth, feather-light creaminess in the mouth, the pudding is served chilled with a pour of black sugar syrup it was suprisingly good!
Finally I ended off with fruit tea. The service was promptly and desserts was delicious. As for price, it is reasonable by Japanese restaurant standards in Taiwan. To be honest, the main dish it wasn't blown away, thought it was fairly decent.
No.323, Xida Road., Hsinchu City
(2th floor Fe21 Mega Shopping Center)
Contact No: 03-527-7818

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Chia Lin

Chia Lin Hong Kong Cuisine is located on the 16th floor of the Sogo Department store in Taichung City. The restaurant serves contemporary Cantonese Chinese cuisine with views overlooking the Taichung downtown. We came for lunch after visiting the flower farm in Taichung County. Since it was Chinese New Year and we do not know an alternate place for dim sum, we decided to eat here. We attempted to sample items of dim sum list to their standard menu.
Vibe; The decor itself is classy just upon you entered the restaurant not to mention the well decorated Chinese decorations. Inside the main dining area is typical Cantonese-Chinese style with lots of families and group of people eating together. When we were seated at our table, we were given a tea of your choice.
The staff comes around with trolley and pushing from table to table and you pick the ones that you want. But it seems everything was over steamed. I pick up my favorite barbecue pork bun and steamed chicken feet.
The steamed bbq pork bun is one of favorite dim sum dishes. I always couldn’t resist ordering cha shao bao from restaurants since their were always so good.
The barbecue pork bun filling was sweet, porky and let say delicious.
The flavors of steamed chicken feet are subtle and exquisite, well cooked and not overdone or overly seasoned.
Another classic to test the quality of steamed rice noodle rolls with shrimp arrived filled with large prawns was okay there is nothing too shout about.
We also ordered some pan-fried noodles to accompany the meal. It had lots of nice big juicy beef lean meat. Despite being an appetising golden brown colour, I am quite impressed with this because in most places, there are lots of bean sprouts and very little ingredients. These were exactly what I was expecting for fried noodles  being cooked in al dente.  They were terrific though it was the winner on the table.
Fried shrimp and pineapple coated with a mayonnaise-based sauce. It appears on the menu but it's supposed to be a Taiwanese favorite dish. This dish was okay we finished off those pineapple pieces.
The pan seared turnip cake was a decidedly average dish and nothing special to it.
We also got some spring roll with soy sauce loaded a chopped vegetables, meat, and other ingredients. Beneath the crusty wrapper was actually very moist but we found out it was a bit salty. Even more weak than Sen He Yuan.
We also tried the pan fried calamari pancake, they were absolutely steaming hot underneath the skin wrapper. They looked a little old and not freshly made, we don't finish them either.
Pan fried mock cod fish it looks so fragrant and tastes almost there.
Overall the service was promptly and efficient, the food quality was quite a disappointment. The food it was not too bad, but it’s the kind of quality that we would not interested to visit the restaurant again. Honestly....In my experience the food is just average, compared to any other Hong Kong or Cantonese restaurant we have eaten in.
Chia Lin 嘉麟樓
16/F, No. 299, Section 1, Chungkang Road,
West District,Taichung City
Contact No: Phone: 04-23283168

Monday, February 7, 2011

Grandmother Old Store 阿嬤ㄟ老店

The Grandmother Old Store Hakka restaurant is old style and serves a tempting array of classic Hakka dishes at reasonable prices. The restaurant itself is small but clean too, the furniture and wooden bench, tables are old, which is more than I can say for most Hakka Taiwanese restaurants. Every dish we had here has been absolutely spot on in terms of authenticity and honestly makes you feel at home.
On the table, we started out with delicious free range steamed chicken is a well-known Hakka cuisine. After being poached, steamed in salt and water, the chicken meat itself has an incredibly tender texture and succulently flavourful. I was mostly impressed with how yellow the skin was on the chicken was so scrumptious with every dip into a thick-brown sauce and tangerine dipping sauce is very satisfying meal.
Stir-fried pig’s intestines with julienne ginger. Among that, savory and one of the most popular dishes in Hakka Taiwanese cuisine.The sauce was delicious, I probably ate whole of this dish all by myself. It is because is one of my favorites for Hakka dishes and pleasantly sour from the use of pickled vegetables, shredded ginger and white vinegar.
The super delicious stir fry noodles loaded with vegetables was soo good too with a bit sauce or natural water from the veggies. This flat noodles was similar to Vietnamese noodles. The only thing missing was the meat or shrimp and bean sprouts. Otherwise this dish is quite flavorful.
We also ordered a stir fry wild-grown veggie and unique to Taiwan, a vegetables it was grown in the high mountain that had a look of plastic like leaf may strike you as a little strange. I never try this veg before I'm quite a bit curious. This stir fry vegetable is one of the best dish on our table. The dish was quite fresh-healthy it is rich, earthy especially sweet and crisp it cooks with red chili, a kind of beans, and tiny dried fish was super flavorful and very tasty. Highly recommended..
We also had on the specials menu is the roast pork belly was super freshly cooked roast pork reminds me the Filipino lechon kawali. But the Hakka Taiwanese roast pork belly are much better than Pinoy style lechon kawali. The top skin was super crunchy it blend with black pepper and saltiness flavourful taste infused with a touch of brown vinegar garlic sauce and beyond anything I have tried. It's fatty-earthy tasted good as you imagine and absolutely not a healthy food because all that pork fat goodness just melts in your mouth and you just want to reach for more bowl of rice. Much better than ones we have in Neiwan.
We also try their pan fried egg omelet with scallions and radish that was so good it didn't need soy sauce.
We tried the day lily soup with slightly fatty pork for the finale, are tender to bite and the daylilies with your soup for that added fiber. The soup still boiling when it came it was good and healthy with aromatic-natural smell from scallion and dried  flower.
Overall the food was generally pretty good it was a decent meal but for someone who used to eating strong and salty food. Good place to come, but be prepared to wait. Prices are reasonable, though the service is okay in my experience.
Grandmother Old Store 阿嬤ㄟ老店
Sanyi Township, Miaoli County
Contact No: 037-877108

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Tamago Ya

The restaurant is situated beside its elevator on the 12th floor of Sogo Department Store in Hsinchu. The decor of the restaurant is not that impressive does not have fancy decor. Which a curved egg-shaped couches in egg yolk color and white accents and metallic tables with a blue and white glow stripe color. Giving the room a simple eerie feel but is cozy and relaxing rather than in the food court area.
There was a huge set meal selection of rice omelete, pasta, rice gratin as well as ala carte. Meal can cost as much as you wish because the prices range from reasonable to rich depending on the contents.
Our first course was the soup, the corn soup is mashed with flavor of sweet corn and not as creamy as I thought but my son he love the texture.
We also choose the tomato vegetable soup which was basically tomatoes, onion and some vegetables and it was pale and flavorless are out of season.
The second course was an individual side order for the appetizer. I ordered mine with the smoked chicken salad has a vibrant color of red-yellow bell peppers. The salad itself consisted predominantly of bite-sized pieces of lettuce with huge amount of chicken scattered throughout and some sliced of onion and bell peppers. The salad was fresh and crunchy enough. I like the taste of lime sauce and the sweetness flavor in it which makes it amazing.
And this is I worried that my boy will choose the crispy fish fingers served with spicy sauce. Being deep fried for what I felt was slightly too much oil since it had been breaded with breadcrumbs before it was fried. I even more concerned that, this is too much in high cholesterol and no good for his health someday.
These spicy barbecue chicken wings are delectable which are coated with hot sauce adds to the flavor and crispness, they are great tasting.
The first main course to be serve on the table was the spaghetti with fried crispy pork cutlet. I tried one forkful of this pasta and preferred mine, I suppose they cooked the sauce in Napolitan with Japanese mixture. The tonkatsu was crisp and well fried.  Lacking the usual oiliness but quite enjoyable nonetheless
The pork cutlet with curry sauce and omelette rice, arrived in a pool of curry sauce.
I ordered the omelette rice with cheese burger. Inside the omelette was a pile of fried rice was done perfectly al dente that had been seasoned with ketchup and garlic or onion something like that. I  was surprised that the cheese burger it was moist and not dry. It was more seasoned meatloaf than what we would consider a American hamburger. 
A lot of mild curry sauce was also poured on top of the burger, giving into something remarkable taste of flavor.
And then there is the desserts and drinks for the final course. The cream puff with vanilla filling, sure that these are full of fat and calorie but very delicious that you simply won’t just stop at one.
With a dense brownie like texture and a soft gooey center. The chocolate brownie are not to be missed!
Next came chocolate sundae, a blended with milk and coated with cornflakes topped with whipped cream and oreo cookie, drizzled with hot fudge chocolate sauce were soft and gooey.
And so we had a hot ceylon milk tea it was extremely bland and less in sugar, milk, and tea flavor.
Overall the staff are very helpful. It's really an enjoyable lunch and we will be back again. All the dishes were good except the soup is wicked but the portion size was amazing!
Tamago Ya-蛋蛋屋 Sogo Hsinchu Branch
12th Floor Sogo Department Store Hsinchu City
Contact No:(03)5223959