June 24, 2016

The Great One's Taiwan tour day 2: the oldest virgin (mud crab)

Pin It

With only a short break after our long and filling lunch, it was time to eat again.  HaoKouFu and I wanted to bring the Great One to a place serving quintessential Taiwanese cuisine, and Ming Fu Seafood (明福台菜海鮮) seemed like such a place.  For some reason, this small hole-in-the-wall is a popular destination for locals to take overseas visitors.

I had been joking with the gang about ordering some of the restaurant's specialties... including their Buddha jumps over the wall (佛跳墻) with chicken testicles, or their beef brisket and bull penis soup (牛腩牛鞭湯).  I don't eat testicles, penises, or sperm, but I know that the Great One would.  I was, therefore, a little disappointed she said ixnay to the penis soup...

Marinated dry tofu with dried fish (小魚豆干) - pretty standard fare for Taiwanese restaurants.  I love the chewy texture of the fish, and the occasional kick from the chili peppers.

Marinated cucumber (腌黃瓜) - the flavors were surprisingly mild, which meant it was just nice and refreshing.

Stir-fried bird's nest fern (野菜山蘇) - I love this crunchy local veg, stir-fried with some dried fish and black bean.

Oysters with garlic sauce (蒜泥香蚵) - very fresh oysters, with loads of garlic sauce and plenty of finely diced coriander.  Such classic Taiwanese flavors.

Deep-fried mullet gizzard (蒜酥烏魚腱) - the pieces of gizzard themselves are very crunchy, and this only got better when you coat them in batter for deep-frying...  What's not to love about deep-fried food?

Steamed local chicken (白切土雞) - I looooove local Taiwanese free-range chicken.  So does Hello Kitty... as it is one of the very few places where she will willingly eat chicken.  Definitely tasty... and let me repeat the cliché of 雞有雞味 ("chicken tastes like chicken") again and say that, YES, chicken does taste like chicken here in Taiwan.  Having said that, the breast meat was a little chewy, but that's simply because this is an older, free-range chicken.

Buddha jumps over the wall (一品佛跳墙) - YEAH, BABY!  This is the first time that I've had this soup here, and look!  There are one, two, three of them glorious chicken testicles here in this bowl.   None for me, thank you very much!  Unfortunately, when I agreed to have this pre-ordered, I totally forgot that in addition to testicles, there would also be sharks' fin in the bowl...

Which is why I had to be very careful in picking out what to put in my bowl.  I managed to grab a delicious pig trotter tip, some pig intestines, crosnes, and chunks of really tough and fibrous bamboo shoots.  This being the summer bamboo shoot season, and given what they charge for this small pot, it seems inexcusable that we are served this stuff.

Three-cup cuttlefish (三杯中卷) - this is always a winner... with the beautiful fragrance coming from all that basil.  The three cups of soy sauce, sesame oil, and rice wine all did their job in flavoring the cuttlefish.

Virgin mud crabs (處女蟳) - I thought it appropriate to order the virgin mud crabs tonight with the Great One, since she always said to me : "...but how do you know they are virgins?  Did you ask them?" Well, I did explain how to spot the difference, and as did the boss lady.  She then decided to bring over a HUGE crab that weighed about 1½ catties... Now, the virgin mud crabs I normally see are much smaller, and you'd think that it takes time for a mud crab to grow to this size, so I joked that she was the oldest virgin crab I've ever seen... or she was probably really ugly...

In spite of being an old virgin, the meat was still pretty sweet and delicious.  The only disappointment is that there wasn't as much soft roe as I had hoped for.

Stir-fried rice vermicelli (炒米粉) - very, very delicious.  Stir-fried at very high heat.  The wok hei (鑊氣) was very obvious, and there was very little oil used, as the vermicelli tasted pretty dry.  I loved that the egg was broken up into tiny little bits and dried, so that they resembled small bits of minced pork.

I was pretty full so I didn't join the others in taking in deep-fried taro balls with red bean (紅豆芋泥球)... especially since I don't enjoy taro as much.

A very good dinner, and I was glad to have met up with a couple of artisan boulanger/chocolatier in town.  The funny thing is that for the second time in a row, I ran into a friend at the next table... and this is a restaurant with only 6 tables.

We adjourned to M.O. Bar at the Mandarin Oriental Taipei for drinks with my friends.  Apparently they had brought in Ohtake Manabu (大竹学), the mixologist who was the winner of Diageo Reserve World Class Bartender of the Year in 2011.  I decided to try his Yuzu Matcha Gimlet, which had a lovely fragrance from... you guess it... yuzu (柚子).  Very nice and light.  Definitely a girlie drink.

No comments:


Related Posts with Thumbnails

TripAdvisor Travel Map