January 2, 2011

Neighborhood eats

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I'm hanging out around my parents' home today, and dropped in on Mama Tu's Puli Restaurant (塗姆埔里小吃) for lunch.  It looked like just the rustic, country cuisine type of place that I love so much.

I knew we were in good hands when the amuse bouche - vegetarian chicken (素雞) - arrived.  These tofu pieces might look simple, but it's the balance of flavors between the coriander, chopped garlic, chilis and thick soy sauce which ended up as a complete symphony in the mouth.

First to arrive was the stir-fried rice vermicelli (埔里炒米粉).  I love stir-fried rice vermicelli, and always get it whenever I'm back in Taiwan.  The plate in front of me has to be one of the best I can remember, with a good amount of glistening oil coated on the outside of all the ingredients.  The vermicelli here was actually translucent and looked very pretty.  Taste-wise this was also wonderful, with lots of mushrooms lending their fragrance on top of the coriander.

Stir-fried white water snowflake with shredded pork (野蓮水菜) - the long stems of this pond-grown plant are local specialties of Southern Taiwan.  I love the crunchy texture, although the pork was definitely overcooked...

The crispy-bone pig trotters (酥骨豬腳) has been slow-cooked for a whole day and put through several cycles of heating and cooling.  This, apparently, is responsible for breaking down the bones so that they crumble to the bite.  Everything here is well-cooked, with the peanuts being soft and yummy, and I definitely felt the collagen on my lips and in the sauce.

Young bamboo shoots with preserved vegetables (梅乾蔗筍) - nice and tender, with slightly astringent and sour flavors and fragrant mushrooms.

A totally delicious lunch, with plenty of local ingredients I couldn't hope to find in Hong Kong.  And to think that this meal cost the same amount as the chicken fajitas I had last night at Chili's...

1 comment:

Rachelle said...

OOoo seeing this post makes me miss authentic Taiwanese food. I grew up in Vancouver eating Taiwanese food almost every week (sometimes everyday too as many of my friends were Taiwanese and we would often have Taiwanese for lunch). It's hard to come by in HK!


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