June 27, 2011

A little taste of home

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The birthday celebrations are stretching and merging with the farewell dinners, and my foodie gang gathered tonight at a place that was truly special.  Jin Jin Gourmet (真真美食) is a little eatery serving Hokkien cuisine, and is tucked away in the backstreets amongst numerous traditional market stalls.  Definitely a little off the foodie map...

DJ had arranged for the place to stay open to accomodate us, and also arranged for many off-menu items.  As the place serves Hokkien cuisine, many of the dishes taste similar to the local fare I find in Taiwan, so there's an instant familiarity here...

Stir-fried oysters and egg (蠔煎) - not quite like the Taiwanese version or the Chiuchow version, as they decided to break up the omelette.  Still yummy, though, with a little starch around the oysters.

Marinated pork belly with tofu - the pork was a little tough, but taste-wise this wasn't bad.

Preserved vegetable omelette and pickled mustard (菜脯蛋) - the pickled mustard (榨菜) was pretty salty, but the omelette was not bad.

Sweet and sour fish - interesting... with tomato, onions and peppers.

Claypot chicken - I love local black chicken, and this was classically made with rice wine and ginger.

Stir-fried wax gourd with pork (肉絲炒絲瓜) - mmmm... looove wax gourd (絲瓜)...

Deep-fried chicken roll (雞卷) - this is essentially pork wrapped in tofu skin and deep-fried.   No, there is no chicken in chicken rolls... it's just a name.

Stir-fried noodle (炒麵) - I actually found this to be the weakest dish of the evening, as the noodles were a little mushy.  With mixed ingredients such as pork meal balls (貢丸).

Manila clams and intestine soup (大腸海瓜子湯) - interesting to see these two ingredients together... The pig intestines were very, very good!  There's also cauliflower in the bowl, which I found a little out of the ordinary.

Steamed pork belly sandwiches (割包) - the piece of fatty pork belly was pretty good, although the filling isn't the same as one would find in Taiwan.  There was some sort of peanut and sesame seed paste, similar to the Taiwanese version.

Our bellies full, we were served a bowl of sweet peanut soup (花生湯) as dessert.  Quintessentially Hokkien, this dessert reminds me of home.

This was a simple and homey meal that makes me nostalgic. I'm pretty happy to have a chance to try this place out before heading home to Taipei.  Kinda like a preview of what's to come...

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