January 8, 2019

Unexpected cherry-popping

Pin It

Haokoufu and the Hungry Girl in Taipei were swinging through town for a few days, and they invited me to join them for lunch at The Chairman (大班樓).   I've been here a few times over the years, but this would be the first meal where Danny actually sat down with us.

Qiang wei petals and lotus roots (薔薇藕片)

Pickled mid-summer ginger root (大班樓子薑)

Baby squid (魷魚) - served cold, in a soy sauce marinade with a hint of fragrance from some Sichuan peppercorns.  Very delicious.

Pan-fried dumplings (香煎粽) - I had these last year, and it was nice to taste them again.  These zongzi (粽子) were very small, and stuffed with some pork belly as well as salted egg yolk.

Danny suggested that we taste the zongzi with some chrysanthemum sugar as an alternative to soy paste (醬油膏), but to be honest I wasn't a big fan. For some reason I kept getting a hint of off-putting, almost moldy taste in the chrysanthemum petals.

Steamed flowery crab with aged Chinese wine and rice noodles (雞油花雕蟹) - but all was well again when we got this at the table.  This was A Hungry Girl in Taipei's first visit, so she was pretty happy about finally getting the chance to try the iconic dish that has appeared thousands of times on social media.  I was more than happy to take the body and legs while the ladies took the claws.  And yes, the rice noodles (陳村粉) soaked in the sauce made with chicken fat and Huadiao (花雕) was still divine.

BBQ chicken liver with lard and Chinese buns (金錢雞) - this has now become arguably my favorite version of the dish.  Love the glaze on it, and how the fat just oozes and gets soaked up by the deep-fried bun.

Fish jaws with chopped peppers (剁椒魚嘴) - it's been just shy of a year since I last had something like this year, but instead of a giant fish head, today we had the jaws of bighead carp (大頭鰱) which had been raised according to the restaurant's specifications in order to minimize the muddy flavors.

These came with three different types of chili, Sichuan peppercorns, garlic, and marinated Chinese black olives (欖角).  So good that I couldn't refuse a second serving...

A chef friend dropped by to say hello to the visitors, and Danny kindly invited him to join us - although we had run through most of the menu by this time.

Pork belly stew with Chinese bread (梅乾菜扣肉包) - fatty pork is always a good idea, and I couldn't resist the familiar flavors with the preserved mustard greens (梅乾菜) on top.

THIS is how the "bao" should taste.

Layered beancurd and seasonal vegetables cooked in homemade fish broth (魚湯腐皮浸時菜) - always good to cleanse our palates towards the end with the beancurd sheets - which, according to Danny, only comes from one famous shop in Hong Kong.  Love the fish broth.

Desserts trio (甜品三味) - the usual.  First up was peach resin and hawthorn jelly with osmanthus (桂花桃膠山楂糕).  Our Hungry Girl was amazed at how much this reminded her of those hawthorn candy we all grew up eating.

Coconut and jujube pudding (椰汁紅棗糕)

Almond cream (杏仁茶)

Haokoufu very kindly brought a bottle of a small production sparkling wine from Taiwan - with a limited run of just around 1,000 bottles.  Unfortunately I fear it was wasted on a philistine palate like mine...

Weight Stone Gris de Noirs Cuvée Classique N° 15, dégorgée en Octobre 2018 - nose smells like... Kyoho or other table grapes. Some acidity here on the palate.

I was pretty stuffed at the end of the meal, but very, very happy.  Many thanks to Danny for this unexpected treat!  You shouldn't have...

No comments:


Related Posts with Thumbnails

TripAdvisor Travel Map