Saturday, January 1, 2011

Taiwanese Cuisine Part 1 - Golden Formosa

Golden Formosa (金蓬萊) is a restaurant in the Tianmu area, not too far away from the famous Shilin night market.

The restaurant serves Taiwanese cuisine. I asked my Taiwanese friend N, who was the one who brought us to Golden Formosa what "Taiwanese cuisine", or 台菜 is. She paused and then said - "Probably just stuff we would cook and eat at home in Taiwan".

Homecooked food is always good.. but if I could cook like the chefs at Golden Formosa, I would be having queues of dinner guests outside my door.

The food at Golden Formosa was delicious.

They are famous for their "Buddha Jump Over the Wall" and "Crispy Pork Ribs". I didn't find either dish particularly fantastic, although there were pretty good. The "Buddha Jump Over the Wall" is actually a stew of vegetables, mushrooms, yam, quail eggs and fried pieces of pork. The yam, mushrooms and vegetables were flavourful and tasty, but I found the stew a little oily because of the fried pork.

The "Crispy Pork Ribs" was nicely marinated and indeed very crispy. I liked it well enough... but I found the meat a little on the tough side.

I liked the more "common" homemade dishes. The "Cold Steamed Chicken" was amazing. Free range chicken were used so you could taste the difference in texture and taste in the meat. Yet it was perfectly cooked so the meat was tender and yet chewy at the same time. It was so good The Husband wanted to pack whatever we couldn't finish back to our hotel.

The "Fried Eggs with Preserved Turnips" was fried like a thick little pancake. The eggs were a tad crispy on the outside yet soft and fluffy on the inside - perfect. Even the simple stir-fried cabbage dish was good - probably because the cabbages grown in Taiwan are so sweet.

After a while, I was a little overwhelmed by the number of dishes N ordered, so I forgot to take pictures of the "Braised Beancurd", "Stir-fried Sweet Potato Leaves" and "Steamed Fish".

If you have a chance to visit Taipei, do consider spending a day at Tianmu - there are 3 big department stores in that area, lots of nice little shops and cafe.. and Golden Formosa. After dinner, a trip to Shilin night market would make the perfect ending to a nice day out in Taipei.

A more modest version of "Buddha Jump Over the Wall" 
- very different from the snooty version commonly found in 
Singapore restaurants, made with abalone, dried scallops and sharksfin. 
I actually think this is nicer than its snooty cousins.

Crispy Pork Ribs - one of the house specialities

The extremely yummy Cold Steam Chicken

Pancake-like Fried Eggs with Preserved Turnips

Simple, yet very sweet Stir-fried Cabbages

Golden Formosa 金蓬萊


milka said...


petunialee said...

Oh yummy... I am so looking forward to all your holiday posts. They'll be a great reference guide for me later.

Anonymous said...

The food looks delicious! I wish I could try too.


Open Kitchen Concept said...

Hi Petunia, okay.. I'd post "properly" then.. with all the addresses so that you can visit these places too! We had lots of good food in Taiwan!

Open Kitchen Concept said...

Fer, thanks! Me and my fat fingers.. I accidentally deleted your message when actually I wanted to click on "Publish"...

Fresh Fry aka 福星 said...

a frd + i thought of retiring in taiwan one day..... =D

Open Kitchen Concept said...

Hi Fry, happy new year! Heheh, me too! I have thought about it before.. The food is great, shopping is good, medical help is affordable.. and we know the language!

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