Sunday, July 10, 2011

Three Good Restaurants in Southern Taipei

Little Thailand Restaurant - 泰國小館
#219 Dingzhou Street Sec 3, Taipei

This has to be the best Thai restaurant in Gongguan, right up there with Yangon Burmese restaurant (which is basically Thai, but "technically" Burmese). It looks like a small Southeast Asian supermarket on the outside, chock full of snacks for sale, but once you go in it's clearly a restaurant that happens to also sell packaged snacks and other items from SE Asia.

The food is really quite good - very much the same in flavor as I enjoyed during my brief excursion to Thailand years ago (I keep telling myself I'll go back, but there are so many other places to see, too!) - and they don't pull punches on the spice! The pork with green beans and papaya salad were fiery, and the other dishes were at a respectable spice level. They have the usual selection of beer, are always bustling, the walls are covered with pictures and textiles from Thailand, and I love the cheap day-market plastic clock with the picture of the King of Thailand and his many dogs ("he loves dogs and raises rescued strays," the owner told us. "Our King is so good") on the clock face.

We didn't get dessert, but they seemed to have a wider selection than is usually available.

Oh, and do get the shrimp pancake (月亮蝦餅) - it's the best I've had outside of SE Asia.

#118 Jingxing Road, Wenshan, Taipei City (MRT Jingmei)

Taipei Times reviewed it before I had a chance to - although I may have mentioned it before - but we live very close to this place - maybe a ten minute walk, if that - and I have long been a devotee. It's a dirty-walled, Taiwanese-talkin', good-sake-servin' izakaya in a decidedly unpretentious neighborhood (ie, our neighborhood) with some really spectacular Japanese food and Japanese-style sunken tables.  I still have dreams about the yakitori (although the ones from Dako, above, provide good competition) and I love that this place just plain does good food, it doesn't try to be all hip, and for Japanese food it's quite affordable.

The Taipei Times said it better than I could, so I'll leave it there, but this place gets my stamp of approval!

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