Showing posts with label fish. Show all posts
Showing posts with label fish. Show all posts

Friday, January 28, 2011

James Kitchen

James Kitchen
#65 Yongkang Street, Da'an District, Taipei
(02) 2343-2275

Last weekend we tried this restaurant in an old building on Yongkang Street just north of Jinhua. They've only been in business for three years or so, but their ambiance makes it seem like they've been around since the '20s. The front has old Japanese-style menu boards, a window painted aqua-green and two red glass lanterns hanging outside.

James Kitchen - named for the owner, James (I never did get his last name or Chinese name) - an affable older man who hangs out by the counter - specializes in fish. A chalkboard near the counter announces fish specials, and gets erased whenever they run out of something. We chose a red fish braised in a broth with fermented "na dou" beans (the same beans used in the slimy Japanese "natto" but not slimy) and tofu. It was firm and delicious: I tend to prefer firmer fish to softer-fleshed varieties.

We also ordered salted clams, which were stewed in a soy sauce concoction, some basic green vegetables, fried oyster rolls (delicious: definitely try these) and minced pork and onion rice. The restaurant also provided a free eggplant xiao chi (small dish).

The overall feel of the place recalls Taiwan under Japanese rule: strongly Japanese (sashimi and sake were both on the menu, as well as some kinds of tempura and fried rolls) but at its core, still Taiwanese (hence the fried oyster cakes and other more Taiwanese foods). The sake was quite good and for 200 kuai, the serving (a small pitcher that is enough for two) is generous.

In the end, we ordered way too much food, but all of it was delicious. I definitely want to go back, and soon. There's something on the menu that is basically deep fried pastry stick (油條) smothered in garlic and oysters. I am all gung-ho to try it, so we have to return with friends!

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Some More East Coast Photos

Gorgeous View of the East Rift Valley as approached from Highway 64 off the coast (about 2 hours north of Taidong).

Here are the rest of the photos from our east coast trip last weekend, in sort-of order!

A delicious salad at the well-known cafe in Matayan, near Hualien Sugar Factory. While the fish was good, it was not as good as the flying fish stir fried with wild boar that we had further south. The roast salty pork was basically pork fat (tasty pork fat, but pork fat nonetheless) so while I thought it was a good enough dinner, for the fame that this restaurant gets, it should have been better than "good". It should have been great. And while the salad was great...fresh, delicious, flavorful - the rest of the food was just OK.

Adorable fat dog at a restaurant on the east coast, in one of those tiny nowhere towns that has one real restaurant, some shacks and a convenience store.

Absolutely stunningly tasty dried flying fish and wild boar stir fry at the restaurant with the resident fat dog.

Above Taroko Gorge, further inland from Tianxiang. We didn't continue onward because the view was totally obscured from this point on.

...though the clouds were gorgeous.

Taroko Gorge

Swallow Grotto

Swallow Grotto
Taroko Gorge

And finally, after leaving the gorge at about 4pm, we drove over the Qingshui cliffs not long before sunset, in rather bad weather conditions. This view is visible from a portion of the old Su'ao Highway that is now closed to traffic, but open (you can park and walk there) to walkers. It's about 800 meters with stunning views in both directions.

As you can see, the cliffs do plunge straight into the blue Pacific. This is not hte only stretch of east coast like this: further north, between Nanfangao and Su'ao, more cliffs rise in a similar fashion, with identically terrifying roads perched high above the surf. They're not as famous but just as stunning.

The Qingshui Cliffs - check out that road!