Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Lunch at 九戶茶語 - Tea Chat of the Nine Households @ Jiufen [Taipei, Taiwan]

While rummaging through the Chinese-character guidebooks on Jiufen, i came across an article that described a dish known as Golden Crab Pyramid Rice so well; i wished i could fly over immediately to Taiwan just to get one scoop into my mouth!

The dish could only be found in this Chinese restaurant; 九戶茶語. There is no official English translation that i can find online but if it really matters to you, it should be translated as "Tea Chat (or Conversations) of the Nine Households". 

Boasting a fantastic view overlooking the sea, i would have loved to be seated right outside where i can breathe in gallons of fresh air while enjoying cup after cup of hot tea! 

If only the weather was sympathetic. To be frank, i chose a wrong day for the trip out of Taipei as the frequent rainfalls made it impossible to enjoy alfresco dining and blocked the many supposedly breathtaking views with its dark, heavy clouds. 

Hence, you should be able to imagine the look on my face when I received notification from the counter that the pyramid rice was unavailable! Sighs.... I was undecided if i should still continue to have my lunch in the restaurant since the star of attraction could no longer be attained.

It started pouring by then (clearly a sign by the heaven that resonated with how i was feeling) and we decided to go with the set meal option at NT$450 per person for eight dishes! 

黄金油雞 - Golden Oily Chicken: it was cold and tough. A big difference from the smooth, oily chicken that we Singaporeans are very much accustomed to back at home. 

礦車石頭蝦 - Literally Mining Cart Stone Prawns; it was served in a mini version of a mining cart and was a sight to behold with all that smoke! My only worry was that it might trigger the smoke detector, if there's any.

Taste wise, the prawns were really fresh and sweet! Nothing else sets it apart from those live kicking prawns we can easily have in Singapore, except for maybe the presentation. 

養生根莖百匯 - my Chinese is quite poor and didn't quite understanding the meaning of this dish. I am suspecting it has something to do with roots (根) and would likely refer to the yam, sweet potatoes and peanuts. Honestly, nothing amazing about this. 

清蒸海鱼 - Steamed ocean fish; each of us was served an entire fish! Freshness was again not an issue and i did enjoy the soft texture of the meat.

香薑水蓮 - this stir-fried vegetables were a favourite as it reminded me of mom's cooking; for those who have never tried her stir-fried cabbage, you don't know what you have missed! 

季節時湯 - seasonal soup; this was one amazing soup to have on a cold day! The broth was infused with a manageable dose of wine that was enhanced with pieces of fresh clams! I almost had a snatching match with Alex who had yet to finish his soup! 

果香芋圓 - basically yam balls. Drenched in sugary syrup and strawberry sauce, i could find nothing to complain about although i have had much better yam balls along the street of Jiufen without all the unnatural sweetness. 

四季水果 - four seasons fruits; i thought it would be more appropriate to name it as seasonal fruits since i was kind of expecting four types of fruit! Maybe guava represents autumn and winter while watermelon refers to spring and summer? 


Location Map
As above (From the main entrance, walk all the way ahead till the cross junction.Turn right and walk down the many steps; once you reach the foot, the restaurant would be right in front of you). 

NT$450 per person 
Served with rice and tea. 

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