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Taiwan Village - London (West Brompton)

s
s70swinger Jun 8, 2009 02:35 AM

Hello everyone,

I am a long time lurker first time poster on Chow and a little restaurant called Taiwan Village has given me the kick I needed to finally post.

Anyways, on to the review:
My wife and I went to Taiwan Village last Thursday based on reviews I found from london-eating.com and noticed that the place was really just a family run establishment.. The Dad is the chef in the kitchen, mom sources only ingredients from Taiwan and the daughter works the front of house. The place it a little out of the way with West Brompton tube station being the closest. After our experience, it could be an hour away and we would still go visit.

The food is absolutely amazing. We had tried the following:
1. Ma Po Tofu - excellent, uses the proper Taiwanese ingredients that gets your mouth a bit numb in the back. Very traditional.
2. Hot Chilli Chicken - Like Taiwanese street vendor food except the chicken was fresh and very tender. Reminded me of Taiwan so much!
3. Crispy Aromatic Duck - this was my favorite as I tried many in Chinatown here in London, lots in the states, a few in Taiwan and the famous Peking Duck in Falls Church VA. The skin was perfect and the meat was not dry at all compared to other places. The chef also makes his own pancakes.

Best of all, this place is a great value and the portions are huge. We paid 35 pounds for our whole meal which also included a vegi dish, garlic rice, a sparkling water and the service charge. I hope word gets around about this place. If it were more central, there would be a line out the door. There were three tables occupied when we went. I will be there again this weekend! Hope some of you give it a try as well.

Here is their website: http://www.taiwanvillage.com/

  1. f
    foreignmuck Jun 8, 2009 04:34 PM

    great - thanks for the tip. very near my work, so will have to try it out!

    1. limster Jun 8, 2009 03:57 PM

      Thanks for the post, great to hear more about this place. Eager to hear about your other favourites as well.

      1. p
        Peter Cherches Jun 8, 2009 02:00 PM

        I'll surely give it a try, probably next Sunday, my first day in town, since it's just around the corner from where I'm staying, and just around the corner is great when you're jet lagged.

        11 Replies
        1. re: Peter Cherches
          p
          Peter Cherches Jun 14, 2009 02:04 PM

          Just back from dinner. It was very good with one reservation--the dishes are too starch-thickened for my taste. But the flavors were distinct and the people who run it/work there are extremely nice. I told the young waitress about the Chowhound notices and she was surprised, since it's really a local place (with Taiwanese customers in addition to locals). What I can add to the mix is something I learned after my post-meal discussion: something they make that's not on the English menu is the famous Taiwanese dish 3-cup chicken (which she divulged after asking "You like spicy food?")

          I decided to try two main courses (which was ok, since they were smaller than standard NY size)

          27. Tiger’s Whiskers £6.20
          (Pork shred quick fried with julienne peppers, water chestnuts, garlic and chilli oil – Hot and Spicy)
          28. Hot Chilli Chicken (with fresh green chilli) £6.20

          They both reminded me of other dishes I've had in Sichuan restaurants. The tiger's whiskers, which also had moyee fungus or something similar (or a seaweed) reminded me a bit of sliced pork with fish flavor. It had a spicy/tangy mix.

          The chili chicken reminded me of orange flavor chicken without the orange peel.

          It's a pleasant place, in no small measure due to the welcoming staff, but again, my reservation is that the dishes had the consistency of the standard faux-Szechuan food you find in the U.S.

          1. re: Peter Cherches
            p
            Peter Cherches Jun 14, 2009 02:35 PM

            Photos.

             
             
            1. re: Peter Cherches
              zuriga1 Jun 14, 2009 10:45 PM

              Yum! I have convinced Mr. Z. that we should take the Tube up from Wimbledon one day and definitely try this place. Did you need a doggy bag? :-)

              1. re: zuriga1
                p
                Peter Cherches Jun 15, 2009 01:01 AM

                No doggy bag. I don't know if this is common in the UK, but main courses were somewhat smaller than in NY.

                1. re: Peter Cherches
                  zuriga1 Jun 15, 2009 01:21 AM

                  I think most British find American portions very oversized. It's hard to generalize. I've eaten in some places here (particularly our favorite Chinese south of London), and the portions are about the same as in the U.S. I do tend to think that more expensive places often have smaller mains than we Yanks are used to. It's probably a lot healthier.

                  When I first came here, my husband thought I was trying to overfeed him. What he considers a good portion of fish makes me laugh.

                2. re: zuriga1
                  howler Jun 15, 2009 07:08 AM

                  zuriga - you'll be better served by leaving the choice of dishes to the chef. that is, don't order from the menu and let the kitchen serve you whatever they found fresh in the market. i've always found the bill to be fair.

                  1. re: howler
                    zuriga1 Jun 15, 2009 08:02 AM

                    I think you are saying this in general - no specific restaurant? That's fine although I would be upset to be served anything with clams as I am allergic to them. And there are certain foods I just don't like. I need to be more adventurous but am rather proud of how much I've learned lving in a new country.

                    1. re: zuriga1
                      howler Jun 15, 2009 08:10 AM

                      actually, no.

                      the chef at taiwan village is ex-hunan (pimlico). hunan seems to have started this charming idea where they bring you several courses made from that days market selection; taiwan village will do the same if asked. you can always specify things you don't want.

                      and you should indeed be proud of how much you've learned living in a new country. for that matter, i can't conceive living anywhere else at the moment.

                      1. re: howler
                        zuriga1 Jun 15, 2009 10:07 AM

                        Ah, now I understand. Thanks. I will definitely do the chef 's pick of the day when we get to the Village.

                        I'm here for the duration so I'm glad you feel the same way about where to live. :-) People always ask how I like it here. I say it's a bit like NY but 'different.' Both are fantastic.

                        1. re: zuriga1
                          howler Jun 15, 2009 10:40 AM

                          you should - just or comparisons sake if nothing else - try out hunan in pimlico as well.

                          one of us should start a thread celebrating the special joys of this city.

                          1. re: howler
                            zuriga1 Jun 15, 2009 10:44 AM

                            My wishlist for London restaurants now numbers about 283. It's a shame I live quite a distance outside central London, but such is life. I'll be interested in seeing how many of you young'uns eat the same way as you do now when you reach my age! It just doesn't work most of the time if one wants to remain svelte.

          2. zuriga1 Jun 8, 2009 03:39 AM

            You didn't mention how pretty the restaurant is. I looked at the website. It sounds worth the trip for the duck.

            1 Reply
            1. re: zuriga1
              s
              s70swinger Jun 8, 2009 04:11 AM

              Sorry about that....the restaurant was very clean and the inside decor was relaxing and to a certain extent zenlike with wooden floors, flowers and plants with soft music playing in the background.

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