Reno: More authentic Chinese food at 101 Taiwanese Cuisine
Wow, Reno now has a second restaurant with mostly authentic Chinese food. I don't know if this is proof the Mayans were right, that the end times are near.
101 Taiwanese Cuisine opened in a strip mall on Fifth Street just east of Ralston Street. It's the same strip mall that has a Starbucks, a Subway and a sushi place. My food here was excellent and I look forward to exploring many of the items on the menu. It joins 168 Café as offering a menu full of authentic items instead of just a smattering of dishes among the sweet-and-sour pork and General’s chicken.
I ordered the braised beef noodle soup, the shrimp roll and a melon smoothie.
The restaurant won me over with the first bite out of the shrimp roll. Fresh shrimp taste. In so many places the shrimp has no flavor and serves as a vehicle to deliver other flavors, like deep-fried fattiness. This shrimp roll had some nice delicate flavors. The sweet-and-sour sauce has a different take, too. First off, it's Day-Glo orange. The sour part has a different tang to it. It was interesting and I liked it.
The soup was also pretty good, too. The chunks of beef looked black, like dark chocolate. They tasted nice and there were plenty of them. There were peppers but it wasn't that spicy. Nothing like the great spicy soup at Jia's Wok. I wonder if there are options to give it more zing. Maybe I got the gringo version. The noodles are egg noodles and were tasty as well. I think egg noodles do better with this dish than rice noodles.
It looks like my melon smoothie was premade. It was still okay.
There are lots of other things on the menu that look interesting. I don't think I've seen dan dan noodles on a Reno restaurant menu before. They have stinky tofu on the menu. I've tried that once before, with Yimster of the San Francisco board at a place on the peninsula. I think all foodies should try it. At the end of their meals. But once was enough for me.
This restaurant is operated by the guy who was (maybe still is) chef at the Dynasty restaurant near Keystone and Booth streets. I'm glad he decided to open something with authentic food instead of another sweet-and-sour chicken joint. Hopefully, Reno's dining community will embrace the difference and support the place.
101 Taiwanese Cuisine
400 W 5th St
Reno, NV 89503
Back here today for lunch. Forced ourselves to order all different items :) This time we had the deep fried tofu. I could easily have eaten the whole order myself and, if I'm ever feeling under the weather, I'm going just for this. So incredibly creamy. I described it as 'poor man's foie gras.' Then the squid in black bean sauce. Very flavorful but the squid was REALLY chewy and I'm wearing braces so chewing was dang hard. The final dish was ground pork over rice with a hard boiled egg that had been soaked in soy sauce (very traditional). Very nice. There were doing a decent business for a Saturday downtown. We will continue to work our way through the menu. Highly recommends.
We FINALLY made it here for lunch today. And agree that we now have two excellent Chinese places with 168 Cafe being the other. Having been there I'm not sure I've had Taiwanese before. Many of the same ingredients but new ones and different flavors. All fantastic. I'll have to do some research. We started with the cold beef tripe. Thin strips with plenty of heat and some tartness (probably vinegar) topped with cilantro sprigs. Then came the deep fried squid ball, smaller than a golf ball with some kind of ground pepper to dip in. Great firm texture. Then the minced pork with tofu in a light, spicy sauce. I would switcheroo the name and call it "tofu with minced pork" as the tofu is the star! So creamy. It was almost hard to pick up a piece with chopsticks without cutting it in half. Finally there was the dan dan noodles which are unlike Shanghainese version. This is a fatter noodle with a light sauce (not a ton of it). In addition to the meat, there was shrimp, preserved mushrooms, boiled eggs and other things I can't remember :) Spicy but not Sichuan peppercorn spicy. Very light. We couldn't pick a fave. Made sure to eat all the tripe and squid balls as we had leftovers and knew the other things would carry over well. This is a very attractive place and the service is nice and professional. We'll go back...again and again and again :)
I happened to be in Reno last week and was glad I found this post (it's odd to me that Reno is in the Southwest board). I wasn't too hungry, but was happy to have a snack of a Taiwanese hamburger and tofu with preserved egg. The "hamburger" was particularly well executed--the pork cutlet was tasty and crispy and I enjoyed the relish and sweet crumbly topping (along with cilantro) included in the steamed bun. I wish I had room to try more of the menu, but what I had was great. The waitstaff were also very nice and they had wireless. They have a long milk tea/boba/shake list and it seems like they are going for a Taiwanese cafe atmosphere. The drinks are shrink-wrapped on top, but I'm pretty sure that is just a common boba cafe style choice rather than an indication of pre-packaging. I didn't try any, however, as they're generally too sweet for my tastes (and they didn't have my favorite, the avocado shake).