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台灣風味 Taiwanese Specialties Elmhurst NY "這裡是酒巴嗎!"

  • jonkyo Sep 13, 2013 11:38 AM
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I wandered into a place entitled Taiwanese Specialties due simply to the sign in the window touting the fact that they sold Taiwan Beer.

Taiwan Beer, a state owned product, brewed by a state owned Brewer, has been discussed on Chowhound, most recent on my Roberta's review.

I happen to enjoy this beverage.

Anyway, the venue, Taiwanese Specialties, is like walking into a Chinese restaurant in the United States, and so unlike what one encounters in Taiwan.

I say this simply because I entered this busy restaurant that does continuous turnover of seating during weekends and busy hours. I entered during such a time, and simply told the waitress that I would like to take beer only.

I was one person.

Immediately upon seeing my being seated, an inquiry came from the male maitre d'. He ended up quickly issuing a scolding denunciation, in Mandarin, stating "what, this is bar" 這裡是酒巴嗎!

I apologized to the waitress, and she simply brushed it off, his remark, and kept busy with her job, that is attending to customers.

Of course such loud insults leveled at his co-worker does not make for a good environment for dining. I simply attended to the beers I ordered, and was able sneak in small chat with the delightful waitresses.

To my surprise many come from Fujian.

Though staffed with non-Taiwan people, the reel of music played is Taiwan old songs 台灣老歌.

I eventually took some food, and the maitre d' ended up with a table of one who spent near 40 dollars, majority Taiwan Beer, with some snacks. Did I order the food due to my Judeo-Christian guilt complex? Perhaps so, but it served to satisfy my curious taste buds.

The snacks:

Taiwan sausage 台灣香腸

Pig's large intestine 大腸

I will never eat Taiwan sausage outside of Taiwan ever after this experience. Anyway, in a restaurant, one is not going to find Taiwan sausage, unless the location is in Queens. It would have been nice if they were grilled. Nice bar snack in Taiwan, but here failed to live up to what they are.

The Da Chang (Pig's large intestine 大腸) was passable, but hardly as good as one would get anywhere in Taiwan. I would state that much preferable would be Fuzhou regions of Brooklyn and Queens.

Far cry from our beloved Taiwan. The atmosphere is like a Chinese Ponderosa Steakhouses, minus the salad bar.

I spotted some things on the menu that I would like to return to try, but with the friendly efficient waitstaff, girls from Fuzhou and some other Mainland places, being the only factor that equates with quality, I dare say I shall skip it. Especially when they get yelled at right in the dining room full of customers.

I spotted duck blood and some other nice Taiwanese food items at 刷刷 (shabu Shabu), a Chinese owned 刷刷 place on 18th Ave in Broooklyn, the staff are from Taishan (台山縣和台山市廣東省), Guangdong Province.

This has hot pot as well, and frankly, it is not trying to do anything other than offer nice food and atmosphere.

Reasonable prices, unlike the over-priced fare at Taiwanese Specialties. They do not serve beer, but you buy from near by store for in restaurant consumption, 免費的 (no extra charge) 沒關係!

刷刷樂 Shabu Shabu

Look for the Taiwan section of the menu!

7204 18th Ave

Brooklyn, 11204

Here is a portion of Shabu Shabu 18th Ave menu
http://whereyoueat.com/images/restaur...

When a Taiwan friend comes to visit, I would not go to this so not like a Taiwan place at all.

In Taiwan, and Fuzhou for that matter, one would never encounter this exaggerated response to simply being a customer. My Japan friends in Taiwan would take me to McDonald's with a bottle of Johnny Walker to be set in the middle of the table. 沒關係!

Taiwanese Specialties

84-02 Broadway, Queens, NY 11373

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  1. Interesting stuff. Have you been to Lu's Taiwanese in Flushing. Many people dai lo eat there.

    2 Replies
    1. re: AubWah

      I shall try to go there.

      I do like 刷刷樂 Shabu Shabu, Brooklyn, not really going for the Taiwan stuff, because they are out of the duck blood when I have been there.

      I want duck blood in a hot pot. It is so unlike pig blood!

      Truly a wonderful delicious item that soaks up all the juices from the hot pot.

      I shall take your suggestion, about Lu's.

      1. re: jonkyo

        lu's is not that good anymore, they're known for the pai gu fan which is just decent now (used to be pretty good)

    2. What's with this beer fixation?

      "Anyway, the venue, Taiwanese Specialties, is like walking into a Chinese restaurant in the United States, and so unlike what one encounters in Taiwan."
      ________________________________
      Nonsense. One can encounter a complete range of restaurant experiences in Taiwan, much like everywhere else.

      I once swore I would never eat a hot dog outside of the USA. Then I was in Qingdao three years ago and lo and behold: Taiwanese Hot Dogs for sale on the street!

      My 2011 review - sans the beer et al lecture:
      http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/812607

      Which reminds me that I need to get back there.

      6 Replies
      1. re: scoopG

        agreed...i mean i guess no reason for them to be rude, but odd post

        1. re: Lau

          The post might seem odd.

          It is all about evolution.

          If there is a reading of this by customers, and management, they may tell the staff to behave.

          Progress

        2. re: scoopG

          Well, I have seen the popular rise of the words 'Taiwan' or '台灣風味' on signs beholding Taiwan style street food, in mainland.

          Some is good.

          Did you first partake of the Taiwan hot dog in mainland China?

          I ask, since you had promised 上帝 or yourself that you would not eat one outside of the US.

          The beer fixation is just a diversion, or sublimation of my desires for baseball. That is a joke. I love beer, as I love food. I had not had a Taiwan beer in a long while. With the old songs, the large intestine, and the delightful Fuzhou waitresses, it was a nice moment.

          I find that beer is a salvation along with caffeine, that together the Mormons are denied.

          Without beer we would not have chaos. Without caffeine we would not have cafes. The French Revolution partly resulted from caffeine consumption.

          "Coffee's Unexpected Role in the French Revolution"- Rombouts Blog

          It is television that seems to distill the qualities that once stirred the people in the era of the French Revolution, here in the US.

          So, no matter how much coffee we consume we are subdued by television, the screen, and the touch pad.

          Placated masses, still love to eat.

          Qingdao? Well, known people from there. What is the common food like in Qing Dao?

          1. re: jonkyo

            wow we are really taking off into outer space here

            1. re: Lau

              It's like a chowhound version of a game that combines six degrees of separation and telephone.

            2. re: jonkyo

              >no matter how much coffee we consume we are subdued by television, the screen, and the touch pad.

              Want to counter the malign influence of those devices? Spill a beer on 'em.

          2. I once entered this restaurant looking for a shoe shine but ended up eating a five course meal. Is it because I am Canadian?

            إدراج الفكر عشوائي

            By far the best Taiwanese food, can be found here. It is BYOB.

            http://i1-win.softpedia-static.com/sc...

            1 Reply
            1. re: mielimato

              Nice Arabic!

            2. Actually, to enter a restaurant, say, for example, Ruby Tuesday's or even one like Taiwanese Specialties, and state to be polite, to the wait staff ready to seat you "I will look at the menu, but for now, I just may have a beer (or beverage)", is not out of the ordinary.

              To have a staff protest a customer is rude!

              I have walked into restaurants and just been seated for a beer. No big deal. This was rude.

              Keep the discussion to Chinese restaurants, well, I sometimes end up in one of the Fuzhou places for a late night dish, such as Best Fuzhou (the tiny shop up from Hester). I ofter see a customer or two, drinking beers, but not really eating. I have actually been to these places for a beer.

              Broaden the discussion to restaurants in general, well, so many times with a friend or even two, weekend, "lets pop in this place for a beer". Never any problem.

              "Rude", maybe it needs some defining parameters, or a dictionary quote.

              Anyway, it does have a 气氛 (atmosphere) of a Ponderosa Steakhouses, minus the salad bar. It does have one rude male maitre.

              Waitresses were wonderful though, so was the Taiwan 啤酒.

              57 Replies
              1. re: jonkyo

                I agree with everything Jonkyo says. I need a beer now.
                also want some "stinky tofu"

                1. re: foodwhisperer

                  10 years ago I went to a Taiwan restaurant in Manhattan. I had a visitor from Europe.

                  Sticky tofu was on the table as was other items. The food really paled!

                  The good feature if one desires to take advantage of the extensive food menu, that unfortunately does not include a Taiwan fav: pig feet, is there there is Taiwan beer for 3 dollars USD, per bottle.

                  I would not order street food favs here. Go for dishes, organ meat, etc.

                  I would not recommend 臭豆腐 stinky tofu there.

                  1. re: foodwhisperer

                    你要吃到台湾臭豆腐! 解放你的舌头, 别到美国的台式餐厅, 就到台湾!

                    Meaning here is don't expect to find the smelly tofu and other street foods famous in Taiwan, at an American restaurant that features Taiwan style cuisine. Liberate your tongue by simply going to Taiwan.

                    It has to do with the process of making the smelly tofu, that I heard is not able to be done here in the US.

                    It would be hard pressed to find, 肉燥饭 (rou zao fan: a type of gravy rice).

                    Women who run the shops know how to cook these things in Taiwan. Here some guy or family or group want to open a restaurant, they have chefs, usually men, cooking.

                    肉燥饭 (gravy rice) takes long preparation, and never cleaning the large pot to boil the meat and fat and spices, so the flavor over time is soaked into the pot and the pot will add to the flavor each time.

                    google image '肉燥饭' and you can see.

                    Point is, take to the dishes at Taiwan Specialties, if you go. Don't expect the local dishes of popularity to be anything more than a poor facsimile (ei: smelly tofu, eel noodle).

                    1. re: jonkyo

                      you call it 肉燥饭? everyone always calls it 滷肉飯 in taiwan?

                      anyhow, its not hard to make, just takes some time (alot of chopping up meat) and you need to cook it for a while like 3+ hours. I can make it at home and it tastes pretty similar to what you get in taiwan (way better than the restaurants). i think restaurants are probably not very good at it bc you have to make a big batch and its quite time consuming. the places in taiwan specialize in it and have alot of turnover in it; i think thats why its not very good here generally

                      stinky tofu almost always sucks in the US

                      1. re: Lau

                        Yes, I call it 肉燥饭.

                        That is simply due to the common parlance for describing this dish by those who make and sell it, in the souht of Taiwan.

                        滷肉飯 is perhaps a nomenclature found in regions of the over seas chinese populations (華僑).

                        I could be wrong, as both verbal designates may be in use in Taipei and other cities.

                        I would argue that your statement concerning restaurant and 肉 "gravy meat" 飯 is correct.

                        It is not usually something to take in a restaurant style dining experience in Taiwan or other parts of China. That would be, in the restaurants, white rice and maybe friend rice, if one insists.

                        肉燥飯....還...滷肉飯 都可以。

                        The Dinsey affect is in the Taiwanese Specilaties, in that they have eel noodle, and smelly tofu.

                        It is similar to walking into an American restaurant in Taiwan, and seeing Buffallo Wings, Texas style ribs, New York Style Pizza, Truck Driver Diner Breakfasts and Pancakes, and am I missing anything? All wrapped into one venue's offerings.

                        It is called packaged deal. Packaging all the goodies of Taiwan, that are otherwise sold by speicalty sellers, into one place. Of course far from 'authentic' espeically when those working the dining room are not from Taiwan.

                        It is nice to have a continuity with servers owners and dishes. I get this from time to time, in African places, chinese places, etc.

                        I was introduce to Pok Pok, recently as there seems a craze on finding the correct Thai in America, it was fitting.

                        This is not really a Thai restaurant. It is a Thai themed restaurant. Goes nicely, or fits nicely in its location.

                        The aspect of all this that the small shops selling noodles, or 滷肉飯 in Taiwan that does not really tough them is modern marketing. These are pre-modern places.

                        1. re: jonkyo

                          in taipei ive always heard it and read it being called 滷肉飯, ive actually never even heard the term 肉燥饭 (although im not saying that its never used in taipei, just ive never heard that). the south of taiwan is obviously quite a bit different than taipei so if they used a different term that wouldn't surprise especially given the lingua franca is taiwanese in the south vs mandarin in the north

                          also i dont know if you've spent alot of time in taipei, but you're wrong. its served all over taipei, its extremely common and there are lots of specialist mom & pop restaurants / stalls that pretty much serve just 滷肉飯 or maybe 滷肉飯 and a few other things.

                          not sure what pok pok has to do with this conversation

                          1. re: Lau

                            滷肉飯 (lǔ ròu fàn) and 肉燥飯 (ròu zào fàn) are similar. Both use soy sauce and added spices. The difference is that 滷肉飯 (lǔ ròu fàn) is stewed while 肉燥飯 (ròu zào fàn) is not.

                            1. re: scoopG

                              ahh interesting so theyre two separate dishes, this is probably why i havent heard that term

                              1. re: Lau

                                Not a hard and fast distinction, but I'm more likely to eat rouzaofan in people's homes and luroufan out at restaurants in Taipei (still had the latter in homes, just not as often). Past Chiayi going south, I see rouzaofan out more often (but maybe I am just not going to enough people's homes =D).

                            2. re: Lau

                              肉燥飯和滷肉飯比賽:

                              I did not look up 肉燥的定義.

                              I used the term 肉燥飯 due to the fact that such is the common parlance in contemporary Tainan, as well as Taipei, as the lingual designate that refers to bits of stewed meat and fat with spices or sauces.....that is eventually, poured over, in a conservative fashion, rice.....in Taiwan.

                              It could be that is some circles of the population, 滷肉飯 is used. I may postulate that 滷肉飯 is used in Overseas Chinese Community and here in the US.

                              Also, your statement may very well be fact, as its use could be due to the manifestation of a dual parlance, for referring to what I call 肉燥飯.

                              Anyway, you are most certainly correct in what you say about the restaurants and "meat gravy rice 肉燥飯/滷肉飯.

                              In China dining in restaurants one would not come across this. White rice and if anything different, fried rice, would accompany dishes for dining.

                              The shops that make it, 滷肉飯, are representations of something that is pre-modern. Modern economic rise did not kill much what I refer to in Taiwan, except for street barbecue (w/ tables and beer at night).

                              So, these small 'hole in the walls', the women and their families have been making this for decades, it is a specialty like cottage industry level...if one needs an analogy.

                              Smelly tofu is the same.

                              Restaurants can't match these specialties, and it would be strange.

                              Here, the idea of packaging all the delights of Taiwan into a restaurant is needed. It will certainly be far from the original, but this is what commercialism is all about.

                              Taiwan eel noodle (鱔魚麵) is also on the menu of Taiwanese Specialties, but I would hardly expect anything close to what one can find in Taiwan, here in US, and especially a restaurant as such that Taiwanese Specialties is.

                              Besides, the work staff in the dining room are all not Taiwanese.

                              I like a continuity with the designations of the restaurants or venues. Customers, food, music, staff all to over 50%, have a relationship (intimacy) to the ethnicity or national / regional origin of the cuisine. No DNA samples necessary though.

                              If you do not know why, then that is your loss.

                              None the less, I do not exclude such make shift places from my list of places.

                              I just don't experience what I would otherwise experience, in the places lacking in the continuity, I mention above.

                              Pok Pok is not a Thai restaurant. It is a Thai styled restaurant.

                              1. re: jonkyo

                                ok you're going on another one of your verbose tangents and getting away from what the original context of my question was. To end this and summarize this conversation concisely for everyone else reading:

                                Question: the original question was about jonkyo's use of the term 肉燥飯 (rou zao fan) and me asking him about it simply bc i'd never heard it before as i'd always heard 滷肉飯 (lu rou fan) in taiwan (specifically taipei)

                                Answer: it seems like it may just be a slightly different dish (stewed vs non stewed) or another term for the same dish that i just haven't heard or both

                                What is 滷肉飯?: it's a dish consisting of minced pork belly stewed in a type of brown sauce that you put over rice and usually eat with these stewed eggs and yellow pickle. It looks like this
                                http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-1zQdAwoQ1d8...

                                1. re: Lau

                                  well, I support your confinement of the dialogue here, for this question of 滷肉飯 and 肉燥飯 has not been answered.

                                  I found the following on the internet, due to my using search with the phrase: 滷肉飯和肉燥飯是一樣嗎

                                  (this means "is luroufan '滷肉飯' and rouzaofan '肉燥飯' the same?)

                                  ":肉燥跟滷肉飯跟本是不一樣的東西.....(you can google this phrase to pull up the thread)

                                  EN: rouzaofan and luroufan are different things

                                  one person on the thread stated this:

                                  肉燥是絞肉

                                  滷肉是肉塊

                                  Rouzoafan is minced

                                  Lurou is chunk or small pieces

                                  1. re: jonkyo

                                    i can read the chinese you wrote (i can read at some like 1st or 2nd grade level although i can read food much better than that)

                                    well that could certainly be true although "minced" vs "chunks" are actually almost the same thing and when you google 肉燥飯, you will see pics that look exactly the same as 滷肉飯

                                    scoopG also thought one was stewed vs the other is not?

                                    I don't know the answer obviously. my gut is they are probably interchangeable terms, but we probably need someone from taiwan to tell us the answer to figure out what if any difference there actually is

                                    1. re: Lau

                                      Correct - 滷肉飯 is stewed while 肉燥飯 is not. For many people in Taiwan yes, the two terms are interchangeable.

                                      1. re: Lau

                                        I asked a couple of Taiwanese (their tastes align with mine and are trusted sources of food knowledge) and they said there was no difference other than northern Taiwanese preferring to use rouzaofan and southern Taiwanese preferring to use luroufan. Obviously limited anecdata.

                                        1. re: mookleknuck

                                          ah thanks, really northerners say rou zao fan? ive never heard that (and ive never been to southern taiwan)

                                          anyhow thanks for the clarification!

                                          1. re: Lau

                                            welcome!

                                    2. re: Lau

                                      What is 肉燥飯 (rouzaofan: conditioned through specific preparation-meat and rice) ?

                                      It is something I had to endure years of eating this, as opposed to American diner food. I am lucky I survived....hahaha jest.

                                      If those who ate diner American fodder (pancakes hamberger; eggs and home fries; etc, ate this in the photo and all that goes with it, instead, there would be significantly LESS diabetes (糖尿病), ugliness due to obese conditions, heart failure, medical bills.. http://pic.pimg.tw/qmonster/118692522...

                                      google "Whole-Wheat Pancakes or Waffles - American Diabetes Association" for alternatives to death by pancake.

                                      Here is what goes with it:

                                      (http://twimg.edgesuite.net//images/tw...

                                      )

                                      豆乾 (dougan tofu processed in a certain way)

                                      海帶 (haidai seaweed )

                                      花生 (huashen peanuts)

                                      大腸 (dachang pig large intestine)

                                      豬肝

                                      There is some dispute about the terms 滷肉飯 and 肉燥飯, but they may be the same.

                                      I found this also, a title of a youtube: 中天新聞》滷肉飯?爌肉飯?肉燥飯?南北差很大

                                      It says rouzaofan and luroufan difference between the noth of china and the south of china is big.

                                      It is about a stamp of the china post office using a photo of Lu Rou Fan and some controversy about it: quote 中天新聞》你喜歡吃「滷肉飯」嗎?,中華郵政最近推出一款「美食郵票」,上頭就有台灣­道地小吃「滷肉飯」!但郵票一推出,卻引發南北部郵票迷舌戰!因為郵票上的滷肉飯照片­爭議。end quote of youtube

                                      1. re: jonkyo

                                        u dont like it? i love that stuff although u cant eat it too often, its clearly not very healthy

                                        1. re: Lau

                                          I was being incredibly sarcastic and making a joke.

                                          I love it. Living in Taiwan, I would eat it and 麻醬麵, daily. My meaning is, I would either eat, 爌肉飯 or 麻醬麵 every day, one of the two, for diner or late breakfast - early lunch.

                                          It is not unhealthy. That is a grand myth. Of course if you eat it in a portion that would be comparable to the meat of a lunch plate in the USA, daily, it might be unhealthy.

                                          The situation is that one has this with rice, in a small bowl. Then you have a side of one of the following 豆乾, 海帶, 大腸. If you are American, you will eat this, then head to the nearest McDonalds to complete your meal.

                                          If you are Taiwanese or someone who does not abide by the American diet but carry an american passport, you will eat the above, and it will be several or more hours before something in the line of 'a meal' enters you esophagus.

                                          There is more to this than just taste.

                                          Medical advice in the way of Chinese medicine: ei: prevention!

                                            

                                           

                                          1. re: Lau

                                            麻 ma like 芝麻 zhima for sesame

                                            醬 jiang sauce

                                            麵 mian noodle.

                                            photo: http://album.udn.com/community/img/PS...

                                      2. re: jonkyo

                                        In China dining in restaurants one would not come across this. White rice and if anything different, fried rice, would accompany dishes for dining.
                                        ________________________________
                                        This is not true at all – especially in the north and at formal banquets where not serving rice is a sign of wealth and prosperity.

                                        Besides, the work staff in the dining room are all not Taiwanese.
                                        ___________________________
                                        So what?

                                        1. re: scoopG

                                          scoopG - agreed

                                          1. re: Lau

                                            wow, reading these Jonkyo threads really makes me think, or spin. But it's great how Lau and Scoop hang in there and cut to the chase and jonkyo is never at a loss for words. Although many are Chinese words and then i'm lost, but i'm learning. Anyway, stinky or smelly tofu was mentioned somewhere and I love that stuff. The taiwanese restaurant 2 doors down from Kung Fu on Main St sometimes has it.
                                            As for her comment on Pok Pok, i am one of the few who agree with jonkyo. Thai inspired

                                            1. re: foodwhisperer

                                              it is thai inspired, but honestly who cares....its delicious

                                              i do not care about authenticity at all, i care about the food being delicious (that said alot of "authentic" food is delicious)

                                              1. re: Lau

                                                Well, I actually more enjoyed the Ayada noodles, than the Pok Pok. Going on taste alone, as if authenticity was inconsequential. The two noodle dishes, one from each, well, the dish is about the same, or just slight variation.

                                                I did not quite like the crusty outer part of the wide noodle, at Pok Pok. The Ayada was more what I prefer. They have better hot pepper too.

                                                This crusty part is what some people go for.

                                                On the topic of authentic:

                                                I care about 'authenticity ' and 'continuity'.

                                                Incongruity factors are interesting to say the least. I just have not applied what I like, about atonal modern music and modern, Dada and the Surreal art, to restaurant experiences.

                                                Meaning I yet to apply an appreciation for incongruity, also to eating and drinking experiences.

                                                The discontinuity of a pizza shop selling New York Style pizza, with an Albanian pizza maker, and a guy from Seattle at the counter, does not bother me. America long lost its continuity. I actually like it, because I can eat pizza and have a short chat about The Balkans' with the Albanian, besides all the Italian Americans sold their shops, well some at least.

                                                1. re: jonkyo

                                                  its quite clear that you have other criteria upon which you judge restaurants aside from the quality of the food

                                                  "America long lost its continuity" - umm America is basically 200+ years old made up front a ton of immigrants, not sure what continuity you are expecting?

                                                  1. re: Lau

                                                    Thank you, Lau, for stating what I was feeling.

                                                    The Brooklyn neighborhood in which I grew up (I'm nearing 50) was comprised of second-generation Irish and Italian families with an influx of first-generation Greek, Indian, Chinese, Korean, and Russian immigrant families. This is ONE neighborhood in south Brooklyn. A few miles away, there were first-generation Polish immigrants alongside second-generation Norwegian and German families.

                                                    The "continuity" of this country is, indeed, the perpetual mixing of the world's ethnicities and cultures under one "roof," thereby providing the opportunity for the Albanian pizzeria owner with the Guadalajaran cook and the Goan delivery guy to make a living serving Italian food.

                                                    My son is an example of our Great American Melting Pot (for those of you old enough to remember the reference): He is of Irish, English, Scottish, Polish, Russian, German, Swedish, and Dutch ancestry.

                                                    1. re: Lau

                                                      Well, there was continuity in the old emigrant communities that separated the Irish from the Italian and such.

                                                      I amby far not a promoter of endogamy in the least. But do appreciate the ethnic groups that practice such, ie: Hasidic Judaism; and others. In such strict ethnic groups, the food is historically founded. It is nice to experience that.

                                                      Anyway, Taiwan food, the topic of this thread initially,shares with such as I state above, to varying extents.

                                                      And if you are to eat some Taiwan food, listen to one of my favored Taiwan artists. His name is 陳明章 (Chen Ming Zhang). He sings in Taiwan, and was a member of a black listed music group in the 1980s, during martial law.

                                                      I hopeit is permissible to post an example of this artist. It has a great continuity with the food of Taiwan.

                                                      【徵求百把月琴撤展志工】
                                                      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lF8Kf6...

                                                      So, while one is out eating the fusion that has evolved in dining venues of western metropolitan areas, also take note of the exclusively ethnic places

                                                      1. re: jonkyo

                                                        i mean even when u talk about continuity of food in taiwan, to a certain extent that is sort of ridiculous. What do you mean by that? Much like America Taiwan is really a nation of immigrants even though they are mainly immigrants from the same country (albeit saying China is like saying Europe)

                                                        Do you mean the food from the original indigenous Taiwanese who were largely pushed out of the main areas by chinese a long time ago so you don't see it now unless you go to rather rural areas?

                                                        Or do you mean the food from the minnan / fujian chinese who became the majority and have been in taiwan for hundreds of years?

                                                        Or perhaps you mean the Japanese food and all of the hybrid or strongly Japanese influenced food from being ruled and occupied by the Japanese for ~50 years?

                                                        Or do you mean the food from the mainland chinese fleeing china when the communists took over and brought food from all over china to taiwan and now is ingrained in Taiwanese cuisine?

                                                        Or maybe you mean the modern food that is constantly being developed all over taiwan that literally didn't exist 10-15 years ago? (snow ice etc etc)

                                                        You seem to have a very idealistic view of taiwan. Its some of the best food in the world in my opinion, but I see a continuingly developing cuisine vs your idea of a "continuity" where you're stuck in a period of time

                                                        1. re: Lau

                                                          It might be best to use an example that is an analogy, such as Jazz. Wynton Marsalis may be a good musician just as cuisine at some pseudo-Asian venue's pale facsimile of an otherwise authentic dish is, here in the US, delicious (however pale to the original). But he is a far cry from authentic Jazz. Wynton Marsalis as a phenomena has no continuity with what Jazz musician were and are enmeshed to, when Jazz was jazz, and even today.

                                                          Gene Krupa and Coleman Hawkins, Herbie Hancock and present day Charlie Haden are jazz musicians. Marsalis is an instrument of large monopolizing entertainment business corporations, in the same way venues for eating are simply instruments of businesses, or one guy's restaurant empire.

                                                          As for the little guy, continuity ends with the adaptation of something totally foreign to one's world, simply to become what Jean Baudrillard called simulacra.

                                                          You are correct in all you denote about Taiwan, japan and Chinese and the KMT who fled with their own styles of cooking.

                                                          I simply use the word continuity as something I have come to know through experience. It is the experience of eating in a countryside restaurant in Slovenia, having coffee on the sidewalk outside of a cafe on a busy corner with scooters buzzing by in Hanoi, a Fuzhou shop on Allen, a Dominican venue in The Heights, an American and Continental cuisine establishment on Park, in Upstate, in Illinois, a Hong Kong curry house in Hong Kong, or a Russian venue near Coney Island.

                                                          That is all. That might stir idealism in an individual, or it might not.

                                                          Snow ice, I thought, existed for a long time. They used bricks of ice, delivered to the vendor or shop. Xue bing: in chinese it is called 雪冰。They still use the bricks of ice, huge ones at that, even in Taipei.

                                                          1. re: jonkyo

                                                            ok looks like we've found ourselves back in outer space again...last time we were at the moon and now we've really gone way out there to pluto

                                                            basically you just completely changed what your definition of "continuity" means. At first it was "authentic" food / recipes being passed down through generations unchanged, now apparently its a eating food in ethnic neighborhoods or foreign countries (basically any country outside of the US bc apparently only the US doesn't have continuity...)

                                                            also you are incorrect about ice desserts in taiwan

                                                            刨冰 bao bing is quite old (i.e. shaved ice with various toppings)
                                                            http://9702.tw.tranews.com/Show/image...

                                                            雪花冰 xue hua bing is much newer (flavored ice
                                                            )http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-NfveLOL6fJ4...

                                                            1. re: Lau

                                                              Wow, I guess i'll go with the flow here. Where does Wynton Marsalis eat stinky tofu?
                                                              btw Lake Pavillion was reviewed in NYT.
                                                              NOTE: this is CH gone Twitter

                                                              1. re: foodwhisperer

                                                                No, this is CH as performance art. our very own Ruth Bourdain. just waiting for the big reveal next year, so we can find out who's been pulling our leg.

                                                                1. re: foodwhisperer

                                                                  yah i saw the lake pavilion review, nice review, they tried some of the high quality seafood which i need to get around to doing, they have the most extensive list of fish and other seafood of any of the chinese restaurants in NY. im happy to pay up more for quality

                                                                2. re: Lau

                                                                  Thank you correct my mix up.

                                                                  I am very familiar with 雪冰 or as you state 雪花冰 xue hua bing.

                                                                  The other I do not know.

                                                                  I do not eat so much sweet, and gravitated to 雪冰 xuebing due to the use of condensed milk, and legumes and beans.

                                                                  I like condensed milk, occasionally, though never stock it in home.

                                                                  Milk is an evil that made it's way to Asia.

                                                                  I appreciate the Latin Americans for not wanting to be tall.

                                                                  Taller does not mean more healthy. Tall people's heart has to work much harder than say. the heart of North Koreans or Richard Dreyfuss.

                                                                  Continuity......is what it is.

                                                                  Find it. It comes in bowls, on plates.

                                                                  1. re: Lau

                                                                    here is a verse I wrote using the word continuity:

                                                                    Ingmar Bergman
                                                                    was greatly influenced
                                                                    by Freudian thought,
                                                                    and his films portray modern humans
                                                                    grappling with the condition of modernity,
                                                                    the fraying of tradition,
                                                                    and the crush of anomie,
                                                                    or alienation,
                                                                    that invades
                                                                    the privations
                                                                    of modern humans,
                                                                    as asphalt
                                                                    and concrete
                                                                    separates
                                                                    and dislocates
                                                                    the continuity
                                                                    that grasses and farmlands
                                                                    gave to people,
                                                                    in the days
                                                                    when Feudal lords
                                                                    reigned powerful,
                                                                    and the majority
                                                                    were peasants,
                                                                    humble
                                                                    and hard working.

                                                                    On that note, I could go for some Peasant Lard, or pigs feet.

                                                                    Pigs feet came from peasant cuisine in Taiwan, and is still there, and cuts across class lines. A true unifier.

                                                                    Where do you recommend Pig Feet Taiwan style, since Taiwanese Specialties does not serve it.

                                                                    1. re: jonkyo

                                                                      ah greeting from Mars this time i see

                                                                      well so many topics to discuss, where do we begin?

                                                                      刨冰 - shaved ice maybe the most popular or certainly one of the most popular desserts in taiwan, im extremely surprised you do not know what it is...its the equivalent of not knowing what ice cream is in america. And its not just in Taiwan, i mean it has to be one of the most popular and universal dishes across all of asia (china, southeast asia, korea, japan etc etc)...i personally love it
                                                                      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Baobing

                                                                      milk - so your assertion about milk is that its evil + has caused latin americans to be short + being taller is less healthy? umm not really sure where to go with this? i guess the logic and facts on mars are quite a bit different

                                                                      "continuity" - so basically thru this thread continuity has evolved from "authentic" food / recipes being passed down through generations unchanged --> eating food in ethnic neighborhoods or foreign countries --> "it is what it is". This "continuity" concept is very interesting bc it evolves every few days and seems to lack any continuity of its own.

                                                                      your poem - basically asserts that the world was better under feudal lords. wonderful agrarian societies with little or no increases in quality of life from generation to generation, constant wars, no social / economic mobility, outbreaks of disease / starvation...those were the good ol days!

                                                                      pigs feet - i dont know, i really havent had any great chinese or taiwanese style feet in NY although to be fair i have not really sought it out. If you want decent pigs feet go to hakata ton ton or PAN (korean restaurant on st marks; spicy pigs feet are good).

                                                                      1. re: Lau

                                                                        I would have no idea about the counterpart to ice cream in Taiwan. But the 雪冰 (plate of shaved ice with bean, mung, condensed milk, fruits, nuts etc.) is something that is served up in businesses on corners, and in markets. Hard to miss it, especially if one calls the location home.

                                                                        Tall and large bodies require more of the heart. Tall people are more prone to heart problems as they age. The Asians inferiority complex, has caused them to think that it is great that tallness is finally kicking into their populations. The milk industry in China and Taiwan is horrid. I existed in Asian without dairy 99% of the time. In Europe, the cheese taste is so good, one falters in maintaining a milk free existence.

                                                                        Dairy eaten regularly, promotes mucus in excess of what the human body needs. This causes the body to be more prone to air born and infectious illnesses, such as common colds. Bacteria and germs, viruses all use mucus for nesting. Excesses will attract them.

                                                                        Asians did much better without milk. Milk is like pepsi there, It is consumed as a drink. Tea is much better. Again this goes back to Industrialization of the food.

                                                                        Are you familiar with tea, 茶道 (cha dao) the way of tea consumption, 茶藝 (chayi) the art or craft of gaining knowledge about brewing tea, also called 功 夫茶 (Gongfu Cha). Asians have had this for centuries.

                                                                        Milk in boxes with straws, and larger containers for the home, is very recent. That is all about profit, only.

                                                                        Continuity is a word. It is interesting your reading of it as I wrote it. I simply apply it in varying ways, such as all you state: passed down recipes; ethnic or regional food served and cooked by that regions people....neighborhoods......

                                                                        The poem is referring to inner life, community etc. It makes no value judgment concerning present day medical health industry, that profits greatly from the ills that are created by the advent of industrialization of food, ie: 80 % of a supermarket's product line, all boxed up, to feed the sedentary modern American (barring the non-sedentary, a percentage of populations in NYC, Boston, Chicago, SFS....no LA is all automobile).

                                                                        Ironically, it is the asphalt that has kept NYC people fit, as mobility is often by feet. Where the grasslands are, automobiles rein supreme, to the detriment of the human body.

                                                                        Thank you for the suggested pig feet venues.

                                                                        1. re: jonkyo

                                                                          the traditional shaved ice you're talking about is called 刨冰 in taiwan, i dont think people really call it 雪冰 (someone from taiwan like to chime in?) at least not commonly (just google both and see what you find for images alone). 雪花冰 is a totally different ice dessert, which i gave you links that you can see the pics of

                                                                          milk / tall people - ummm i dont think i need to comment on this one, everyone can form their own opinion on your thoughts...

                                                                          continuity - haha sure...

                                                                          poem - haha its meaning has as much continuity as your definition of continuity...i think we're done with that as well

                                                                          anyhow this thread is going nowhere except way out into outer space and is really of no use to anyone on CH, so unless we decide to discuss food i think im done with this thread

                                                                          1. re: Lau

                                                                            It is all about food.

                                                                            And you stand to have corrected my mistake regarding
                                                                            刨冰 boabing. It is correct that that is the term that is used to describe the item with shaved ice, and all sorts of toppings such a beans, peanuts.

                                                                            On Chowhound, we have an advantage of all sorts of adventurers and open minded people. When food intersects with other arenas of life, such as social life, weddings and other functions, this is even more meaning. With traditions, we have concerns for social and family celebrations, as well as health.

                                                                            Food impinges on all, especially in Taiwan, Canton and all of China.

                                                                            I leave such comments, as they are topics that naturally come forth out of such discussions. I also do this to share my knowledge, or if need be have a dialogue, a synthesis, with others.

                                                                            There are great health benefits from a diet the likes one can find being adhered to in China, whether 200 years ago, or even today.

                                                                            A nurse brought this connection of dairy and mucus to my attention, when we were discussion food and health, once.

                                                                            Here is a quote:

                                                                            "Most foods Americans eat most often cause that thickened mucus. They either contain toxins or break down in a toxic way in the digestive tract (or both).

                                                                            The worst offenders are dairy products, followed by animal protein, white flour, processed foods, chocolate, coffee, and alcoholic beverages. (Vegetables do not cause the formation of this sticky mucus, which is just one more reason to feature them prominently in your diet.) Over time, these foods can encrust the intestines with thick mucus and the fecal material and other debris it traps. This slime is bad enough on its own before you consider that it creates an environment that also promotes the growth of negative microforms."-Extract from the book "The pH Miracle" by Dr. Robert O. Young and Shelley Redford Young

                                                                            There are risks of health problems with taller people. Diet can help offset that, such as tall women being more at risk for ovarian cancer.

                                                                            I do not think that health issues touched upon in connection to food have a connection to 'outer space'. But if you happen to be in the outer space of the Outer Boroughs, check out the food at Taiwanese Specialties. Points noted by me and others, conclusion that sticky tofu and other street items might be best skipped in these US continental Taiwan places, unless one does not mind settling for less, of course without the table set up on the street.

                                                                            Do check out the Taiwan Beer. I recommend it. One bottle is only 3.00 美金 (that is us dollar as oppose to 台幣 'taibi'...Taiwan money)

                                                                            1. re: jonkyo

                                                                              Or perhaps Dr Young is a quack

                                                                              http://www.quackwatch.com/11Ind/young...

                                                                              1. re: MVNYC

                                                                                Just another charlatan trying to get us to buy his life saving products.

                                                                              2. re: jonkyo

                                                                                the taiwan beer really is very good for the price. i don't know the actual alcohol content, but it seems on the low side without tasting "lite" -- a plus when you're drinking a few during a long meal.

                                                                                1. re: debinqueens

                                                                                  I think that is correct.

                                                                                  Low % alcohol.

                                                                              3. re: Lau

                                                                                And as for checking out Taiwanese Specialties, staffed by the most delightful, resourceful and accommodating waitresses mainly from Fuzhou, I do believe they have 皮蛋 (thousand year old egg) and others, that should be ordered family style.

                                                                                Now if one does not know of the continuity, mentioned by Lau, of Fuzhou....more so Fujian and Taiwan, well, food is a good place to begin.

                                                                                After which, you can discover 媽祖 and the migration from Fuzhou to Taiwan.

                                                                                I could talk about the food offerings to 媽祖 and others in the spirit world, we can save that for the classroom, library or bar.

                                                                              4. re: jonkyo

                                                                                1) Milk is an evil that made it's way to Asia.

                                                                                2) Asians did much better without milk. Milk is like pepsi there, It is consumed as a drink. Tea is much better. Again this goes back to Industrialization of the food.
                                                                                _______________________
                                                                                Hogwash. Where are you getting your information from?

                                                                                1. re: scoopG

                                                                                  I get my information from my eyes, in urban areas.

                                                                                  In mainland China, regions I have been in, it has made inroads to fine dining even, where they offer milk in cardboard boxes and straws, early in the meal. A once time beverage, that gets drank but not ordered again.

                                                                                  Kids are given these consumable marketed packages from Taiwan's south to the bustle of the north, in high urbanized regions.

                                                                                  The daily industry is now big in both Taiwan and China for milk only.

                                                                                  You can google'台灣的牛奶品'

                                                                                  http://iphoto.ipeen.com.tw/photo/comm...

                                                                                  1. re: jonkyo

                                                                                    Well you are flat out wrong about milk in China, either from an historical perspective or modern history.

                                                                                    In ancient times the Chinese never developed dairy farming on a large scale - even if in the border regions of China there was a dairy breeding tradition among non-Han populations like the Mongols who ruled China during the Yuan Dynasty (1271-1368). It is known that dairy products were enjoyed in the Qing court (1644-1911), the last Chinese dynasty founded by the Manchus.

                                                                                    The French food historian Francoise Sabban has conclusively shown that contrary to popular myth, dairy farming (cattle and sheep-raising) goes back a long way in Chinese history.

                                                                                    In one of the earliest Chinese treatises on agriculture, the
                                                                                    Qimin Yaoshu (齊民要術 - Qímín Yàoshù – circa 535 CE) there is a chapter on breeding as well as the uses of cow’s milk and ewe’s milk. It shows that the Chinese already knew how to ferment milk, turn milk into butter and how to preserve milk by dehydrating drained fermented milk and leaving it in the sun to dry.

                                                                                    Milk was an element of traditional Chinese pharmacopoeia and used basically as a medicine. It was used to make stimulant drinks for the elderly or added to digestive teas. It is said for instance that a mixture of cow’s milk and long pepper managed to cure Tang emperor Taizong of a serious intestinal disorder.

                                                                                    Butter was described as being a most valuable foodstuff in the Yinshan Zhengyao (饮膳正要 - Yǐnshàn Zhèngyào) a treatise that dates from 1330. Fermented milk was flavored with garlic and used as a sauce, curdled milk was mixed into stuffing and butter wass used to flavor pastries, although recipes of this sort are few and far between.

                                                                                    (While the question of lactose intolerance among some Asian populations remains an issue it does not necessarily prevent one from consuming products containing lactose).

                                                                                    It's only in comparatively modern times that the Han Chinese turned away from milk – after first contact with foreigners, or barbarians. According to Sabban, what surprised the Chinese was not so much that barbarians consumed dairy products but that they made them their sole means of subsistence and that they carried their “gastronomic poverty” as far as consuming them raw.

                                                                                    Reforms of the early 1980’s under Deng Xiaoping led to the creation of a new dairy industry from the ground up, with the help from major
                                                                                    foreign dairy-producing countries. Today China is the world’s fourth largest milk producer after the United States, India and Russia.

                                                                                    More on Sabban:
                                                                                    http://translate.google.com/translate...

                                                                                    and

                                                                                    http://www.ifcndairy.org/en/start/ind...

                                                                                  2. re: scoopG

                                                                                    在中國每天我喝了茶。

                                                                                    在台灣喝了台灣烏龍茶

                                                                                    在大陸我喝的是福建的安溪有名的茶葉。 那是鐵觀音.

                                                                                    In China I drank tea. In Taiwan Oolong tea, and in Mainland the Fujian place called Anxi's famous Tie Guan Yin.

                                                                                    It is called chadao 茶道.

                                                                                    All my local friends my age drank it, bought tea pots, etc.

                                                                                    It is just something that becomes so regular when I was in my home. You make it as you read...listen music...visit with friends.

                                                                                    Here is a nice blog on that:

                                                                                    http://tw.myblog.yahoo.com/dbsdbstw/a...

                                                                                    As for milk, I have not drank it since I was perhaps 18. Dairy is never a large part of my diet. Even here in states, unless eating out in Mexican, El Salvador etc. places.

                                                                                    Much has been written on its 'evil'-ness. Not to offend anyone.

                                                                                    I do love lancahsire cheese with a real English ale.

                                                                                    Single processed in large factory cheeses wrapped in petroleum based clear sheets should be avoided at all costs.

                                                                                    If one eats cheese, might as well go for the small farm even large farm made product.

                                                                                    Tea I state above , check it out. You might like.

                                                                                    1. re: scoopG

                                                                                      If interested, it is the purple clay near Zhejiang that is used to make the real classic and best to use tea pots. they are small, as brew small portions one has more control.

                                                                                      紫砂茶壶 zisha chahu

                                                                                      紫 zi purple

                                                                                      砂 sha clay

                                                                                      茶cha tea

                                                                                      壶 hu pot

                                                                                      I did not get really good ones till I was in Mainland.

                                                                                      Taiwan one can find really good ones, but quit expensive. I had few.

                                                                                      Cheaper ones work, but not the real cheap ones.

                                                                                      google '紫砂茶壶' and images and text can be found.

                                                                                      1. re: jonkyo

                                                                                        Yixing is the name of the plae in Jiangsu Province Mainland China, that the purple clay comes from.

                                                                                        宜兴江苏 (yixing, jiangsu)

                                                                                        You can translate this page:

                                                                                        or find it in Engz:

                                                                                        http://zh.wikipedia.org/wiki/紫砂壺

                                                                                        here is the same page

                                                                                        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yixing_clay

                                                                                      2. re: scoopG

                                                                                        OK, maybe not consumed as pepsi and coke are consumed here, or milk is consumed here.

                                                                                        But there is a market now, both Mainland and Taiwan. One can find many, mostly kids, who drink it daily.

                                                                                        It is a stereotype, as it is seen being consumed in movies and shows the depict american life. So, they think it is a health daily item to ingest.

                                                                                        Any, we may all have differences in diet or habits. I am mainly voicing decent against populations being dupe by the myth that milk is healthy.

                                                                                        It is a industry not as bad as tobacco, but overall, better without.

                                                                                        http://www.waoy.org/9.html

                                                                                    2. re: Lau

                                                                                      hakata ton ton.....

                                                                                      This is a very nice establishment.

                                                                                      感谢你 Lau 先生!

                                                                                      They happily serve pork.

                                                                                      The pig feet are enjoyed in southern regions of Japan. They were quite delicious. Garlic and Spice.

                                                                                      I particularly appreciated the paste that is a hot green paste. This does some amazing actions to glands and taste buds in the mouth.

                                                                                      The monk fish was quite good. It was all quite good.

                                                                                      The pig feet are cut open and I am not certain as to cooking method (grilled perhaps), but the hard crisp outer top makes for a great initial taste, before getting to the fatty and meaty portions. Bone included.

                                                                                      Sapporo draft. Selections of sake and soju.

                                                                                      Make appointment before you go.

                                                                                      1. re: jonkyo

                                                                                        Hey all, this is getting further and further away from having anything at all to do with restaurants in New York. Could we ask that you please let this discussion end now? Thanks.

                                                                                        1. re: The Chowhound Team

                                                                                          @The Chowhound Team - thank you

                                                                                        2. re: jonkyo

                                                                                          hakata ton ton is good, glad u enjoyed