No-nonsense, home-style cooking at IBA
By Lishea Zheng
Translated by Ann Lee
181, Taichung Kang (Taichung Harbor) Rd, Sec 3 (inside Tunghai University)
(04) 2359-2145, 2359-3896
Hours: 11 am-2 pm, 5-9 pm (Closed on the afternoon of Chinese New Year Eve and first day of the Chinese New Year holiday. )
5% service charge.
Credit cards accepted for purchases over NT$1,000. Parking available.
The IBA restaurant is situated on the campus of Tunghai University and its initials stand out clearly at its entrance along a red brick wall near a Taichung Harbor Road gas station. "IBA" stands for the International Business Association and has been in operation for more than two decades, selling affordable home-style dishes based on the mantra of the owner's wife: "The bottom line is to make delicious food, not to whine and complain about it." With this philosophy, she personally buys all her ingredients and the Chinese delicacies here are fresh-made daily to assure rich flavors.
Crispy Duck (NT$478), Honey Roasted Ham (NT$488), and German Pork Knuckle (NT$488) are three dishes here that need to be ordered three days in advance before dining. Crispy Duck, in particular, is made with a duck that is just the right size for providing the right texture. The duck meat is first massaged and rubbed all over to make it firm but tender. Afterwards, it is marinated in proprietary secret sauce for an hour and then steamed for another five hours to give it a smooth, luscious sensation as it is consumed. Before it is served, it undergoes a quick deep frying, and one bite this crispy, addictively tasty duck will certainly make you appreciate all the effort and special techniques involved in making the dish.
Regardless of whether you're enjoying the diced chicken or peanuts in Gong Bao Chicken (NT$268, medium), it all simultaneously exudes a savory aroma and a mix of slightly numbing, spicy flavors. Stewed Pork Loin (NT$258, small) is also another full-flavored but non-greasy dish, while Asparagus with Squid Slices (NT$398, medium) features a crunchy texture and succulent flavors. Stir-Fried String Beans with Minced Pork (NT$198, medium) uses fresh plain beans to contrast the meat's stronger flavors, and Amaranth Soup (NT$158, small) and Whitebait Potage are recommeded to diners seeking something light and smooth.
As Father's Day is around the corner, IBA is offering a cake and VIP card from Grape Tree Bakery with order reservations of more than NT$4,0000, starting August 8th and 9th. (The store reserves the right to alter conditions of this promotion.)