| A-Zhong Penghu Hai Chan
By Niang Chen
Translated by Anna Yang
62, DongGuan Rd, East Dist
Hours: 11 am-2:30 pm, 5-10 pm
Specializing in reasonably-priced, seasonal seafood shipped directly from Taiwan's Penghu archipelago, this simply-decorated seafood restaurant has been on several Taichung epicures' top lists since its opening in 1997. This is testament to the wonderful flavors that are unique to this establishment.
Although he doesn't smile a lot, the namesake for this eatery, Mr. A-Zhong himself, shows a real warmth for his customers and often provides them with free side dishes. Besides authentic Penghu cuisine, he also offers up another product he makes with passion--homemade wines.
The restaurant serves crispy squid (NT$250-500), chewy small abalone (NT$250-350), seasonal crab (NT$100 per crab), abundant scrambled eggs with sea urchins (NT$80 per sea urchin), blow fish served either cooked or raw, water-boiled fish skin (NT$300-400), and fresh fish soup (NT$300-400). Prices may vary based on how much seafood weighs.
For something really unusual, there is Scrambled Eggs with Ants, made with formic acid from ants for a sour and flavorful sensation that many customers are a bit shy about trying. Another A-Zhong treat, the recommended Pumpkin Rice Noodles and Deep-fried Silver Anchovies, expresses the passions of a fisherman's life. Both of these delicacies also are excellent with wines.