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This month's roundup looks at first and second generations of Taipei's restaurant business (Like Mother, Like Son): Zhong Nan Restaurant, Chopstix, Chili House Restaurant, Hu Jiang Yan


Zhong Nan Restaurant
SiChuan Kimchi Stir Fried with Beef and Bean Curd Fried with Pork

Zhong Nan Restaurant
Mom's Zhong Nan Restaurant and her son's Chopstix


Mother: Zhong Nan Restaurant

(02) 2706-1256
88, RenAi Rd, Sec 3
Hours: 11 am-2 pm, 5-8:30 pm
Credit cards not accepted. Parking nearby.
No service charge. Smoking section.

Since 1959, Zhong Nan Restaurant has been providing authentic Jiangsu (a province in China) cuisine for many years. The place might be small, but it is always crowded. Two kinds of rice—tender PongLai Rice and chewy ZhaiLai Rice—cater to different tastes. The dishes are categorized into three prices, NT$130, NT$140 and NT$160. Stewed Pork Meatballs (NT$160) is the most popular item in the restaurant. The carefully selected meat is not too lean or too fat. The secret is the meatball bun, which soaks up the juice from the vegetables. Another 20-year-old recipe, SiChuan Kimchi Stir Fried with Beef (NT$160), with a sour and smooth taste, is a great appetizer. Bean Curd Fried with Pork (NT$140), another popular dish, is prepared with bean curd and fried up with pork strips at high heat. The restaurant also offers thoughtful service. If you call ahead for take-out, your order will be sealed properly and you can transport the food without worrying about spilling soup or gravy.

Stewed Pork Meatballs


Green Jade and Golden Sand (Salted Egg with Loofah) and Bean Thread with Minced Pork and Szechuan Pickles

1960s-style handmade ice cream


Son: Chopstix


FuXing Branch: 20, FuXing S Rd,
Sec 1; (02) 2776-5859
Hours: 10:30 am-3 pm, 5:30-10 pm; Fri~Sun 10:30 am-10:30 pm
MRT: near ZhongXiao/FuXing Station # 1 Exit
Credit cards accepted. Parking nearby.
10% service charge. Smoking section.


Chopstix, established by Zhong Nan Restaurant's second generation, Mr. Huang Li-ping, focuses mainly on Jiang-Ze cuisine, which is transformed by reducing the amount of salt and oil to cater to healthier diets. The dishes can be enjoyed in a stylish environment that has both traditional Chinese and modern decor. To carry on the Jiang-Ze tradition of hospitality, for NT$25 customers receive bottomless rice. Besides traditional dishes, Mr. Huang also enjoys creating new recipes, such as Kimchi Glass Noodles (NT$230). The kimchi's sour and spicy flavor is absorbed by the noodles, making it really tasty. Another popular dish, Salted Egg with Loofah (NT$220), has a salty, refreshing taste. Delicious 1960s-style handmade ice cream with peanut, raspberry and pineapple flavors is served for dessert. Lotus Tea is also offered to quench your thirst after eating.


Chili House Restaurant
Sauteed Frog with Green Pepper and Chili Spicy Fried Chicken with Scallion and Garlic in Rich Brown Sauce

Chili House Restaurant
Mom's Chili House Restaurant and her son's Hu Jiang Yan


Mother: Chili House Restaurant

(02) 2721-6088
250-3, ZhongXiao E Rd, Sec 4
Hours: 11:30 am-2:30 pm, 5:30-10 pm
MRT: ZhongXiao/DunHua Station # 3 Exit
Credit cards accepted. Parking nearby.
10% service charge. Smoking section.

The owner of Chili House Restaurant came from Sichuan Province, and started the first Sichuan restaurant in Taipei when she arrived in 1951. Although moved a few times since then, it is still an excellent choice for people who love Sichuan cuisine. It also underwent renovations last year to improve the dining area. To make the food a bit healthier, the restaurant has cut the amount of salt, oil and MSG, but not the amount of chili. The specialty, Wonton in Red Chili Oil (NT$65), is prepared with perfect proportions of fat and lean meat, wrapped with an almost transparent dough skin, then sprinkled with a special oil made of Chinese herbs, sweet soy, rock sugar and chilis. Another popular dish, Steamed Spare Short Rib (NT$120) is served with ribs marinated in a secret bean sauce recipe and has sweet potato leaves underneath.

Chili House Restaurant
Wonton in Red Chili Oil and Steamed Spare Short Rib


Hu Jiang Yan
Steamed Pork Petites,Filled with Crab Roe in Bouillon

Hu Jiang Yan
Marinated Chicken in Shaohsing Wine and Deep Fried Sauteed Grass Shrimp with Green Tea Leaves

Son: Hu Jiang Yan


108, DaAn Rd, Sec 1
Closed 停業

The second generation of Chili House Restaurant, Mr. Chang Yi-jie, has given Jiang-Ze cuisine a new taste. The dining area is filled with attractive Chinese design elements. Mr. Fan Jin-guan, the chef, used to work for the Grand Hyatt Hotel. He has given traditional dishes new life and made them healthier, without losing the flavors. One example is Shaohsing Drunken Chicken (NT$320), which is prepared with boneless chicken soaked in Shaohsing liquor, Chinese herbs, and chicken broth for at least 20 hours. It tastes refreshing with a light Shaohsing fragrance, a perfect dish for the steaming hot summer. Green Tea Prawn (NT$400) is another creation of his. The prawns, soaked in tea and deep fried with garlic, are served with crispy tea leaves. Another specialty, Crab Eggs and Pork Meatball (NT$360), has crab eggs stuffed inside and coating the outside of a pork meatball. This taste is smooth and delicious and the generous portions will definitely satisfy your appetite.


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