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Written and translated by Diva
Photos by Andy Lin

(02) 8771-8254 / 8771-8209
110, YanJi St
Hours: 5:15-11:30 pm (last order 10:30 pm) (closed Mondays)
Credit cards not accepted. No service charge.
MRT: Sun Yat-Sen Memorial Hall Station Exit 2

Due to the recent economic slow-down, most people think twice about going out to restaurants. If you're worried about your shrinking wallet, then give Tanhuatou a try. The restaurant, which was originally opened in 1985, has moved around the city a few times but has never changed its affordable pricing and excellent quality.

Since the grand opening, the owner, Mr. Xiang, as insisted three 'No's for his business: no service charge, no MSG, and no food-thickening. Since then, Tanhuatou has become a favorite after-work hangout for local food lovers and foreigners alike.

I personally used to loathe egg yolks, but Tanhuatou changed my mind. My first encounter with Hunan Eggs (NT$200) was delightful, and eased my worry about cholesterol. And I'm still amazed at how something so simple as stir-fried, hard boiled eggs can be so tasty! The owner is most proud of his own creation, the Minced Pork with Mashed Taro (NT$250). Its ingredients are simple, but it is very time consuming to prepare; you won't find anything similar to it anywhere else. If pork isn't your thing, you can also substitute chicken or beef.

The most basic dish in Shanghai cuisine is Fried Rice with Vegetables and Shredded Pork (NT$160). Mr. Xiang believes that his customers deserve the best and, therefore, Shanghai fried rice is always made to order. He also said it's easy to make this dish at home--all you need is vegetables, shredded pork, and rice. Just stir fry it all together and eat it while it's hot!

For the past 23 years, the owner has been the head chef at Tanhuatou. Earlier this year, a veteran chef specializing in Yunnan cuisine joined him, adding Yunnan's best-known dishes to the already extensive menu. The most recommended dish is Sliced Pig Scalp (NT$270/sm, NT$480/lg), which goes well with a secret sauce.

For those who prefer something on the lighter side, Beef Tendons (NT$370) are a good choice. The tendons are stewed and refrigerated before being thinly-sliced and served. Another highly requested beef dish is Beef Brisket with Carrots and Turnips (NT$530); it's stewed for almost four hours to get the flavor just right. The best dish at Tanhuatou is Wusi Pork Spareribs (NT$250/sm, NT$500/lg).

They also have a nice selection of white wines from Australia, France, and the U.S., which range from NT$1,000 to NT$1,300 per bottle and NT$300 to NT$350 per glass. To really enjoy a variety of dishes, come with a party of five or more. Mr. Xiang also welcomes large party reservations in advance--just name your budget and he will make sure that everyone has a good time!

Tanhuatou Tanhuatou

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