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FYI SOUTH Magazine, March 2006.

Mei Nung Hakka Restaurant

(06) 226-2011
21, SiMen Rd., Sec. 3, Tainan City
Hours: 11 am-2 pm; 5 pm-9 pm
Chinese only menu

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--By Steven Crook, translated by Annie Liu

Hakka cuisine is saltier and greasier than mainstream Taiwanese cooking because, it is said, Hakka people traditionally did the toughest jobs, and needed foods that replenished the calories and salt lost through laboring and sweating. Mei Nung (sometimes spelled Meinong) is, of course, the most famous Hakka town in South Taiwan, and the Mei Nung Hakka Restaurant chain has branches in Taichung, Kaohsiung, Fengshan, and Tainan. The menu lists around 100 dishes, including pork, chicken, soups, and vegetables. Seafood rarely appears in Hakka cooking. Both the menu and the restaurant's layout are set up with groups in mind, not couples or solo diners. However, if you do arrive alone--or simply don't know what to order--the staff will happily advise you on what might best suit your requirements. Expect to pay NT$200 to NT$300 per person. Soft drinks, beers, and liquors are available, and there are some private dining rooms. There is a car park just around the corner on ChengGong Road, beside the gas station.

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