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Chin Chih Yuan

黎小安/文 By Ann Li

If you were born in the ‘50s or ‘60s and grew up in Taichung, you’ll probably be familiar with “cao dai fan” (草袋飯), or “grass bag rice”, which was once incredibly popular. Originally located on GuangFu Road and helping pioneer this dish, Chin Chih Yuan restaurant has been around for 50-plus years and saw its reputation soar after some visiting celebrities dined there. Its original concept was to cook white rice inside hand-woven soft rush/reed bags, giving it a moist fullness and infusing it with reed fragrances. Although rush weaving has declined, grass bag rice remains a popular local delicacy and an indelible memory among Taichungers. It also has helped this eatery earn three Michelin Bib Gourmand recommendations.

A fragrant, crispy Pork Chop Rice and Fried Chicken Leg Rice bento box (NT$120) can be enjoyed at the restaurant or taken out. Its tender white rice is paired with delicious sweet and savory pickled radishes in a wonderful combination. Enjoying a pork chop or chicken leg with refreshing cucumbers and the nostalgic flavors of miso soup also can evoke past memories. With a rich sauce and beef slices on white rice, the Sautéed Beef with Satay Sauce (NT$125) is also a must-try, as is the crisp, refreshing, affordably-priced NT$55 Stir-Fried Vegetables (bok choy, water lilies, etc.) with buttery, skillfully stir-fried veggies.

11 am-7 pm (closed Thu)

(04) 2220-7388

170, ChengGong Rd, Central Dist

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