The location once occupied by a branch of the Marina Market selling mainly organic healthfoods didn't survive and has turned into a cultural center plus mini food court along with a few small shops.
The food court consisted of a Q-Cup place, along with a Qing Zho Xiao Cai (clear porridge with small dishes - another "category" of Chinese eating popular in Taiwan) What I was interested in was primarily the Jia Ten Ha (Eat the World in Taiwanese) streetfood place which makes up the last of the three food court "stands". There's no wall between these three places, though the seating areas are separated.
The menu showed some of the popular Taiwanese street food items such as the stir fried mi fen (thin rice noodle), peddler's noodle, oyster pancake, Taiwan special chow mein, etc.
The stir-fried mi fen is a simple item which I've not had a good version of in the U.S. It consists of simply the mi fen plus some ground pork based topping which is mixed together with the mi fen. Oftentimes the flavors are lacking or the mi fe is too soft, but not here. The mi fen had a good chewy texture, yet it is based on the very thin Hsinchu mi fen, which is my favorate, as opposed to the thicker Puli style mi fen from southern Taiwan. And the flavoring was just right - not too greasy from the pork fat, and without lots of extraneous veggies like some of the supermarket deli's serve. This is the best Taiwanese mi fen dish that I've had in the U.S.
The oyster pancake (Eh Ah Jian) is made from a starch mixture with egg and oyster plus a green leafy vegetable embedded all in a gooey form with a sweet/spicy sauce topping. It does not look very appetizing to those who've never tried it. The version here suffered from having too much starch and not enough egg or oyster so most of what you taste is the starch. I've had better version at the foodcourt in Lion's Market in Fremont/Mission.
So this place holds pretty good promise as a place to get good, inexpensive, Taiwanese style street food. A lot of the menu items remain to be explored, including the Taiwanese chow mian which I saw many people ordering. It's a welcomed addition in the south bay as an alternaltive to Tainan Taste.
1600 South De Anza Blvd
San Jose, CA
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