101 Taiwanese has replaced the former hot pot restaurant Ice Fire Land. 101 has been open since last November and is owned by Timmy Chuang (or 莊 Zhuāng) an affable native of Nantou, Taiwan. Over two visits some 14 dishes were sampled. Highlights included:
Smoked Filet of Fish with Sweet Sauce – this cheerful Suzhou version of the dish is not actually smoked at all. It’s marinated in a mixture of rice wine, soy sauce, sugar, five spice powder and sesame oil. Then the fish is fried in oil and returned to the marinade sauce. Here it is then piled high over a bed of lettuce and served cold.
Minced Pork over Rice (滷肉飯 － Lǔ ròu fàn) – a very fine version of this rustic Taiwanese staple.
Shrimp with Bitter Melon with Black Bean Sauce – well received as the softness of the shrimp matched superbly with the crunchy bitter melon and salty black beans.
Pork Intestines with Spicy Peppers – what made this a choice dish was the intense flavor of the reconstituted dried intestines.
Vegetable with Bean and Bean Curd – this Shanghai dish is a nod to the background of one of the chef’s Shanghai background.
Three-Cup Chicken – perhaps a slightly smaller serving and with less liquid than what you can get at Main Street Imperial, 101 delivers a harmless rendition here. Also available in Squid Rolls, Frog, Duck Tongue, Pork Intestine and Prince Mushrooms. They will even do a Tofu version if you ask them.
Buffalo Fish Tails with Brown Sauce – slightly sweet sauce that went well over rice. This freshwater treat was cooked perfectly.
Stinky Tofu – for aficionados only!
Whole Fresh Cod wit Putz –perfection on a plate. At $59 this was the most expensive entrée but everyone agreed it was beyond all praise. The cod was simply steamed in soy, ginger and garlic and topped with scallions and putz. Putz (布子 Bì zi) is Corda dichotoma or Rag Seed from the Rag Tree found in Taiwan, Tibet and India.
Other dishes eaten were Pork Blood with Rice Cakes, Frog with Chinese Celery, Stir-fried Rice Cakes with Shredded Pork, Sautéed Pea Shoots and their Oyster Pancake.
Over forty dishes are offered at lunch (11-3:30) for $6.25 each and that includes soup and white rice.
While perhaps not as ambitious as Main Street Imperial, 101 Taiwanese is still a stout companion. Closer to the 7 and LIRR as well.
135-11 40 Road
Flushing, NY 11354
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