Formosa Bento House recently added a range of authentic Taiwanese homestyle cooking and street foods to their menu, reports K K. “While they aren’t exactly authentic replicas of what you find in the streets 14 hours’ plane ride from SF Bay Area, the preps are simple, down home, and without that overly greasy, salty, and MSG one would normally worry about.”

Hakka-style traditional noodle soup boasts toothsome, thin, and flat noodles, and lean but juicy slices of pork reminiscent of the char siu you get with ramen, as well as minced pork and bean sprouts. “The broth was fantastic and quite authentic, arguably cooked with bones, daikon with just the right amount of savory,” K K says. “The addition of dried fried shallots elevated this bowl to be a great standout.”

Stewed pork rice is a light version with very lean minced pork, so fans of the minced fatty pork over rice at Joy might not go for this. Nevertheless, mixed with the sour preserved vegetables, it’s a pretty tasty bowl that’s also available over noodles instead of rice.

Good effort goes into the won ton with noodles (ban tiao) in soup, but it’s best just to get the won ton or ban tiao as separate dishes. Too much of the ban tiao, a dish basically like Cantonese ho fun (wide rice noodles, beef, and sprouts), seems to dilute the flavor of the broth.

There’s also Taiwanese fish ball soup, and deli items such as marinated egg, marinated seaweed, and bean curd strips. Prices for menu items hover around $5; boxed deli items are $3.25 per plate.

Formosa Bento House [Peninsula]
2660 Broadway Street, Redwood City

Joy Restaurant [Peninsula]
1495 Beach Park Boulevard, Foster City

Board Link: New Taiwanese Traditional Items Menu at Formosa Bento House, Redwood City

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