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Restaurants & Bars

disappointment at Taiwan Restaurant

Carl | Oct 24, 200204:00 PM     8

Taiwan Restaurant at University and Shattuck in Berkeley has been recommended here in the past, so I went there for lunch. Although it wasn't terrible, it was one of those restaurant experiences were everything is wrong somehow. I'm going to sound like a grouch in describing it, but that's just how it was.

First of all, the place smelled a little funny and was pervaded by a loud electrical humming that I assumed came from fluorescent lights. (It wasn't the neon lights in front because it was equally loud across the whole restaurant.)

In a place like that I would normally order from the list of specialities at the front of the menu, knowing that restaurants usually serve a wider range of dishes than they're really good at. But for some reason the concept of Mongolian lamb sounded good. Mongolia is a long way from Taiwan, I know, but I wasn't up for a challenge just then. They advertise at the top of the menu that they can make it with or without MSG, spicy or mild, whatever you want, so I ordered it spicy and with no MSG. And a tiny amount of rice. And potstickers.

Well, the lamb comes. They've bulked it up by putting it on a bed of fried noodles. It's not spicy. It has a slightly mushy quality. It comes with vast amounts of rice; I make them take half the rice back. After a while the potstickers come. The fried bits of the skin have a good taste to them, but generally the potstickers are mushy as well. They're hard to eat because they're disintegrating. Finally one of them collapses and falls into my lap. I clean myself up. I pay. I go.

It just wasn't a good experience. I know I could have been a more savvy customer, but hey, how savvy should I have to be?

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