Or, we came, we ate, we needed a nap!! Okay, the hounds finally made it out to lunch at Taiwan Cafe...Four of us made it, which worked out well, since we hadn't reserved a big table, and it gave us a chance to talk--about our favorite restaurants, of course!!!
We HAD to start with the much-discussed Chinese Zucchini and Littlenecks soup. The mystery was solved, the green squash WAS Chinese Zucchini, tho the clams were actually cherrystones..But it was the broth that really made this a standout; an intensely distilled essence of clam and ginger--I can't wait to have it on a cold winter day (I also thought it would be the perfect hang-over cure..)..The other soup we tried was Spinach and Pork Liver...(liver is wrayb's comfort food..) Liver was definitely the dominant flavor of the broth, tho the spinach was still bright green. Comments ranged from, "For liver fans only!!!" to "If you don't like liver..." You get the idea. They have a great list of unusual soups, and seem to make each broth specifically, no chicken-broth undertone.
The favorite dish seems to have been the Homestyle Braised Eggplant with Basil. It looked unassuming, in its brown sauce, but oh, the mild bite, and the infusion of ginger worked SO well with the sweetness of the generous amount of basil(not sure what kind, but it was green, not purple).
Our next dish was Spicy Salt and Pepper(sea salt poached) Shrimp. We thought they might be something different, but they were just a very-good version of the standard; crispy, crunchy, and salty, with that sprinkling of hot peppers.
Sauteed eel with yellow chives was good, the pieces of eel had been deboned, but sadly, we all agreed the pieces were almost so small they could have been anything. But the flavor of the chives was nice, and again, the flavor of this sauce was different than any of the others.
Our last dish was Beef with Chinese watercress in sa-cha sauce. The watercress was cooked just to the point of crispness, and the slightly salt flavor of the sauce contrasted well with our basil-sauced eggplant. Too last, we saw the Pickled Mustard Greens with edamame and fresh bean curd that the table next to us had....Like good chowhounds, we were already planning our next meal!!!
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