A bunch of friends dragged me out to Taiwan Cafe this evening for dinner.
Highlight of the evening was a Fuchow signature dish -- plump fishballs filled with minced pork. The texture of the outer coat of the fishball has a great handmade feel. Made me very homesick.
The xiao long bao/soup dumplings, Shanghainese speciality, were fine and juicy specimens, although my personal preferences lie somewhere else. I like the wrappings a bit smaller -- these were too big for the amount of meat in them. My favorite ones have more meat to dough. They also were slouching over the edges of the spoon -- not optimal since these dumplings are made to be eaten off a spoon. The wrappings were quite hearty, but I like them more on a delicate side. But considering that these were made to order and were fairly inexpensive, I really shouldn't complain too much.
Chinese zuchinni was given a savory edge by small dried shrimp. Well cooked -- it was still slightly firm and did come across as slimy as some bad versions can.
Scallion pancakes had a fine interior texture, but not enough scallions and the surface was not as crispy as it could be.
Beef stripes with whites chives was very easy to like, especially because it was deliciously spiked with tiny red points of spiciness.
The eel noodle was fine -- good texture on the noodles that were well coated with a dark adn slightly sweet soy-based sauce. The eel however was a bit fishy.
On the whole a very enjoyable meal for not very much ($12 per person, large tip). Barely made in a dent in the long list of small dishes. The taro paste with egg yolks (I'm guessing salt duck egg yolks) looks like a really appealing dessert -- it's on the wall in Chinese. Has anyone had a chance to sample this -- love to find out if it's regular egg yolks or the salted versions. Didn't get a chance to try it this time but would love to next time.