Looking for rice porridge today for lunch, I went to Taiwan Point Restaurant (Irving @ 20th), and I can't wait to go back. The restaurant is nicely decorated, very clean, with red tables trimmed with black wood, and globular pendant light fixtures.
Unlike Chinese rice porridge (jook), which comes with meat, preserved duck eggs, etc. cooked with the rice, Taiwanese rice porridge is served either perfectly plain or with chunks of sweet potato; it's meant to be eaten with many salty dishes.
The restaurant serves a variety of Taiwanese dishes, priced so low (mostly $3 to $5) that the portions are surprisingly large. I was eating with a friend who wasn't very hungry, so we were only able to order two dishes with our rice porridge: fried blue lake beans and wontons with spicy chili sauce.
The beans were deep-fried without being greasy, perfectly crunchy with a dash of salt, garnished with fried basil. The wontons came in a mildy hot chili sauce, with cilantro and scallions; the wonton skins were fresh and incredibly silky.
I am very sorry not to have ordered more because the dishes at the adjacent tables looked really good. I saw a bowl of rice topped with meat sauce, dried fish, and fresh cucumbers; and the Taiwanese fried chicken nuggets looked delectable.
All the food looked like an idealized version of what my mother used to make; next time she visits, I'm taking her there.
by Amy Schulman | Calum Franklin is a wizard with pies. The self-proclaimed pastry deviant knows how to weave together...