The Glorious Cuisine of Taiwan: Mouth Watering Beef Noodle Soup, Handmade Dumplings, Succulent Ground Pork & Mushroom Rice and 31 Types of Great Chilled Appetizers! Cindy's Kitchen [Thoughts + Pics]


#41

This is just theory based on my observations at this point and me being a bit cautious.

One could ask when they go next if they could whip something up (e.g. the first dish I suggested which is well within reason and in the same culinary sphere) and even the others I suggested, but experience dictates that it’s easier to at least start requesting things that the chef is already doing first, figure out what else he (or she) can cook and is good at, and then gauge as you go.

There is no doubt they could do something off menu that is great and homey, but what is considered home cooked in regional Taiwanese could differ a bit from county to county in Taiwan…Hakka Taiwanese, Fujian Taiwanese (the bulk of the population in the Central and South presumably, indigenous tribes/aborigines, Islamic Chinese residing in Taiwan, buddhist vegans [don’t know what the regional differences in this niche are], military village cuisine with roots from Shandong, Sichuan etc, and of course a medley of everything else in between. And this is not even mentioning the various local ingredients, produce, livestock, and vegetables/fruits. It’s almost as diverse, widespread, and complex like in Japan to an extent. Interesting stuff to geek out on.


#42

try the do ga ni tang at sun nong dan. it’s all ox knee which is essentially all tendon. what makes it wonderful is that the tendon is not of uniform texture. some of it melts on the tongue, but some of it remains nicely chewy.


#43

I think you’re right, they must braise it a little, but it’s very crunchy. Yes, you do need to try it - you’ll love it.


#44

I’m on board with the melt on the tongue part.


#45

Dear god…that looks and sounds so amazing! Is it still on the menu?


#46

So true. Hoklo, Hakka, aboriginal Taiwanese, Han (waishengren) from all over China, with Dutch, Spanish, and Japanese influence/occupations throughout history.


#47

Last time we went, which was a while ago, they had it with a different dip.


#48

Hi @attran99,

Thanks! :slight_smile: Good to know their bag of Dumplings to go to make at home hold up very well (I’ll have to try that next time). Hope you enjoy your next visit. :slight_smile:


#49

Hi @PorkyBelly,

Thank you. :slight_smile: I think you’d like the Ground Pork & Mushroom Over Rice dish. After awaking from a stunned state of happiness, I started thinking who else must try this dish now? And I thought of you. :slight_smile:

As for Cindy? I have no idea; I didn’t ask my Taiwanese friend to ask but I should’ve. I’ll defer to @ipsedixit @chandavkl if they have intel.


#50

Hi @ipsedixit,

Ooh, is this place another of your secret recommendations you don’t want to call attention to? :wink: Thank you again for Cindy’s Kitchen recommendation, but you were too quiet about it! I can’t believe you were holding out on us! (j/k) :stuck_out_tongue: Thanks again!


#51

Hi @moonboy403,

Thanks. 101, oh yah we tried out 101 Noodle Express thanks to our old board. I remember enjoying their Beef Rolls a lot back then. Recently they’ve expanded to a number of stores and I think someone said they now have a central kitchen for some of their food? I haven’t been able to go back to 101 on Valley in a while (just too many restaurants to try). :wink:


#52

Hi @attran99,

You must try this next time at Raku! I didn’t grow up eating Tendon but fell in love with this dish! :blush: It’s pretty amazing, slightly crisped on the outside from the grilling but so meltingly tender on the inside.


#53

Yup. Beef rolls, dan dan noodle, and small appetizers are the best things they offer there.


#54

Hi @TheCookie,

Thanks. I think you might like the Taiwanese Beef Noodle Soup at Cindy’s Kitchen then (ask for both Beef Shank and Tendon combo). That way you can get some nice tender, stewed lean Beef Shank, and then a bit of the Stewed Beef Tendon and see if that works better for you. :wink:


#55

I should be thanking you for the great reporting.

But as to “holding out” I’m not so sure I would call it. I just never thought of Cindy’s as all that great. Sure, it’s pretty good and some thing are indeed outstanding (e.g. zha jiang main, cold dishes, chicken soup, etc) but I’ve just never found it as revelatory as you did, and do.

It’s no doubt a personal failing of mine, and probably because many of these things at Cindy’s I can find better renditions elsewhere.

Cheers. :+1:


#56

Just out of curiosity, did you grow up eating this type of cuisine? Because that’s how I feel about all Chinese stuff I grew up eating. They can definitely taste great and homey to me, but they’re never revelatory or outstanding since I’m so used to the flavors…


#57

Hi @ipsedixit,

Thanks. Ah I see. Well at least you thought Cindy’s Kitchen’s Zha Jiang Mian, Cold Dishes (I love their 31 selections) and Chicken Soup (and that Pork, Shrimp & Leek (3 Flavors) Dumplings) were great right? :slight_smile:

Where’s your @ipsedixit favorite for the Pork & Mushroom Rice? and I thought you recommended the Beef Noodle Soup? :wink:

Thanks!


#58

Yup.

This. Exactly.

And, really, nothing beats mom’s beef noodle soup, or her plate of vegetarian dumplings, or her home-brewed zha jiang. And, I would be forever disowned, if I considered anyone’s hand-pulled noodles better than hers. Or anyone’s dumpling skins to be superior.


#59

I did, and do indeed like Cindy’s beef noodle soup.

As to pork and mushroom? Not sure. I’d have to noodle that a bit, cuz it’s not really something I order, or think about ordering on any type of consistent basis.


#60

My favorite versions of lu rou fan were at Tofu King (Arcadia) and BeBe Fusion, which is gone now, but relocated (but more on that hopefully tomorrow). As always, taste is personal, blah blah, YMMV, blah blah, etc., etc., etc.