13 November 2012

Bento! #148: Taiwanese restaurant lunch set

For only 700 yen!!! I was debating though if I should include this in my "Bento!" series, since it's not Japanese food, but what the heck. It's food in Japan. And besides, this was lunch -- and as you know, bentou means lunch box. :D

Anyway, this is a new restaurant just around our neighborhood, although it's on the main road leading up to school.

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In the Google Street View above (as of today, November 2012), it still shows the very old restaurant that was housed in that same building where this new Taiwanese restaurant is now in, from back in October 2010. The place was an okonomiyaki place (in fact, I have videos and blog articles about the place) called Douhton-Bori. In 2011, they closed shop and then this new place set up shop there; it was a ramen and curry restaurant called Konge Ramen. And now, it's 2012, a new year, a new restaurant. I wish they'd stay longer than its predecessors have, but who knows. Maybe the location is just not good for a restaurant. In fact, now, there have less parking spaces as there is now a 5-story building at one corner of the parking area you see above.

Anyways, all this for only 700 yen!!!

I chose a Sweet Chili Shrimps lunch set with Taiwan Miso Ramen as my ramen. The set came with a cup of rice, some
pickled carrots and lotus root (I think), two pieces of gyoza, and a salad with thousand island dressing.
My lunch buddy got something that looks like Chop Suey (but it's not chop suey, I'm sure) -- it has cabbages, bell peppers, pork, carrots, and maybe some mushrooms, with some dark-colored sauce -- and regular Miso Ramen. The difference between Taiwan Miso from the regular Miso is that it has some chilis so it is spicier, it uses ground pork instead of some roasted pork slices (the usual chaashuu), it doesn't have lotus roots, and it uses that green veggie thing (maybe garlic stalks?) instead of leeks. I should've gone for the regular Miso (or a non-Taiwan-style ramen) because it is a little bit too spicy for me.
At ramen restaurants, you usually have access to a pitcher of water and glasses.
Some Chinese decors.
The inside. I think 4 out of the 5 staff there were Chinese, which is great, right? Chinese preparing Chinese food. I liked it a lot, I'll most probably come back here again! Specially for that price! Anyways, we arrived here and I took these photos just before 12 noon. But at around 12 noon, the place was packed already with workers from nearby industrial facilities, as well as at least one group of Chinese folks. My Chinese colleagues though (who are from the Northern parts of mainland China) didn't like it. They call this "Japanese-style" Chinese food. I disagree; I think it is Chinese food, it just so happens that they're using local equivalents if an ingredient is not available here. To my non-Chinese and non-Japanese taste, I taste this and find it as distinctively Chinese. Definitely not Japanese food. On the other hand, I also think that my Northern China friends haven't yet been to southern parts of China (e.g. Hong Kong, Macau, Shenzen, Guangzhou) or Taiwan itself, where I think they will also say "it's not Chinese" of the food and the language they speak down there. But hey, I'm definitely coming back here, most probably for another lunch. They have a lot of good stuff on the menu, a la carte, though a little bit expensive. Their tabehodai / 食べ放題 / eat-all-you-can buffet is also a tad too expensive -- I think 4000 yen for men and 3000 yen for women, inclusive of drink-all-you-can soda, juice, or beer.

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