Insatiable Girl

TAICHUNG: Tian Wai Tian 天外天

Posted in restaurants, taichung, taiwan by sue on April 7, 2008
No. 18, Sec. 2, Gong-Yi Road

PRICE: NT$439/person ~US$14/person
RATING: I strongly recommend this place!
RESERVATIONS: If you go in a big group during their peak hours (i.e. lunch/dinner), then yes. But if you are like me and you go after work at approx. 10PM, you’re fine without them.
MUST GET: Ma-la hot pot and of course Haagen-Daaz ice cream on a cone!

There’s a lot of hot pot places in Taiwan, all of which offer a huge variety ranging from individual pots to family style, sour cabbage base to curry base, soup to “dry pots”, individual orders to buffets, etc. etc. If they don’t have it now, I’m sure someone will make it eventually– just give them a month or two. And of course with such a huge variety comes a variety of prices, however this place is a great deal for your buck– not just for the price, but also the food quality. I think their meats and vegetables are a lot fresher than other buffet places.

I always get their ma-la hot pot, of course. However, my friends seem to really like their tomato base. I hear the kimchi and curry one is alright too, but personally curry hot pot doesn’t sound particularly appealing to me. The ma-la base comes with braised tofu and goose blood, so if you are faint of heart and not willing to try the latter stay away from the “black tofu.” I personally love it; its much better than the pig’s blood we get back in the States.

And since this place is a buffet, you can pick and choose what you want to add into your pot and how much of it you want to add which is great. I usually stick to pig’s intestines (I’m Chinese!), beef, and load up on a variety of vegetables, especially cabbage. But for those of you who like yo tiao (fried dough) in your hot pot like I do, stay away from the ones here. They just aren’t crispy enough which was a huge disappointment, but I can live without it.

Oh, don’t forget to leave room for Haagen-Daaz! It’s not a trip to 天外天 if you don’t load up on ice cream (plus the cone!)!

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