Insatiable Girl

TAIPEI: Tainan Dan Zai Mein 台南担仔麵

Posted in food, restaurants, taichung, taipei, taiwan by sue on December 10, 2010

www.tainan-seafood.com.tw
台北市華西街31號
No. 31, Huaxi Street, Taipei City
02 2308 1123

Price: Expensive, but worth it
Rating: Delicious
Directions: You can walk from the Longshan Temple MRT Station or just hail a cab, I recommend the latter at night unless you want weirdos to approach you.
Reservations: Unnecessary
Must Get: Any kind of seafood you like that they have and, of course, their namesake– the dan zai mein (read below)

So, this place is a completely unexpected find. It’s in the middle of this creepy night market filled with snakes, dirty old men, and, apparently, prostitutes. It’s also one of the nicest restaurants in Taiwan with their Wedgewood tableware, Christofle silverware, and unique dining rooms. The seafood is amazing here which is how my parents know about it. They import/export seafood, but they have been coming here since back in the days of when they used to live in Taipei and owned an electronics company.

You order out in front. There’s a man who stands by the seafood and you just tell him what you want. There’s no menu, but if you tell him that you want crab, shrimp, etc., he’ll tell you the best way to prepare it. You can, of course, disagree and tell him you want it fried, steamed, etc. instead. Make sure you get your favorite things and, of course, an order of their dan zai noodles for each person at your table. Their dan zai noodles are simple, but so delicious. It’s just noodles in broth with tiny bits of pork, some vegetables, and one shrimp.

And since there’s no menu and the seafood changes all the time, there’s nothing I can really tell you that you have to get, although I’m sure there will always be steamed fish available, so I’m just going to leave you with pictures of the restaurant and some of the dishes we got here:

Most of the dishes here are served per person, unlike most Chinese restaurants where they put it all on one big plate and make everyone share. One bad thing about this place is the fact that there’s no menu means there are no prices. The first time I went we easily spent over $100/person– US$100/person! This past trip we ran into one of my dad’s clients here at the end of our meal who turned out to sell seafood to this place, so we got a free meal! I was happy about that, but my parents weren’t, of course. Oh Chinese people…

Anyway, bottom line… this is a great restaurant, but not a place you can go to everyday unless you are rolling in dough. It’s a great place to go if you are trying to impress someone/people. There are branches in Taichung and Kaoshiung too, but my dad claims the one in Taipei is the best. It’s also good for weddings as my cousin just got married in the one in Taichung this past week. Congratulations again to him!

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2 Responses

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  1. Ronee Chang said, on December 10, 2010 at 12:58 pm

    Indeed, it’s a good place to eat if you want something fresh. It’s even happier to see that Taiwanese cusine is introduced to people living in the States. My husband onced to work there as a part time while in university and broke a plate to end the first day.

    • sue said, on December 10, 2010 at 7:55 pm

      There are plenty of Taiwanese restaurants in major Asian-populated cities in the States. My area is full of them. I’m a short drive away from places like Ten Ren and Din Tai Fung. The largest Buddhist temple in the Western hemisphere is also my neighborhood. You’ll be surprised by how Asian my area is when you come visit! And then I’ll take you to Disneyland!

      By the way, I miss you already! It was nice to see you again even though it was so short. How’s Tuna feeling??


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