Taipei restaurant – 小王煮瓜(小王清湯瓜仔肉)Wanhua pickled melon soup

I don’t know how you guys feel about LongShan Temple, but I am a big fan. If I could cut out LongShan Temple, carry it to another part of the city, and drop it down, then I’d like it even more, because the area around the temple is an absolute dive.

But this post has nothing to do with the area. You can, actually, completely bypass the area around LongShan Temple simply by approaching from Ximen – ideal.

What you will find when you arrive at HuaXi Street nightmarket (that’s also open throughout the day) is this new-looking, music-thumping, electric energy-popping restaurant. It feels completely out of keeping with the area, which actually makes me like it even more.

Seriously, though, how good does all that look? I mean, 滷肉飯, 焢肉, 油豆腐, 魯白菜, 魯筍乾, and the incredible 瓜仔肉湯 are all just Taiwanese classics that I could eat again and again, day in, day out.

1. 香菇滷肉飯 – That dish front right is an awesome mix of dried mushroom with fatty braised pork pieces served over rice and is just great. It was sticky, salty, fatty, flavourful, and delicate all in one. Happy faces all around.
2. 焢肉 – A slab of belly pork for the masses. Delicious. Perhaps not quite as good as others I may have had, but still damn good, nonetheless.
3. 油豆腐 – Middle back picture right there. And this was actually really good and perhaps my second favourite dish we ordered. The chewy skin gives way to the silky tofu underneath and just works on so many levels. The flavours are top notch.
4. 魯白菜 – My favourite dish of the day (back left). Awesome. Sweet napa cabbage just lets in all of those cooking juices and becomes even more sweet and moreish. Stunner.
5. 魯筍乾 – (front left) Good, but not great. I don’t really like the dried style of bamboo because I find it often has a strange aftertaste. This was no different…
6. 瓜仔肉湯 – The store is named after this dish, so you’d want it to be pretty top dollar, and it is. The translucent soup packs a punch of preserved gourd, and the meat has a great flavour. Overall, a pretty big triumph.

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