Route 140 through Saijo has many places to eat, all of which look tempting. I had been intending to eat at the restaurant in the Marutomo fish market by the sea, but as usual, there was a long line of people outside and I couldn’t be bothered to wait. So I headed east in search of somewhere else and soon saw a big red sign advertising Taiwanese Food. That had an air of novelty about it, so I parked in the spacious forecourt and went in.
The warm greeting I received had a very Chinese sound — “Irasshai masa!”. In fact all the staff seemed to be Chinese, speaking very choppy Japanese to the customers, and rapid-fire Chinese to each other. I took this as a good sign. As I walked to my seat in the spacious interior, I looked here and there at what everyone else was eating and it looked very good. And voluminous. Seated in one of the large booth seats, I expressed an interest in the 700 yen lunch menu. The waitress kindly explained the various items available, recommending the Taiwanese ramen if I was okay with spicy food. There was also a choice of five different rice dishes. I selected the Taiwanese ramen and the Tenshin-han.
The food arrived promptly—two large white bowls and a little dish of kimchi pickles. The presentation was simple but very attractive to a fellow who had left lunch until 1:00 pm. I tucked in with relish. The Taiwanese ramen had an abundance of crinkly egg noodles with minced meat, sliced chili peppers, and a species of green leak, in a fragrant meaty soup. It was most agreeable, and the chili added to the fragrance without being particularly hot. The Tenshin-han, a serving of white rice covered with soft omelette and a sticky savoury gravy, was lovely to look at. The generous amount of egg was very pleasant, but despite the red ginger garnish, it became a little monotonous towards the end. Perhaps the fried rice might have been a wiser choice.
The lunch set included a drink bar with various teas and sodas. Unfortunately the restaurant permits smoking, and a large percentage of the clientele appeared to be smokers. However, the place is spacious, and it wasn’t a hideous annoyance.
When I left, I received a beautiful bow and a sincere invitation to come again. I think I just might.
Name in Japanese
台湾料理昇龍 — taiwan ryōri jōryū — Taiwanese Food Joryu