YingGe (鶯歌) is a small town in New Taipei City. YingGe is famous for Taiwanese Pottery and especially teapots. If, like me, you became infatuated with oolong Tea (烏龍茶), then this is definitely a place to consider if you’re looking for a new teapot. However, be aware that a lot of the shops sell fake teapots from China. You have to sift through these and try and find one created in YingGe itself, don’t just settle for a cheap knock-off. In addition to this, you can actually make your own teapot, plates, spoons etc at a variety of different shops along the streets. So it’s a pretty fun day out. The cobbled streets and various street stalls are fun to walk around and the whole place, even though there are a fair amount of tourists, still feels quite quiet.
However, what YingGe doesn’t have, is good restaurants. We walked around this small market-like town and saw a lot of people queuing up for this place.
As you can see, it’s rather busy. So, we went up to the worker at the front, said table for two (liang3wei1 兩位). She gave us a ticket and whilst we waited we could have a little walk around the other streets in the area. The wait was maybe around 30mins. When we got inside, the walls of the restaurant are filled with memorabilia from all over the world.
Onto the food… We got a set, so for one person you can get a salad (Sha1La1 沙拉) and a main dish, or a soup and a main dish. Here is the salad, it was actually quite good. It had some nice fresh pea shoots, thin slices of apple, shredded purple cabbage, thin slices of pepper, and a nice vinegar dressing. Everything tasted fresh, and from what I’ve found in Taiwan’s lack of salad dishes, it was good value for a set.
For the main dish, we both went for pork chop and rice (pai2gu3fan4 排骨飯). The portion size was rather large, so make sure you go in hungry! The flavour of the dish was very good, and it didn’t feel too unhealthy, either. Often with the pork chop and rice dishes (somewhat of a specialty in Taiwan) they are deep fried and really greasy. This dish wasn’t greasy. The pork chop was fried, but not deep fried. The meat inside remained nice and juicy, managing to not dry out in the cooking process.
The pork chop sat on top of bamboo shoots, carrot, pickled cabbage and plenty of rice. There was no sauce, however, the meat was so moist that it didn’t particularly matter.
So, we had a set of salad and main meal. Here, we have the other set: soup and main meal. The soup was a bamboo shoot soup (sun3tang1 筍湯). This is one of my favourite soups. As long as the bamboo shoots are fresh, this soup is a winner. The broth takes on the subtle flavour of the bamboo shoots and with some extra scallions on top, this soup is just fresh and clean. It isn’t greasy in any way, like a lot of soups can be. I would highly recommend this kind of soup.
We also ordered a drink, however, this didn’t come in the set. The drink was quite special, it was a honey aloe drink (蜂蜜蘆薈低骨露). The flavour was quite unique: The honey made it sweet, yet the aloe made it quite fragrant and flowery. There were also chunks of aloe jelly inside the drink which you could suck up in the wide straw and eat them. For an extra $10NT, i’d say it’s worth trying it out.
Number 85, YuYing Street, YingGe, New Taipei City