Hualien City – 一碗小

Value for money: 9/10
Cleanliness: 8/10
Service: 8/10
Quality of food: 10/10
Overall: 8/10

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When the sun shines, Hualien is a beautiful place to be.

Whilst the hustle and bustle of Taipei is fun, it’s nice to take a break every now and then and go somewhere to re-charge the batteries. Hualien does that for me: relaxing, spread out, beautiful national park with incredible scenery, cleaner air, the ocean breeze. Perfect way to spend a long weekend.

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This is a very popular lunch spot in Hualien. They specialise in Lamb noodle soup.

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The building itself is quite interesting. It’s a wooden house that has been reconditioned to house a restaurant. It certainly makes you feel like you’re going round someones house to eat.DSC00825

The soup is so popular that they package it and sell it separately, too, for take out.

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Here is the soy braised beef 紅燒牛肉 soup kit.

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Inside, the restaurant is fairly dark, but I think the overwhelming thing is the relaxed atmosphere and the homely feel it has.

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Like I said, it gets busy at lunch time. Every table was full, and we had to wait around 20 mins to be seated.

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The Chinese way of ordering has been used here, but you can just as easily use English numbers. The dash means 1 order, the T means 2, a T with a dash on the right side means 3, a T with a dash on the right side and a mini 1 next to it is 4, and the character you can see next to 洛神烏梅汁 is 5. It may seem complicated, but it’s fairly straightforward when you’ve seen it once or twice.

Smoked plum juice

洛神烏梅汁

$25

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An instant hit, and a Taiwanese favourite. Plum juice by itself is something I don’t particularly enjoy. However, add a smoked element and I can’t get enough of it. It’s a personal favourite of mine in summer. The slight sweetness paired with the sour after taste and the smokiness running through just works in effortless harmony – and it is damn cheap, too!

Seaweed + Tofu

海帶絲 + 豆干

$30 each

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I am known to not be a big fan of this kind of tofu. It tends to be harder and, in my experience, carries very little flavour by itself. It seems to be that the sauce paired with it is what carries the flavour. But, I guess that is the case with most stand-alone tofu…

This sauce is pretty good with the tofu, and I would order it again. A sticky soy sauce with a Chinese herb like flavour to it.

The seaweed was fine, but nothing special. It was quite like any other seaweed side dish out there.

Soy braised lamb noodle soup (small)

紅燒羊肉

$125

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Star of the day, for me. The soy based soup was seasoned perfectly (can be hard when soy sauce is used, as it can tend to be too salty sometimes), carried flavour in abundance whilst remaining clean, and the noodles were beautifully cooked.

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The meat was as tender as the picture suggests. The lamb wasn’t very strong in flavour, as it sometimes can be, and it was generously filling the bowl. I could’ve sunk another bowl, easily.

Lamb noodle soup (small)

清燉羊肉

$125

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As you can see and guess, this carried less flavour. However, it was clean, tasted healthier and was a general joy to eat. The lamb is the same used in the dish above, as are the vegetables.

This place gets the nod for every time I will come back to Hualien in the future –

2 thumbs up!

Opening Times

Thursday – Tuesday

11:00 – 14:00 and 17:00 – 20:00

Wednesday Closed

Tel

03 832 3110

 

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