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值得嗎? April 28, 2018

Posted by hslu in Life in Taiwan, Travel, 台灣, 林口.
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這是林口三井 outlet 樓下甜品區的照片。這一家在 Jason Market 邊上擺攤子的這一家好像是新開的,因為我們兩個月去紐約前沒有看過。

這麽多人;差不多40個,在排隊,讓我嚇一跳。他們在等不要錢的禮物嗎?他們在等買一送一嗎?

都不是。

他們在等買一盒可頌 (croissant) 的機會。以每個人兩,三分鐘來估計,你如果發了瘋現在去排隊,至少一個鐘頭以後才輪到你。

值得嗎?

是它的可頌特別好吃?還是它的可頌特別有名?是它的可頌特別便宜?還是它的可頌花樣特別多?我這個土包子還真是莫宰羊。

花樣倒不少。

不知道一盒多少錢?

我看看能不能找一個位子,叫一杯美式咖啡,跟太太慢慢的在這裏划手機,說不定我們倆個面對面,過沒多久就可以體會出一點人生的真義,豈不美哉?

就算划不出什麼名堂,剛才已經走了八千步,在這裏休息一下,打發一點時間,等一下吃個飯,還有一千多步,今天的目標就達到了,也算有點成就了。

等一下送太太去看看,一盒 croissant 要多少錢?

太太回來報告:八月堂昨天才開門。一盒八個 croissant,新臺幣 240 元到新臺幣 400 元。

Definitely not on a weekend December 10, 2016

Posted by hslu in Food, Restaurants, Taiwan.
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25 minutes. I was told.

That’s how long I had to wait to get my meal after I placed my order.

The restaurant is called “金子半之助” located at the Food Court of the Mitsui Outlet Park (林口三井) in Linkou, Taiwan. 

It sells tempura over rice and there are exactly 3 items on the menu:

天丼:舞菇、大蝦、魷魚海鮮炸(小干貝+魷魚)、青龍、炸半熟玉子、炸海苔片。新臺幣 $330。

上天丼:鱚魚、大蝦、魷魚海鮮炸(小干貝+魷魚)、青龍、炸半熟玉子、炸海苔片。新臺幣 $350。

江戶前天丼:穴子魚、大蝦、魷魚海鮮炸(小干貝+魷魚)、青龍、炸半熟玉子、炸海苔片。新臺幣$390。

Don’t be surprised by the long wait time on a Wednesday night because it can and do stretch out to 1.5 hours if you come on a weekend.

On weekends, line stretches out beyond this point. After you reach to the counter and place your order, you have to wait 40 minutes to get your meal. It is simply ridiculous if you ask me.

I know because my wife tried it out a few months ago on a Saturday night and I had to wait for her meal long aftet I finished mine.

Was it worth the 90 minute wait? Definitely not. 

Since the restauran is so popular Both in Japan and Linkou, I Just have to try it someday.

Well, last night was my lucky night because I was the only one in line at 6:15 pm. However, I still had to wait 25 minutes before I could eat. No kidding. In general, five, at most ten, minutes was the usual wait at other restaurans.

The actual wait time was 23 minutes and 18 seconds. I believed that there were four or five orders before me.

When I walked up to the counter, a young woman told me that my order would be out shortly and it would be placed on ‘this’ (pointing) tray soon. 

That’s when I realized that 金子半之助 was so particular on providing the best dining experience to their guests that the restaurant summoned their guests over right before their meals were ready. All other restaurants called their guests over after their meals had already been placed on a tray.

I waited for my meal patiently and, sure enough, it came out in about 20 seconds. The young woman called me over, pointed her finger to the middle of the rice bowl and told me to poke the egg york open after finishing half of my meal to enjoy it with the rice. 

Well, here is what I got:上天丼, the miso soup didn’t come free with my 上天丼. It cost additional 新臺幣 $30。The sides were pickled ginger and something called 牛蒡 which customers can served themselves.

Buried below the tempura is a deep fried egg york.

My first impression was the rice bowl was too small for the 新臺幣 $350 price tag. I probably got spoiled by the low prices we’ve been paying for other meals at this and other food courts.

I then tried the tempura. They were good and the outsider batter layer wasn’t very crispy like many other tempuras I have had before. Seasoning was adequate and the fish tempura was the best among the three: juicy, tender, fresh and not fishy. A few pieces of squid and scallop were deep fried in batter. The tempura veggie and battered corn patty weren’t extraordinary. The deep fried seaweed piece was thick and chewy but it tasted like others I’ve had before. The rice was firm but not starchy. It was added over a soy-based sweet sauce. The same sauce was poured over the rice befoe the egg york, three tempuras and deep fried patties were dressed later. I didn’t finish all the rice because it had too much sauce at the bottom of the bowl.

I believe the egg york was covered with flour or corn starch before it was individuality deep fried. It should have been chilled (may have been slightly frozen) first to make it easier to handle and to end up with a running center after deep fried in 350 degrees F. By the time I started eating the egg york, the running center was still warm. 

I believe the restaurant took pain to make sure that each  was as good as the one it served before. I appreciated the dedication 金子半之助 put in the they make. Maybe this is why it’s so popular in Japan and in Linkou, Taiwan.

But, it will be a long while before I come back to try 金子半之助’s 丼 again. If you come, please do not come on a weekend unless you have nothing better to do and you like spending your time waiting in line watching other people enjoying their food.

In the mean time, I’ll take two bowls of 牛肉麪 (usually 新臺幣 $120 to $150 each) and a couple of side dishes for a bowl of 新臺幣 $350 上天丼  anytime if you don’t mind. 

Web image

Side dishes from 點水樓, Linkou.

By the way, pronounces ‘dong4.’ It generally means rice covered with something: beef, chicken or fish. For instance, 牛丼 might mean rice covered with sliced beef stirred fried with onions or some other vegetables.

萬頭鑽動 October 11, 2016

Posted by hslu in China, Chinese Food, Economics, Taipei, Taiwan.
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1985年聖誕節前一個禮拜,我陪媽媽去大陸看外婆和親人,由上海入境。叔叔帶我們去有名的城隍廟和其他地方參觀。那時候,吃飯要糧票,買油要油票,美金不能用,要換成外匯卷,外匯劵只能在友誼商店用。我們住的旅館必須是政府合准,能夠接待外賓的旅館。整個上海,物質缺乏,街上不是灰色,深藍色就是黑色。破舊的棉襖,發白的黑外套,寬大的褲子,不配的上衣,街上一點都有生氣。一到晚上黑,街上和家裏漆黑的一片,電不夠用,沒有高樓,沒有大廈,沒有私人財產,街道擁擠,非常落後。

不過,上海有一多;人多。

我們去上海城隍廟和豫園參觀,然後在城隍廟商場的小店吃飯,叔叔把我們安排在一張桌子坐著,他去買東西。我們吃到一半,就有人站在我們桌子邊上等著。等我們吃完飯,他們才有位置坐。我和媽媽看到生人在邊上都很緊張,怪彆扭的。叔叔跟我們說,這是正常現象。

沒想到,這個現象竟然在林口發生。

前天我們在林口三井 Outlet 吃中飯。禮拜天。一到美食街,就看到不少人站在桌子邊上等位子。這種排場,我在臺灣還是第一次看到。我們就兵分兩路,我去買吃的,她去找位子。不然怎麽辦?我們總不能端著盤子站著吃飯吧。

實在歎為觀止。

我們其實是來林口看室內設計裝潢的工程進度。坐公車來林口,就先在三井 Outlet 吃中飯。沒想到整個 Outlet 人山人海,摩肩接踵,你推我擠,萬頭鑽動,好不壯觀。好一副欣欣向榮的景象。連男生上廁所都要排隊。你說精彩不精彩?

吃飯的地方那真是人擠人,路都走不通。端著盤子的找位子的,站在桌子邊上等位子的,手牽著孩子找孩子的爹或娘的,推著小孩推車擠過來擠過去的,攙著慢慢走的老先生和老太太的,東張西望找親人的,五歲小孩捧個滾來滾去的 hard boiled egg 的盤子,一步一步慢慢走的,還有走路不看路的東闖西撞的,全都擠到一塊了。三井還把一些通道圈起來,臨時擺上桌子和椅子,卻也不夠用。

點菜的地方也是大排長龍。

有一個叫’金子半之助’的日本店簡直不像話。排隊一個多鍾頭才能點到菜。點完菜,還要二十分鐘才能吃到飯。竟然有人耐心的等待。真是’痴痴的等’啊!那個著迷的程度只能用’不到黃河心不死,不見棺材不落淚’來形容。

真不知道它好在哪裏?餓著肚子,看人家吃飯,站著等一個半鍾頭以後才能吃到飯,值得嗎?一窩蜂,還是’xxx’?你自己看著辦吧!

我們找了一個不用排隊的。太太先去找位子。我叫了牛肉麪和京醬肉絲配抓餅。很好吃。結果我們邊上的一家竟然是由台北開車來的一家。


我們胡亂吃,早早就吃完了。把位子讓給一位年輕的爸爸坐。他帶著太太和兩個孩子來林口。年輕的媽陪著兩個孩子坐在我們邊上吃飯。可憐的爸爸一面站著吃飯,一面還要等他的中飯。

你說臺灣那有經濟有那裏不好?

吃完了飯,我們出去在門外看到一位工作人員搖旗(沒有吶喊)叫開車的人不要在三井停車,因為已經沒有停車位了。

不知道臺灣人有多少錢被日本人賺走了?

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