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Hot Pot Depot, Linkou, New Taipei City February 28, 2019

Posted by hslu in Chinese Food, Food, Life in Taiwan, Restaurants, Taipei, Taiwan, 台灣, 台北, 林口.
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Recently several new restaurants opened near my house in Linkou, New Taipei City in Taiwan.

Among them was the Hot Pot Depot in the housing community of Yuan Xiong Future City. It was 12 minutes away from my house on foot.

It used to be a family business selling brand name children’s products but closed its door due to competition from the much bigger Carrefour supermarket in the basement of the residential community.

By my account, there are four more personal hot pot restaurants within 1000 feet radius from HPD and they are all selling basically the same type of food. The only difference was the quality of the meat and price.

We chose Hot Pot Depot because it was the newest one.

The format goes like this:

  • Each person has his or her own side of a hot pot,
  • You select the soup base first,
  • You get a fixed amount of vegetables including some mushrooms.
  • You choose type of meat: be it vegetables, sliced pork, sliced beef, seafood or lobsters.
  • The meat and seafood are a la carte and you can order as much as you want,
  • The shachajiang sauce and sweetened tea are free but you have to help yourself,

We ordered a combo vegetables plate and a plate of sliced ribeye. There were much more food than we wanted to consume but we managed to finish the meat and most of the veggies. The quality of the sliced ribeye was excellent, probably the best sliced beef we’ve had in Linkou.

The price was reasonable but the service was a bit sloppy. The owner herself had to greet the customers at the door, showed customers to their tables and took money (cash only) from the customers when they finished their meals. She had to cleaned the tables too. We waited for at least a minute at the front counter before she came to greet us. After we finished our meals, HPD had ran out of iced creams and the workers just didn’t have time to refill the iced cream freezers.

Upon paying our bills, I asked her, a beautiful and very pleasant woman in her early 30’s, about how busy her restaurant was on a Wednesday, she said that she had a hard time to keep qualified people working for her.

Well, HPD is much larger than I thought which could be risky for a bedroom city like Linkou. It had some minor problems probably because it had only opened for three weeks or so.

However, I am certain that we will come back and enjoy that high quality sliced ribeye at a very affordable price soon.

Capitalism at work November 28, 2017

Posted by hslu in Food, Life in Taiwan, Restaurants, Taipei, Taiwan, 台灣, 台北, 林口.
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Linkou garden night market closes from Monday to Wednesday. During the other four nights of the week, it was busy with locals as well as tourists who came here for an hour or two; long enough to try the famous Taiwanese cuisine.

林口花園夜市大門口。禮拜四晚上燈火通明,雖然沒有人(大)山人(大)海,但是小丘陵和小池塘也是有的。Kind of “people mountain, people sea” on a Thursday night.

We’ve been here a few times and liked a savory curry lamb dish offered by an Indian chef in the back of the night market. 

The Indian chef is working on 飛餅。This is the original. 達卡印度廚房。On a recent visit, 達卡印度廚房 has moved out of the spot and was replaced by an Asian food joint selling Indonesian food. 達卡印度廚房 has opened a restaurant across the street from the Linkou Subway station on Wenhua 3rd road.

His primary job was making Indian roti, “飛餅, flying pancake” on an upside down wok which kept him busy all the time. His wife was, I think, Taiwanese and her job was taking orders, collecting money, making curry beef, rice and vegetable wraps and getting curry lamb or curry beef ready as orders come in. They used to hire a college student who helped with taking dishes to customers, cleaning the table and getting rid of trash. 
I also saw their middle-school aged daughter who helped them out on busy nights. Lately, the college student stopped coming to work and his job was taken over by their son who is probably in junior high or elemtary school. 

Chef’s wife and two kids.

Still, with four of them working at full speed, they still can’t handle the booming business because their food is good, they offer good value, their prices are so affordable and they are the only place in the night market which offers decent Indian food. 

Well, this is where free market and capitalism come into play.

The 林口 night market used to have only one Indian restaurant which enjoyed great business for a long time. Now, two other Indian restaurants have opened up last summer.

This is one of the two new Indian entrants to the Linkou Garden Night Market. Business was so so at best. Somewhat different Indian food served here.

The other Indian food stall was much smaller and poorly managed though.

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