Sunday, September 30, 2012

Perfectly Braised Eggplants and Slimy Chilean Bass at Taiwan Cafe in Boston

There was one Chinese restaurant in Davis, California, that my family and I used to frequent. I would always get its lunch special of General Chicken (fried chicken "balls" marinated in sweet & spicy sauce) and chow mein or fried rice with eggroll and today's soup. After realizing how greasy and MSG-loaded Chinese food is, however, I tried to avoid it as much as I can. I actually haven't been to a single Chinese restaurant since I came to college, but my cravings won over and I decided to go to Taiwan Cafe in Chinatown for early dinner on Sunday.

According to my friend, the place was closed for a while for renovation and recently had its re-grand opening. That would explain the confettis, ribbons, and ballons in the restaurant. The first dish we ordered was Home-Style Braised Eggplant with Basil ($9.95).

I would order this dish over and over again. The eggplant was cooked just enough that it wasn't too mushy or tough. The eggplants were lightly sauteed and mixed in slightly spicy and sweet sauce. The basil added a layer of savory yet bittersweet flavor to the dish.

I have never ordered a fish entree at a Chinese restaurant because the skeptic in me doubts what they serve is what is actually on the menu. Because my companion was wanting to try the bass, we decided to order the Steamed Chilean Bass with Ginger & Scallions ($18.95).

The filet was cut open, served flat on a wide plate. It was marinated in soy-teriyaki sauce with julienne-styled scallions on top. The fish tasted very tender and soft, although I didn't like the bits of bones throughout the filet. I also wished the chef had taken the scale because it was disgusting to look at! It certainly made me squeamish.

Taiwan Cafe on Urbanspoon

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