Monday, 21 November 2011

Restaurant Review: -- Miaoli City (Miaoli County)

After walking for an hour around Miaoli City's (苗栗市) old center--near the railway station--and finding no vegetarian restaurant and not even a vegetarian option at two noodle shops, NOMM was starting to think Hakka people (客家人) are evidently big meat eaters.

    But about 5 minutes from our hotel in the opposite direction we found the Caoshitang Sushi Guan (草食堂素食館; "Herbivore Hall Vegetarian Restaurant", but no English sign).

Over the next two days, NOMM tried:

i) Hakka toon [herb]-flavoured "plank" noodles (客家香椿粄條; NT$80), which surprisingly were in a soup, but were no less tasty for that. Another happy surprise was the absence of fake meat.
ii) "hundred pages tofu" (百頁豆腐; NT$30), which was fresh and succulent
iii) grated burdock (牛蒡絲; NT$30), which was tasty if slightly oily
(photo above)

iv) mapo tofu  rice (麻婆燴飯; NT$80), in which appeared the first fake ground meat
v) steamed seasonal leafy greens (燙青菜; NT$50), which was covered in a fake-meat sauce   
vi) Hakka toon[herb]-flavoured bamboo shoots (客家香筍; NT$60), which were also rather oily
vii) house special golden tofu (招牌黃金豆腐; NT$30), which had nothing wrong with it.
(photo right)

So in short, everything was ok, yet somehow something was lacking. But it was certainly nice to find a restaurant after and hour's search, and the fact that NOMM went back a second time shows it was more than acceptable.

Other options include various QQ (Hoklo Taiwanese for "chewy") noodles at NT$90; hot pots at NT$190 (NT$120 for a small portion); and meals for 3-5 people at NT$1,000  for 5 dishes & 1 soup (5菜一湯), 6-8 people at NT$2,000 for 7 dishes & 1 soup, and 10-12 people at NT$3,000 for 9 dishes & 1 soup.

The restaurant can do banquets for weddings &c.

Typical meal price: NT$80-120
NOMM fake meat/processed food index: 2 (good)                             
Address: 88 Xianfu Rd. (縣府路), Miaoli City (near County Hall)
Telephone: 037-355566

                                                                    Text and photos © Jiyue Publications 2011

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