Monday, 16 January 2012

Restaurant Review: peppered-meat pastry (Sanchong)

Many Brits and Aussies living in Taiwan miss the savoury pies of their homelands, and some take solace in the beef-in-pastry “pepper buns” (胡椒餅) sold locally but original to northern China (via Fujian, apparently). For vegetarian Irish, Kiwis and others in Taipei, there is a fake-meat version available a short bicycle ride across the Danshui River in Sanchong (三重).
Andong Vegetarian (安東素食; no English title) on Ziqiang Road near the night market that attracts snack-seekers from Taipei City has pepper-flavoured fake-meat pastries (NT$35) with enough xue-li-hong (雪裡蕻) vegetable inside to suggest some nutritional value in addition to satisfying pie-addiction withdrawal symptoms.

Like the shop, xue-li has no English name; it is a mustard-green variety popular in north China cuisine, has the scientific name Brassica juncea var. crispifolia and a number of Chinese nicknames, common in Taiwan is 雪裡紅 (“red in the snow” which is similarly but not identically pronounced xue-li-hong). 

Andong also sells pepper pastries with cheese (乳酪胡椒餅; NT$35), “sour veg. roasted pastries” (酸菜燒餅; NT$25), “red sugar roasted pastries” (紅糖燒餅; NT$25) and shawarma Turkish-style kebab sandwich (沙威瑪; NT$40) all vegetarian.

Occupying a small hut on the end of a row of shops, the store has no seats so only caters to passing trade. Open from early lunchtime to early evening, its hours are not similar to the nearby nightmarket stalls. A good vegetarian snack for after-hours visitors is a stall about halfway down the market selling Shenkeng tofu (深坑豆腐; NT$20 per 2-piece skewer), which is grilled rather than deep-fried and smothered in peanut sauce rather than accompanied by fermented cabbage.

Address: next door to 68 Ziqiang Rd. (自強路) Sec.1, Sanchong, New Taipei City
Tel: 0987 – 258474
Hours: 10:30~18:00 Mon~Sat
NOMM fake meat index: 9 (very high)
No. of seats: 0 (take away only)

The fake-meat test

文字及照片版權屬霽月出版有限公司  Text and photos © Jiyue Publications 2012

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