Taipei: A Cai Feng Mu Yu(阿財虱目魚)

3 cup clams
3 cup clams

Located in Ximen district, the local restaurant opens at 10pm and closes before dawn breaks. It is a popular supper joint for locals (and some tourists), serving authentic Taiwanese dishes. Due to our terrible holiday sleeping habits, our first meal of the day usually happens around noon. Hence lunch would be around 5 and so dinner….. You get the idea. So this place was perfect for us since it totally suits our dining habits!

Pan fried feng mu yu.. signature dish here
Pan fried feng mu yu.. signature dish here

To avoid queuing for an unreasonable amount of time, we reached the shop at around 945pm. The queue was already about 10 people long. I hurriedly got in the line, with Fat Man grumbling but trailing behind. He hates to queue. Well, so do I. But I love to eat more. That’s the difference. The clock slowly ticked till 10. Then 1005. The shop shutters remained half opened. Eh? I was getting a bit nervous, for I know I will hear no ends to the grumbling if the shop doesn’t open. 5 minutes later, the shutters lifted lazily and everybody rushed in to find a spot. The shop is quite small, so if you missed the first round of seating, you will have to wait a good half hour. We shared the table with another friendly fat man (who ate as much as the both of us combined).

Thick spring onion omelette
Thick spring onion omelette

We ordered about 5 dishes, and all were excellent. My favourite is definitely the 3 cup clams. The name of the dish come from the recipe, which consist of 1 cup rice wine, 1 cup dark soy and 1 cup sesame oil.  The clams were fat and succulent, the generous amount of basil also added to the fragrance of this dish. Coming to a close second is the fluffy omelette. I am an egg fiend and I love almost all forms of eggs (other than a hard boiled egg yolk). The omelette here have a rich eggy taste and done just right. Break it open and you find a slightly moist interior. So good! Fat Man ate most of the stir fry lamb, which had satay sauce added to it. The signature dish here is the pan fried fish, which is sweet and fatty. You can also have the soup version. Between the 2 of us, we finished 3 bowls of rice, one of which had a thick piece of pork belly. When we left, there was a long queue waiting to fill our place.

Fat Man's favourite dish
Stir fry lamb.. Fat Man’s favourite dish
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