My friend Alice recommended this authentic Taiwanese restaurant which has no English name, so I am just going to translate it as “Sky Turns Red Restaurant” ( 紅翻天). Alice insisted that the dishes are small, so she went on an order frenzy and ordered 14 dishes for the 4 of us!!! Being gluttons like my friends and I, we managed to eat almost everything without too much left over. We were totally stuffed. But honestly, for 4 people, I think 8 dishes should be more than enough.
When we were at the restaurant, it was about 90% filled with people. Yet the dishes came out as if the chef was only cooking for 2 tables of people. Most of the dishes were between NTD 100 to NTD 150. The steam boat dishes which we did not order were NTD 400. With the speedy service and unbeatable price, I would highly recommend this restaurant to anyone who wants to get an authentic taste of Taiwanese cuisine. (Take note that restaurant does not accept credit card, so bring enough cash along).
Here is what we ate:
Grilled Fish. The fish was grilled until crisp on the outside yet juicy on the inside. The fish had minimal seasoning of salt, with white pepper and lime on the side, but that was all the fish really needed. A little more seasoning than that would hide the true freshness of the fish.
Crispy Dragon Balls with Salt and Pepper. This dish has an interesting name . It’s made from squid. But can you guess from which part of the squid? Take a guess take a guess!! Well, it’s made from the squid’s mouth. Creative eh?
Mullet Roe Slices. This dish is a unique dish of Taiwan. Recipe is available here. The mullet roe slices are eaten together with leek slices or raw white carrot slices. Both the leek and the white carrot are spicy, and goes very will with the roe that has previously been soaked in rice wine.
3 Cups Chicken. I would say 3 cups chicken is probably one of the most famous among Taiwanese dishes. 3 cups refers to the ingredients being used, sesame oil, soya sauce and rice wine in equal potions, not the literal cups by measurement in the cooking world.
Stir-fried “Sansu” Vegetable with Anchovies. This vegetable is also known as bird’s nest fern.
“Sansu” Salad with wafu sauce. Simple seasoning with wafu sauce, bonito fish slice and sea weed slices make a great appetizer!
Thinly Shredded White Yam in Wafu Sauce.
Salted Pork. Do you notice that the dish seems a bit incomplete? Yes, my dear friends dug in their chopsticks before I had a chance to take a nice picture. Again, minimal flavouring. Alice’s favourite dish!
Stir Fried Clams with Basil. The basil, a common ingredient in Taiwan, is the key to this dish. The basil accentuates the freshness of the clams.
Pork Intestine with Black Pudding. The “black pudding” is actually pig’s blood cubes. The name may not sound so inviting, eating intestine and blood…. but the taste was good! You really won’t be able to tell that you are eating intestine and blood cubes. Just imagine you are eating pork with salty pudding!
Crab Fillet with Green Bean Noodles. I was too busy eating other dishes when this dish came out. By the time I got to it, the crab fillet got a little soggy but still very good. So moral of the story is, eat this dish as soon as it arrives on the table!
Miso Soup. There were a lot of tofu and salmon pieces hiding beneath. The soup is best when it’s hot. You can always ask the staff to help you heat up the soup when it gets cold.
All the dishes up until this point were superb. When it came to Intestine with Shredded Ginger Slices, it was a little disappointing as I think they might have used a stale batch of intestines for this dish, or they might not have prepared it properly? Despite this unsatisfactory dish, I would still recommend the restaurant, but just don’t order this dish…..
Sky Turns Red Restaurant from the outside.
Fresh Sea Food on Display.
How to get there:
Take the MRT to MingQuan West Road. Then take a cab to 239 Jilin Road. The cab fare is NTD 70.
239 Jilin Road, Taipei City.
Tel: 02-2537 1629
Operating Hours: 5pm to 1.30am.