Hui Guan 回馆回回私家菜 @ Taipei, Taiwan
Our lunch before leaving Taipei was at Hui Guan, a restaurant serving cuisine from Ningxia, a Hui autonomous region in China. Ning Xia cuisine features Muslin characteristics but still carries the advantages of Chinese cooking. It was definitely something new for me and couldn’t wait for that taste bud excitement.
Tucked away in an alley at Songshan District, Taipei City, Hui Guan’s facade is pretty inviting.
Dressed in a bright yellow and blue theme, the interior has a very comfortable atmosphere partnered with clean and pleasant setting. The place is decorated with plenty of Islamic decorative art pieces which gracefully evokes Islamic culture.
Th first dish served to our table certainly out of my expectation, the soup looked like a common “sharkfin” soup which we usually have during wedding banquet. It was thick and laden with seafood such as flower crab, clams and prawns. The soup was well flavoured from the seafood essence and the crispy fried egg bits added extra texture and aroma to the broth.
Stir Fried Meat with Cumin Served with Pita Bread 孜然羊羔肉烙饃
One of the popular dishes here, minced meat (with choices of beef, lamb or chicken), diced sugar snap pea, onion, jicama and pickled pea stir fried with cumin spice. The flavor was strong and spicy, paired with the pita bread as filling, perfect combination!
Deep Fried Fish & Bean Curd Roll
The deep fried fish and bean curd roll with mixture of prawn paste and vegetables was quite mediocre.
Boiled Lamb in Ningxia Style 宁夏手抓羊肉
Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region is strongly influenced by flavors traditionally associated with the Hui people, one of China’s 55 ethnic minorities. There is approximately 20 percent of China’s Hui population resides in Ningxia and mutton is their favorite meat. They basically consume everything, from the intestines to the brain. The mutton is known for its tender and refined texture.
We had this simple boiled lamb brisket with goji berries and it was indeed lived up to our expectation, tender and soft but the cut was a tad too fat for my liking.
Chicken Leg in Chili and Sichuan Pepper Sauce 椒香麻辣鸡
Poached chicken bathed with aromatic sesame oil, chili and Sichuan pepper sauce. The spiciness was beautifully nuanced its addictive.
Stewed Beef with Tomato & Potato西疆红子牛肉
The beef was tender and robust in flavors from the long hours of stewing, well absorbed the flavors from the special house made chili sauce. Accompanied by various of vegetables such as tomatoes, celery, bell peppers and mashed potatoes.
Braised Chicken with Eggplant 鲜鸡母子茄
The next dish was an interesting combination of chicken, deep fried bean curd stick, fresh eggplant and pickled round eggplant. The savory taste with subtle hint of sourness from the pickled eggplant gave the dish a multitude of flavors which was nothing less than outstanding. The like how the fried bean curd sticks added another textural contrast to the dish.
Sauteed Egg and Preserved Egg with Chili 辣子爆杂蛋
A stir fried dish of boiled egg, century egg, mushroom, onion, chili, leek, black bean and bell pepper, fragrant and full of wok hei.
We ended our lunch with a dessert platter of red bean and mung bean roll and fresh fruit.
Verdict: The deep flavour profiles of Ningxia-themed food definitely stimulated my palate. The food with punchy flavours and lots of herbs note really awaken my sense of flavour to another new level.
Hui Guan 回馆回回私家菜
No.9, Alley 51, Lane 12, Section 3, Bade Road, Songshan District
Taipei City 105, Taiwan (R.O.C.)
Tel: +886 2 2577 9851
Operating Hours: 11.30am – 2.00pm, 5.30pm – 9.30pm (Tuesday to Sunday, closed on Monday)
By MRT: Bannan Line (Nankang Line) 板南线, Zhongxiao Dunhua Station 忠孝敦化站, walk for 10 minutes