As most gastronomes would agree, Taiwanese cuisine is not known as sophisticated, fine dining. The cuisine excels in two areas – one being street snacks and the other being quick stir-fry. At Hai Tien Dumpling and Noodles, they do street snacks that could be served in a 5-star restaurant in New York or Hong Kong.
Hai Tien is owned and operated by Ms. Jiang. She has a small place along a busy street with a few tables outside for people to dine at her shop. Most of her business, however, is dumpling take away. Many people go on weekends and bring them home for the whole family, so expect a short wait on weekends.
If you’re in the mood for a not so filling lunch, I suggest the special house noodles 家常麵 ($30NT for a small serving and large for $40NT). Ms. Jiang and her staff are able to boil the noodles to perfection and serve at your street side table. The noodles maintain an al dente texture while absorbing all of the meat sauce added to the top. Ms. Jiang also offers customers a full trey of condiments, including a pickled relish that is just sour and spicy enough to add great flavor to these almost perfect noodles.
The dumplings, however, are what really has put Hai Tien on this reviews culinary map of Taipei. There are four varieties of dumplings available, including cabbage, pork, shrimp and leeks. The Shrimp Dumplings ($60NT for 10) could compete globally. The dough texture is perfect for the small, ultra-fresh shrimp contained inside. If this dumpling were served in New York, it would probably sell for at least $10usd a serving. This reviewer recommends dipping the dumpling in a mix or chili and soy sauce (available on Hai Tien condiment trey) to add just the right salt and spice mix to the shrimp.
If you’re after a world class lunch or snack and you’re in the Wan Hua area, stop by Hai Tien Dumplings and Noodles for one of the best culinary values in Taipei.
|Hai Tien Dumplings and Noodles – He Ping W. Road Sec. 3, No.166. (Wan Hua – Long Shan Temple MRT) Taipei City (02) 2306-2385 (7 days a week 7:30AM-9PM)|