Floyd and I and a friend to try out a new restaurant this evening (or what we thought was a new restaurant).  Have you seen No. 9 Harbor?  No, it’s not an address on Harbor Road; it’s the restaurant across the street from Starbucks where the one we called the Prawn Palace used to stand.

Well, as it turns out, No. 9 Harbor is the Prawn Palace, just with a new look.  They’ve changed the interior quite a bit, including getting rid of the murals that used to show scenic spots in Taiwan and switching them out for giant pictures of beer (and one with a ship/travel theme).
The menu is the same, though – that was our only clue that it wasn’t really a new restaurant.

Here are the dishes we ordered.  Some of them were our old standards back in the days when we used to eat at the Prawn Palace a lot, and a few were ones we tried for the first time this evening.

Above: their asparagus is always tasty.  Good and garlicky!

This was my favorite dish: the kung pao chicken.  It’s also the first one we ordered the first time we ever came to the Prawn Palace – which was the first restaurant Floyd and I ever ventured out to alone back when we were new in Taiwan.  Click here to read my blog post about that memorable event!

The black pepper beef was good but very spicy!  This picture doesn’t do it justice – there were a lot more chili peppers in it than you can see here!

This scrambled egg and shrimp dish wasn’t quite what we had expected.  But it turned out to be delicious, though a little soupy.  I think it was my second-favorite dish of the evening.

We didn’t think the duck would be quite like this either!  It came breaded and deep-fried, with colorful shrimp chips adorning the platter.  I liked the flavor, but Floyd described it as “deep-fried grease”.  The frog, which I forgot to take a picture of but is also one of our old favorites, he called “deep-fried bones”.  As you can imagine, neither had much meat on it!

Along with the ubiquitous white rice, this restaurant offers its customers free noodles.  With bits of cabbage, carrots, and mushrooms, they’re pretty tasty.

Well, all in all we enjoyed our meal at No. 9 Harbor.  Have you been there?  If you live in Taichung and enjoy Taiwanese food, we recommend you try it out!  (Of course, if you can’t read Chinese, make sure you bring along someone who can.)  Feel free to reply to this post and let us know what your favorite dishes are – Floyd and I are always looking for new favorites!

Pretty much every restaurant we’ve eaten in since coming to Taiwan has been a deliciously delightful experience. We wanted to describe a few of them so you’ll know what you’re missing (and remember, come visit us any time – we’d be glad to take you out to all of them!).

Name: The Orange Grove (at least, that’s what we call it)

Description: This is sort of a hole in the wall, painted bright orange, with indoor or outdoor seating. The cooks and waiters are friendly and helpful; there’s a variety of tasty Chinese dishes. You can read about our linguistic misadventures in this restaurant here.

We Recommend: cashew chicken or pineapple shrimp

We Don’t Recommend: scrambled-egg-and-tomato soup


Name: Teppanyaki

Description: About fifteen seats are arranged around a single horseshoe-shaped table. You order your choice of meat, and it comes with two kinds of veggies on the side, plus tea and soup (order steamed rice as well). The chef cooks everything on a flat metal stovetop in the center of the horseshoe, then just leans over and plops it into your bowl.

We Recommend: buttered mushrooms or cuttlefish

We Don’t Recommend: sirloin steak (it isn’t bad, but not worth paying twice as much as anything else on the menu)

Name: ? (We don’t know if it has one; we refer to it as the “onion cake place”.)

Description: This little stand right outside our apartment building probably opens at the crack of dawn (no matter how early we get up, we’ve never found it closed except during a typhoon) and stays open till 10 or 10:30. They sell various things we still can’t identify, most fried, though there are also some bowls of soup/porridge and pre-prepared sandwiches.

We Recommend: ONION CAKES!!! (Called dan bing in Chinese.)  These are incredibly delicious! They start with a round piece of dough similar to a tortilla but thicker (much like a Kenyan chapati, if you know what that is), but with finely chopped green onions in the dough. As they fry it, they pour a mixture of beaten egg and green onion over it, then fry the other side and fold it in half kind of like an omelette before they give it to you. Eaten hot with ketchup, it’s out of this world!

We Don’t Recommend: the round or oval things with meat in the middle; they’re more expensive and the meat isn’t as cooked as I’d prefer. Just stick with onion cakes and you can’t go wrong!

Name: Shanghai Restaurant

Description: This is a classy restaurant in a nice part of town, not walking distance from where we live (unlike the other places mentioned here). The decor has a “Shanghai in the 1900s” theme.

We Recommend: stewed shredded swamp eel (I’m not kidding!); the roasted peanuts they give you before the meal comes are great too.

Name: The Prawn Palace (at least, that’s what we call it)

Description: This was the first restaurant Floyd and I went to on our own after coming to Taiwan. Don’t expect to be able to read the menu or communicate with the staff in English, but if you can get past that, you’ll probably have a great experience. Floyd and I came up with a system whereby we randomly point to menu items, then keep track in a notebook of what kind of food comes. I guess you could say we’re building our own English version of the menu. You can read about our embarrassing linguistic misadventures at this restaurant here.

We Recommend: prawns with butter and garlic (column 1, section 1, item 5), spicy tasty fish with onions in sauce (column 1, section 2, item 10), or sweet and sour pork ribs (column 2, section 1, item 6)

We Don’t Recommend: ginger squid (column 3, section 2, item 1) or bland bony fish and tofu soup (column 4, section 3, item 3)

Name: Ho-Yuan (but we call it The Tea Shop or Bambina’s; I think that’s Italian for “baby girl”. They (sort of) have an attempt at Italian food, and there’s an adorable baby girl who toddles around the restaurant in a walker while her parents cook and serve.)

Description: It’s a little restaurant with about four small tables and a limited menu inside. The best part is outside, where they have a separate menu, mostly of beverages, especially the chilled, flavored tea drinks that are so popular here in Taiwan. (The picture is of the outside menu.)

We Recommend: funland juice (that’s Floyd’s favorite)… I’m not sure what my favorite is, but I love almost everything I’ve had there (including the weird Italian/Chinese combo casseroles and pizzas). The chocolate-banana smoothie I bought today was great!

Name: Uncle Jimmy’s

Description: It’s the only place in our neighborhood where you can satisfy that craving for Mexican food (or various other “American” type dishes); they sell a few imported grocery items and craft supplies, too – it’s also the only place I’ve been able to buy scrapbook paper!

We Recommend: enchiladas or any sandwich on sourdough