I’d like to introduce an extremely well-known eatery in Taipei called 藍家割包, which I’m translating it to as The Blues Pork Bun (or “Lan Jia Gua Bao”). It’s a family owned restaurant run by the Blue (“Lan”) family and is situated in a little, but populous alley, across from National Taiwan University (NTU), Taiwan’s first public university under Chinese rule (as opposed to Japanese rule). If you want to learn more about Taiwan’s history….this is not the place :P.
Back to the food! Before I continue…I’d like to also add, it’s very close to MRT Gongguan Station, Green Line, Exit 4. Well…I think Exit 4 is the closes.
If you come to Taipei to study or research or whatever, your classmate or fellow professor will take you there probably as your first introduction to Taiwanese cuisine.
Onward to pictures!
I can’t find my picture of the pork bun….you must hate me by now. But don’t worry! Taiwan is known as blogger country (my opinion entirely and the fact that everybody and their grandmothers blog and I mean EVERYBODY).
Come in Google and copy paste 藍家割包 and voila! A blogger known as Big Mouth has a beautiful picture. Wow….apparently he’s one of Taiwan’s Top 10 bloggers and published in newspaper and stuff. Gotta bookmark this :D.
This is pork marinated in soy-based sauce and I think, mustard leaves or some kind of pickled vegetable, then topped with grounded peanuts and sugar and cilantro. The peanuts isn’t so refined that I would call it powder.
You can visit Big Mouth’s blog for more pictures. It looks like he has lots of posts on food and travel. Anyway, I’ll update this post with my own pictures when I feel like having a pork bun or when I find my pictures somewhere in the vast sea of Picasaweb album.
Today I ate the “zong” (肉粽) or glutinous rice wrapped in leaves. Here, the rice is sautéed in soy sauce and stuffed with pork, mushroom, salted egg, and raw peanuts. Once wrapped, it is steamed til cooked through. The Blues served it with a sweet and (not spicy) spicy sauce which I love and sprinkled with cilantro. Yum~~~
As usual, out of greed, I also ordered a bowl of soup, the Corn with Ribs soup, knowing that I’ll regret it later. The corn makes the soup really really sweet. So full~~~ >”<
Everything on their menu is really good. Every item is between US$1 ~ US$2. Below is a picture of their menu.
Ordering information: First off, the vertical writing on the right side of the menu says “if you don’t want cilantro, let them know when you order”. Or else cilantro will automatically go on the pork buns.
The first 5 items are the pork buns. The only difference is in the amount of fat you prefer and Chinese people like their fat. I translated below:
肥肉 – Fatty meat
瘦肉 – Lean meat
綜合（半肥半瘦）- Combo (Half fatty half lean)
綜合偏肥 – Fattier combo
綜合偏瘦 – Leaner combo
The rest of the menu goes like this:
肉粽 – Glutinous rice wrapped in leaves or “zong”.
四神（腸）湯 – Four gods (intestine) soup….Okay literally translating word for word. 四神湯 or Four Gods Soup has 4 main ingredients: barley, lotus seeds, pig intestines and pig stomach. I LOVE this soup but I don’t eat intestines or stomachs of any animal so the owner told me a neat trick. She said to cross-out the word in the parentheses （腸）and they will only give me the soup with barley and lotus seeds. I don’t even know how to describe the flavor. There is a general flavor/fragrance that I call the “Chinese medicine flavor”, which I love. This soup has that flavor without the bitterness of the real Chinese medicine.
四神豬肚湯 – Four gods pig stomach soup.
四神綜合 (腸+肚) 湯 – Four gods combo (intestine + stomach) soup aka Four Gods Soup, the one with all 4 ingredients.
玉米排骨湯 – Corn rib soup
洛神酸梅湯 – Roselle sour plum soup. It’s a refreshing beverage, not served in a bowl, in case you’re wondering.
The last 2 items are 大腸肉羹麵線, Intestines with meat paste sticky noodle soup. The meat paste is meat beaten into paste, mixed with seasoning and cornstarch and formed into lumps. The noodle is very thin and short and the soup is thick. You can eat this with a spoon, no chopsticks required. I can’t remember if they have oysters in there but they do top it off with a spoon of garlic paste. Again, it’s quite delicious and I like it for the strong garlic taste. It comes in:
辣 – Spicy
不辣 – Not spicy
It’s important to know that if you want to dine in, you must go into the restaurant and let them know, and they’ll arrange a seat for you. Different places have different systems, some eatery, you find your own seats first, and popular places likes this, especially during peak times, you need to let them know, because sometimes you can’t tell who is waiting before you.
If you want to take out, line up like the guy in stripe shorts. The stand on the right is where you can see the action, it is also where people line up for take-outs.
藍家割包 (“Lan Jia Gua Bao”)
Address: No.3, Alley 8, Lane 316, Sec. 3, Roosevelt Rd., Da’an Dist., Taipei City 106, Taiwan – according to Taiwan post office.
Business hours: Tuesday ~ Sunday 11AM ~ 12AM
IMPORTANT: There will be other information that says Zhongshan instead of Daan District. Doesn’t matter. Google can’t find it or it will give you the wrong location. It’s best to search for another popular drink store across from it:
02 2367 7781