A few months ag, I met up with Raymond of Chinesebites and the rest of the crew for a dinner at Pearl Castle Café (圓香生活餐飲) in the Continental Centre plaza. We stared off with Taiwan’s most famous drink export, bubble tea. I anticipated half drinks or samples of each, but they gave us full size drinks! Another thing is there was supposed to be 9 of us, but only 7 of us showed up so we now had extra drinks. Oy, sugar overload.
Starting from the bottom, Right to Left for all 3 rows.
- Mango Milk Tea – 芒果奶茶
- Pudding Milk Tea – 布丁奶茶
- Lavender Milk Tea – 薰衣草奶茶
- Honey Grass Jelly Lemon Juice – 仙草檸檬蜜汁
- Japanese Green Tea with Red Bean – 紅豆綠茶
- Red Bean Slush – 紅豆雪泥
- Coconut Red Bean – 椰子紅豆
- Sea Salt Coffee – 海鹽奶咖
- Roasted Rice Lattea – 玄米綠蓋茶
After all the drinks were served, we called dibs on drinks. I took the lavender milk tea since I’m more of a classic bubbletea guy and I found it to be pretty sweet and “soapy”, which isn’t necessarily bad since that’s how I associate with lavenders flavour and taste. I obviously didn’t get to try everything, but I had a few sips here and there and in general they’re all well done. My personal favourite bubbletea however is a half-sweet half-ice oolong milk tea.
After the drinks, the food came out in a fairly quick pace, starting with appetizers. I’ll also note that all the food we were served were the regular portions, so we quickly found ourselves running out of table space and had to occupy another one..while a long lineup formed outside the door.
First up, Fried Tofu – 炸豆腐, salty and served with kimchi and a garlic dipping sauce, they’re easy to eat and addicting..
Fried Red-Fermented Pork – 台式炸紅糟肉. This distinctly Taiwanese dish gains its deep vibrant red colour from being marinated in a red bean curd paste, giving it a sweet salty umami flavour, and then deep fried till crispy.
Any meal at a Taiwanese restaurant should include some Taiwanese Sausage – 台式香腸. Stubby and short, typically served whole or in slices, it’s served with a thick garlic soy sauce to compliment the meaty sweetness.
From here on, there’ll just be picture and a caption as these dishes are pretty straightforward.
Garlic Sauce Chicken – 蒜子雞
Three Spice Chicken – 三杯雞
House Special Beef Noodle – 原汁牛肉麵
Tomato Beef Noodle – 番茄牛肉麵
Chicken Teriyaki Fried Rice – 照燒雞肉炒飯
Milk Seafood Hot Pot – 牛奶海鮮鍋
Kung-Pao Shrimp – 宮保蝦球
Seafood Fried Noodle – 海鮮炒麵
All in all, it was a very satisfying and extremely filling meal. Speaking as someone who has Taiwanese background, I felt each dish was executed fine with no real errors. As each entree had either a rice or noodle component along with 2-3 side vegetables and dessert, we ended up with a lot of leftovers, with most of us taking something home. It’s also not a very expensive meal that will hurt the wallet, as they come in around $9 for a main dish. Of course, if you add in a $4 bubbletea, appetizer to share, you could be looking at almost $20/person.