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Mao Yuan 茂園餐廳.梁靜茹最爱 Fish Leong's Favourite Taiwanese Restaurant in Taipei

Restaurant name: Mao Yuan 茂園餐廳
Address: No. 185, Section. 2, Changan E. Road, Zhongshan District, Taipei
GPS25°02'53.9"N 121°32'33.5"E
Nearest MRT: Nanjing Fuxing Station 南京復興站
Tel: +886 2 2752 8587 (phone booking and pre-ordering at least 1 week ahead is highly advised)
Hours: 11:30am - 2:00pm | 5:00pm - 8:30pm

Mao Yuan is a small third generation, 50 year old eatery specialising in traditional Taiwanese cuisine. It is popular with locals as well as tourists from Hong Kong, Japan and Malaysia. The Must Try dishes at Mao Yuan are poached chicken, squid balls, prawn & squid roll, steamed fish with winter melon paste, braised pork trotters and intestines, and oysters with garlic sauce. Mao Yuan was awarded the Bib Gourmand in the inaugural Taipei Michelin Guide 2018.

Mao Yuan's poached chicken is done slightly pink - the meat is tender, springy and juicy, loaded with quite assertive natural chicky sweetness. Made with fresh chicken, between the juicy meat and smooth skin is a layer of gelatinous fat like jelly.

The squid balls are made by hand mashing fresh squid. The mashed meat is smacked and hand rolled into golf ball size squid balls. The squid balls are boiled, then deep fried in medium heat before browning in higher heat. Customers like the springy bite of the 100% squid balls, and the natural ocean briny sweetness of the squid meat.

Mao Yuan's steamed Threadfin fish with house made salted winter melon is simply a cleaned Threadfin fish, slathered with salted winter melon paste 咸冬瓜醬 cooked in a steamer. It relies simply on the ocean fresh fish for flavour complemented by savoury sweet winter melon paste. (Fish used depends on what is in season.)

Mao Yuan's braised pork trotters and intestines are Malaysian Pop Diva Fish Leong's personal favourite. The fresh pork trotters are from Kurobuta pigs and are never chilled. Mao Yuan's decades old braising stock is just soy sauce with the essence of all the meat that had been braised with this stock before. No herbs are used, so this dish relies mainly on the trotter and intestines' own natural sweetness. The meat is tender and the dish is loaded with collagen and gelatin.

The oysters are lightly coated with potato starch, blanched and then served smothered with caramelised chopped garlic and house made savoury garlic sauce. Again, the dish relies on the natural taste of the fresh ingredients, in this case the ocean briny sweetness of the oysters accentuated by the savoury garlic sauce.

The prawn & squid roll is fresh prawn and squid with lettuce wrapped in batter and deep fried till golden brown. Just the natural taste of fresh prawn and squid with slight savouriness of the crisp golden brown wrap.

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