Taiwan Soul Food opened to long queues of students waving 2-for-1 vouchers. The queues disappeared with the vouchers and now it's pretty easy to get a feed here.
This setup is similar to what we saw a lot on the streets of Taiwan: choose your own ingredients and and someone will cook it for you. For non-Chinese reading visitors like us we could never tell how it was going to be cooked, we had to peek behind the scenes to see if would be grilled, bbq'd, deep fried, boiled in soup, or smothered in mystery goop.
From the pictures here we assumed it was an oden style joint where your chosen ingredients are cooked in a sweet, gentle, brain cuddling broth. We were close, but no fishstick. Your goodies a boiled in a super spicy mind shagging soup.
The DIY ordering system at Taiwan Soul Food is pretty straight forward: grab a menu and a pencil and mark off your selection. See menu here and here...
And here is the said combo, it looks like the oriental equivalent of a KFC bucket.
The bucket is jam packed with goodies, about a third of it is noodles at the bottom. It's quite good value. We asked for medium spicy which is pretty fiery hot with chili and a touch of mouth tingling Sichuan pepper. We've heard the mild spicy version is still quite hot too.
As well as being spicy-hot, it's super heat-hot as well. Burnies! The broth has some oil in it which retains the heat, so trying to wolf this down on a quick lunch break wasn't super fun. Next time we will make sure we have plenty of time to let it cool, or get it to takeaway, which is what most folks seemed to be doing.
We'll give it another shot with less chili and more time (it takes around ten minutes to cook for starters). We love the fillings but that particular style of broth is one we are yet to fall in love with, but we're determined to do so, this is perfect winter food.
Taiwan Soul Food is at Shop 3 710 George Street, City/Chinatown fringe. Phone 02 8339 1031.