It's nearly two years since our three week eating frenzy in Taiwan, and we're getting more and more nostalgic about it. What we miss most about Taiwan is the economy rice shops: DIY mixed dishes on a plate of rice, cheap with a good mix of meat and veggies. There's a couple of excellent Taiwanese economy rice stands in Chinatown (see Taste of Cho and Noodles Your Way), but there's always room for more, so we're ecstatic when Formosa Gourmet opens up in our beloved Sussex Centre Food Court in Chinatown.
The set menu meal deal ($9.30-$11.80) is the go, most of them are $9.30. Pick your main dish from the left side of the menu...
...then pick two side dishes from the bainmaire-of-love. We get a set menu deal each and we end up with six course mini-banquet for a little under twenty bucks. Bargain.
This set is fried chicken with garlic and pepper with sides of green beans with tofu and garlic stems with pork.
This set is the classic Taiwanese dish of braised pork belly on rice, with a side of crispy soft shelled prawns and a side of chopped beans 'n tofu 'n pork mince. There's always room in a Taiwanese dish to add a little extra pork mince for flavour. The pork belly had a good sauciness to it, the pork cut into small dice rather than minced.
This set has Taiwanese style fried chicken wings (crisp crunchy skin and plum powder, yum!) with mild chili tofu and pork mince and some garlic shoots with pork.
We have to try the 'Taiwanese style seafood soup delight with deep fried pork strips', with sides of soft tofu and oysters plus some stir fried pork and celery.
This Taiwanese seafood soup is a surprise favourite. It's not swimming with ocean critters but has a delicious, unique flavour that we can't quite put a handle on. It has rice instead of noodles which we always like for a change, and the fried pork strips give it an extra bit of substance.
Our very favourite Taiwanese street foods are the many and mysterious soups and stews served in roadside stalls. They don't make great food porn shots but man they taste out of this world, simple but perfectly cooked, usually by a tops old uncle or auntie who has been making the one dish every day for years or decades. This seafood soup took us back to Taiwan.
Formosa Gourmet is in the Sussex Centre Food Court, up the escalators of joy at 401 Sussex Street, Chinatown/Haymarket.