Monday, 12 May 2014

Taiwan Cafe

108 Kingsway 
Glen Waverley, VIC

I’ve lived no more than one suburb away from Glen Waverley for almost half my life (#asian), and if I were to look through my blog archives, I would find confirmation that I have indeed eaten at over 80% of the restaurants along (and near) the Kingsway strip. And whilst it’s an area where turnover is fast and only the most popular survive, any change is a welcome change, and a new restaurant – such as Taiwan Cafe – is bound to have people bursting out the door, even if it’s just at the beginning, to suss out if it’s a worthy gem in the Kingsway crown.

Taiwan Cafe has actually been around for a while in the heart of the CBD, but due to its persistent popularity as well as the blog-unfriendly lighting, I never got around to visiting. But after eating take away from the Glen Waverley branch half a dozen times courtesy of my parents, it was about time I made the trip myself.

Taiwanese Style Popcorn Chicken ($7.5)

If there must be just one signature Taiwanese snack, it would be the fried chicken. They’re most often seen served up as giant schnitzels, but I prefer the Taiwanese Style Popcorn Chicken ($7.5) with its tantalising batter-to-meat ratio. After all, the telltale blend of Asian spices encasing the hot, juicy chicken is where the real attraction lies. 

Taiwanese Beef Brisket Noodle Soup ($9.8, extra $1 for soya egg)

Taiwanese Beef Brisket Noodle Soup ($9.8, extra $1 for soya egg) is the epitome of comfort food for me – hearty beef broth underscored with tangy pickled vegetables, soaking into thick hand-made noodles and a creamy soya egg. The soup isn’t as richly flavoursome, and the meat not as meltingly tender as what mum makes, but it’ll do on a cold night, especially one where we happened to be seated near the door. 

Black Pepper Pork Chop ($9.8)

I ordered the Black Pepper Pork Chop ($9.8) as the obligatory second main, not expecting much from it at all. My expectations seemed all but confirmed by the visuals, but the dish turned out to be quite a treat. Three tender pork cutlets were soaked in a snappy black pepper sauce, mellowed by the accompanying sweetness of onion. It wasn’t a groundbreaking meal, but it did put up a solid performance.

Taiwan Cafe is a welcome un-surprise to the Glen Waverley eating scene, providing reliably good, if a little predictable, Taiwanese classics and snacks to an area that’s devoid of both. I’m planning on coming back for more fried chicken, washed down with a tall glass of bubble tea.

Rating:  12.5/20 – welcome un-surprises.
This rating reflects my personal experience at the time of visit.

Taiwan Cafe on Urbanspoon

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