Taipei 2012 - Lunch at Five Dime Restaurant
We took a red eye flight from Singapore to Taipei, and by the time we arrived in Taipei it was around 7.00 a.m. There wasn’t much food served on the flight, and we were all quite famished. Unfortunately Taipei Airport is undergoing a huge upgrade and there weren’t many F&B options to choose from. In the end we all ended up buying some buns to tie over till we can get to some proper food.
Our first lunch had been arranged at Five Dime Restaurant. This is definitely one of the most unusual restaurants I have visited. It's the brain child of a Taiwanese artist and sculptor - Hsieh Li-hsiang. She designed the restaurant and personally created many of the sculptures and decorations that adorn the place.
The entrance ramp to the restaurant.
I was quite surprised by the size of the place. It is a 4-storey building, and the entrance is on the first floor which you reach through a twisted ramp designed like a cave tunnel. In fact the whole design of the restaurant is very reminiscent of Antonio Gaudi’s work - with lots of cave-like spaces and organic design touches everywhere.
The place itself is certainly very intriguing - but what about the food ? Well, it was not bad. We were served quite a number of dishes - which started with a generous serving of steamed rice with sweet potatoes. This was quite welcome by all as we were starving by then.
After that the dishes started rolling out. The food here I would say is Taiwanese comfort food - food that would be served in a typical Taiwanese home. They were all simple dishes - but delicious !
Stewed chicken in soy sauce.
Stir-fried cabbages - really fresh and sweet.
Stir-fried "Flies Heads". One of the signature dishes - the "flies heads" are actually fermented black beans, cooked with diced veggies, pork and some chillies. A dish with good flavours and texture.
Green salad - this was a bit of a disappointment as the dressing was nothing special, and they used seafood sticks in the salad ! Should have been some fresh prawns, or some squid would be nice.
Steamed fresh water fish. I am not a big fan of fresh water fish - and this tasted quite bland as I expected.
Stewed pork ribs. Fork tender and delicious.
Deep-fried mushrooms coated with salted egg yolk. This was the stand out dish - really nice and unusual flavours. At first we couldn't figure out what the main ingredient was - as it was chewy and meaty, and tasted like shellfish. I would go back for this !
Dining at Five Dime Restaurant is quite an experience. It is always great to see a unique vision of a talented and creative soul transformed into reality. The food also lives up to the standard, and you should have a very pleasant dining experience that you will not soon forget.