14th March 2010

Green Acres Vegetarian

Lane 117, #6, Shida Rd, Da-An district, Taipei, Taiwan

One of the mainstays of Sichuan cuisine is ma po tofu, in which the tofu comes with a topping of meat, and it comes as a surprise to find it listed on the menu of a veggie restaurant. Even more surprising is the form it takes: the tofu comes in a chilli sauce into which has been mixed shredded lettuce and…sultanas! The resulting dish is a study in contrasting colours, textures, tastes (think sweet and sour) and, as it cools, degrees of heat, for it turns out that sultanas are very good at retaining their heat. It is accompanied by a serve of a mixture of different kinds of rice and a small bowl of salty miso soup, which contains a small amount of tofu. An unusual meal, but one that reminds you of the limitless possibilities of Chinese cuisine, and is both satisfying and remarkably cheap. The small restraurant also functions as a health food store, where various Chinese preparations can be obtained.

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