Taiwan Mei Shi is a restaurant that cooks authentic Taiwanese cuisine. It is located beside Mitsu Tea House, which creates massive competition for this eating establishment. It’s truly amazing that it has survived thus far with that kind of contention. I’ve never been here before but Amy suggested going to this outlet for lunch, mainly due to the air conditioning, and she was driving, so we conceded.
The place does not have English signage so I got her to translate – Taiwan Mei Shi literally means “Taiwan Food” and it opens up to an al fresco seating area. The ambiance of the place feels very homely, with wood tones and handcrafts dominating the expanse.
The eating establishment is not as small as it looks – it actually takes up two shop lots, although the second one doesn’t carry the sign board. The sliding doors to the right leads to air conditioned comfort – a blessing in the heatwave that Sibu is experiencing right now.
There is a net inside the air conditioned compartment with photos of the clientèle in compromising positions…eating. I asked about the photos and the friendly proprietor told us it is their practice to take photographs of happy diners and clip it onto the net for your viewing pleasure. I like that concept and got her to pose for a photo in front of the netting.
Amy had hot Milo (a malt drink) which came in a squarish cup that I found interesting. The quirkiness of the angular drinking receptacle makes the presentation unique. I had the Super Greeny Jasmine Green Bubble Tea just coz I found the name amusing. ;)
This is the obligatory shot with the waitress. I noticed that she didn’t look at the digicam in each of the four shots that my colleague took…and we finally figured out the reason why. She didn’t look us straight in the eye while taking orders too! Some people shy, okay? :)
Back to the food, we ordered four dishes:
Taiwanese deep fried fish fillet in sweet and sour sauce
This is good, and the sweet and sour sauce is not heavily tomato influenced and tastes rather like a BBQ sauce instead.
Salted egg with bitter melon
Everyone liked this dish – bitter melon (bitter gourd) is supposed to have a slightly bitter tinge to it, but it was offset by the salted eggs. Nice.
Sautéed beef with Szechuan preserved vegetable
I love tender beef slices and the mixture with the Szechuan vegetables (which includes a healthy dose of dried chillis) and claypot style serving does wonders to the appetite (and palate).
This is their signature dish – Taiwanese Three Flavor Chicken. It came in a small claypot with whole garlic, onion slices and spring onions. I’m not sure what the three flavors are supposed to be – I could taste sweet and salty tones but the third flavor eludes me.
The proprietor was kind enough to serve us dessert for free – this is a special cincau (black jelly) mixture that’s supposed to be “cooling”. It came in a traditional Taiwanese cup for (sweet) soups – literally dessert. The two jellies are both made by the proprietor and not bought off the shelves, as she stressed (repeatedly).
It has the consistency of jelly, and yet maintains enough slippery fluidity to be slurp-able. Better still, the dessert was chilled, so it countered the heat while the thirst absorbing qualities of the second substance (which for the life of me I can’t remember) counters the Chinese Restaurant Syndrome inflicted by the MSG laden food. ;)
Taiwan Mei Shi is not a bad place to eat – the food is good and the service is great. It’s a little overshadowed by the other titan eating establishments beside it, but it’s worth your time to check out the food. However, the bill came up to RM 44.40 for the three of us, which is a very inauspicious number in Chinese numerology. ;)