Restaurant #45: Jin ji Yuan金鶏園, Taipei
YongKang Street has been a popular tourist area in Taiwan. Many good restaurants are waiting for you. The most famous dumpling restaurant, DinTaiFung, and mango shaved ice, YongKang 15 (originally known as Ice Monster), are the most well known shops in this area. From National Taiwan Normal University, it takes only five minutes to get to YongKang Street, so it is easy for me to try out all kinds of restaurants.
The 金鶏園 (JinJiYuan) has been popular for 小籠包 (steamed dumpling) lovers. Their dumpling is big and tasty. DinTaiFung is a competitive restaurant in this area, but many like to come to JinJiYuan because of the price. Of course, other menus are popular. I think their price is reasonable, and their service is not bad at all. Since it is close to the university, I see many students here coming for lunch.
First floor is a kitchen, so we go up to the second floor. All workers welcomed us. At the second floor, three waitresses were working, and immediately led us to the table. All workers didn’t smile, but worked quickly. I always go there for lunch by myself, but this time I invited my friend to join me. We ordered 排骨飯 (TW$ 80), 小籠包子 (TW$ 80), and 菜肉蒸餃 (TW$ 90).
Fried Pork Chop Rice
排骨飯 (Fried Pork Chop Rice) is a popular dish in Taiwan. I usually order fried chicken, so it was a first time to try pork chop. It was pretty good, but I have to tell you that their pork chop was nothing special. (^^;) Good part of ordering this for lunch is that it comes with three different side dishes (小菜)—seeweed wakame, green beans and bamboo shoots. You see some meats over the rice? That is called LuRouFan (魯肉飯), which is one of popular Taiwanese dishes. Minced, ground fatty pork stewed in special soy sauce and spices, and served on steamed rice.
It is easily prepared--but tasty--dish. If you prefer white rice, you can ask the waitress “no LuRou over rice”.
Pork Steamed Dumplings
This is their signature menu, 小籠包子!!! It is much bigger than the one in DinTaiFung, and also price is reasonable. It is only TW$ 80 for 8 pcs! It was served quick enough, and dumplings were hot! Once I bit, delicious soup was spread in my mouth. First dumpling was without any sauce, the second one was with a bit of soy sauce and sliced ginger, and the third one was with vinegar. All kinds of sauce you can enjoy.
Vegetable Steamed Dumplings
小籠包 is always my favorite, but don’t forget about 餃子. There are three types of dumplings—boiled, fried, and steamed. I love all those, especially fried dumplings (not deep fried, though). Recently, I discovered the vegetable steamed dumplings were healthy and tasty, so I tried theirs. Once I bit, the soup came out slightly; it was from the vegetable. After that, I felt some sweet taste. I am not sure if it is purely from veggie or MSG. This sweet taste stayed until the end of the lunch time, and personally I was not a huge fan of it. If I have a chance, I would like to try it again and want to figure out what this taste is.
Overall, I go to this restaurant very frequently, and I enjoy their food. It worth to try.
Total: TW$ 220 (for 2 people)
Jin Ji Yuan 金雞園永康店
No. 28-1, YongKang St., Daan Dist.,
09:00-21:00 (closed on Monday!?)