Thursday, December 11, 2014

[Taipei] Tian Yuan Taiwanese Seafood Restaurant (田園台菜海鮮)

Tian Yuan Taiwanese Seafood Restaurant (田園台菜海鮮) is one of those traditional Taiwanese restaurants I have been looking forward to visiting after reading the stellar reviews on other Taiwanese food blogs.  So when my local friends suggested to bring me there I was pretty excited.  Unfortunately, it was one of those places where fame was louder than the food itself.  I have to say I was pretty disappointed.  Maybe we didn't order the right dishes?  Maybe we didn't come with a regular?  I don't know but I know I will not return.

Here's a few things I found edible and the rest that were not. 

The "good"...

The best dish of the night was their appetizer.
It was only given to us after we explicitly requested for it.
Maybe they think we don't know how to appreciate this delectable delicacy?
The pork kidney is very mild in flavor - as in not salty - which it isn't supposed to be anyway. 
The kidney is tender and rid of all the repulsive innards smells
I quite enjoyed this dish.

... the "passable"...

Plump and juicy clams stir fried in chili and basil.
It was not outstanding but passable.

... the "forgettable"...

The Chinese celery was pungent.  If you don't like celery, this would be too strong for you.
But my main complain was the squid.  I felt like chewing elastic.
You can't really mess up anything deep fried
But again, it was passable, not memorable.
A soup that's soothing but otherwise unmemorable.
This is one of their signature dish.
I think that said a lot about this restaurant already...
A dish you can get in almost any Taiwanese restaurant.
Nothing spectacular about this bowl.
It was finished because I could really taste it anyway.

...the "bad"...

Looks perfectly done but I don't understand how the meat could still be tough.
Perhaps the breed of the chicken?  Flavor was also lacking.
Verdict: My mom could make better chicken.

... and finally the "outrageous".

Looks great, tastes revolting.
This crab is not fresh.  I should have known when the waitress was so "hard-sell"
A meal that would have otherwise been a pass made me so angry that I vouch to never return.

The reason why the crab was outrageous was because the waitress keep forcing us to get this dish when we were ordering.  She claimed the crab was fresh and juicy but turned out to be stale and mushy.  We had to send it back and argue with the boss for the longest time to have it taken off our bill.  She agreed to take it off but represented the crab is fresh without even tasting the dish.  She claimed the chef "overcooked" it.  Seriously, if your crab is fresh why would you take it off our bill when we complained?  Prove to me your crab is fresh!  It's not our first time to eat crab and we know what fresh crab tastes like. 

If it is so hard to admit that you are selling your customer stale food, throw it away in the first place.  If you have the guts to sell your customers stale food, expect a disgruntle customer who will seek a full refund and put you in the naughty list.  There are too many restaurants in Taipei that deserves my business. 

Tian Yuan Taiwanese Seafood Restaurant (田園台菜海鮮)
 No. 2, Dongfeng St, Da’an District, Taipei, Taiwan
Tel: +886 2 2701 4641
Hours: (Lunch) 11:00 - 14:00; (Dinner) 17:00 - 21:00
Close every Monday


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