Ken was already sipping on his iced coffee when I turned up. "This is for you guys," said Ken and he handed me a sealed bright yellow tin which I immediately knew what it was - a mooncake! Aw, thanks :) Mooncake or mid-autumn festival falls on the 12th of September this year and though not celebrated in such big scale as the Chinese New Year, it's the only time of the year that you can purchase mooncake (round or rectangular pastries with a thick filling of lotus seed paste and may contain the yolk of salted duck eggs and/or nuts) in abundance. The one Ken gave us was a plain mooncake (no yolk or nuts), exactly the type I like. Will have to cut it up into small wedges and have them with tea at home. And maybe admire the full moon as well ;)
After chatting for about 10 minutes or so and trying to get the attention of the waitress (it wasn't even that busy in the restaurant), I gave up and walked to the bar to get some menus. Flipping through the menu, Ken couldn't stop pipping up about how Japanese influenced the meals were. I have to agree - shabu-shabu (hot pot), bento and grilled skewers (similar to yakitori) are all part of the Japanese cuisine but TMP does serve an extensive selection of Taiwanese food, drinks and desserts as well. I settled for a Pearl Milk Tea (chewy tapioca balls added to milk tea) and Fried Chicken with Wine, Sesame Oil and Soy Sauce Bento Box from the specials board while Ken ordered the Taiwanese Style Cold Noodles and we shared an entrée of Jelly Fish Salad.
My drink and the salad turned up first followed by our mains. Mmm, the Jelly Fish Salad is yum! When Ken suggested it initially, I wasn't sure I would be helping myself to much (it's jellyfish!) but I ended up eating most of it. The gelatin-like texture can be a little daunting for some but it doesn't have much flavour on its own. Mixed with crunchy shredded cucumber and a chilli soy dressing and voilà - delicious! My main dish was also very good and I think it was the restaurant's version of sanbeiji (translated as "Three-Cup Chicken" because the sauce is made of a cup of rice wine, a cup of sesame oil, and a cup of soy sauce - it is said that a restaurant that cannot cook this dish is not a true Taiwanese restaurant) served bento-style. I did try some of Ken's cold noodles dish but I didn't like it as much as my own - I guess it was because cold noodles was not served commonly in Malaysia so I did not grow up accustomed to having a noodle dish that's not warm. The dish was served with lots of shredded fresh vegetables and cooked chicken drizzled with a generous serving of tangy sesame dressing on a bed of noodles. Oh, don't get me wrong, it was tasty and Ken seemed to be enjoying it.
|Jelly Fish Salad served with shredded cucumber|
in dressing of oil, soy sauce, vinegar, sugar and chilli
|Fried Chicken with Wine, Sesame Oil and Soy Sauce Bento Box|
|Taiwanese Style Cold Noodles|