Jun 30, 2009

冠宸食館 - Kuan Chen Restaurant

Yangmingshan Jhuzihu area here I come!
(“Shan” means mountain and “Hu” means lake in Chinese)
After working for the whole week, I just can’t wait to get away from the city and enjoy some local dishes with my parents!
So they brought me to 冠宸 Kuan Chen, a 11 years old restaurants locating across the street from a calla lily farm-

The calla lily farm-

Too bad the season for calla lily has passed already, otherwise I’ll get to indulge my lunch with even more beautiful view.

Back to the restaurant,
It’s unbelievable how crowded this place was.
I didn’t even see a single empty table that was empty during my two hours stay at the dining area.
Luckily we only waited for 5 minutes for our seats.

By the way,
It’s getting more and more popular for people from the city going up to suburban area during weekends,
After all, Taipei is a small basin surrounded by mountains,
That’s why there are also more and more new modern and trendy restaurants opening around the area.
But we don’t want these modernized places,
We only desire for an old school style joint to dine at,
That means no designer sofas, no AC, no Mozart in the background,
Instead, we get big round tables covered in plastics with fans blowing in the back-

Almost forgot, we also get this view outside-

Small pound with geese, ducks, and chicken.

Close up view-

Let’s move on to the main topic, our food!

First is the menu-

This is considered as our appetizer,
Flowers from betel trees, mainly dressed in vinegar, olive oil, and chili paste (涼拌檳榔花)-

Usually people are more familiar with betel nuts instead of betel flowers,
Betel nut is the hard, green colored thing, about the size of a small grape, very chewy and also tastes very scary.
After chewing it, the nuts will generate some red juices that need to be spitted out, and trust me, it surely looks like blood.
Not a very healthy thing to eat.

Good thing we are having betel “flowers” here, not the nuts!
The flowers itself has little flavor, basically we eat it for the texture, crunchy and refreshing.

Boiled chicken (白切雞)-

This dish is not that hard to prepare,
Like making soup stocks, you put some spices in the water and boil the whole chicken in it, Afterwards, you take out the chicken and cut it after the meat cools down.
Since there is no heavy flavoring, the quality of the chicken itself becomes the key factor of this dish.
The tenderer the meat is, the better.

Chicken soup with pickled white gourd and bamboo (冬瓜竹筍雞湯)-

Pickled white gourd will release its salty flavor during the cooking process,
So only little salts are needed for this dish.
I personally loved the texture of pickled white gourd, you can just smash it with your tongue,
Super soft!

Deep fried shitake mushrooms served with flavored salt-

Have to eat it when it’s hot, otherwise the mushrooms will get soggy.

Stir fry dragon beard vegetable (炒龍鬚菜)-

What an interesting name huh?
I'm guessing that people named it dragon beard because of its curly leaves.

Kuan Chen is a pretty good place to dine at (as long as the temperature is bearable),
Besides the ones we ordered, they also serve other interesting dishes that are hard to find in the city,
To name a few: stir fry lily bulbs, steamed taro rice, fried burdock, grilled mountain pig’s meat.
Yum yum!

Overall Rating: 7

冠宸食館 Kuan Chen Restaurant
Number 67, Jhuzihu Road, Yangmingshan, Taipei, Taiwan
(02) 2861-9736
(02) 2862-6408


  1. Fantastic ride so far in Taiwan. Of course chewing betel nuts isn't healthy due to the carcinogens, not because of color/taste.

  2. I always miss somewhere when I read your blog!

    Thank you for sharing your adventures and the delicious food you eat. The photos are wonderful, too.



  3. To SinoSoul~
    Have you ever tried betel nut before?
    I did once when I was little (little adventure), but it was too hard, I couldn't bit it in so just spitted out the whole thing!

    To Ivan~
    NP! Let me know if you want anything from TW!

  4. Oh, thank you, that's so sweet!


  5. beautiful scenery. We were there about 7 yrs ago..loved it.

  6. To Ravenous Couple~
    7 years ago!!! Wowww!
    Glad you like it!

  7. Ya, the dragon beard veg is quite common in Taiwan. :)

  8. Hi cindy, you wrote on this blog, lets do something about the bees.. we are abaou tto start a project for the bees, if you wany to be involved, please write us..friends of the honeybees :)

  9. To Honeybee~
    I'm interested! Let me know where to find you!