The name of this restaurant is not Chicken in a Chef’s Hat, that’s just the moniker we have christened it with, as that’s the picture outside. The real name is in Chinese and impossible for me to remember (later – found it! Hsu Chou Sha Kuo Restaurant. See?) However, just one mention of Chef’s Hat is enough to get either of our mouths watering – I honestly think they have some of the best Taiwanese food we’ve found. Even better, it’s all available in English!
A friend brought us here a long time ago, saying they liked it and wanted it to get lots of business and stay open. When Christine and I did kung fu with friends at the nearby Cultural Centre, we would often go as a group before to grab a delicious chicken roll or some dumplings. We still try and visit it at least once a week – usually not more as it is a little more expensive and a little greasy and meaty.
They have a full four or five pages of dishes that you can choose from, though many are slight variations on each other. Our old go-tos are pretty simple, but they’re so damn good that we’re not motivated to have anything else. Pan-fried dumplings here are huge and possibly the best in the city (the best I’ve tried, anyway) – filled with pork and shrimp and lightly fried up, just three or four of these can sometimes constitute a meal. We usually accompany this with a chicken roll – similar to the beef roll I wrote about, except filled with chicken and coriander and a special sweet-and-sour sauce. These are especially good. Other variations in our normal order include a delicious plate of morning glory (kong xin tsai), done up with plenty of garlic (again, my favourite place in the city, and I order this dish a lot), and dough slice soup. This huge bowl of soup comes with cooked slices of dough (I quite like these) and plenty of vegetables, with some prawns and bits of chicken thrown in as well. It’s a meal on its own!
Being downtown, this place is always busy at lunch, and it has the added bonus of being by the Cultural Centre, a popular gathering place and craft market location on the weekends, so I don’t think they’ll be closing anytime soon. When Christine was an ambassador for the World Games, she brought a friend she met from Venezuela here to try some Taiwanese food and he ended up bringing his whole delegation in to sample some excellent Taiwanese fare. I couldn’t put a better restaurant out there to represent the best of typical Taiwanese table treasures.
Hsu Chou Sha Kuo Restaurant
No. 1-9, Cingnien 1st Road (beside Mos Burger)