Archive for July 26, 2011

Taiwan Lunch at Ao Ba : Greenleaf Restaurant

Ao Ba : One of my favorite restaurants where we enjoy old-school Taiwanese dishes every year

5-Spice Boiled Peanuts, waiting on the table along with a pot of jasmine tea

Soft spring rolls with curried chicken-napa cabbage-bean sprout filling

Pork belly, stewed in soy sauce with ginger and rock sugar, topped with fresh cilantro

Taiwanese omelet with minced preserved radish: sa-poh nung

Stewed pork belly simmered with pickled bamboo shoots

SO delicious, and welcome in this porky meal, is this plate of 'kong shing tsai', or 'ong choy', also known as water spinach, and in Thailand as pahk boong. Whatever you call it, you can know it on sight by the fact that this vegetable has hollow stems, giving it the poetic name "empty heart" vegetable in the mix. So many names, but one word: delicious.

A seasonal specialty, this is finely shredded bamboo shoots, stir-fried with garlic and delivering a most pleasing crunch along with lovely flavor

Another old-time Taiwanese favorite, this is coarsely chopped pork, freshly steamed with sliced salty duck egg yolks on top. Amazing texture, tangy plush flavor that lasts all the way through the sauce. They warned us it took 15 minutes for this one, as they steam it up to order. We said we'd wait, and clearly, we didn't wait hungry; this came toward the end of the meal.

Fried rice with minced preserved radish, topped with egg. So very tasty and stands on its own. A meal, not just rice-to-go-with-the-with-rice dishes. Must learn to make this...

Watermelon, mango, papaya, orange sections, one maraschino cherry, and one carven tomato wedge. Beautiful cool sweet ending to our lunchtime feast at Greenleaf Taipei.

After such a memorable feast, a stroll makes sense, and so we walked back along the lane to Nanking East Road, passing the original location of Greenleaf, where we enjoyed many fine meals. Note the logo above the red wall, of a green leaf on white background. Ao Ba or Greenleaf refers to the beautiful island of Taiwan, which is shaped like a green leaf floating in the blue sea. 

July 26, 2011 at 8:37 am 10 comments

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