Taipei Cuisine (et al.), Quincy, MA


#1

the s.o. & I headed south on Saturday to run some errands and check out a thing or two in Quincy. For lunch we went to Taipei Cuisine in some Quincy neighborhood I’ve never been to before, sort of close to Wollaston Beach. The place’s atmosphere is nice inside, with bustling lunch eaters, hustling staff and live fish tanks all in play. For my spicy dish I opted for the duck with beer sauce in Szechuan style, which was good but not great. Had lots of vegetables, all cooked well and tons of properly cooked, tender duck. But the sauce lacked some depth and zip–it had the requisite chilis and sichuan peppercorns, but was just a little flat. Not bad, tho.

Since I was with my spice hating s.o., we stuck to Taiwanese style for our other two orders. The oyster pancake was pretty nice, good and gummy, lots of oyster, bits of egg. Razor clam and bean curd sheet was also well prepared if a little bland, carefully cut chives and bean curd sheet studded with whole clams.

All in all, the place seems really promising and I want to go again. I’d like to eat more of both sides of the menu. I also want to eat the egg with toona sinensis dish that I had previously seen @rosulate mention on Instagram but that I totally forgot about until afterward. Sigh. Next time!

Went to Seyu Mack Tenn Bakery on the block afterward. The gf seemed to like her purple taro puff, but my egg tart was terrible. Pork bun I got for later seemed mass produced. I generally have low expectations for local Chinese style bakeries, but this one threw under.

Also stopped at Kam Man before lunch, which is a great supermarket/department store with a lot of Asian products. Had fun shopping here, and came away with good Filipino hot sauce and other ancillary items. Totally worth going by, if you’re here. And after lunch we swung out to Marina Bay to get a banh mi at Gaveston Cafe, which I’d never have heard of if not for Hidden Boston. It’s a little place that makes Vietnamese and other sandwiches and the like out near where a lot of people have their boats moored–in the summer I imagine it’s a madhouse, but in February it was nice and deserted and it was fun to stroll around for a bit. The bahn mi was mostly good–a fine, crunchy roll, pickled daikon and carrot, the needed cold cuts and pate. But it really lacked heat, just a couple of measly jalapeno slices. Ah well, that’s maybe what the summer crowd likes.


#2

Thanks for the nice report, @passing_thru! If you go to Kam Man next time, I recommend South Garden next to the supermarket. Other than the weekend craziness (is there a time when it’s not busy?!), it’s a solid Cantonese spot (lots of _____ over rice options) although the English translation of the menu is quite spotty.

I’m assuming the toon dish at Taipei Cuisine is scrambled egg with veg in it? That’s one of my favorite things; if someone know where to source fresh toon in the spring that’ll make me so happy! Chinese toons can be found salted/preserved in packages in Chinese supermarkets; just make sure to soak it plenty and for the love of normal blood pressure do NOT add any more salt into the scramble.


#3

The one Taiwanese dish I had at Taipei Cuisine was actually pretty underwhelming, but for non-spicy options, I remember liking the corn with salted egg yolk, and the “braised chicken with mushrooms.” The latter is a big pot of soup, richly flavored despite the simple ingredients (though the mushroom is an exotic one), and a luxuriant texture seemingly achieved without a thickening agent. The live fish with “sour cabbage” (actually pickled mustard greens) in broth is one of the best versions in Boston as well.


#4

I tried ordering the preserved version online once, and while the flavor was all there, it also had a weird stale taste like traditional Chinese medicine… If the ones in local supermarkets don’t have this problem, I’m tempted to try again! As it is, when someone was selling saplings of this tree a few months ago, I was tempted to buy one.


#5

I don’t remember it being particularly medicine-y but perhaps the salt was masking it… I do have another bag at home so will be trying it this soon to see if it’s stale; it was $2 or something cheap though, so I’d say it’s worth a try if you see it at the store.


#6

I don’t see that very often: in DC at the so-called Hong Kong Palace, which is now an excellent Sichuanese restaurant, and at Red Pepper in Framingham (now gone.) I would expect them to also have it at Red Pepper in Worcester.


#7

yeah, I really liked the corn and egg dish there. Need to try the version at Taipei Cuisine next time.


#8

yes, that’s pretty much what rosulate’s pic of it looked like!


#9

the time I’m spending on Fort Hill is winding down (I’m gonna settle down in a neighborhood someday, and it’s going to be sad when I’m not trying to seek out farflung spots to file reports from every weekend!) so I took another trip south since I had the opportunity. Will update the Dot thread too, but really wanted to take yet another trip out to Quincy. And while I was tempted by Fuzhou Gourmet and Chili Square and South Garden (not to mention the Quincy outpost of Winsor Dim Sum), I ultimately decided that I mostly wanted to just take another crack at Taipei Cuisine.

I like this place in general–it’s nice inside, the staff is great and it just has a solid, lively vibe. I liked what I got here the first visit, but I thought maybe I didn’t order all that well so this time around I went armed with some @rosulate recs for ammo.

Had to choose between egg with toon and corn with salted egg yolk and opted for the latter since my long suffering s.o. really is not really game for aggressive spicy or peppery flavor. (It’s my cross to bear–though she has patiently been dragged to so many spicy meals that she can’t eat that it’s clear who is really bearing the crosses here!). It was really good and crispy, tho the dish is much on the sweet side–I don’t remember the Red Pepper version being as sugary as this. But it worked really well as a foil to the big dish we got, live fish with sour cabbage. This was a HUGE cauldron of soup, with a fairly salty, unctuous broth filled with multiple kinds of peppers, lots of tender crunchy cabbage and tons of fresh, bony white fish. The level of heat was just right and the broth was delicious, and it went great with the well cooked rice alongside. There was also a lot of it–I ate the leftovers last night and will eat the last of it tonight again.

As a third dish we got potatoes cooked with celery, which was a little one note in flavor and was not all that remarkable but good enough and had textural interest. (The s.o. loved it, which was a big plus since the soup was too spicy for her). I think maybe we should have gotten something a little greener, like pea pod stems or the like, but it was fine as a vegetable dish.

Anyway, after two visits here I def. recommend Taipei Cuisine if you’re in the area. Quincy in general seems like it has a lot going on, so I hope to get back someday to try out some other spots. Until then, if you’re out that way this place is definitely worth a stop.


#10

I don’t remember the Red Pepper version being sweet at all. I need to make a trip to their Worcester location and see if they live up to the very high standard set at the one closed by the Framingham bureaucrats.