The Taiwan Restaurant has been around for some time but we never made an effort to drive out there until yesterday, with the picture of Shan giving me her thumbs up as she talked about the stewed porkleg in my mind, when we finally took the half hour drive along the Putatan Road, all the way past Langkah Syabas, past The Pritchard Home, past some government agriculture centre and then on the right saw this signboard:
Entrance to the Taiwan Restaurant
The restaurant is a local longhouse situated on a beautiful piece of padi land with the sea on the right. The place is big but only about five tables were occupied and three of them were by tourists, very probably Australians, who seemed more at home than us.
Ten minutes after seating ourselves, a young Timorese girl came and rattled out the limited menu. She couldn't answer our questions but repeated the menu like a recording. Hub went to the door of the kitchen and the chef/proprietor asked him to stay out of the kitchen. Hub said he just wanted to know if...the lady shouted again for him to leave and Hub walked away, telling her she's rude. The boys and I looked at each other and wondered if we should leave or risk eating the lady's spit in our lunch. But I had taken a peep at the kitchen, and the cooks, 6 or 7 of them who looked like they were family, didn't seem like bad people...
It was another half hour before the food arrived. It was noon and the place was very warm, and Hub was in a negative mood. The restaurant did not serve any drinks except "herbal drinks from the herbs we grow." Not being experts in herbal drinks, we settled for cold water.
Homemade noodles in beef soup RM7 (US$2).
All grouchiness disappeared as we tucked this in. The noodles were very el dente and the soup full of beefy goodness (I suspect my favorite Bovril as an ingredient).
Stewed pork leg RM45 (US$13)
Just the glorious sight of this huge pork leg was enough to perk up our spirits. We all gave it our thumbs up too. It was tender (no need for that menacing knife), not too fatty and the addition of pineapple gave it that tangyness. The portion was too big for the four of us, and we had to doggy-bag the half that remained.
I'm not sure if I'll go back. The service was almost non-existent: they took so long taking our orders, serving the food and giving back our change (because they took so long and we started walking about, I totally forgot about the change and one of the staff had to run after our car to give us the change). Then again the food's good and it was very nice to drive out there on the coastal road and stop along the way to eat durians at the many roadside stalls.