Wanderlust Taiwan- 玉欣珍’s Ba Wan 員林肉圓, A Mega-Dumpling for a Buck 50!

This meal took place on a lazy Saturday afternoon after swimming with a friend. Between my friend and I, we have three multiethnic children. As we walked through the streets of Taipei, we naturally got looks with the girls speaking loudly in English. My friend picked this restaurant 玉欣珍 because there is usually a long line during lunch hour and they are famous for their giant size meat dumpling that is called Ba Wan, 肉圓. See CNN’s “40 Taiwanese Food We Can’t Live Without.” Ba wan is number 12.

I have later come to learn that 玉欣珍 serves traditional Taiwanese gourmet dishes. Ba Wan is just one of them. This little place is presumably named after the owner, 玉欣珍. Only women wearing pink shirts work here in this tiny kitchen/store front.Ba Wan 肉圓: here is what CNN had to say “Ba wan is a Taiwanese mega-dumpling. Made with a dough of rice flour, corn starch and sweet potato starch, it looks almost translucent after cooking. Pork, veggies and sometimes eggs are stuffed inside and gravy poured on top.” Ba Wan served in a bowl, with a stewed-in-soy-sauce egg. The texture of the dumpling is more elastic than the gnocchi, chewy but bouncy. When you break into the dumpling, all the gooey umami-infused juice come flowing out and mixed with the egg. This is heaven in a bowl for $1.5 USD or $45TWD.This bowl of noodles was excellent. Regular egg noodles with wontons, in clear broth, garnished by fresh bean sprouts and green onions. Without the wontons. Plain noodles. Parboiled bean sprout leaves with meat sauce.

This meal of traditional Taiwanese gourmet food for 2 adults and 3 children cost about $12 USD. It was fulfilling and delicious but with no ambience. Five of us huddled around a tiny table but we loved it. The girls were happy with their friends and the food. What more could I ask for?

This experience took place at

地 址:台北市大安區大安路一段51巷11號1樓
電 話:02-2740-3218

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