Authentic Taiwanese is the unicorn of the HK foodie scene – it’s rumoured to exist, but difficult to substantiate. But with the opening of Yuan is Here, on the slopes of Sai Ying Pun, this could change. This successful street-food chain has a huge following in Taiwan. The exterior is true to its roots (even its address plate is designed to look like a street sign in Taipei) and looks exactly like what you might encounter in the night markets of Taiwan.
At 2pm, there’s still a sizeable lineup outside, so we hurriedly order the recommended dishes and wait with anticipation. The first to arrive is the signature fatty minced pork on rice ($27), which comes in a decent sized bowl. The fat ratio here is key – too much and the oil overwhelms, too little and the rice is dry. This bowl manages to stay in the golden zone effortlessly, which earns our trust for the rest of the meal. Next, we try the oyster omelette ($35), which eschews the marble-sized oysters popular in Taiwan in favour of larger, plumper ones that are surprisingly juicy. The one dish that needs some fine-tuning is the salt and pepper chicken ($30), which is on the dry side.
Mostly though, the prices are positively dirt-cheap for the quality provided. The simplicity of the whole setup is part of its appeal – there’s nothing fancy here, just a traditional style of home cooking, designed to take odds and ends and turn them into a mouth watering meal. It’s no wonder this place is already attracting the crowds. Jessica Li
Yuan is Here 73 Third St, Sai Ying Pun, 3579 2460; facebook.com/yuanishere. Dinner for two: $150.
|Venue name:||Yuan is Here|
73 Third St, Sai Ying Pun