Monday, September 6, 2010

The Food at TaiwanFest - Skip the Oysters

TaiwanFest is on this long weekend and I went ton Sunday to check out the food. What a disappointment!

To be fair, the Art Gallery isn't that huge a space, but still, there were very few food stalls comprising the Taiwanese Food Fair. You also had to buy vouchers/tickets in packs of $5, so you end up jig-sawing together food that added up to $5. Except most of it was $3 or $4.

On the up side, they had volunteers hovering over the recycling and garbage stations to maximize proper recycling. I totally give them points for that.

On to the food! -- It seemed overpriced, but that's more or less the norm for festival food. Highlights were the $3 sausages (tasty and interestingly spiced... but $3 for a single sausage!) and, curiously, the $3 deep fried green beans. The beans themselves weren't interesting, but it comes flavoured with spice that overcomes the awfulness of eating your greens.

The website touts the $5 oyster omelettes, but I'd give them a miss. If you've never had it before, it's oysters, eggs, and chinese lettuce in a tasteless, gummy mixture that is the result of pan-frying a solution of potato starch and water.

My mom made this on-and-off while I was growing up. No cabbage but just a bit of spring onion, sometimes chili to spice it up, sometimes prawns (either in lieu of oysters or with them). We also used sweet chili sauce, lemon juice, or lime juice to give it extra kick. Overall, it was very tasty.
My dad couldn't get enough of it, and looked for it the few times he went to Chinese restaurants; in the last days of his life at home, he asked my mom to make it for him.

What happens at the TaiwanFest Taiwanese Food Fair is not only an excess of lettuce, but tasteless oysters. They cook the oysters in huge vats, which is efficient for mass production of omelettes, but it also boils out all the taste from them. The net result is a mush of an omelette that predominantly tastes like chinese cabbage, which is already bland enough. There's some slightly sweet, thin, reddish sauce as well to help make the starchy gum and lettuce palatable -- but it's an oyster omelette, and I expected to taste oysters.

Save your money for the sausage ($3) if you're going to buy anything. Overpriced, but you get what you pay for -- A tasty sausage. You can also go for the green beans, as I mentioned, but you're really paying for the generous dusting of spices that flavours it.

No comments:

Post a Comment