October 24, 2005

New Indian Restaurant, Missing Thai Restaurants

There is a new Indian restaurant called Indian Curry House near Tsing-Hua University in Hsinchu. Since I saw it a week ago, I had been counting the days until I went to the restaurant. (Eating at a buffet requires more careful planning than a normal restaurant.) Before eating there, I had thought, “how can you go wrong with a non-Chinese buffet for only NT$99?” It took about ten hours after finishing my meal to be able to answer that question.

For $99 a meal, plus $15 for white rice, my expectations for this restaurant were not high, and the food exceeded those expectations. There were many different kinds of curries with some Taiwanese cooking thrown in. There were deep-fried hard-boiled eggs, curry with corn in it, mashed lentils, broccoli curry, and plenty of things that I could not identify. There was no bread (nan). Not exactly fine dining, but I left satisfied. My intestines, on the other hand, had a much more negative opinion of the food. They turned up their noses at the Indian food and sent it along its way as fast as they could manage for the next day. My friend’s intestines had gone through more extensive diversity training, and so were able to tolerate the curry a little better—a mere two trips to the restroom were enough.

After coming down with this case of Indian curry, I skipped breakfast, and for lunch I had a steamed bun. Still not recovered, I was too hungry to go without eating any longer, so what stomach-soothing cuisine would be appropriate? I went to Taichung, looking forward to some Thai curry and hot-and-sour soup. Fortunately for myself, none of the Thai restaurants were open. The last time I visited, the industrial district in Taichung was home to three Thai restaurants. Now, only one remains. It seems to be closed often and irregularly on Saturdays, and it was closed on this Saturday.

Next, it was off to the park. Thanks to my curry, I was able to have my first experience with a squat toilet.

The next stop was Yizhong street (一中街). After another quick trip to the restroom (that's quick as in running), it was time for some mala (spicy) stinky tofu. It was very good; I only wish I could have had more. I had been mulling over the idea of getting some curry, but the stall closed up while we were eating the tofu, probably saving myself some grief. While looking around for new places to eat, I noticed a new Thai restaurant (泰國小吃) near the used CD shop. It was already closing when I saw it, so I did not have a chance to try it out. But this story has a happy ending because there were many other new food stalls, and I tried plenty of things, including fresh-squeezed orange juice for only NT$25.


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