Bread and butter of Taiwanese cuisine


Photos by KATE ZHENG

Family owned restaurant Breadfish Cafe serves classic Taiwanese snacks and drinks, including popcorn chicken and tea.

Kate Zheng, Feature Editor

Providing a perfect mixture of authentic Taiwanese cuisine with a delicious modern twist, Breadfish Cafe evokes a warm and welcoming vibe with dishes evoking the childhood nostalgia of the food  I grew up eating.

The cute cafe offers a variety of dishes integral in Taiwanese cuisine, including snacks, entrees and shaved ice served with a wide selection of toppings. Breadfish also has a beverage menu, which displays all types of milk teas, flavored teas, slushies, smoothies and juices.

I arrived at the restaurant with my friend around 7 p.m., and although most of the tables were filled, I did not have to wait long to be seated. The small cafe was adorned with a simple interior design that’s not too cluttered or extravagant. Due to its wooden tables and flooring, Breadfish eluded a modern vibe. There were also a few cute blackboards and wooden decorations hanging on the wall, which added to the simple beauty of the place.

As soon as we sat down, a friendly waitress handed us our menus.  One side of the menu covered the extensive array of snacks and entrees the cafe offered, while the other side displayed the various desserts. The venue only offered two dessert options: shaved ice or fluffy snow with the customer’s choice of any toppings they would like at the price of 50 cents per selection.

After a quick scan of the menu, my friend and I decided to order a serving of popcorn chicken for $4.65, the crispy fried chicken chop entree for $6.75, minced pork with pickles entree for $3.95 and the Taiwanese beef noodle stew for $7.95. I also ordered a Thai milk tea for $2.59 to accompany my meal.

Although there were many food options, not all of them were available at the time of my visit. I had tried to order three other drinks and one other entree, which were all sold out.
Although I was disappointed, I quickly forgot about the letdown when all our food arrived within five minutes of ordering.

The first dish I tried was the cafe’s popcorn chicken, a staple at every Taiwanese restaurant, and I was extremely satisfied. The crispy exterior was seasoned well with spicy powder and pepper, and the chicken interior was succulent and tender. Like most popcorn chicken, the dish was addicting, and we finished the appetizer quickly.

The noodles in the Taiwanese beef noodle stew were thick yet still perfectly chewy. The stew smelled delicious, enhanced by the numerous pieces of savory beef in it. The minced pork rice was also appetizing, but I would have preferred the rice to have a little more pork seasoning.

However, my favorite dish was the fried chicken chop entree. The serving came with a side dish of bean sprouts and pickled seaweed, which both had a delicious tangy flavor that paired well with the chicken chop. The chop itself was amazing: the outside was fried to a golden crisp with a beautiful crunch and the inside was both juicy and flavorful.

On the other hand, the Thai milk tea which was sweet and creamy, but it was a bit mediocre compared to other teas I had drank before. There wasn’t anything striking or notable about the drink.

I had high expectations when I ordered my shaved ice dessert, which was topped with aloe vera, yam balls, grass jelly and red bean, for $7.70 after my meal.
The ice dessert also came fairly fast, and there was a caramelized brown sugar glaze that was poured across the top of the dish, giving the dish an appetizing glow. I dug in, and the first bite with all the toppings was heavenly.

The ice melted in my mouth, and the sweet flavors and chewiness of the toppings added to the delight. Although the first few bites near the top of the dessert had the perfect amount of sweetness in them, the bottom of the dessert had no flavor to it after the sugar glaze and toppings on the top were eaten.

Although I’ve been to various Taiwanese restaurants before, Breadfish Cafe still stands out for its amazing food. For its price, the dishes had large food portions. Even though I only ordered a few dishes, I still could not finish everything since the quantity in the servings was so big. Despite not being able to order everything that I wanted due to certain dishes’ limited quantity, I thoroughly enjoyed my meal, and I can confidently say that every cent was worth the excellent quality.