Sinchao Rice Shoppe in Taipei
[Non-halal] Not all Michelin recommendations are equal. During our Taipei trip, we decided to visit Sinchao Rice Shoppe which was recommended for its excellent fried rice dishes.
While we were enamoured by the variety offered here, the fried rice we ate was sorely lacking in one key ingredient – wok hei. Uncle Roger would disapprove.
Sinchao Rice Shoppe in Xin Yi, Taipei
The fried rice at Din Tai Fung (DTF) is one of our favourite orders.
We ate at numerous DTF branches in KL and at the original branch in Taipei and found that the quality was consistent: scrumptious fresh prawns, and eggy fried rice that’s full of bite and infused with wok hei.
It is truly a testament to DTF’s QC that the shrimp fried fice is consistently good from Taipei 101 to KLCC.
Hence, we were pretty excited when we learned about Sinchao Rice Shoppe when researching for our Taiwan trip.
Located in Breeze Xin Yi, Sinchao Rice Shoppe offers a bevy of interesting fried rice dishes – using ingredients such as seared scallops, taro, and rice infused with dragon fruit juice to jazz up the humble rice dish.
However – our meal here was a letdown.
Uncle Roger would disapprove
I supposed we got ahead of ourselves when we expected a similar quality to DTF. For a rice nation such as Taiwan – we were so sure the fried rice here would be good.
But the Fried Rice with Mullet Roe and Seared Scallops (TWD520 or US$17) that we ordered ain’t it.
This was supposedly their signature dish. A soak in dragon fruit juice resulted in pink rice, with mullet roe (or bottarga – a salted fish roe) as a key aromatic.
While the flavours were decent, it somehow lacked the garlicky umami undertones. The mullet roe was also not prominent enough to give provide that nice oomph! And crucially – the dish just lacked the wok hei which is a requisite for a good plate of fried rice.
At least the scallops were huge, plump and fresh.
Stir-Fry Vegetable was decent
Thankfully, the Stir-Fry White Water Snowflake Stems (TWD240 or US$8) here were decent.
We found this veggie to be a crispier version of dragon chives. The dish is simple – veggies stir-fried with ginger and olives. Surprisingly, this veggie dish had more wok hei compared to the fried rice.
Decent fried chicken
For extra protein, the Fried Chicken (TWD220 or US$7) dish did the job.
Nicely breaded and well-fried to yield crispy skin and tender meat – the dish is akin to Japanese chicken Karaage in terms of texture, spice and tenderness.
If it’s not obvious – we didn’t enjoy our meal here.
If you’re looking for good fried rice – look elsewhere. At least the ambience and service here were good.
Sinchao Rice Shoppe
Address: 110, Taiwan, Taipei City, Xinyi District, Section 5 of Zhongxiao East RoadSection 5 of Zhongxiao E Rd, 68號2樓
Hours: 11am-10pm Daily
Phone: +886 2 2723 9976
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