My last mission was based on nothing more than a dumpling photo from a W Taipei guide, which led me past luxe shops like Louis Vuitton, Gucci and wedding showrooms to reach Chang Qing Restaurant, a dumpling shop on Lane 183 the Tou family founded in 1958.
The space had yellow floral tiles on the wall, along with European style paintings and laminated puppy photos, which they pulled from a calendar. The management played no music, so it was so quiet I could hear the fridge hum and the wok sizzle.
An order of Fried Dumpling came with 20 pieces and a NT$ 280 price tag, steep at ~ $9.50, but oh well, it’s better than boiled dumplings. Crunchy skins contained juicy, scallion flecked meat. As they cooled and absorbed juices, the dumplings had more give and became chewier.
Fried Leafy Vegetables (small, NT$ 100), aka “empty heart vegetable” resulted in seasonal ong choy sauteed with oil and garlic. Basically, if it’s fresh, it will be good, and it was.
Fried Spare Rib (NT$ 80) was a misnomer, since the cut was actually a pork chop. The golden hued chop touted a thin, crisp, peppery crust, which helped to maintain the juicy meat.
A spoon sporting a cross joined a jar of chile sauce. If chile is Chang Qing’s medicine, I can relate.