“There can be only one.” The is the famous line from “The Highlander,” the cult classic that sees immortals battling for supremacy throughout the ages, but the words also apply to this Week’s Dose of Vitamin P, which could only be the Sliced Pork Belly Pyramid. The plate easily slayed the Taiwanese competition. It’s also a signature dish from Shanghai Pavilion, a top-floor restaurant at the Shangri-La Far Eastern Hotel, a simmering cylinder with panoramic views of Taiwan’s historic city of Tainan, which pre-dates 17th Century Dutch colonialism.
They describe the menu’s Huaiyang dishes, anchored in the city of Yangzhou, as “fresh and plain – neither salty, not too sweet – rich in nutrition and taste.” Maybe so, but there was nothing plain about the Sliced Pork Belly Pyramid Layered with Pickles (NT$580 ~ $19) featuring “walls” crafted using thin slices of roast pork that more or less melted into themselves, enriching the juicy filling of chopped mustard greens and all but eliminating any bitterness. On the side, in a pool of viscous rust-colored sauce, resided crunchy baby bok choy. A lazy Susan sat in the center of the table, and we were all turning it toward us to get as much pork as possible before it disappeared from sight, which took just a few spins.
Dose of Vitamin P spotlights my favorite pork dish from the previous week.