Houdefu: Taiwanese Comfort Food in Kaohsiung

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Restaurant Sign Kaohsiung

I didn’t take a moment’s break during my short stay in Kaohsiung, waking up at dawn to squeeze in a breakfast (or two) before touring the Taiwanese city, and staying out late (in the rain) to add extraneous meals. I was full from another large dinner at Taiwanese Restaurant in the Grand Hi-Lai Hotel, but couldn’t resist a promising, geographically desirable lead – Houdefu – which supposedly served some of the best dumplings in the city.

Houdefu was only three blocks from the Grand Hi-Lai, with a red awning and two kitchens, including an enticing wok up front, a larger kitchen in back, and Asian pop music in between.

Taiwanese Food Kaohsiung
Deep Fry Rib (NT$ 55 ~ $2) was actually a juicy pork chop, burnished and plated on pickled mustard greens. This dish was readily available in Taiwan, and Houdefu served my version.

Taiwanese Food Kaohsiung
As I learned in British Columbia, black bears feast on clover, but in same ways, Houdefu’s Clover Roll (NT$ 65) would have been better off as bear bait. Sure, the roll had a good foundation – supple fried pancake – but instead of something fun like braised beef, it cradled alfalfa sprouts, crunchy purple and green cabbage, carrot, cucumber and mayo.

Taiwanese Food Kaohsiung
Won Ton in Spicy Chile Sauce (NT$ 70) featured thin-skinned pork dumplings with plentiful meat and accompanying cabbage, all submerged in a slightly sweet, lip tingling chile sauce.

Tea Kaohsiung
Complimentary pitchers of cold black tea and soy milk were both pretty good individually, and even better combined in a cup thanks to the nutty flavor of the “milk” and the balanced tea. What do you think, did I stumble upon the Taiwanese Arnold Palmer?

Houdefu ended up being worth a little extra pain for the sake of the pork chops and wontons.

, Kaohsiung, Taiwan

Joshua Lurie

Joshua Lurie founded FoodGPS in 2005. Read about him here.

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