Saturday, November 1, 2014

Restaurant Review: Kao Chi 高記 (Taipei, Taiwan)

I originally wanted to go to Kao Chi near Yong Kang St for XLB instead of Din Tai Fung based on the reviews I had read (Hungry Girl in Taipei,, Fat SG Boy) which seemed to suggest this is one of Taipei's best-kept-secrets and is overshadowed by DTF. Since I gravitate towards under-the-radar type establishments, I was really disappointed that the location at Yong Kang St was closed when we had gone (later found out they just opened an hour later than DTF!).

Luckily, there are a few other locations in Taipei (we spotted one from the subway train we took), and one's tummy always makes room for more XLB. We decided to hit up a Kao Chi the next morning and decide for ourselves who has the better XLB.

Kao Chi - Fuxing Branch

I almost always look this serious when considering the noms

The menu is very foreigner friendly - there are pictures for almost all the dishes, and English (and Japanese) is on the menu.

There's a glimmer in my eyes, right?

We decided to get an order of 小笼包 (Xiǎo lóng bāo, XLB), an order of 生煎包 (Shēng jiān bāo), and a seasonal green (the waitress offered up three varieties of seasonal greens, and I went with the third one - which I can't remember the name of - and it turned out to be the same mystery greens we had at Tresors de la Mer! yay).

FYI, they do not accommodate half-orders here, like they do at DTF, but you'll be pleased to know we polished off everything we ordered :)

First, an order of XLB. The taste is pretty similar to DTF, but both Cory and I agreed that the skins at DTF were thinner and more delicate. Still, we ate the hell out of these. The XLB at the main Kao Chi branch (near Yong Kang St) might have had a more competitive skin... it's hard to say. One would have to eat at all the branches of DTF and Kao Chi, often to make a judgment, me thinks. If anyone would like to fund this important research, you know how to contact me.

Pork XLB 小笼包 at Kao Chi.

Kao Chi is actually more well known for their 生煎包, which are basically pan-fried pork buns (baozi). The skin is more bread like and the bottom is crispy - I love crispy things, so these are right up my alley. They were pan-fried in a cast iron plate thing, so there was some great colour on the bottom. Crisp crisp crisp, not soggy at all. These had a really home-cooked taste to me :)

生煎包 - pan fried pork buns

Obligatory seasonal greens.

Bottom Line: They have many many more dishes here (large variety compared to DTF), but obviously we only had enough stomach space for these three dishes. They were all excellent, and I would highly recommend eating at Kao Chi and comparing their XLB to Din Tai Fung's yourself!

Basic Information:

Kao Chi 高記 - Fuxing Branch
No. 150, Section 1, Fuxing South Rd, Daan District

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