Seasons Ice & Eatery Ltd
This is actually a Taiwanese snack shop located in the Chinatown Cultural Plaza. Here is a sampling of what's available here. I've actually tried almost everything on the menu and it's all pretty good.
Several months ago, I was on my way to meet a friend for lunch at K C Kitchen. On that particular occasion, I parked in a different location and ended up walking past Seasons Ice & Eatery and that's how I discovered this place. It's kind of funny to think about because both of these places serve Taiwanese food and they are within walking distance of each other. The atmosphere inside each restaurant is quite different and so is the food.
As you approach Seasons Ice & Eatery, you'll notice the food photos on the window facing the mall. The photos do give you an idea on what's on offer here and most of it looks good...especially when I'm hungry. When I arrived, there were only a couple of people here inside the small shop -- there are only 3 tables (or was it 4?) inside this tiny shop.
There's a small area in the front of the shop which contains a refrigerator full of cold drinks, and a small ice shaver to make some icy treats which are especially good when the weather is hot and humid. To be honest, I have never had dessert here, only because I'm usually too full after eating all of the delicious food.
If you've been to the Taiwanese restaurants that are in the area, then you're probably familiar with the bright colored strips of paper that adorn the walls -- I've been told that this is the menu. Now, if I was able to read the Chinese characters, then I'd probably place my order based upon what I read there. But...
...instead, on the table is a menu covered in tiny photos with the name of the dish in English as well as a number. You'll soon find out why this is helpful.
You see, on each table is a laminated sheet of paper and a black marker, like what's shown below. When you're ready, you indicate which dishes you want by writing the number of servings in the little boxes next to the description of the dishes. Now, it's much easier, in my opinion, to look for numbers rather than the names of dishes and that's why I like the numbering system. Besides, there should be no confusion with having an incorrect order brought to the table, or an incorrect tab, right?
I often order this combo -- #17. seasoned boiled egg (US$.50) and #18. seasoned tofu square (US$2.00).
The tofu is braised before being topped with some yellow bean sauce and chopped green onions. The tofu has an interesting flavor, one that I've become accustomed to over the last several months. The seasoned egg is tasty, but could use a bit more flavor. Perhaps they could braise it for a longer period of time?
Depending on how hungry I am, I will also order the #12. fried rice noodle (US$2.50).
Thin strands of glass noodles are stir fried with vegetables before being topped with a some minced pork and chopped cilantro. Despite the low cost, this is the perfect portion size for a light lunch and the flavorful noodles taste even better when a healthy spoonful of chilli is added on top.
More frequently, I will order a bowl of the beef noodle soup or niu rou mien (US$5.50).
The piping hot soup arrives with a ton of noodles floating around in the bowl of beefy broth. Along with the chunks of lean, tender beef, there's a lot of chopped cilantro and chopped green onions in here as well. The soup here is almost always a little sweet, and more often, almost never spicy enough. While "fishing" around in the bottom of the bowl, I discovered one of their "secret" ingredients -- tomatoes!
If I don't feel like having too much starch for lunch, I'll order the above mentioned seasoned tofu and this dish, #7. Meat dumpling with beef soup (US$5.50).
Eight thick-skinned and plump dumplings are found floating around in the same bowl of broth as the signature beef noodle soup. The slightly sweet flavor of the broth pairs well with the beef and chive filling. Stuffed until they are almost ready to explode, the dumplings are excellent.
Despite being in the vicinity of the more popular K C Kitchen, Seasons Ice & Eatery definitely holds its own. The food here in inexpensive and tasty, and the service is great. Now all that's left is to decide who makes the best niu rou mien.
Seasons Ice & Eatery Ltd
Chinatown Cultural Plaza
100 North Beretania Street Suite 117