Xian Tang Ji (仙塘跡农园餐厅) is a restaurant near Still True Minsu (初心旅行农庄民宿) recommended by our hostess, Ms He. The restaurant specialises in Taiwanese Hakka cuisine.
We understood from Ms He that it will take just a 15-minutes walk to get there, so we were keen to try it out. In the end, the 15-minutes ‘short walk’ turned out to be a more than 30 minutes ‘long walk’. It would be a good evening walk if the skies were not darkening and dogs barking incessantly along the way in the unmanned farms. With little to distract them along the way, he kids got impatient. There were signage along the way, though not as frequent as we hoped. So most of the time we were wondering if we were lost, depending on GPS to navigate our way through.
The restaurant was situated in an obscure location up a steep slope. By the time we reached there, it was pitch black outside. But the food was worth the walk.
Our apologies for this poorly taken photo. Suffice to say the interior of the restaurant has rustic, old-school charm.
We did not order their signature dish (招牌焖鸭), whole duck stewed in gravy. Instead we ordered the following dishes to try.
San bei ji (三杯鸡) is a popular dish cooked with one cup each of these 3 key ingredients: rice wine, soya sauce and sesame oil. 仙塘跡’s version was cooked with local dark-boned chicken, ginger and dried chilli. Mummy liked this dish even though it was tad bit dry. Ordered this dish hoping for some gravy for the kids to go with their rice, turned out it did not serve its purpose since my little ones don’t take spicy food. Can you tell the chicken and the chilli apart in this photo?
Their 客家小炒, a Hakka stir-fry dish of pork belly and vegetables, was also one that Mummy liked.
冬瓜蛤蜊汤 is a simple clear soup cooked with winter melon and fresh clams. This big pot of soup was a flavourful one.
梅汁通猫 is a cold dish made with this local vegetable 通猫 which looks it is from a vine-like plant. This savoury dish, seasoned with plum sauce and seaweed, comes recommended by many reviewers. It was easy to see why as it was very appetizing. They also have a hot dish version of the vegetable if you don’t like cold dish with rice.
The next two dishes (脆香豆腐 and 干煎猪肝) were the ones we did not really fancy. Their deep-fried tofu (脆香豆腐) wrapped in crispy skin with seaweed and sauce was not flavourful enough for our taste-buds.
The slices of pig liver used for 干煎猪肝 were well-seasoned. However the slices were too thick and overcooked thus tough to the bite.
With a table full of dishes, white rice and Chinese tea, the total bill came up to be around NT$1700.
The friendly ladies at the cashiers were curious why we arrived late at the restaurant when our hostess made a reservation for us at 6pm. They were so sympathetic upon hearing of our ‘long walk’ that one of them offered to drive us back. Along the way, we traced the route which we came by so we went the right way. Perhaps, it was due to our unfamiliarity with the route that we took so long. Nevertheless, we were really thankful for this little touch of kindness that saved us the long walk back and a good recommendation by our hostess.
Address: 台中市石岡区万仙街仙塘坪巷2号 (No.2 Xian Tang Ping Lane, Wan Xian St., Shigang District, Taichung City, Taiwan)
Operating Hours: 11:00 to 14:00 and 17:00 to 21:00