Saturday, May 1, 2010

Formosa Taipei II @ Nashua, NH

We’re always in the Nashua area for shopping since it’s just a stone’s throw from our place. During one of our many trips there, we saw a sign for some Taiwanese cuisine in town. We think it’s a new place and was determined to try Formosa Taipei II out the next time.

During one my lazy to cook dinner days, we decided to make a trip to Nashua for some wine/liquor shopping and dinner. Upon entering the restaurant and we realized that, the place probably used to be some Japanese restaurant in the past; with the sushi bar now being used as a storage/bar area. My first impression honestly wasn’t the greatest. Here’s why, after being greeted by the host and telling him we needed a table for 2, the host was quickly distracted when a party of 5 showed up behind us. He proceeded to sit the party of 5 who came after us. The husband and I was left standing there, I was in disbelief how the host just ignored us. He totally forgot about us. When he returned he greeted us as if he just saw us which we then hinted that he’s forgotten about us.

The host ushered us to a dining area, quite packed with people and very brightly light. Brightly lit restaurants are great for picture taking, but does not give you the cozy feel. The menu looks pretty good. They have a variety of Taiwanese cuisine and American Chinese food.

We decided to stick to a more authentic Chinese/Taiwanese food. Here’re what we ordered:

1) Little Juicy Steamed Pork Bun / Xiao Long Bao (Bottom Left) @ $6.95. This is actually more a dumpling than a bun. You have to be very careful when you eat it, as there is hot liquid (soup) inside these tiny babies if the dumpling skin is still perfect. These steamed ‘pork buns’ comes with a ginger vinegar sauce. The way I eat this is to gently bite into the skin and slowly sipping the hot liquid. Then, I’ll dap a little of the ginger vinegar sauce and eat the whole dumpling. Of course, being ever so careful not to burn my tongue at the same time! This was not bad….but no wow factor. I’ve not had enough to really comment on this.

2) Assorted Fresh Mushrooms Hot Pot (Bottom Right) @ $12.95. This one came bubbling hot in a stainless steel pot with a fire below it. It was boiling hot with plenty of oyster mushrooms, straw mushrooms, shitake mushrooms and maybe button mushrooms. There were also some baby bok choy and bean thread vermicelli noodles in the soup. I thought this wasn’t great. I find the soup a little oily and the soup a little tasteless unfortunately.

Formosa1 Formosa2

3) Sautéed Bean Leaf Top (Bottom Left) @ $14.95. This vege is always expensive. We’ve ordered this dish in other restaurants and have paid $16 for an order (portion was bigger than this) of it. In the market/grocer, expect to pay about $3.99 /lb for this vegetable, more often called Snow Pea Tips ( I think). We ordered this sautéed with garlic and it’s always delicious.

4) Tea Flavored Duck (Bottom Right) @ 13.95. I think we were given about a quarter duck perhaps? The dish definitely does not look very appetizing, all black and looked fried. I thought it was going to be dry. Surprisingly, the duck was actually moist and we could taste the tea flavors. We would order this again. It would have been nice if there was some kind of dipping sauce to do with the duck.

Formosa3 Formosa4

Overall, except for the forgetful host and one of the waiter pouring us “yellow water” (he filled up a pepsi/coke jug with water and served everyone “tainted water”)……..the service was quite good. Food came out decently fast. It would be nice if the dim the lights a notch. We would go back there again for some Taiwanese food fix.

Check them out if you’re in the Nashua area. The premise is located up the hill and cannot be seen from the Daniel Webster Highway; you need to turn into one of the strip mall areas (not too far from Costco). Here’s the Nashua location:

295 Daniel Webster Highway
Nashua, NH 03060
(603) 888-7999

They also have a location in Lexington, MA if you like to try it out. =)

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