Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Corner 23 萬巒豬腳

I have always wanted to save Corner 23 for an emergency late night dinner, but since an emergency late lunch was needed, bubble tea food it was. Corner 23 is fairly clean and the seating arrangements are comfortable, not cramped. Actually, the interior is quite nice for a bubble tea joint.

The restaurant has a high ceiling along with cherry blossom paper lanterns and although plum blossoms would have been a better choice because it is Taiwan's national flower, who really pays attention? Asides from me… In addition, I like the pink, green and white orchids displayed.

The slices of pork are too thick which resulted in a chewy and dry taste. As for the garlic sauce, it has a light mild taste and could have been more flavourful, although it does not taste salty. Personally, I thought there was enough sauce since I prefer more bland as well as simpler dishes (when eating clean). However, my friend felt there was barely enough sauce which was much needed especially for the dry meat.

At first, the portion of chicken nuggets seemed to be larger than other restaurants. But, most of the pieces underneath are small and is pretty much just batter, which may be good for those who enjoy the five spice seasoning along with a nice crunch. As for the meatier pieces, the meat does not taste chewy (with the help of a thigh cut), nor moist or juicy. If anything, the crisp pieces along with the five spice seasoning is the only thing the chicken nuggets have going on, and Pearl Castles' is a lot better.

Before ordering, we requested for an "extremely spicy" level of spiciness and received everything but. The restaurant's version of "spicy" is tossing in some red chilli at the last minute. But, the proper way is to use chilli bean sauce! Come on, at a Taiwanese restaurant? Asides from the lack of spiciness which could have been fine with a great soup base, unfortunately the broth tastes extremely sickly sweet. There is way too much brown sugar and is one of the worst Taiwanese beef noodles I ever had.

The sweetness is very overwhelming and there is not even the slighest hint of a beef broth. In general, cooked brisket soup is supposed to be slightly spicy so I am not sure why it tastes like this. Other than the broth, there is a generous amount of four large slices of brisket. Although the brisket tastes dry and should have been cooked longer. As for the flat noodles, they are perfectly cooked and not too chewy or soft. If anything, I appreciate that the noodles are served hot rather than warm, which can happen occasionally.

The green onion pancake is perfectly panfried; crisp with plenty of layers and not greasy. As for the slices of beef shank, there is a good amount and the meat tastes tender. Furthermore, the beef wrap has the right amount of hoisin, not too little or much, and is one of the better ones I ever had.

After a few dishes arrived, the drinks finally followed and Corner 23 offers a choice of sweetness ranging from 1/4 sweet to the regular amount. As for myself, I requested for a 1/2 level of sweetness with my matcha milk shake, which has the usual sweetness (not too sweet) at most bubble tea joints. But, unfortunately the matcha taste is weak and the milkshake is not blended very well, as there are plenty of ice chunks. As for the pearls, they are perfectly cooked; soft all the way through and chewy, not powdery inside or mushy. For my friend, her watermelon slush has the regular amount of sweetness which tastes like any other bubble tea house, not too sweet. Although again, the slush is not blended well and there are a lot of big ice chunks. If anything, I really like the tall glasses because it gives the appearance of water drops everywhere! But there is not any.

The slices of pork chop taste moist as well as tender, and has a flavourful marinade. However, there is hardly any breading! Deep fried pork chop has to have breading, it is the batter that makes these items tasty. Imagine popcorn chicken without a batter, what the heck right?

TOTAL: $45.25 + TIP $6.75 = $52.00.

Overall, some of the items are okay while others could be better, and only the beef noodle was horrible. As for the service, our waitress was friendly despite never checking up on us (which is expected at a bubble tea joint).

- Beef wrap is pretty good (3.5/5)
- Tasty five spice seasoning
- Average eats

- Barely any batter on the pork chop
- Beef noodle is one of the worst

- I guess Pearl Castle is one of the better Taiwanese cafes after all

Food: 2.5/5 (beef noodles 1/5)
Service: 2.5/5

 Corner 23 萬巒豬腳 on Urbanspoon

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