Friday, August 6, 2010

Wengyao Roast Chicken 甕窯雞

Although there are quite a few restaurants in Jiaoxi, most of them aren't that great. However, this restaurant is superb. Most people would agree that it's the best food in Jiaoxi. Because the roast chicken here is so delicious, there is always a mob - even on weekdays. On weekends you might not be able to get a table unless you come during off hours.

The specialty of the house is chicken which has been slowly smoked over tropical longan wood. This is surely one of the world's great roast chickens. The meat is gently flavored with cumin, an unexpected flavor which isn't what one usually
associates with Taiwanese food.

In addition to the signature roast chicken, there is also a full menu of other dishes. Most people just order a chicken (you have to buy a whole chicken - they don't sell halves), some vegetable dishes, and rice. They offer some unusual local vegetables such as different kinds of seaweed, mushrooms, betal nut flower, and wild vegetables one never sees in the big city. Most of these are cooked Yilan style with lots of "tree nuts" (shuzi 樹子).

You order and pay for the meal before you sit down. If you want beer or another beverage, you have to get it yourself and pay for it separately from the main meal. There is free soup available. You have to get it yourself.

When they bring you the chicken, they will give you two pairs of gloves - one is made of thin plastic, the other is a pair of thick cloth work gloves. First you put on the plastic gloves. These keep your hands from getting greasy. Then you put on the work gloves. These keep you from burning your hands on the hot bird. The chicken is whole, so you have to rip it apart before you can eat it.

The restaurant is located on the main road through Jiaoxi just north of the hot spring area. There is a huge red sign with piles of firewood outside. The address is 7 Jiaoxi Road, section 7. There is addditional parking just on the same side of the road north of the restaurant.

Here is a link to their website:

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