Before making our way across the street to Liyu Lake, we grabbed a bite to eat at a random restaurant called Lihua Fengwei Restaurant (麗華風味館 / li hua feng wei guan). Lihua is one of around a dozen places to eat lined up along Chinan Road (池南路 / chi nan lu)—this road is also where I had pretty good papaya milk.
Except for random decorations like a carp on the wall and posters of the nearby area, the ambiance is pretty much what you would expect from a restaurant outside of the major metropolitan areas—subdued. Whether intentional or not, this allows one to focus on the food.
We got a few dishes that were special to the area including a kind of mountain deer called a Muntjac (山羌肉 / shan qiang rou), wild mountain vegetables (洄瀾山野菜 / hui lan shan ye cai), and local chicken with tofu (三杯雞 / san bei ji).
Below is a close-up photo of the wild vegetables. It was stir-fried in a light sauce that allowed the taste of the vegetable to come through. The texture was nice and the taste was a little different than what I would expect from a vegetable, in a good way.
Here’s a closer shot of the Muntjac. It tasted a little game-y and chewy, but overall it was delicious especially with the ginger sauce.
All-in-all, lunch was amazing. This meal probably rates as one of the more delicious and memorable meals that I had in Taiwan. Even if it weren’t for trying a new type of meat, Lihua really knows how to make good sauces that pair well with the main ingredient they’re trying to feature. I will have to come back and try more of their dishes.