Mexican Food in Taipei


#41

Has anyone heard of “la Reina Kitchen” on Lane 39 off of Keelung Road? The sign says “Authentic Tex-Mex”. I just walked past it today but they were closed. Can’t find any info on any foodie sites. Phone number above the door says 2735-8977. Difficult to locate so I’ll just say kind of behind Swenson’s but not really… from Swenson’s go towards Hsinyi one block, turn right, one block off of Keelung.


#42

The telephone number and addy track to this place:

facebook.com/charottecafe

Maybe a relic sign? Can’t recall ever hearing of it though.


#43

[quote=“Tempo Gain”]The telephone number and addy track to this place:

facebook.com/charottecafe

Maybe a relic sign? Can’t recall ever hearing of it though.[/quote]

That’s the spot. It’s changed now to la Reina. If you check google street map, you can see the same round sign that has now changed to la Reina Kitchen.

I have a picture, but after nearly 2000 posts, I still don’t know how to upload…


#44

Guess it’s new then! Could be interesting


#45

[quote=“Dragonbones”]Where do you get your Mexican food fix in Taipei?

At home. Fortunately things like canned chipotles in adobo and tomatillos have been spotted here and there, as has masa harina. Dried chiles (ancho, pasilla, etc.) store well for years in the fridge or freezer, so you can bring some in when visiting home, or have some put in a care package. Corn tortillas are easy to make (the purchased ones suck), and there are flour ones available here.[/quote]

Yep. I make my own too. The only one close to us is Eddy’s, and the service was so inconsistent that we gave up. I’m sure it’s better now, but the thrill is gone, as they say.

Do you know where to find fresh tomatillos? I’ve only found them in a can.


#46

I’m pretty sure they’re only available canned here.


#47

Yeah, canned only, sorry! But boxed or canned green salsa is ok, given the lack of choice, and you can make do with canned. More importantly, frankly, fresh salsas without tomatillos are quite good, so it’s not a major problem. For anyone wanting real Mexican food, I’d suggest first focusing on getting a good cookbook (or several) that teaches things like how to dry toast cumin, how to use good chiles like ancho, pasilla etc. (available online), or how to cook with the canned chipotles available here, since so much of good Mexican food relies on those kinds of varied, warm, amazingly complex and earthy flavors and not just stupidly blind heat. Mexican is definitely NOT just a quick mishmash of cheddar, japalen~o, canned beans and that kind of stuff. That’s low end Tex-Mex fast food. (Not that there’s anything wrong with that, but it is what it is, yummy but low-end grub.) The US market has definitely done a grotesque disservice to the complexity, nuance and sophistication which Mexican cuisine can achieve.


#48

[quote=“tango42”][quote=“Tempo Gain”]The telephone number and addy track to this place:

facebook.com/charottecafe

Maybe a relic sign? Can’t recall ever hearing of it though.[/quote]

That’s the spot. It’s changed now to la Reina. If you check google street map, you can see the same round sign that has now changed to la Reina Kitchen.

I have a picture, but after nearly 2000 posts, I still don’t know how to upload…[/quote]

I passed by to check this place, la Reina, out, but did not have a chance to eat. They have limited a selection of Mexican food plus some other European foods. They open at 8am and have a breakfast burrito. They close around 7 or 8pm at night during the week. I think the phone number provided might be wrong.


#49

I’m not sure if this is the right place to post or ask, but I’m trying to find masa harina to make homemade corn tortillas. I just had one of those epically funny phone calls trying to get details in English from Florida Bakery, and she said she’d email me when they had it. I asked, do you think that might be in 2 weeks? And she laughed and said no. Long pause. “So would it be 2 days? Or two years?” and she said “2 months”. Am not holding my breath on getting a follow-up email.

Anyone know where I can get some masa harina in the meantime? We live in Kaohsiung. While I’m dreaming on, I’ll say I’d really like to find masa harina in a tamale-consistency.


#50

iHerb

Dragonbones, is there some way we an do the friggin harina de maiz ourselves?


#51

My husband is going back home to Mexico mid June to Mid August…do you think it’d make sense for him to bring back a mill? Would the field corn here work? If it could work, we’d be in a position to deliver happiness and masa harina to the corners of Taiwan.


#52

Mills you have here. Dragonbones and I had discussed that and we were missing the right kind of cal for it to work.

City Super and Wellmans also have masa harina sometimes.


#53

:doh: Sure, it’s been done by hand for eons. Bit of a pain, though. There are various instructions online like gourmetsleuth.com/articles/d … a-nixtamal


#54

I’ve ordered Bob’s Red Mill masa harina from iHerb, and I bought it yesterday from Willey’s Deli in Tianmu (which likely isn’t that useful for you in Kaohsiung).

iHerb is probably your best option, but have a look in the iHerb thread for recent issues with what does and what doesn’t cause trouble with customs.


#55

I’ve ordered Bob’s Red Mill masa harina from iHerb, and I bought it yesterday from Willey’s Deli in Tianmu (which likely isn’t that useful for you in Kaohsiung).

iHerb is probably your best option, but have a look in the iHerb thread for recent issues with what does and what doesn’t cause trouble with customs.[/quote]

Yep. Like G and G in Tianmu also have masa harina by Bob’s Mill. City Super too. But unless he’s coming all the way to Taipei… really inconvenient.

I like the idea of making your own masa since for tamales you need a lot and fresh masa beats dried stuff anytime. Mills as said can be found in any food and kitchen providers, local Internet sources too. I am dreaming of some bizcochos…


#56

shouldn’t kaoshiung have a sogo with a city super in the basement?


#57

If you’re still talking about masa harina, I’ve never seen the City Supers stock masa harina, although they have a decent range of other Bob’s Red Mill products.

A tentative lead for you: at Willey’s the other day I picked up a Chinese-only brochure for what I assume is the local Bob’s Red Mill distributor; one side is full of pictures of the Bob’s Red Mill products normally stocked at the supermarkets, and does NOT include masa harina. That’s got the telephone number (02) 2755-0219. That leads to Akebono, which I guess is a food importer, and also this page, which seems to be Akebono’s list of available Bob’s Red Mill products. (And doesn’t include masa harina.)

But maybe contacting them would help.


#58

I’m imagining here a community of Forumosans, chatting and enjoying a brief respite, the men tired and sweaty after a hard day’s work in the fields, er buxibans and offices, the women tired and sweaty after a hard day’s work in the buxibans and offices. A blue truck pulls up and with an enthusiastic shout the driver hops out and pulls a large burlap sack off the back of the truck. The day’s corn thus acquired, all begin the work of grinding and a fire is started.


#59

Lostinasia, yep, like most imported things, it comes and goes, and it is mostly found along with the rest of the flours, though last time I even saw a Japanese brand of corn meal there. Or it may wander off to the “Really exotic foreign stuff” aisle where they also keep canned tomatillos, chipotle sauce, black beans and couscous.


#60

Cornmeal and/or polenta (from Bob’s Red Mill), yeah, that’s regularly available - but not masa harina, or at least not as far as I’ve seen. I believe the only places I’ve seen masa harina in Taiwan are Willey’s and Wellman’s up in Tianmu. As far as I know (and Dragonbones will surely know more), you absolutely need masa harina for making corn tortillas; I guess cornmeal could work for the masa “boats” you see in some Mexican food. I’m not sure if I’ve ever eaten a tamale, but Alton Brown has a recipe for them with cornmeal, while Global Post (?!) claims that, no, you can’t make tamales with cornmeal.

Now you’ve got me wondering just what would happen if I tried to make a corn tortilla with polenta.

Incidentally, has anyone seen canned tomtaillos recently? At least canned black beans have reappeared. They had a really odd disappearance a few months back.