時尚高潮食記：泰集信義微風餐廳 Thai Bazaar Xinyi Breeze Centre – Curry Crab
時尚高潮食記：泰集信義微風餐廳尋找螃蟹咖哩 Thai Bazaar Restaurant Xinyi Breeze Centre – In Search of Curry Crab
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“Curry Crab” is pronounced as “Ga Li Xie” in Mandarin Chinese, with “Ga Li” meaning “curry” and “xie” meaning “crab(s).” The whole term “Ga Li Xie” sounds somewhat like an international swear word. However, it brings back the memories of Canada when I first moved there. My first time eating curry crab was at a Singaporean restaurant in Toronto. It was so good, I almost yelled “Holy “Xie (crab)”! Excuse me, I meant “Ga li xie”! The Curry Crab had been one of our family favorites for gatherings ever since. It’s crab season in Taiwan, imagine my excitement when I found Thai Bazaar, a Thai restaurant in Taipei serving curry crab.
Watched our video first:
I’ve eaten curry from across the world and have also been to Singapore. However, Singaporean cuisine didn’t leave me much impression. The only memories I still have of Singapore are sword swallowing, someone breaking a coconut with his head in front of me, and monkeys picking off my skin.
Toronto is a multi-cultural city filled with immigrants, even after traveling to over forty countries, some of the most authentic cuisines I’ve eaten were at restaurants in Toronto, I also learned how to finally pronounce the word “Phở” correctly from a Vietnamese restaurant owner in Toronto after mispronouncing it for years.
Like always, I search for the once familiar flavor on this hopeless island, Taiwan. A friend learned about my cravings for curry crab and invited me to Thai Bazaar, a Thai restaurant located in Breeze Centre Taipei Xinyi that features “curry crab” on their menu.
- 可能是我臉臭、不友善，受邀時，對方霹靂啪啦解釋一堆，我只想阻止他，跟他說:「You had me at “curry crab (你講到「咖哩螃蟹」四字就已説服我，無需再說（殘編最討厭囉唆）」。
I’m not a friendly person, and I probably didn’t look too convinced. He explained a lot about how great this restaurant was supposed to be when he invited me. I stopped him saying, “Say no more, you had me at curry crab.” I don’t like small talks or long BS.
Xinyi Breeze Centre can be a pain to get to by car. There are no left turns at most intersections. The GPS showed 4:00pm arrival, I stepped into Breeze Centre at 4:30. Thai Bazaar starts their service at 5:30 so it was okay. The Xinyi Breeze location had elements like wood, vines, and ropes in their interior, giving it a Southeast Asian vacation feel (watch our video).
We went on a Sunday night, and there was no need to register or wait in line ahead of time. The menu stand at the door displayed an attractive color menu. We already planned in mind what we wanted to order while waiting for the restaurant to open. Waiting is exhausting, but the thought of “crab curry” that would follow made everything easier. We ordered “Curry Crab” ($860) once we were in.
- （我的）人生本來就是處處碰壁、哪有那麼容易就能得到想得到的？不久之後服務生告知我們當天已無螃蟹，因為他們每天的螃蟹都是當天售完便不再提供，並建議要預定。聽到這裡我們都笑了，決定將就一點，改點咖哩明蝦 （$680)。人都來了，平常像餓死鬼，四點半就開飯的殘編，都已經等到五點半了，怎麼能空手而歸呢？咖哩系列的菜另外還有「綠咖哩椰香嫩雞/沙朗」、「紅咖哩椰汁嫩雞/沙朗」、「咖哩什錦蔬（素）」、「咖哩魚片」、「綠咖哩椰汁魚片/明蝦」、「咖哩明蝦/螃蟹」、「南瓜咖哩牛腩」、「南瓜咖哩綜合菇（素）」、「泰北黃咖哩雞腿」、「南瓜咖哩雞」跟「咖哩魚片（大安店限定）」、「椰汁紅咖哩海鮮」、「紅咖哩椰香魚片」、「綠咖哩椰香嫩雞」「綠咖哩椰香沙朗」。
(My) life is full of obstacles anyway. Nothing comes easy. Just when I started to think this was all happening too easy, our server told us crabs were sold out for the day. They only have a limited amount of crabs each day, thus preordering crabs is recommended. We laughed and decided to change the order to curry prawns ($680). After all, we have already waited for over an hour. Other curry dishes include “Chicken/ Sirloin with Coconut Green Curry, Chicken/ Sirloin with Red Curry, Vegetables with Sweet Yellow Curry, Fish Slice with Sweet Yellow Curry, Fish Slice/ Prawns with Red Curry, Beef / Chicken with Pumpkin Curry , Mixed Mushroom with Pumpkin (Vegetarian), Massaman Chicken, and Steamed Seafood with Red Curry.
We also ordered Fried Mama Noodles with Seafood ($390), Stir-fried Water Spinach with Homemade Shrimp Paste($200/400), and Stir-fried Pork Jowl with Cumin Flavour ($360).
- 除了「咖哩明蝦」我們還點了媽媽麵（$390）、「蝦醬空心菜」（$200/400）、「孜然松阪豬」 （$360）。
Our server thoughtfully asked us the level of spice we wanted when she took our order. If you’ve eaten at Asian restaurants in Canada, You know even the hottest level of spice makes you roll your eyes. I am not familiar with Thai food in Taiwan. To be safe, on a scale from mild (small), medium to spicy (big), we tried mild (small). The “mild” kicked us hard. I recommend spicy food lovers challenge the “big spicy”!
- 三重奏/Trio- ThaiPas （$890）：
This is a chef’s recommended appetizer trio platter with shrimp cake, squid and pandan leaf chicken wraps. Certain cardholders enjoy a half-price special. Since “shrimp pancakes” aren’t considered as authentic Thai food, we passed.
- 蝦醬空心菜/ Stir-fried Water Spinach with homemade shrimp paste.（$200/$400）
The menu reads “Water Celery” which I believe is a typo. Since the shrimp paste was “homemade,” I had to try it separately. The shrimp paste itself has minimum sugar and salt., but sprinkled on the veggies adds texture to the dish.
- 泰式炒海鮮Mama麵/ Fried Mama Noodles with Seafood（$390）：
“Mama Noodles” sounds like a homey dish or your “mama’s pasta” using your mom’s secret recipe. Our server gave us a heads up that it was made with “Mama instant noodles, “Mama” is the brand name, so we didn’t expect much. However, instead of serving the noodles with just SPAM meat or egg, the Mama Noodles is served with shrimp, squid, black fungus and crab meat, and stir-fried with lemongrass and a chef’s special sauce. Our server recommended us to mix it well before eating. It is full of flavors and has a very standard Thai cuisine taste, my friend even added it on rice, he shocked me.
- 咖哩明蝦/ Curry Prawns （$680）
I don’t like rice, and I hate bread even more. But to taste this much-anticipated curry dish, I ordered rice for the first time and prepared myself to pig out. I have been to Thailand twice, I have also eaten at many authentic Thai restaurants and Indian restaurants in Toronto. I’ve tried yellow curry, red curry, and green curry, but none quite like the “yellow curry” served at Thai Bazaar. The yellow curry here is very thick. In addition to turmeric, the curry for the seafood series is also cooked with eggs. The thick texture of the curry sauce makes it better on bread than with rice (watch the video!)
- 孜然松阪豬/ Stir-fried Pork Jowl with Cumin Flavour（$360）：
I love my herbs and spices, so in my opinion, this is the best dish of the night. At first sight, the pork seems to be served with more chili peppers, dried and fresh. Once eaten, the cumin flavour takes over.
Thai Bazaar Restaurant’s Taipei Xinyi Breeze Centre location features a lot of different curries that I am yet to try. Oh, and I still need to turn my Curry Crab fail into a success…