Introduction of Dian Shui Lou
In September of 2005, Namchow Group established its first restaurant, Dian Shui Lou, featuring its specialty on Jiang-Nan cuisine and snacks; the design of its menu covers diverse and delicate delicacies, including Hangzhou-styled, Jiangsu-styled, Huaiyang-styled, Jianghui-styled, Yong (Ningbo)-styled cuisines and other famous cuisines.
At present, there are several branch restaurants. The space at Nanjing Restaurant and Huaining Restaurant is praiseworthy; masters’ calligraphy works and paintings, antiques and artworks, wooden carved-flower stand as well as interior design and landscapes are designed with good taste.
The wine service at Dian Shui Lou is well-known as the pioneer. Its desserts go with different kinds of country wines as well as home-brewed wine. The ambitious attempt is widely-acclaimed with thumbs up in Taiwan.
This idea naturally come from Mr. Alfred F.L. Chen, Chairman of Namchow Group. He is undoubtedly the soul master, also a connoisseur with broad views, experiences, sharp eyes, open mind; he also has his wisdom to tell good people. It is not easy for the ordinary executives to catch up. Ms. Chou, Ming-Feng is the right hand of the Chairman, in assistance of marketing throughout years; her great milestones are the well-known brands such as DUROYAL, Dian Shui Lou, and Chao Jiang Yan.
Usually, a restaurant would keep its regular customers with two to three specialties. In terms of dishes, the R&D spirit of Dian Shui Lou is really impressive and respectable. With deep and broad views, the density and portion of its delicacies is unparalleled. More and more details are taken care; starting from the appetizers, they are astonishing enough.
For most of the middle-sized restaurants, the appetizers are not really worth mentioning. However, in Dian Shui Lou, every appetizer comes from the spirit of the best chefs doing their upmost even. Every dish is beyond description, for example Sauté Shredded Chicken with Pressed Bean Curd and Jinhua Ham, Mashed Pork in Jelly, Cooked Vegetables, Wuxi Crispy Eel, Cold and Dressed Sesame-Pasted Cucumber, Cold and Dressed Areca Flower Roll, Pumpkin in Icy Plum Juice, Deep-Fried Preserved Egg, Spice-Seasoned Anchovy, Pig Tongue in Rice Wine Sauce, Aged Preserved Vegetable Crispy Broad Bean, Stuffed Green Pepper, Eggplant Rutabaga, Jasmine-tea Smoked Pork Tripe, etc.
One of the new dishes, Smoked Crucian Carp in Lotus Leaf, is the revised version based on the secret recipe of the Tan Family. The cooking method is special. In the diary, Tan, Yankai wrote on June 5th, 1927, “After dismissing, I went together with others to dine at a friend’s house; he made fantastic carpe. He told me that first he cleaned the fish, and wrapped it with lotus leaf tightly. Next, the leaf-wrapped carpe was steamed without any sauce, wine or spicy. The fish let out extraordinary good smell without losing its fresh and original taste. This cooking method is worth noting in my recipe.”
Dian Shui Lou makes good use of local food and encourages local agricultural products
Taking an example, Dian Shui Lou buys a great number of Chiayi’s local agricultural products and creates numbers of unique delicacies, such as Wasabi Seafood Tofu Roll, Oolong Tea Shrimp, Oolong Tea Smoked Duck, Wasabi Crispy Fish Filet, Oolong Tea Chicken Stew, Cool and Marinated Wood-Ear-Fungus Noodles, Dried Logan Steamed Sponge Cake, Dried Logan Ice Cream and so on.
Another example, Asian Basil, seemingly treated as a permanent supporting role in the cuisine
Dian Shui Lou makes it the other way around to match Asian Basil with all kinds of ingredients. It turns out to be a shining star in the menu, such as Asian Basil Mixed with Smoked Bean Curd, Mashed Pork in Jelly, Areca Flower Asian Basil, Asian Basil Cuttlefish Barbecue, Asian Basil Ginger-and-Green-Onion Mixed with Eel Filet, etc. One-Bite Crispy Asian Basil Meat is especially favored.
I particularly like Asian Basil Mixed with Smoked Bean Curd. Asian Basil, out of sudden, plays the key role. Its fragrance is indeed stimulating and refreshing. In Shanghai, we usually have Shepherd’s Purse and Malanto Mixed Smoked Bean Curd. Suddenly we come to know Asian Basil again and find that we have bunch of Asian Basil in Taiwan.
Dian Shui Lou has surprisingly created numerous delicacies, examples like Smashed Pork in Jelly, West Lake Fish in Vinegar Sauce, Rich Baked Beggars Fish, Jiangnan Sautéed Shrimp, and Fried Crab with Soy Bean Sauce, Fresh and Salted Pork with Bamboo Shoot Soup, Red Yeast Rice Spicy Crispy Fish, Fried Shrimp with Crispy Rice, Longjing Stir-Fried Shrimp, Bottle Simmered Fish Lips, Duck Soup en Casserole, Fried Crab with Chili and Garlic, Fried Knuckle with Chili and Salt, Stewed Pork Belly, Stewed Pork Ball in Casserole, Stuffed Duck with Eight Treasures….
Apart from main dishes, there are praiseworthy snacks like Crab-Stuffed Xiaolongbao, Patty with Turnip Shreds, Yellow-Fin Tuna Dumpling Soup, Steamed Vegetarian Dumpling, Scallion Pancake, Shaoxing-Liquor-Soaked Chicken, Stewed Fried-Crucian-Carp with Green Onion, Yangzhou-Styled Roasted Pork, Shanghai-Styled Sticky Rice Pudding with Chinese Date, Steamed Red Bean Rice Cake, Date Paste Pancake, Shepherd’s Purse Pancake and so on.
Xiaolongbao is known that when it’s lifted, it looks like a transparent lantern; when it’s placed down, it appears like a jasmine with a hundred of petals folded. Looking over all the restaurants, only Ding Tai Fung can make such Xiaolongbao.
Among the desserts, Lemon Aloes, Picasso Fruity Yam Paste, Strawberry Panna Cotta, Runny Custard Bun, Steamed Date Cake with Organic Black Sticky Rice and Yam Paste are to make people ponder to taste again after tasting. (Text written by Gong Yeh; pictures provided by Dian Shui Lou)