Wednesday, October 8, 2008

TW Tour: Wanluan Pig Trotter

There is a small town in Pingtung County off of Route 1 on Road 187 called Wanluan. Wanluan is a Hakka town and they are famous for their pig trotter. We are huge fans of pig trotter in general... ah the gelatin between mosels of meat and skin... So we had to give it a try. Plus, our pre-lunch of tea eggs, fruit, and exotic cold tea beverages from 7-11 weren't holding up anymore. Wanluan and Pingtung in general was unbelievably hot and the air was heavy. This was not ideal heavy food weather but we were going to persevere. The small town was basically over run with pig trotter stores. But we had to go to the granddad of them all - Wanluan Pig Trotter @ Hai Hon.

Right outside the restaurant you can see a row of ladies with pig trotters ready for chopping. This was an exciting sight indeed.
We ordered a half order of pig trotter (hate to see how big the whole order would be). It comes with a very strong garlic-ish dipping sauce. I had read that Wanluan town's pig trotter technique produced a dry and more crunchy specimen - not the usual soft kind that we're used to. This smelled great and looked great but we didn't love the texture. The collagen was not as much present. Also, I didn't like the crunch.
The sauteed kong shing tsai was fresh and provided relief from the heaviness of the pork.
The Hakka Small Fry was a good rendition of the TW Hakka's ethnic dish with octopus, dry bean curd, celery, and pork strips.
The chitterlings had a wisp of heat.
So our conclusion was that while the restaurant provide a fantastic demonstration of TW Hakka food -exhibiting its characteristics of oily, salty, and fragrant - it was not our cup of tea. But hey, we get it... it's food of peasants who worked in fields and needed the robustness. I think it was a bit overwhelming for our palates and the oil level was uncomfortable. Those who prefer spicing with a heavier hand or have an affinity and stomach tolerance for American Southern cooking would love the flavours here. NT865 total (~$28).
屏東縣萬巒鄉民和路16號 TEL:(08)7811220

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