UNCLES TAIWAN 엉클스대만
No. 31, Lane 260, GuangFu S. Rd
MRT: SYS Memorial Hall
hours: 11:30AM- 3:30PM; 4:30PM- 11PM
website: Uncles Taiwan's FB
$$ (about NT$300-500/person)
kid friendliness: not a lot of non-spicy options for non-spicy eating kids
Visits reviewed: 11/19/2015 & 3/17/2016
Live out your construction worker fantasies with pseudo uniforms, hard hats and wands to light up and wave down the waiters.
fried squidFYI there's a minimum per person fee of NT$300.
Spicy chicken feet with rice cake or Korean fishcake oden
Seafood Pancake (NT$290) Last fall when we tried the seafood pancake, it was quite disappointing, served a bit too thick and underdone. This time, my friend asked for it to be extra crispy. It was better than before, and there's a decent amount of shrimp, oysters and squid inside, though it's a bit pricey for the size.
Seaweed, mentaiko rice balls (NT$80) This is the only rice option, which isn't really necessary since you're getting a pan full of starchy rice cakes, but if there's someone who doesn't eat spicy at the table or kids, then this is one of your few choices. It's not bad, it's just something you could totally do yourself at home. Depending on what server you get, they will offer to mix up the hot rice for you and form little rice balls, or leave the plastic glove and ball on the table for you to do yourself.
First they have to light the fire (that's when you have to get your camera ready for the MOMENT)...
Say cheese. Click here to see my instagram video of the cheesy magic.
You can opt to stir it all together, or just scoop up the parts you want to eat. Low spiciness is pretty dang spicy.
Buried underneath is the rice cake (tteokbokki) and
thin strips of fish cake...
Some thoughts after three visits- skip the ramen- unless you want to try to add it into the tteokbokki. Make sure your squid is hot when it comes to your table, if that's important to you. On my third visit, I instinctively touched the squid when the dish didn't appear to be hot and I was right when it wasn't. So we sent it back a new one because what's the point of wasting calories when it's not hot out of the fryer. I also missed the cute, helpful waiter from our first visit-- this time the servers were all clumped together at the bar, not looking toward the customers and we often had to walk over and wave them down. Also different servers will create different experiences, and since this dish is a bit interactive, then it's even more important that the servers provide a good experience for repeat business.
I'm sure I'll be back when another friend tells me that they want to go, there's nothing else like it in Taipei that I know of. I know there are quite a few Korean restaurants that have the cheesy spicy Korean rice cake hotpot available, including the not-so-new Tiger Tteokbokki, but in a city where often the nachos and sandwiches and dishes need to up their game on their cheese factor, Uncles Taiwan seems to know what we want.