Sunday, June 14, 2009

chinese/dim sum: i recommend PARENTS RESTAURANT

200 Dunhua S. Rd., Sec. 1
(02) 2772-8888

hours: 11:30am - 9:30pm


Kid friendliness: high chairs available. lots finger foods

Visit reviewed: 8/12/08 & 5/19/2009

Parents Restaurant is a classic Cantonese and dim sum restaurant, hiding in plain sight near the busy Dun Hua and Zhong Xiao intersection.  Just look for this bright red signs and all the purple flags.

Without crowded windows like nearby City Star Dim Sum, you might never find the equally busy dining hall in the restaurant's basement.

The huge menu in English and Chinese has everything braised, fried, clay pot, stir fried or dim sum that you could want and a picture for each and every dish. 

The prices are average ranging NT$70-$150 for dim sum and around NT$200-NT$400 for main dishes, though anytime you eat dim sum, the dishes add up since it takes a lot of siu mais to get full, so it can run about NT$500 for lunch per person. There are no carts, so you just order off the menu and when they are busy, orders can be on the slow side to come.

You MUST get the desserts. My favorites are the mini egg tarts or "dan ta" which come piping hot, with hot out-of-the-oven soft custard centers and layers and layers of flaky crusts, and the almond tofu which comes in a bowl of firm, thick cubes accompanied by a bit of peach and fruit. Just be sure to order the egg tarts before you are done eating, as it takes about 10-15 minutes for them to bake them and bring them out, otherwise you'll be waiting with nothing to eat like we were. And they are tiny, so you want to order more if you like egg tarts! One could probably eat all three in a sitting, if you really wanted to!

The dim sim regulars are a good bunch- siu mai, shrimp rice noodle or "xia chang fun",  sticky rice in bamboo leaf, fried glutinous ball or "xian shui jiao". 

The things I wouldn't order again are the pineapple shrimp because the mayo sauce was too sticky and there was too much and made the dish gross and the BBQ pork siu which was not crispy or flaky as it should be.

The main dishes we got were also good- fried oysters, the noodles, omelette egg with pickled vegetables, tofu claypot. There are two different types of noodles you can get- a harder chow mein or a soft stir fried one. Both are good, although the crispy fried noodle has a lot of gravy.

If you couldn't tell, I combined two visits into this review, so thanks to my friends A and J for introducing me to this restaurant! If you think you will go there a lot, you can also sign up for a VIP card, which gives you a 10 % discount and other coupon specials. It's good to have a couple good dim sum places up my sleeve now since in the beginning I was running into a lot of bad ones.

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abstractpoet said...

We were fans of Sweet Dynasty (which I know you've posted on) and a dim sum place we'd always go to whenever we were in Danshui--I think that was the best we had.

Have you been to the place at the circle at Ren-Ai Dun-Hua (next to a car dealer, I think)? It's only just OK, but a ridiculously good deal if you go after 2:00 in the afternoon on the weekends.

Anonymous said...

Been to lot tea house before but never seen claypot food and fried oysters for yum cha. Is that egg dish like egg fu yong? I like custard tart Cantonese style not over baked.

Last time in Taipei there were not much in dim sum tea house in the 1980. Glad to see more now.


Glad to see more

Kevin said...

My aunt's family loves this restaurant since it's just around the corner from where they live. They also especially like how they serve sweet potato congee and other "台菜" or Taiwanese dishes in addition to the standard Cantonese food. We once had a family banquet there and I couldn't eat a thing by the time the twelfth dish came because everything was so good!

foodbin said...

I like Dim sum and it really "touch my heart"

joanh said...

abstract poet: i had a decent recent experience at Sweet Dynasty, though my first visit wasn't so hot. I'm not sure which one near Ren Ai you are talking about- I'll have to look for it!

lisa: hi! the egg dish is like an omelette w/ pickled vegetables in it. isn't egg fu yong like a soup?

kevin: yes the menu is HUGE! i didn't even remember the congee..

foodbin: thanks!

Anonymous said...


Wrong egg fu yong is an omelette very well known everywhere.


Pauline said...

dim sum!!! yummmm!! :D

joanh said...

anonymous/mike: oops my bad. I never had it, so I don't know

pauline: thanks! :)

Ken said...

Thanks, Joanh - this was an excellent recommendation. Having only been in Taipei for 3 weeks, I was in a state of panic when relatives from Seattle decided to come visit.

Following your review, 8 of us plus 1 three yo headed for Parents restaurant for lunch. Taking the easy way out - we ordered the NT$4400 ten course meal. The quality of the dishes was great! But we were so stuffed and had so many leftovers that there was no room to order egg custards and other desert goodies - next time!

Ian said...

Went there for the first time today, and REALLY enjoyed it. I'm from Vancouver where you can find tons of good dim sum restaurants - I've eaten at three other places in Taipei, and this is the best so far (never been to Chao Ping Ji, however). Two of us ate for 660 NT, 6 dishes. The mango pudding was fantastic.

joanh said...

Ken/Ian- thanks so much for your comments! Great to hear you guys liked it and that the set menus were good too. I went back recently and thought the food was still pretty good..