“I'm Taiwanese, my mom is Taiwanese and we come from a great culinary family of master chefs. We know Taiwanese food. This meal still hit the spot.”

“I'm Taiwanese, my mom is Taiwanese and we come from a great culinary family of master chefs. We know Taiwanese food.

I wasn't expecting much from Henry's Taiwan because I know there isn't a very big Taiwanese population in Seattle. Which probably made the restaurant even more impressive, because it's not bad. Not bad at all. Better, in fact, than the Taiwanese places I've been to in San Francisco.

We got two orders of the beef noodle soup, as well as fried stinky tofu. If you want to judge the authenticity/quality of a Taiwanese restaurant, these are 2 of the must-order items you have to try. They're staples of Taiwanese cuisine. The beef noodle soup was excellent. They actually use a special kind of noodle not often found in Chinese/Taiwanese restaurants but is instantly recognizable to those well-versed in Taiwanese cuisine. The broth was delicious and perfectly seasoned with all the traditional ingredients, and of course topped with sour, preserved mustard greens. The bowl is huge too, so you can spend lots and lots of time happily slurping away.

The stinky tofu was okay, but not as impressive as the beef noodle soup. It was a little over-fried and the accompanying dipping sauce was a little strange. But no matter. This meal still hit the spot. After lamenting the dearth of quantity and quality of Taiwanese restaurants in San Francisco, I am amazed that Seattle was able to do what the Bay Area so far cannot.

Further thoughts:

It's useless to compare Seattle's tiny Chinatown to the big Chinatowns of other cities I've lived in (Toronto, New York, San Francisco, even Boston). But I firmly believe it's quality not quantity. You could have a Chinatown 6 sq miles big, but if it's only populated by kitschy stores and mediocre Americanized Chinese restaurants, then what's the point?

Henry's Taiwan is an example of quality over quantity. You only need a few places like these to make a tiny Chinatown stellar. Don't be put off by the seemingly dingy exterior. The decor is very minimal and bare bones because this place is a classic hole-in-the-wall. You're here for the food. Not for the ambience.

Happy eating!”

Josephine L.

San Francisco, CA

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