Feb 24, 2011

Slack Season 度小月


Address: 台北市忠孝東路四段216巷8弄12號
    No. 12, Alley 8, Lane 216, Section 4, ZhōngXiào East Rd, Da-an District
Phone #:  02-2773-1244
Business Hours: 11:30am~23:00pm
Price Range:   $$$
Accepts Credit Cards: idk
Attire: casual
Good for kids: yes
Take out: yes
Waiter Service: yes
Outdoor seating:  no
Alcohol: yes


Food Quality: 4 out of 5
Decor:  4 out of 5
Service: 4 out of 5
Overall: 4 out of 5
Recommendation: Posh Southern Taiwanese Cuisine Restaurant


Tainan is a city located in southern Taiwan that is known for a dish called Danzi Noodles. It is a minced pork based soup noodle that has that strong braised soy sauce/pork oil flavor mixed with cilantro. Slack Season is the most famous and supposed originator of the dish, which was created over a century ago. This restaurant is a testament of the success and popularity surrounding this dish  because the creator started from a small stand in front of a temple to this two story posh location in one of Taipei's most expensive areas. Slack season offers Danzi noodles and other traditional Taiwanese sides and dishes like braised raw clams and braised pig intestine. This is the perfect location to introduce foreigners to southern Taiwanese food, while staying in Taipei because they have a very modern and sleek restaurant space and plate the dishes beautifully for only about a 25% increase in price. I recommend each trying a bowl of Danzi noodles and pairing it with a few side dishes depending on the size of the dining party.

 The journey starts after you walk through the door. The dining area is on the second floor, and it gives you that old-style chinese restaurant feel where you eat on the upper floor. On a second thought, this is not very handicap-friendly, but I guess we don't care that much about that here in Taiwan. However, for most able bodied folks it might be interesting to walk up towards the dining area.
 The dining area is spaced very evenly. There are 6-people and 4-people tables lined around the space. I liked the modern rendition of the old school style chinese lanterns hanging over each table. The tables and seats where really comfortable and I feel like they did a good job picking deep toned furniture in contrast with the white background. The servers were very busy and only busted tables, ordered, and served food. They don't really do the whole "would you like some desert" thing here. So make sure you order everything you would like beforehand so you can get all that you want.
 I suggest getting a few sides and they are really cheap anyway. This is a dish of the seasonal boiled vegetables. It is fresh and lightly flavored, which is perfect in contrast to the more salty and oily danzi noodles. I suggest spending 40 NT to get your greens.
 I also ordered this side of braised tofu for 50 NT. I was not so impressed with this dish because the Tofu was not braised well enough to carry enough flavor on its own. That is probably why they drizzled their own blend of spices and mixture of sauces to flavor it. The texture of these tofu blocks are pretty interesting though, because they are very elastic. They seem to be rubbery and pop a bit with each bite. Each cube is apportioned right to be a single mouthful, so it is good that they took that into consideration.
 The main attraction of this place is the Danzi Noodles. The soup base is a mixture of braised minced pork stew and pork bone stock. The stock gives the bowl of noodles its primary source of flavor. The cilantro also adds an element of pungency. The shrimp on top doesn't really directly affect the bowl, but if you eat it first, that shrimp taste kinda lingers and blends into the bowl throughout the meal. Maybe they even used those small dried shrimp as part of their soup base...I am not sure. The noodles were cooked very well: not very soft and not too hard. It had a decent Q factor. This bowl of danzi noodles would only rate at about 4 though. I hope the quality of the noodles at the original location is not this watered down. I felt that it was not salty and pork oily enough. The Liu He Night Market Danzi Noodles tasted better because the flavor of the soup base was stronger. Even though the decor and service at the nightmarket location is incredibad, at least the product they offer is worth sitting on a dirty stool and eating of a misshapen metal counter, while dust particles settle into your food. However, since this is Taipei, this place is still the best place for Danzi Noodles in this area. You should come check it out and try other sides. Slack Season is a great place to be introduced to the many delicacies of southern Taiwan.


Anonymous said...

Very nice introduction! You have many good tips in this blog, really like it!

Johnny said...


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