Thursday, September 10, 2009

四海遊龍 (Overseas Dragon) and how I ate 40 potstickers at once

It's no secret that I love fried food... be it deep fried or pan fried. It's also no secret that I love dumplings of all kinds. Fatty meat filling stuffed inside carbs? Yes please. So it shouldn't come as any surprise that when you combine the 2 into 鍋貼 (potstickers) that I will inevitably go nuts when I'm hungry. In any case, 四海遊龍, also known as Overseas Dragon, is actually a chain store in the same strain as McDonald's or Burger King... except, instead of burgers and such, they sell potstickers. Likewise, while I would never say that their potstickers are so insanely good that they're the best in all of Asia (who would say a Big Mac is the epitome of a burger?), they are good at what they do, which is to make mass quantities of cheap food. I imagine Taiwanese college kids would frequent this kind of place when hungover, but then again, I don't know that many Taiwanese college kids. Anyway, it's got the commercial feel to it. You know what I'm talking about. Chock full of generic posters, giveaway back lit plastic signs, and menus that have a mass produced kind of feel, it doesn't give you that warm bubbly feeling that you're supporting a mom and pop store. Inside, it's probably about 20 tables large, cheap metal stools (hey! not that different from Chinatown), and usually pretty empty aside from dinnertime. Outside... well yeah, it kinda just looks like an Asian fast food place, not much to describe there. Again, most importantly... how's the food?

Winner. Maybe it was because I was hungry, maybe it was because I was bored, or maybe I just like fried food, but everything tasted good to me... not jaw dropping, but solid. Check the menu as far as prices, since I'm too lazy to post all that jazz (33 NT to $1), but just know that nothing on the menu tops $1.50, so does it really matter that much? Ha, even on a college student's budget I could afford enough food to make me feel sick.

First up was their potstickers. Who goes to a place like this and orders anything else (okay, so I've done it in the past... shoot me)? They have several varieties, including kimchi flavored... for those inclined for a bit of kick, original... which is just pork as far as I can tell, as well as seafood varieties... which I shied away from given my aversion to most kinds of seafood. All were adequate, the flavoring on the kimchi did give off the characteristic pungency of the side dish, in addition, it added a bit of sourness to the flavor that makes it different than just dipping a potsticker in chili oil. The original was, again, fine. It's really hard to mess up pan frying dough with pork in it. Nice and juicy, they actually came out within 5 minutes, and hot enough to burn the inside of my mouth (whatever, it was worth it). In addition, they have a discount if you pair your order of potstickers (at least 10) with soup, so I got 2 bowls of 酸辣湯 (hot and sour soup). Not the best I've had, but certainly not the worst either... I've gone back and had the soup by itself if that means anything to you. Probably not :D. In this one night, I polished off 40 potstickers and 2 bowls of soup. Know the total bill? Something under $10 for sure.


Bethany said...

Hey I've just recently found your blog and I love it! I love living vicariously through bloggers like you. My husband, daughter, and I were lucky enough to live right across the street from an Overseas Dragon in Fengyuan. We went there at least three times a week. I am salivating now thinking about that great 'green packet' sauce. Thanks for letting me re-live that.

Nicholas said...

I'm glad I could oblige! Honestly I just do this for fun, although the stares I got for taking pictures of everything in Taiwan were kind of weird. No worries, though, even though I'm back in the US, these posts will probably continue well through New Years.

艾皓天 said...


Nicholas said...

沒想到... 本地台灣人也會想念四海遊龍. 這不是就像美國人想念麥當嗎? 哈哈 :)

Zenster said...

I was in Taiwan during 2001 and Shu Hai Fu Long was one of my favorite places to eat. The secret is to bring your own roasted sesame fire oil and then, after dragging in a tall beer from across the street, you dine like royalty for pennies! Why stop at 40?

Thank you so much for mentioning this place as I was just trying to describe it to someone.

Nicholas said...

Zenster - why stop at 40? I ran out of money =_=;; haha

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