Normally I joke around about food (because food should make you happy of course), but when it comes to 蚵仔煎(oyster omelettes), it's serious business. I never really explained this very well, but here goes. If a truck full of fresh oysters ran into another truck carrying chicken eggs, and that collision caused another truck full of potato starch to crash, and some random passerby sprinkles perfectly cut spring scallions and cabbage on the mix, and the giant mixture of random ingredients cooked on a super hot section of a road, well then you'd end up with oyster pancakes. Or something like that...? In all honesty, I have no clue how it's made, and I don't really care. I just know that this shit is bananas, and that my knees go weak when I see it.
Of course, if you want a truly sublime experience, go where the locals do. Sure I could've taken the easy way out and just gone to 西門町 or 士林夜市 and gotten any of a number of generic renditions, but what's the point? Yeah they're all good, but this dish has the ability to be magical. Instead, I went to 寧夏夜市 (Ning Xia Night Market)... to a shop called 圓環邊蚵仔煎, which translates to 'Yuan Huan Side Oyster Omelettes.' I mean come on... they've been cranking out oyster omelettes for 45 years already, I'm pretty sure they know more than that 25 year old college kid working part-time in 士林.
Damn. Look at him. He's so OLD! This is the OG-san that made my omelettes. Just look at his face. That's the face of a man that just don't give a fuck. All he wants to do is flip his omelettes. I will admit I was kind of worried that his sweat was dripping onto the plate, but I guess that comes with the experience. I mean, I honestly don't care so long as it tastes good. Oh, and good it was. Perfectly cooked, the pancake was slightly unsettled, with the potato starch reaching a chewy gelatin-mochi like consistency. The oysters were all still jiggly, for lack of a better word, and the flavor was just spot on. Normally, I'd lather this in the slightly sweet soy miso sauce, but this one didn't need it. For 60 NT ($2), it was probably the best oyster omelette I've had in Taiwan... ever. How's that for an endorsement?
I also ordered a serving of 排骨湯 (pork chop soup) for 50 NT (~$1.60), in which you take a fried pork chop, dice it up into smaller pieces with the bone still attached, and put it in pork broth with daikon radishes. While that sounds awesome if I just list the ingredients... it wasn't. The pork broth was stewed using 中藥, which translates to Chinese medicine. If you know what that is, I'm sorry, since you were probably forced to drink it as a kid. If you don't, it's medicinal bags of herbs that parents put into soup that has a uniquely awful aftertaste. Well yeah, this place did that to the pork chop soup. Thanks. You ruined something that probably would've been splendid.