Thai Home Cooking – A Hidden Gem:Thai Kitchen

The doorway of "Thai Kitchen" is adorned with flowers and plants, giving the restaurant an atmosphere of leisure and relaxation. The owner, known as "Sister Gong," comes from Chiang Mai of Thailand and is always hospitable with a smile on her face. She also happens to be extremely good at cooking delicious Homestyle Thai home cooking cuisine that attracts many foodies in search of a good meal.

Twenty years ago, Sister Gong and Mr. Xu from Taiwan met and fell in love in Thailand. After marriage, they returned to settle down in Taiwan “Thai Kitchen” opened for business with her husband’s support and provides an outlet for Sister Gong to show off her alluring cooking skills.

Most of the spices used for seasonings at Thai Kitchen are cultivated by Sister Gong, including the so-called three Thai treasures: galangal, citronella, and lemon leaf. Sister Gong says that traditional Thai cuisine is heavily seasoned, with intense flavors. However, in these modern times, health comes first; thus, the recipes for her dishes have been modified to suit the preferences of Hualien locals. Levels of spiciness and tanginess can all be customized as well as whether M.S.G. is added.

Sister Gong loves cooking and has been learning from her elders since she was a child. After every Lunar New Year, she takes a vacation back to Thailand to seek out popular flavors and bring them back to Taiwan. The new dishes she develops often bring rave reviews. For example, the popular red curry chicken fried dumpling, which Taiwanese love to eat, is a dish that Sister Gong concocted. The filling is made with home-grown spices, boneless chicken thighs, green beans, and homemade red curry. Each bite bursts with flavors that are fresh, juicy, and rich but not too greasy. Another specialty is the hot pepper chicken, which is commonly found in Thai restaurants, is usually complemented with shredded cabbage. Sister Gong substitutes cabbage with shredded green papaya, making the meal even more refreshing and representative of Thai-style cuisine.

From hot and dry Thailand to humid Taiwan, Sister Gong laughingly says that she was not used to the frigid winters initially, although she is now accustomed to Taiwan’s climate. She enjoys Hualien's slow-paced leisure, as well as the wonderful scenery of mountains and water. On vacation, she often goes to Taroko and Qixingtan Beach with her family. "You will regret visiting Hualien without taking a trip to Taroko." Sister Gong says that the cliffs in the gorge are extremely spectacular and a must-see for foreign tourists.

Thai Kitchen

Address: 9, Zhongfu Rd., Hualien City, Hualien County 970, Taiwan (R.O.C.)

Opening Hours: 11:00–14:00 , 17:00–21:00

(Closed on Thursdays)

Tel: (03)831–1822