Henry's Taiwan: Taiwanese Cuisine in Tempe by Way of Seattle
When a new spot opens in town, we can't wait to check it out -- and let you know our initial impressions, share a few photos, and dish about some menu items. First Taste, as the name implies, is not a full-blown review, but instead a peek inside restaurants that have just opened, sampling a few items, and satisfying curiosities (yours and ours).
Photos by Laura Hahnefeld Taiwanese Sausage
Taiwan-born chef Henry Ku, who owns three restaurants in Seattle, makes traditional Taiwanese dishes from French techniques.
And if that isn't enough of a curve ball for you, he started his career flipping hamburgers.
Last month, Ku brought the classics of his homeland -- a kind of mash-up of the foods of the Min Nan, Teochew, and Hokkien Chinese communities as well as Japanese cuisine -- to Tempe, in a tiny welcoming spot called, appropriately, Henry's Taiwan.
Given that snacks (xiaochi) are a cherished tradition in Taiwan, you'll most likely want one -- perhaps several if you've settled in for a meal. Not a problem given Henry's three-page menu of starters, dim sum, soups, noodle and rice plates, and specialty dishes to mix and match as you please. And since most are under $10, your journey of Taiwanese cuisine is a decidedly affordable one.
Black Pepper Chicken Tenders
One of the best things on the menu might be the black pepper chicken tenders ($6.95), a gratifying meal-in-a-bowl featuring crunchy, lightly spiced and battered chunks of chicken along with pork belly, bok choy, an egg, pickled mustard greens, and rice. Simple, but no less satisfying, is Ku's delicate version of Tainan DanZai noodle soup ($5.95), a light broth of egg noodles interspersed with minced pork, bean sprouts, bits of coriander, and an egg.
Tainan DanZai Noodle Soup