I have to agree to that, especially in Asia.
But those ones without the signs often are the most expensive restaurants too.
That, is not entirely true.
At a place where many do not have computers, no Barbie dolls, no dance clubs, no shopping malls, this is where many locals come to eat while chatting their time away.
You won’t find extravagant table linens or suited waiter and waitresses. There are no champagne or coffee here. You won’t even be served with a menu. What they have is simplicity.
After getting a nod from the owner as an acknowledgement of our presence, we sat down at an empty table and ordered.The owner prepared everything right there in front of us, as the kitchen is at the front of the shop.We could see the onion being chopped, food in the frying pan, the sizzling sound tinkled by our ears, and the smell of hunger just entices me with anticipation.
When the owner called us to get the food from the counter, I gladly took the plates with a smile.
Ohhh….the fresh, juicy oysters and the green onions fried to perfection. Everything still retained its original taste, with no extra expense of salt nor pepper. The crispy crust outside completed the symphony. There are complimentary oyster sauce and spicy sauce on the counter if wanted.
“Under the Tree” has been around for 2 generations now, and the current owner learned all the tricks and trade from his father. His kids help out during the weekend, and the owner also let local kids, whose families have financial trouble, to help around the shop for extra cash. The most popular dish as you can see is their fried oyster pancake. Every morning after the harvest, oyster farmers would bring fresh batch of oysters to the shop. The owner then goes shopping for green onions, and begin to prepare the ingredients.
During the weekends, the place is packed starting from 11am with a waiting line up to an hour long (Mind you they close at 2pm for lunch hours!! ) Due to internet and blogging community in Taiwan that has been raving about food from the country side, people drive up to 2 hours a trip just to come to eat their oyster pancake. We were lucky we came on a weekday, and did not have to wait at all. While eating I watched other locals smile and talk about their family life…..no one is rushing, no one looks nervous or unsatisfied. The sun hugged the people softly yet with warmth.
Life can be simple when you want to be….right?
For people who gets to travel to Fangyuan/芳苑鄉 one day, Here is the address. You can copy & paste it into GPS or map, but if you show it to the locals (and the police there), they all know this place, and most likely will guide you to here. Food cost about $1 to $5 USD/ $35-$150 TWD, depends on what and how much you order.
“Under the Tree” = 芳苑鄉大樹下蚵仔爹
Fried Oyster Pancake = 炸蚵仔爹 (Taiwanese Dialect)
Address: 528, Taiwan, 彰化縣芳苑鄉仁愛村芳新路芳苑段26號/ # 26 FangXin Road, Jen-Ai Village, Fangyuan Township, Zhanghua, Taiwan.