Mos Burger: Taipei EditionJune 3rd, 2008 by Michael Kwan
Growing up, I had my fair share of fast food. It was not out of the ordinary for me to pig out on some Church’s Chicken, Burger King, and the almighty golden arches known as McDonald’s. That probably, in part, explained why I wasn’t the skinniest kid in the class either.
While I am all for experimenting with international cuisine, it’s a little hard when you can’t even read the menu. As part of our adventure here in Taiwan, Stephen and I succumbed to the allure of an English menu at a fast food restaurant. We don’t have Mos Burger locations back in Canada, so it’s almost like we’re trying something novel. Some of the stuff on the menu is your normal burger fare, while other items are a little more exotic.
Stephen decided to take the safe route, ordering one of their highly advertised special value meals. It consisted of what appeared to be a chicken burger, a green salad (with corn), and a cold drink. Stephen says that the chicken was crispy, but his overall experience was average at best.
For more of a unique flavor, I decided to create my own Mos Burger special value meal. I got a beef sandwich wherein the regular bun was replaced by a “bun” made of compressed rice. It was a lot smaller than I was expecting, but the beef rice burger was pretty decent in terms of flavor and originality. The rest of my meal consisted of five butterfly shrimp and an iced coffee.
Here’s a closer look at the beef, lettuce, and rice bun. The sandwich had a footprint that wasn’t much bigger than your average cookie. Shame. Maybe I should have ordered two or three instead.
Although Mos Burger is a fast food joint, there is some level of table service. After placing your order, you are given a number on a stand and they bring your food to you when it is ready. We got lucky number 28 (in Cantonese, two-eight sounds very similar to “easy to prosper”), but it seems that the number drew the attention of an undead spirit. I guess she really wanted my beef rice sandwich.
My assumption was that eating in Taipei would be similar in pricing to eating in Hong Kong. The total for our two meals came to 270 NT, which works out to about nine bucks. Considering the small portions, this isn’t all that cheap. Food is probably cheaper at places with no English, no public washrooms, and no health standards.
Our quest for good Taiwanese food will probably pick up when John Chow arrives, because his wife Sarah can actually speak Mandarin! That’ll certainly open some doors for the rest of us.