Guanziling is a small town in Tainan, which is well-known for its mud hot spring. What is so special about the mud hot spring you may wonder? There are only 2 other spots in the world (Kagoshima in Japan, and Vulcano in Italy) which has mud hot springs. The water quality of the mud hot spring is supposed to be great for skincare and may cure some skin allergies. You can read more about the town and surrounding activities at wiki-travel: http://wikitravel.org/en/Guanzihling.
So on our way to Guanziling, we noticed that the town is surrounded by tons of chicken places. There’s literally one every few feet. There was tea pot chicken, pot chicken, etc. On our way out of Guanziling, our driver recommended that we stop by one of the chicken places for lunch. Apparently, Guanziling is not only known for the mud hot spring, but for the roasted wild chickens as well. The place that was chosen for our lunch spot was packed, and we almost had to wait for a parking spot. That was already a good sign… that and the wafting aroma of roast chicken was just irresistible! Chilishiang also has a few other locations (in Nantou 南投，Hengchun 恆春， hualian 花蓮), but they’re all in Southern Taiwan.
There’s set menus and an a-la-carte menu. The set menu is perfect for larger parties. The sets all come with 1 pot chicken, some entrees, some sort of soup and rice.
The a-la-carte menu offers a lot of choices! Prices are reasonable and the portions are generous! For drinks, the restaurant offers a whole pot of ume plum juice. But for those of you who would like other choices, there’s a 7-11 right next door. 🙂 There were 3 of us and we weren’t sure of the portion size, so we went with the a-la-carte option.
The pot chicken! I’ve never had chicken like this before! The chicken is actually cooked/roasted inside the huge pots, therefore the name ‘pot chicken’. While the chicken cooks, the fat and juices are collected into a steel bowl. And yes, you can see that it’s a WHOLE chicken!
Each pot chicken is made with a wild chicken, so the meat is firm and juicy. The skin was really crispy and gave off such a great flavor. The chicken comes pre-chopped, all you need to do is to put on the plastic gloves and get down for some grubbing! Each pot chicken also comes with a small bowl of the chicken juice/fat and salt/pepper for extra seasoning. One of the best chickens I’ve ever had! NTD 450 per chicken, and just enough for 3 people (approx USD $15).
The vermicelli 麵線 was drizzled with a red scallion and soy-sauced based sauce. The vermicelli was cooked just right, and had an al-dente texture. Great with the chicken! NTD 30 (approx USD $1)
Since we ordered a-la-carte, the chicken didn’t come with the rice. So we ordered 2 bamboo rice 竹筒飯. Glutinous rice mixed with shitake mushrooms and red scallions, then stuffed inside the bamboo and cooked. The bamboo rice was a bit dry, so we mixed in a little of the chicken juice and that made it really tasty. NTD 50 each (approx USD $1.70)
Stir-fried veggies 炒時菜 — this was really fresh and cooked just so that there’s still a little bit of crunchiness to the veggies. Yum! NTD 100 (approx USD $3.30)
Wild herb scrambled egg 野生當歸煎蛋 － this was recommended by the restaurant since they ran out of the other scrambled egg that I wanted to try. I never had Chinese herbs in scrambled eggs before, so I don’t really have anything to compare it to. Flavor-wise, it was pretty good… the flavor of the herbs didn’t overwhelm the eggs. Sort of tastes like veggies in scrambled eggs. It was a very big plate of the scrambled egg! NTD 150 (approx USD $5)
It was a lot of food for the 3 of us – we definitely over-ordered. But, all of the food were really good. I’d highly recommend! Service tends to be a little slow though, especially when they’re busy with large parties. The chicken was served to us within a few minutes, but all of the other dishes came out really slowly… so our lunch lasted about 1.5 hours. Be prepared for a long lunch!