三明美食 was just down the road from Yehliu Geopark. Phyllis personally likes their food and thought that we could have lunch here before we headed for the airport. And so we did.
On the way to the restaurant, I noticed that it was just next to the waters and that there were quite a few squid boats harboured there. Ah, so the place was a fishing village.
The restaurant's proprietor, Mr. Zhang Ming-fa, with his brothers Ming-chun and Ming-yi - hence the name "三明 (Three Ming)" - started this business in their home village after gaining some insights into the trade by working at seafood restaurants in Taipei. You know you are stepping into a seafood restaurant when you step into one - the smell of salty crustaceans and fishies from freezers (some in tanks) - so rest assured that what they serve would have freshness stated all over it.
Originally, their menu was tweaked to cater for local taste buds but the three brothers then injected some of their work experience into the business. This resulted in a menu that had traditional Taiwanese cuisine fused with contemporary Japanese cuisine.
Needless to say, the sashimi we ordered were fresh. In fact, they were so fresh, they literally just melted in our mouths.
I normally am not a big fan of anything oyster-ish. But this plateful of gooeyness was not too bad. I did not have much of it but I dare say that the sauce went really well with it.
My favourite dish of the meal would have to be this plateful of high cholesterol sinfulness. I mean, look at this photo - how can I not like this?! It was fragrant with the topping of deep-fried chopped garlic and chilli, and the calamari was just the right texture even for Dad who hates chewing. I had so much of it I was afraid that my voice was going to vanish after lunch!
Bro would have loved this dish of pipis. They were so fresh, so juicy and luckily we ordered it to be done with no extra sauce, as we were able to taste the original "pipiness" of the shells.
The only non-seafood dish we ordered was this plate of funghi. I really liked how they stir-fried it with mint leaves and also up to a level whereby they are not entirely burnt but still maintained its wokhei.
As much as the ingredients used here are caught locally. It helps that Zhang is familiar with the harbour and still has relatives who go out to sea for their catch, as he is able to get his ingredients at a price that is still considered good value when presented to customers.
Not bad for a last meal to end our Taiwan holiday. Thank you for your recommendation, Phyllis! And a very big thank you to the team at roundTAIWANround for a fun-filled trip. I will be back!