Fra­grant, fresh and hot: New taste, new life in Tai­wan

Lo Hau and his wife en­joy their life in Tai­wan very much — ed­u­ca­tion, med­i­cal and living stan­dards are all bet­ter than in their home­towns

The China Post - - ARTS & LEISURE - BY ARIEL CHU

Talk­ing about Sichuanese cui­sine, the first and the last key word that might jump out im­me­di­ately must be “hot.” But for Lo Hau, only dishes that fuse spicy, hot, fresh and fra­grant fla­vors all to­gether can truly be called or­tho­dox Sichuanese. If you wan­der down Jiang­nan Street (江南街) in Neihu, the cozy restau­rant “Chuan­haozi North South Noo­dle” (川耗子南北麵典) will likely catch your eye.

Run by Lo Hau from Sichuan and his wife Wang Dong­mei from Jilin, main­land China, Chuan­haozi North South Noo­dle fea­tures com­bi­na­tions of del­i­ca­cies from North­east China and Sichuan. Their spe­cialty, Spicy Ghost Dumpling (麻辣鬼餃), for in­stance, in­te­grates Jilin’s fa­mous dumplings and Sichuan’s fragrance. Be­hind ev­ery suc­cess­ful busi­ness stands a touch­ing story, and Lo Hau and Wang Dong­mei’s love story is as sen­sa­tional as their spicy dishes.

Lo had a hard time be­fore mar­riage. Born and raised in Sichuan, he moved to Tai­wan at the age of 19 and started a new life on the is­land. He had tried twice to run his own busi­ness but both times he failed. Not un­til he met his Ms. Right on the In­ter­net did he se­ri­ously con­sider hav­ing his own fam­ily. Hav­ing only met each other once, Lo flew all the way to Shang­hai af­ter three months to pro­pose. They de­cided to re­side in Tai­wan and fight hard for their fam­ily and busi­ness.

Long­ing for home­town fla­vors, the cou­ple aimed to bring au­then­tic home­town tastes to Tai­wan. They worked hard to­gether to pur­sue the acme of per­fec­tion. Grad­u­ally, their restau­rant re­ceived more and more praise from cus­tomers. Hav­ing run the busi­ness for two years, the cou­ple is sat­is­fied with their life de­spite how tired they are at the end of ev­ery day. They now have leisure time for their daugh­ters and their dishes are highly rec­om­mended by cus­tomers. All of the hard work they put in has been worth it.

Lo and Wang are es­pe­cially thank­ful for the help of their friends. “Only with their help could we have the suc­cess to­day,” Wang re­called, shar­ing how their friends helped them open the restau­rant. When Lo had a se­ri­ous car ac­ci­dent last year, they sup­ported the chef to keep the busi­ness and his health. “It was a hard time for my wife; I’m so grate­ful and touched how our friends had been sup­port­ive and how brave she is,” Lo ex­pressed his im­mense grat­i­tude to his friends and wife, and also to Tai­wan’s med­i­cal sys­tem. “Luck­ily, Tai­wan’s med­i­cal ser­vices en­joy a high pres­tige in the world. It would be dread­ful in other places,” he said.

Lo thinks that peo­ple are friendly here; some­times their cus­tomers even help them clean the ta­bles, which they feel is re­ally in­ti­mate. But the fast pace in Taipei is en­tirely dif­fer­ent from their home­towns. Also, it takes some time for im­mi­grants to be­come familiar with the cul­ture, lan­guage and con­cepts of Tai­wan and blend in with lo­cal life.

The cou­ple en­joys their life in Tai­wan very much. Ed­u­ca­tion, med­i­cal and living stan­dards are all bet­ter than in their home­towns. They work hard as well to give the best to their daugh­ters, and, most im­por­tantly, to help each other with love and care.

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Lo Hau from Sichuan and his wife Wang Dong­mei from Jilin, main­land China, pose for a pho­to­graph with their chil­dren. To­gether, they run the restau­rant “Chuan­haozi North South Noo­dle” (川耗子南北麵典), aim­ing to bring au­then­tic Sichuan fla­vors to Tai­wan.

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