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
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.