There are many things I enjoy on my visits to San Jose, but one of my culinary favorites is Taiwan Restaurant in Willow Glen. Besides going with friends, mostly Donna; besides the authentic atmosphere, the wonderful lofting hot and spicy aromas; besides Terry and the other hostesses; besides hot tea and plum wine, Taiwan is all about the Honey Walnut Shrimp for me.
Just about every visit to San Jose requires a stop at Taiwan. Art and Donna introduced me to the Honey Walnut Shrimp at Taiwan more years ago than I can remember. Since I have been going up there with some regularity since 1992, I have probably been enjoying this dish for 10 – 15 years.
When Art and Donna first suggested the Honey Walnut Shrimp, I wasn’t so sure because the combination of ingredients did not sound appealing to me – shrimp (of course) deep-fried, covered in mayonnaise and paired with candied walnuts and served over a bed of shredded cabbage. It was the mayonnaise that I was questioning; I just didn’t think a “sauce” of mayonnaise sounded very appealing. Boy was I wrong! It was (and still is) delicious! On return visits to Taiwan, we have requested two orders of Honey Walnut Shrimp for the three of us so Donna and I would have enough!
Oh, I have had other things – the Broccoli Beef, the Lemon Chicken, the Mu Shu Pork, the Money Bags appetizer, the Fried Wontons, the Pot Stickers, the Chinese Chicken Salad, and the Broccoli with Cashews. All delicious, none that compare.
I have even tried to find Honey Walnut Shrimp at other restaurants, but to no avail. The sauce isn’t right, the crispiness of the shrimp isn’t right, the walnuts are not right, the flavor is just not right. That’s why the taste of Taiwan’s Honey Walnut Shrimp creeps to the tip of my tongue as I arrive in San Jose each time. I even introduced HH to it a few years ago, he, too, was skeptical at first but he is a believer now!
This trip Donna, HH and I made the pilgrimage to Taiwan with great anticipation – it’s only been a month since I last tasted it, but the desire does not diminish for the sweet, crispiness of the dish. And two orders this trip were required!