Changbin is well known for its restaurants without menus. When talking about these spots where the chef reigns supreme, Egeng Diner always comes up. A trip to Egeng Diner is more than just trying out some authentic Amis cuisine. Here you get a chance to learn about Amis culture and feel the passion that young Amis have towards their village. In Chinese, “Egeng” means the annual harvest. The owner, Banai, grows her own rice in Changbin. At first, she just wanted to open a restaurant that would spread the word on how delicious Changbin rice is. Now, tons of visitors make a trip to Taitung just to eat at Egeng Diner. If you’re planning to go on the weekend, it’s best to call ahead and make a reservation. Tables here fill up quick!
For generations, Amis elders have been saying, “You can get through anything as long as you have salt.” At Banai’s restaurant, she brings food and indigenous stories right to your table. Before you eat, she explains how your food is grown and prepared. Before refrigeration, storing food was rather difficult. In order to preserve food, the Amis developed a way to pickle their meat. However, most people don’t find the strong flavor of pickled food very palatable. Therefore, Banai spent a lot of time and effort researching different ways to prepare food. Through her creativity and hard work, she’s transformed traditional Amis dishes into delicious cuisine that everyone can enjoy.
Pickled pork, or Silaw, is something every Amis mother can make. The process of pickling pork takes at least six months. However, Banai came up with a way to make roasted Silaw and turn it into a kind of sushi. Watch out for flying chopsticks when eating roasted Silaw with friends. The pork drippings mix in with the rice making it an irresistible dish. Another classic Amis dish is Anato. Traditionally, it was made by pickling fish heads or fish innards. However, Banai thought sour and savory pickled flying fish roe with stir-fried veggies and freshly baked bread would be even tastier! Meals here also include pickled bamboo (Fukah), seasonal veggies and fresh seafood. A sumptuous meal here is one that will satisfy your mind, body and inner soul.