Every visit to Tiao Shi brings new revelations, and my latest to Branch #2 brought plenty, beginning with a seafood rice in a brown sauce that's decorated with scallions, fermented black beans, and what seems like hundreds of oyster bellies; or a bottle of 2010 languedoc wine that pairs surprisingly well with this seafood and is ultimately probably the best $40 you can spend on restaurant wine on the island.
Beef with enoki mushrooms gets a surprising fruity kick, as well as plenty of acidity, from its sour but hot pao jiao peppers. whole coriander seeds add another aromatic dimension, and little tied-up packages of glass noodles add a textural one.
Very crispy fried squid with ketchup hits the spot, as do even the simplest dishes of lettuces and tofu that are somehow perfect, with addictive savory length and unexpected complexity.
The service, atmosphere, and even background music is a notch above the competition. This is the most consistently delicious table in town.
Address: 2nd Floor, 58 Quanzhou Road, Gulangyu Island, Siming District, Xiamen City, China