As a Taiwanese American, I was very excited to try newly opened Piglet & Co’s Taiwanese night market inspired menu. I absolutely loved the food here, but not in the way I initially expected. I found the menu to be a genius mash-up of Taiwanese, Chinese, Japanese, and Korean flavors that embodied being Asian American in California. It was not traditional Taiwanese cuisine at all, but it still evoked feelings of comfort and familiarity.
It’s also exciting to see how Chef Chris Yang and partner Marcelle Gonzales Yang have evolved the ideas from their Hén-zhì and El Chino Grande pop-up days into a full-fledged permanent location. After having tried Chef Yang’s cooking at Hén-zhì and Hawaiian spot Aina, Piglet & Co feels much more confident and established already.
Every dish I tried was standout, but my favorite surprise hit was the charred savoy cabbage. This is not vegetarian or diet-friendly cabbage mind you. The cabbage is thoroughly charred and drenched in creamy pork fat. Exceptionally bright kalo (taro) soubise green sauce cuts through the fat perfectly.
I also couldn’t resist trying every pork dish on the menu, and all three were decadently good. The honey walnut shrimp & pork toast was a much more generous portion than expected, but I happily scarfed my half down, even knowing the other dishes to come. The chashao pork ssam starred lusciously shiny pork belly, served Korean-style with lettuce wraps and white kimchi. And the mala pork ribs were a delight, with pickled red onion and rice cracker providing a nice contrast.
My only disappointment? Not dining with a larger group so I could have tried the rest of the concise menu. I was admiring my neighbor’s Chinese steamed whole fish with my already full stomach. Ah, next time!