A new animal farm complete with a restaurant opened up in Hualien. Hua-Dong Farm (華東牧場) is located near the Hualien fishing port and is a great place to see animals and eat. The place is actually hard to find. I rode past it the first time on my bike. You have to keep your eyes open for a small road/ driveway on the west side of Gang Kou road. After turning down the driveway you can park and walk to see the farm.
Hua-Dong Farm has a few different animals most of them are birds. The largest birds there are three ostriches.
Added to the mix is a pen of birds with quails, Chickens, and a Pheasant. The Silver Button-quail ( the small one seen above) seems to be a favorite. The bird hunter in me wonders what hunting the pheasants here would be like. Interesting side note from me googling it. I found out you can buy pheasant meat on Amazon but it’s wicked expensive!!!!!!
If you want something louder you can go see the turkeys.
Now for some mammals. The rabbits got to live with the little chickens, ducks, and turkeys. They seemed to spend most of their time trying to beat the heat.
The restaurant is the business focus of Hua-Dong Farm, the animals help make it a unique place to eat. The two main dishes are fried chicken (680 NTD) or fish (400NTD). In addition, there are lots of side dishes on the menu. The fish are still alive and in a pool near the restaurant. Turns out I was the first person to ask to catch the fish themselves. The first fish jumped out of the net, but I got the second one.
I kissed the fish and he was off to the fire to get cooked. It takes about 40 minutes for the fish cook so you have to do some waiting for it.
It is an amazing piece of fish once it is finished. Personally, I really like fish cooked this way. The meat has a lightly salted taste and the skin is easily pulled back. I pull the skin back, put a little lime on it and occasionally dip a piece of meat into the pepper.
After eating the meat on one side, pull the spine and ribs out of the fish. After that grab, the few bones that remain and you can eat the other side in peace.
A fish like this is best eaten by two or three people. You can also order less or more side dishes.