Photo of USTDC courtesy of Les Duffin

Thursday, February 4, 2010

East Compound Chinese Restaurant

A few days ago I posted a link to a blog called Boudicca's Voice.  The author's father was assigned to USTDC and the family lived in the Taipei area up to the time of the US withdrawal.

In one of her emails to me, she mentioned a Chinese restaurant in the east compound.  She thought it was behind the theater and that it was called the China Pavilion.

I don't remember the place at all but I'm wondering if it was the building labeled "Mess Hall" (building 709) in this page from the Taiwan Report:
If anyone else remembers the place, please leave a comment or two about it.  I saw another diagram which labeled that building as the FASD facility.  It seems to me that FASD stood for Foreign Affairs Service Department (or something like that) and I think they operated the hostel where I lived.  Were they a department of the ROC government?  Maybe MND? Did the restaurant accept US dollars, NT dollars or both?  I know that I always had to convert US dollars to NT to pay my monthly rent at the hostel.

20 comments:

Anonymous said...

That could be the Chinese restaurant on the second floor
in the hostel where you lived.

Don said...

Nope, don't recall any kind of restaurant or snack bar in my building during 1973-74.

Stev said...

In 1959-60, I usually had lunch at a restaurant in or near the building labeled "Mess Hall" (No. 709) on the map above. I think we paid in NT dollars, but since we used US dollars at other places in the compound, I'm not sure. I think we paid the barber in the TDC compound in NT dollars, too.

Bill-USACC said...

I remember pulling "CQ" (overnight watch) at USACC HQ and across the street was the FASD Dining facility. I seem to recall that was also called the China Pavillion but was govt run by FASD.
The took only NT.
It was next to toyland.

George said...

Both the FASD Mess Hall and the Hostel were operated by the Foreign Affairs Service Department (a division of the ROC military) as the officer in charge was an ROC bird colonel. I also remember paying only in NT dollars and remember occasionally delivering mail to FASD Headquarters off of Hsin Yi Road. It was building 709 on your map. I ate there almost daily, remember the yummy mixed fried rice and fruit pie to this day.

Anonymous said...

***It was next to toyland.***

Bingo!

George said...

I lived in the Toyland Building (711) for two years 1965-66. It was used as barracks then.

Don said...

So THAT'S where the barracks was! I've often wondered when folks have mentioned a barracks here at the blog. Thanks, George.

titojohn said...

I lived in barracks 711 in '63-'64. The houseboys were George and Jimmy. I dined quite often in the FASD mess hall next door to the barracks. After about 6 months into my tour, I moved to the Grass Mountain hostel.

John

Bou said...

Yes, it was right next to Toyland. We used to visit Santa there. (I had a younger sister, so we still went every year.)

I called my Dad. He said he remembers paying in NT there.

Anonymous said...

The unnumbered building between 729and 750 was a Stratcom warehouse
and also a AAFES mail order office
and warehouse in 77-79.

George said...

John,

I Remember George and Jimmy as if it were yesterday. Also, all three of the "H" shaped buildings were barracks with the small square in the middle of the "H" being the Latrine for each for each pair of Barracks.

Anonymous said...

I lived in the barracks just north of #711 from April '68 - April '69 while at USTDC. Johnny Wang was the house boy and had been in the British navy for a short while late in WWII. Before that he stood lookout for Japanese troops in the Nan King area or so the story went. I ate at the FASD every day I was there. FASD was Foreign Affairs Service Department but we just referred to it as the "FASD" pronounced as if it were a word. What I remember is the fried rice of 2 or 3 varieties or cheeseburgers or chili dogs all of which were good and is what I lived on mostly for the whole year. Fried rice was something like 50 cents for a heaping plate full. We were paid $2.57 a day for rations and I doubt I ever spent that much in a day to eat. Used to wonder what kind of vitamin deficiency I would get from eating like that but I never did get sick from that or drinking the water from the barracks fountain everyday.

I loved the year I was in Taiwan and think of it often. I still keep in contact with the now 82 year old NCOIC of my section.

George said...

FASD mixed fried rice and FASD cheeseburgers. My mouth waters, they were so good!

titojohn said...

I remember that yummy FASD SOS for breakfast. And... how about those set meals served on those 5 compartment stainless steel mess hall trays? One thing I remember that was not so good at the FASD mess hall was the "fruit pie." The filling was made with canned fruit cocktail and lots of gluey corn starch. :)

John

George said...

John,

I still clearly remember the "Fruits Pie" (they always used the plural) and yes it was canned fruit cocktail and gelatin. They served it so often with the set meals that I remember it well. It wasn't bad at all. I would give anything to have two cheeseburgers, a slice of "Fruits Pie" and a tall "Colt 45 Malt Liquor." Those were the days!

George

Les D. said...

Most if not all of the food you were eating was from the Navy commisary. FASD belonged to the Combined Service Force (CSF), a fifth branch of the ROC military which drew people from the other four. When FASD was established to take care of the US military, part of the deal was that they would operate mess halls and the US would provide the food. People used to do a double take when they saw a ROC military vehicle being loaded up at a commissary. I don't know how many facilities they operated up an down the island but there was a hostel with dining room at O Luan Pi, at the southern tip. If you were going there, you could call ahead to reserve a (spartan) room and you cold eat in the dining hall. The price was certainly right.

Les D.

George said...

After eating at the FASD Mess Hall for almost two years during my duty, I was only struck with food poisoning once. Bad pork chop....and a nice ride to the Navy Hospital in Tien Mu.

Don said...

George, I also only had one case of food poisoning in Taipei, and that came from some greasy fried chicken that I bought "to-go" late one evening at the Linkou Club Annex.

Didn't get much sleep that night but still managed to drag myself to work the next day.

Heck, after I was in Taipei for a few months, I even brushed my teeth using the tap water in the hostel without any problems. I didn't have a lot of sense in those days.

Stev said...

I was never sure, but I always blamed my food poisoning on a slice of veal loaf. I felt like I had a hot brick in my stomach for about a week.