This small Taiwanese restaurant right opposite Fulham Broadway station was jam packed when we arrived, full of Chinese tourists and locals waiting for their takeaway. Like the space of a narrow boathouse, Formosa had very limited seating and only two front of house, who constantly struggled to serve the continuous stream of customers (we asked for the bill and menu more than 3 times and they nearly lost our reservation). If you are Chinese or with someone who can read Chinese, ask for their Taiwan speciality menu, otherwise the normal menu is nothing different to those served in Chinatown (they really should translate the Chinese menu to English).
The speciality menu had many classic Taiwanese dishes, such as oyster omelette, three cup chicken and beef noodles. All reasonably priced at £4-5 per plate. 6 of us ate 18+ plates (I lost count after the second round) and billed a total of £145, which was about £25 each. Not all dishes were good and I hear the nearby Taiwan village has some better dishes (need to try it soon!).
Deep fried tofu (炸豆腐）
Very soft tofu, perfectly fried, well seasoned and great with the extra chilli sauce.
Tripe and intestine
This was a surprisingly good dish, very offaly but had a good seasoning of chilli kick.
Chinese sausage with beans
The sweet and salty flavours of Chinese sausage made a great stir fry.
Deep fried salted pork (咸酥肉）
We ordered 3 plates of this dish and it really was the perfect deep fry. Very salty, oily and tender pork (get some drinks on the side before you eat it, very salty)
Tang yuan with black sesame filling (汤圆）
I didn’t try the tang yuan but Mr Noodles and Su Lin both loved it.
I liked the beef noodle but it wasn’t a whole lot special compared to the beef noodles elsewhere. The beef was tender, full of stewed flavour and soup was good too.
Minced beef rice (牛肉饭）
Basically just minced beef rice, I preferred the beef noodles more.
Minced pork noodles （炸酱面）
Very average minced pork noodles which is super simple to make at home. Just fry the mince with a packet of sauce that you can get from Chinatown and cut some cucumbers.
Steam minced pork (肉饼）
Plain minced pork steamed with a strong ginger flavour.
3 cup chicken (三杯鸡）
Very disappointing dish, chicken was cut too small, over tenderised and none of the basil flavours surfaced.
Oyster omelette (蚵仔煎）
I was most excited to try this dish at Formosa but it had too much sauce, weirdly too much cabbage and so little oyster that I had to fish it out.
Verdict - 3/5 or 2/5
Food (average) - the dishes were hit and miss, but most rather average. Deep fried dishes were better, such as the salted pork and tofu. The classic Taiwanese dishes, 3 cup chicken and oyster omelette were the most disappointing. We only ordered from the Chinese menu which you have to specifically request, otherwise the normal menu was similar to those from Chinatown restaurants.
Ambience (busy and understaffed) - people were coming in and out constantly, including those waiting for takeaways. The only two people serving were struggling to get dishes ordered and out on time. Some of our food got lost and we waited a while for the bill. Basically, expect Chinese style service.
Cost (£25pp) - very reasonable restaurant with most dishes between £4-5. We ordered over 18 dishes and billed a total of £145 between 6 of us, including a bottle of wine, some milk tea and hot tea.
Tube: Fulham Broadway
1 Walham Green Court, Fulham
London, SW6 2DH
020 7381 0735