Hello everyone! Just a short update about my life, I’ve started work for about 2 weeks now.. And yes I miss being a student so much with all the flexibility of time. But this also means that weekends are really carefree, knowing that you slog your ass off for the past 5 days! So anyways what’s starting work without a “grad trip”, so I skedaddled off to Taiwan followed by Bali!
Taiwan was really awesome! I love Taiwanese people, super polite and friendly, and of course it helps a lot that we could speak chinese, no problem when it comes to navigation: Just Ask. Anyways we went to Taipei, Kenting, Taichung & Cingjing, and before you scroll through the photos for these places.. just want to introduce a food video that I’ve complied for Taiwan (not limited to Taipei), enjoy!
Recently I’m pretty into video-graphy because I feel that videos are so much more interactive! So my plan is to start this video food series for every overseas trip (& maybe one for singapore soon hehe), so stay tuned! Okay, here’s some traditional travel photos 🙂
Taipei’s food is amazing, with all their night markets and high food standards like the Japanese culture, it’s really hard to squeeze in Top 5 eats, but I managed that and tadah! Oh, and I didn’t spend enough food sessions in the rest of the cities to gather Top 5 eats for the rest, though I had really awesome meals in some of the other cities! This post shall focus only on Taipei, let’s go! Do check out more food tips at the end of the post!!!
#5 Zhang Ji Traditional Fish Balls 張記傳統魚丸 @ Jiufen Old Street
Everyone comes to Jiufen for a day trip when they come to Taipei, and here’s what you’ve got to try.. this amazing bowl of glass noodles with fuzhou fish balls. The soup is rich yet not too intense, the fish balls are so bouncy and tasty, and the glass noodles are so silky and chewy! I know my adjectives use does not give much insight to how good this dish is, but you have to try it to know why! Each component of this dish individually is perhaps above average, but when put together.. BOOMZ. A super comforting dish that I crave for till today (1 month after coming back from Taiwan).
Jiufen Old Street Stall No. 23
So While at Jiufen, do try their Peanut Ice Cream Roll, because that’s kind of their signature dish, everyone eats it. But the question is.. which stall do you try?
THE FIRST STALL FROM THE ENTRANCE
Okay, the thing is, this stall used to be very popular and have long queues, but for some reason they shifted their stall location and after that, another stall got more popular. Not sure if it’s because the other stall got mistaken for them.. but yes! Do try the stall nearest to the entrance, their Peanut rolls are different because they add pineapple sorbet inside! So so good, giving that extra tanginess for the perfect punch! Especially during summer, a real relief to the heat!
#4 Mongkok Pineapple Bread @ Raohe Night Market
In terms of good food, Raohe Night Market is probably your best bet! This night market is probably the one that locals frequent the most, and I was fortunate enough to have met my Taiwanese friends here so they managed to introduce me their favorite must-eats at Raohe!
So the first thing they introduced was this king of all buns! It’s pineapple crusted bun with butter filling. Amazing. Just think crusted crispy pineapple topped on soft chewy bread, and filled with that creamy cold butter.. OMG. This was so good that my Taiwanese friend told us that she freezes 20 pieces in a box and brings it back to Singapore each time she returns, because this is what she misses most about Taipei.
I know technically this is more of Hong Kong than Taiwan, but the bread type is different.. Hong Kong’s bread is fluffy and light (tried on my food trip to HK), while Taiwan’s is more chewy and dense. The kind of texture I love. Do yourself a favor, buy it to believe it!
Another introduction by my Taiwanese friend was this bowl of Mian Xian! Look out for the sign in the first picture, and walk right in! He says that this is the place where locals come for their Mian Xian fix, I mean obviously the locals wouldn’t queue for the famous Ah Zhong Mian Xian. He told me that this place is better than Ah Zhong’s, but to be very honest, I’m really no expert when it comes to Mian Xian, so I felt that both were equally good to me! But do try this place for a more local atmosphere (at least you have a table to sit haha) and of course as foodies we must try at least 2 places to verify food standards!
#3 Prince’s Cheese Potato 王子 起士马铃薯 @ Shilin Night Market
While Raohe Night Market is the best in terms of good food, I would say Shilin takes the cake when it comes to variety. Many locals have dissed Shilin for being too touristy but it is after all the biggest night market in Taipei! So there’s so many things to play- we went fishing for prawns, so many things to eat- we had cotton candy shaped as a duck (above), and so many things to see- the whole place is pretty crowded, awesome vibes for us.
When you approach the night market from the mrt station, keep a lookout for the signboard! There’s always a queue, and if I’m not mistaken this is the only place selling FRIED potato drenched in cheese instead of the usual BAKED potato with cheese. And the result is super good: mashed creamy potato with a crispy light crunch on the outside, and then drenched with cheese sauce (not your typical nacho cheese sauce, but something lighter that you feel like licking it all up), and finally topped with whatever you want! YUMS.
#2 Karen Teppanyaki 凱林鐵板燒
Being occupied by the Japanese for 50 years, Taiwan has a strong Japanese culture embedded in their society. And of course, their food culture has been strongly infused with Japanese influences. The restaurants in Taipei is dominated by Japanese cuisines, at least that’s what I observed. So one thing you have to try in Taipei would be Japanese Teppanyaki, and this place introduced by my Taiwanese friend lived up to Taiwan’s strong food reputation in Japanese cuisine.
So like typical Teppanyaki, you could pretty much order anything you want. I loved the beef cubes! Had mine medium rare and it was so perfect, he added chili to mine, so it gives that added spice to it, and that’s where your Taiwanese twist to a Japanese meal comes in! The garlic crisps topped on the dishes enhanced the flavors, I could eat them on its own haha.
But the star here would be their chicken. Slabs of chicken thighs grilled on the flat iron till it’s super crispy on the outside (almost a deep fried crunch) whilst still moist and tender on the inside. I say, forget the deep fried chicken cutlet, come have this grilled one, it lessens the calories, but probably twice the pleasure!
They have various locations but I went to the one at
110, Taiwan, Taipei City, Xinyi District, 府路45號B1樓
(Near Taipei 101, so you can plan them together)
#5 Zhang Ji 张记 Fried Dumpling Beef Noodle Soup
As usual, I’ve saved my personal favorite for the last! I love love love the dumplings here! Be it pan fried or steamed, it all tastes so so good! Personally I prefer the pan fried one: crispy on the outside and each mouth, the filling bursts with flavor. My buddies preferred the steamed one though, because you get to taste the filling in its chewy form, and that’s what they love most. They rave about this dumpling because of its skin, and of course the filling is juicy and tender too! Just order both, yums!
Lane 101, Yan Ping S Road
(Near Ximending, so can plan together!)
NO HARM FOR SOME TIPS //
// Tip #1 Try these other food places that didn’t make it to my Top 5 eats, but are still worthy.
I restricted my blog to Top 5 eats so as to be consistent, but sometimes I really find it hard to squeeze in my good food experiences especially when it comes to a gastronomy heaven like Taipei. So here’s a list of places that I’ve tried that I feel you should to! (My top 5 eats list is different, that one DIE DIE MUST TRY)
1. Lao Wang Ji Beef Noodle Soup @ No. 15, TaoYuan Street (Phone+886 2 2375 8973)
This place is near Ximending as well, so can plan together! The beef noodles here is really good, especially the soup which was flavorful, soothing and not too overpowering in terms of salt or spice. My buddy said it is one of the best eats he had in Taipei, and probably the best beef noodle in his life!
2. Ah Chung Mian Xian @ 8-1, Éméi St, Wanhua District
This place needs no introduction, probably the most famous eat in Taiwan. As mentioned, the Mian Xian I introduced above is of comparable standard, but Ah Chung’s is so conveniently located at Ximending, it’s definitely worth a try. And you can compare these 2 and comment on which you prefer!
3. Mala Yuan Yang Hotpot @ No. 62, SiNing S. Road, 2 floor
This place is dubbed the best steamboat in Taipei. It’s a buffet that costs about $28 per pax, and it is ALWAYS crowded. We went at a odd timing at 4? And it was still packed. Anyways, loved the angus beef slices as well as pork slices here! It’s really fresh and that’s important for steamboat. There is also free flow of movenpick and haagen daz ice cream! Other than that, nothing that really shouts out in terms of taste. But hey, come if you are craving for hotpot! After all, it’s cheap for what they provide and they have yummy yummy meat slices!
4. Zhou Ji Porridge 周記肉粥 @ No. 104號, Guǎngzhōu Street, Wanhua District Taipei City
This place serves your typical taiwan porridge, where you pair plain porridge with various dishes! Unlike the HK congee, taiwan porridge is more similar to rice+soup, but oh so soothing. Must pair it with the deep fried pork, crispy on the outside with the unique batter, while tender on the inside. This place is near Longshan Temple, so can plan it together!
5. Yong He Dou Jiang Da Wang 永和豆漿大王 @ No. 102, Section 2, Fùxīng South Rd, Daan District (Opens 24/7)
Honestly, I only rave about one thing here.. which is Dou Jiang aka Soya Bean Milk. It’s so smooth and milky, and has this unique burnt taste to it! The other items are pretty ordinary to me, but the highlight is the soya bean milk, so good. Oh, and remember to go to the correct stall, a lot of places say that they are Yonghe but they are actually not.
6. Addiction Aquatic Development 上引水產 @ No. 18, Aly. 2, Lane 410, Mínzú East Rd,
This is an restaurant/ area that sells Japanese food. Can’t really put a finger to it, because there are various restaurants here and includes a market selling fresh seafood! So for us budget travelers, we bought the sushi, sashimi, dons and drinks from the market and asked for take away, then we sat at the outdoor area to enjoy our meal! As a whole, the food was good, very fresh and yummy! Pretty cheap too. Though if you have a large budget, go for the restaurants, they look amazing!
// Tip #2 Go to Tonghua Night Market
So under the Top 5 eats lists, I covered Shilin Night Market (which i recommend for their variety and novelty), as well as Raohe Night Market (which I recommend for their food standards). So obviously you need 1 more night market to visit (you’ll probably spent at least 3 nights in Taipei).. and that would be Tonghua for it’s eating areas within the night market.
While at Tonghua, look out for this stall and order their oyster ommelete, so so good! Sticky and thin flour mixture, mixed with eggs and drizzled with a tangy sauce, and topped with fresh plump oysters. This stall has chili that goes so well with the dish too. So good, we had to order seconds, and even thirds!
What’s Taiwan without some Taiwan sausages? As mentioned, to me Taiwan sausages have the same consistent good standards throughout, so if you want to try, why not opt for more creative flavors? Red Flower’s sausages have just that! Tried their original and it was good as well!
// Tip #3 Go to the world’s highest Starbucks
Yes, instead of going all the way up to Taipei 101’s observation deck for a price (TWD 400), why not just sip some coffee at Starbucks located at level 35 of Taipei 101? Just call their phone:+886 2 8101 0701 to make a reservation AT LEAST 1 DAY IN ADVANCE (required), and spend a minimum of about TWD 250 and you can enjoy 1.5 hours of coffee with a view, with vibes just like regular Starbucks super nice to chat!
With that, I shall end the post on my Taipei trip! Started work for about 3 weeks in, so might be really really slow in churning out posts! Nevertheless, do look forward to my next one on Top 5 cafes near the JB checkpoint! Stay hungry ❤