Wednesday, 17 September 2014

My Taipei Trip [Part 3- FOOD.FOOD.FOOD]

Ohhh Yes. Taipei trip is all about FOOD.

I can't count how many meals we ate everyday. Or to put it this way: we snacked all the way.

The key point to enjoy all kind of food without feeling like a bloated goldfish is to SHARE. Don't order the same thing together, but to order different dishes to share. Well if you found something that you really really like it you can of course order a full portion for yourself again lah.

Lets start the process of reminiscing these food that went into my tummy. *evil smiles*

滷肉飯 (Lu Rou Fan)
Braised Minced Pork Rice

This is our first meal in Taiwan, at 12am in the midnight as we took an evening flight. I felt so grateful that there's actually quite a number of food stalls still serving hot food in the midnight in Taipei, so culturally speaking its like our mamak culture la, but in Chinese food oh yeah! Healthier than mamak food I guess?

Braised minced pork rice is like the most basic street food/light meal for Taiwanese, and it is like 50% of the traditional roadside shops have this on their menu. It doesn't have a fancy look, but the aroma of the long hour braised pork and rice will definitely satisfy your taste bud, and you will crave for more after the first bowl. We had this in a shop at Xi Men Ding (forgot what's the name), which we just decided to sit in as we see there's quite a number of customers.

Food hunting rule 101: Eat where the locals eat.

One of my daily night activity in Taipei is to get snacks from 7-Eleven.

Oh My God their 7-Eleven is so much better than what we have here in Malaysia. So much more varieties and I love the fancy packaging of Taiwanese products. Oh we went there in Summer, and seems like the Hokkaido soft-serve cone of 7-Eleven is very popular among the locals! I tried it, and it taste like a very creamy version of Mcd sundae cone heh.

Move on to the breakfast. 

All these are stalls in XiMenDing. FYI, Taiwan's shop have a weird habit, where they all open at different time. When we woke up at 10am, hoping that we can see a lively XiMenDing, we ended up looking at closed shops. Only 10% of the shop will open in the morning, where most of them open around 11am-12pm, and some of the clothing outlets opens at 2pm omfg. 

葱抓饼 (Cong Zhua Bing)
Spring Onion Biscuit

Well, it's more like a Taiwanese version of Roti Canai, just without the flipping part. You can choose from various flavours such as curry, meat floss, bacon, tuna etc, but we went for the original plain one. NT25 for one, slightly pricier than roti canai lol.

The uncle is super nice and he keep telling us that he is selling at the cheapest price in comparison with the other stalls. Well, that's quite true cause the others are selling at NT30 from what we've seen.

Looks like roti canai with spring onion lol

煎饺 (Jian Jiao)
Fried Dumplings

Another basic Taiwanese breakfast. It is super duper cheap in comparison with the prices back here in Malaysia. NT50 (around RM5) for 14 pieces?? This is crazy man.

The dumplings taste like dumplings, nothing really special about it but it is definitely tasty la. A wholesome and comfort food choice to start up a day.

Woo...see the queue for this 老天禄 (Lao Tian Lu) shop. They sell intestines, duck necks, eggs and stuffs, ALL BRAISED. Lotsa tourist are queuing up when we reach there, and most of them are from Hong Kong.
 Lao Tian Lu is an old shop with more than 100 years of history, so they have quite some reputation built la.

I bought braised egg, tofu and seaweed. Never a fan of any meat parts : I

I think this is a bit over rated, as it doesn't give me any WOW when I taste it, and in fact, it is too salty to my liking. The biggest problem is it is not hot, it just taste like not fresh dish to me la. I probably would have enjoyed it if they provide heating up service.

A must try bubble tea brand in Taiwan. Well of course, I don't drink Chatime in Taiwan and apparently this is the drink that singer AMei got addicted to and it costs her 10kgs extra weight for this lol. Tips of ordering drinks in Taiwan: Remember to tell them "Half Sugar" to reduce the sugar level. Their normal sweetness is insanely sweet.

How does ShiLin Night Market Looks Like?

Like this. 
Very dedicated tourist spot.

Locals don't even go there to shop anymore, just like how we Malaysians don't go to Petaling Street. But still, since I am a tourist in Taiwan, so ok lah I went there just for the sake to know how it really looks like. No doubt, there's still good food in Shilin Night Market.

青蛙下蛋 (Qing Wa Xia Dan)
Frog Laying Eggs wtf?

It's actually drinks with black pearls that we usually seen in bubble milk tea la. Quite a refreshing drink. I ordered a Lemon Jelly Aiyu with the pearls. 

Shilin Night Market have a dedicated underground food street. 

棺材板 (Guan Cai Ban)
Coffin Toast (weird direct translation again wtf)

Process of making

Basically its a toast, stuff with all kind of ingredients that you never imagined before. Porridge, pineapple, chicken, cheese, lettuce, tuna, pork.....*faints*. BUT it doesn't taste weird at all, and in fact, very savory.

大腸麵線 (Da Chang Mian Xian)
Oyster Vermicelli

Another basic street snack you must try in Taiwan. Oyster, pork intestine and chicken floss is added in to the slimy, fragrant bowl of slow cooked vermicelli. Optionally, you can add in plum vinegar for a more mouth-watering experience. The biggest different between the oyster meesua served there and here in Malaysia is the pork intestine, and also their plum vinegar which have super fruity fragrance and mildly sour.

 生炒花枝 (Sheng Chao Hua Zhi)
Squid stew

My favourite Taiwanese dish. I mean, look at the HUGE squid man, if this dish is served in Malaysia its gonna cost a bag of rice! But it only cost around NT50 (RM5) in Taiwan omggg.

Owww see my face eat until so syok

小籠包 (Xiao Long Bao)
Soup Dumplings

Got it from the stall next to Oyster Vermicelli, and it tastes quite good too! Ok la to be honest, I didn't have ANY BAD EXPERIENCE on food throughout my journey. Big applause to the quality of Taiwan food!!

胡椒餅 (Hu Jiao Bing)
Pepper Pastry

There's a variety of stuffing you can choose from, which includes pork, chicken, peanut butter, cheese etc. The taste of pepper is very mild and not irritating, while keeping the fragrance of pepper.

炸牛奶 (Zha Niu Nai)
Fried MILK

I know right. When I saw the sign I was like "wtf? how to fry?" And here it is, a fish ball looking food. It is a sweet snack, slightly tangy and chewy, but the milk taste is not that strong though. And I find it too oily.

大腸包小腸 (Da Chang Bao Xiao Chang)
Glutinous Rice Sausage

Taiwanese sausage, gravy and lots of garlic is stuffed into the huge sausage looking like glutinous rice outer layer. Another classic street snack.

雞肉串 (Ji Rou Chuan)
BBQ Chicken

Damn cheap snack that only costs NT10, which is around RM1. Asparagus and spring onion in the center, and nicely barbecued to its perfection.

---------(That's all for Shilin.)--------

BBQ Squid with Roe

We randomly found this in a farmers' market, and this is like NT100, very acceptable price la since the squid is so gigantic. It is only seasoned with sea salt, and mustard is provided for extra kick.

公館夜市 GongGuan Night Market

蔬菜餅 (Shu Cai Bing)
Veggie Roll

This is not a total vegetarian snack though, eggs are added in the roll too. The sweetness of cabbage, richness of egg and fragrant of the fried skin are the best combination ever! A very satisfying light snack, or can be a meal for small appetite girl!

奶油餅 (Nai You Bing)
Custard Puff

Sorry for the over-exposed picture @.@ But trust me, this is really awesome to the heaven. They are more famous with the red bean puff, which went into our tummy before I remember to snap a picture of it. The soft and warm filling gushes into your mouth, with just nice sweetness and creaminess 

Look, the insane queue! Dearie still so brave to snap picture with flash summore despite the big NO CAMERA sign behind lol. Luckily the boss is not some gangster hahaha.

This is a shop without any signboard or name, but it is very distinctive as you will see a LONG queue infront of the shop. 

豆花 (Dou Hua)
Sweet Tofu Dessert

Another super long queue shop.

The tofu fa served is different from Malaysia too. They have crushed ice, lotus seeds and other ingredients included in the bowl, which provides the Tofu Fa different textures and more chewy, while enhancing the overall fragrant of the dessert too!

青蛙撞奶 (Qing Wa Zhuang Nai)
Frog knocks milk wtf hahaha

This is not pearl milk tea. The pearl they uses here are made with black sugar, which have high nutritional value especially to women. It is only Fresh Milk + Black Sugar Pearl, another simple combination that is madly good. My favourite drink in Taiwan.

I LOVE the queuing culture for good food in Taiwan. It just simply shows how much Taiwanese love their food, and also it has become an indicator for us to find good food.

Food Hunting Rule 102: Queue whenever you see a queue.

You can see this kind of stalls almost every 100m in XiMenDing after 10pm. They are selling 鹽水雞 Salted Chicken. 

鹽水雞 (Yan Shui Ji)
Salted Chicken

Yup, it is like their version of rojak, made with salted chicken, tofu, veggies and even fruit of your choice. You can also customize your order with different seasoning too. I have no idea about what tastes the best, so I leave it to the boss to do his signature mix for us. What I got in my bag: Salted Chicken, Mini Corn, Pickled Papaya, Spring Onion, Braised Tofu and Broccoli. 

Quite a nice and light supper option, and it feels wholesome too!

--------(Thats all for Gong Guan Night Market)-------

紅燒牛肉麵 (Hong Shao Niu Rou Mian)
Braised Beef Noodles

LOOK AT THE BIG CHUNKS OF MEAT. I feel like a T-Rex already. The noodles are chewy handmade Chinese Ramen, the soup broth is rich and the fragrant will leave long your mouth after every bite. A wholesome yet soothing comfort food.

The exterior of the Beef Noodle shop. 
There's another famous shop right opposite this one, but unfortunately it's closed when we went there. They are located slightly outside of XiMenDing main shops.

炸花枝 (Zha Hua Zhi)
Deep Fried Squid

Again, I'm impressed by the huge squid that Taiwan always serve. It's not hard to find these big squid back in Malaysia, but not as a cheap street food. The squid is simply battered and seasoned with pepper and salt, another signature simple snack.

蛤蜊汤 (Ge Li Tang)
Clam Soup

My ULTIMATE comfort food in Taiwan. I still remember I ordered this on a night after a whole day walk, and I felt slightly sicky after stuffing all sorts of street food in myself. Believe it or not, this big bowl of clam soup filled with loads of clams, is only NT50! The fresh clams are perfectly cooked, not rubbery at all, and alcohol is added into the soup which provides a great kick.

Cactus Juice

WOOPS. This is totally a terrible drink which I don't enjoy it. Urgh its made from cactus's fruit, and it tastes so "plant-y". I am not a veggie juice person so this really made me felt a bit sick lol.

Ended my precious Taipei trip with a buffet night. I must say that I am very impressed by the quality of meat that they provide for a NT600 (RM60) buffet meal! All great and fresh beef, pork, chicken, scallops, squid, fishes, crabs etc. Back in Malaysia I think we will get a lil bit of real meats, and loads of frozen fish balls and meat balls, They also serves Haagen Daz ice-cream as dessert! We are so kiasu so each of us whack 6 scoops of it to make sure that we ate more that 60 bucks worth lol. 

Well, ended up feeling like a goldfish.

If you are curious, this buffet restaurant located in XiMenDing, and operates until 2am. So you can totally have a light dinner and then kill yourself with this midnight supper. Oh, 3 hours time limit.


Woots woots. 
If you haven't read an article about mixing cup noodles and milk pudding, say hello to it now!

The Ingredients.

According to my read, specifically 统一布丁 is the key of success for this dish, as the other brand's pudding might not melt in the soup. Cup noodles wise, the original experiment was done with Bak Kut Teh flavour, but of course you can try out the other flavours, just that I'm not sure how it would taste later lol.

So pour all the seasoning, and also the pudding, and then boiling water.

It will look like this after 2 minutes, and you should stir it around until the pudding melts into the soup. Erm, forgot to take a picture after everything comes together, but well it just look like a milky soup base.

Main point: How does it taste?

Pretty good. It doesn't taste like Bak Kut Teh anymore, but a unique flavour instead. Slightly sweet, rich and creamy, with a little spiciness kick. It's hard to be described but it's definitely not as scary as you imagined it to be.

That's pretty all about my Taipei's food adventure. And I'm ending my post with this:


It's a cake. by the way. ;)

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  1. Hi really informative posts on taiwan :) thank you!

  2. Shilin market look like a makan heaven. How big is it anyway?
    I think i would included this in my Itinerary. ^.^

  3. Hello, Omg. I've been searching countless times on the web on what to do in Taipei. Thank God i clicked on to your blog! Really good informations!

    Thank you once again!

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