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Taiwan – Taipei Food Review
We round up our Taiwan trip with our final destination at Taipei before heading back to Singapore. We decided to put up at a hotel near to Ximending (西門町) for a simple reason, plenty of eateries and shops that will keep you busy all the time.
We started our first food endeavour the moment we had settled down in the hotel.
Mala hotpot 598 NT per head + 100 NT cleaning 馬辣頂級麻辣鴛鴦火鍋
A popular hotpot dining place among the tourists and local, the place always full house and went there around 12 noon but slot only available at 4.30pm!
Mala Hotpot offers free flow of beef from USA to New Zealand, local pork, chicken. Haagen dazs and Mavericks ice cream, assortment of veggies and seafood. Limited desserts are provided but you can enjoy local beer for free.
We went for their signature base broth – mala and veggies, unfortunately Mala Hotpot failed our expectations quite miserably, both the broth are nothing to shout about, the dipping sauces are mediocre and seafood are mainly frozen than fresh.
So, if you are not particular about quality and a meat lover, Mala Hotpot should be able to meet your expectations with its good value offered.
Refer website for the branches and address:
Ah Zong Mian Xian 阿宗麵線
A familiar name to many who even visited Taipei for the bowl of comfort mee sua, the same irresistible taste and lovely texture….can we pack some home?
A: No. 8~1 Emei St., Taipei 台北市峨嵋街8號之1 (Xi Men Ding)
T: (02) 02-2388-8808, 2388-8182
Lau Tian Lu Braised meat 老天祿滷味
More than 50 years of making braised meat, Lau Tian Lu Braised meat never ending queue seems to be a good testimonial to its quality.
The braised meat truly lives up to the standard with the seasoning well permeated deep into the meat, it leaves your tastebuds with traces of well-balanced herbal essence. Craving for local braised meat? Go for Lau Tian Lu, it wouldn’t disappoint you.
H: 930am -10pm daily
At the Northern part of Taipei, the waterfront, street-food stalls at Miaokou Night Market offers traditional snacks and seafood. The night market actually started in the morning and that allows you to experience the food all day long. The stretch of Miaokou are filled with many food stalls selling the local staples food and we have to be selective in our choice.
Stall 5: Crab soup and glutinous rice 85NT
The crab soup resembles the shark fin soup except replacing the shark fin by the crab meat. The glutinous rice was mixed with mushroom and dried shrimp, taste was bland and you wouldn’t regret even you give it a miss.
Stall 31: 天一香肉顺
Cabbage 15NT Lu rice 20NT The natural sweetness and juiciness of the local cabbage is hard to find in Singapore, it is a must eat veggie when you visit Taiwan. It comes in a small portion and we treasure every bite of it.
The Lu fan or rice doused with braised meat sauce is a local specialty and Stall 31 will give you all the satisfaction. The most impressive stall we had patronized at Keelung.
Stall 16: Tien Ji Tempura 35NT王记天妇罗
Deep fried fish cake and edible but not fascinating.
Stall 25-1 Xing-Ji Ding Biao Cuo 刑记鼎边锉
Another Lu fan (rice doused with braised meat) but the not as good as Stall 31. Another signature dish – the flat noodle soup mixed with cabbage and some fish balls or more appropriately to be described as flour balls, its lack of flavour is another impediment for this local stable food. Soup flat kuek 60NT, Lu rou rice 20NT
Stall 37: Shen’s Frothy Ice 45NT 沈记泡泡冰
Passion fruit juice in shredded fine ice, refreshing and great cup of dessert in a hot weather (thought the weather in December may not that hot in Taipei).
Stall 25-3 fried eel and pork rib 100NT
It is the worst experience we have with the food during the trip. Seriously you don’t want to waste the money and stomach for what seemingly nice food.
Stall 25-4 butter crab 200NT
The stall is recommended by the Keelung tourist promotion service centre in their marketing brochure, we tried it and regretted deeply about it. The so called butter crab was wrapped in an aluminum foil and steamed, named butter crab but we can’t taste any butter at all, it was just a small flower crab socked in plain water. We were completely misled by the brochure and another disastrous dish we tried in this trip.
Stall 58 Nutritious sandwich营养三明治
Deep-fried bread with interesting fillings, braised egg, cucumber, mayonnaise, tomatoes and sausage. It is an innovative product but seriously nothing too fanciful about it. May be nutritious but healthy with deep-fried bread?
Shin yeh Cuisine 欣葉– authentic Taiwanese restaurant
Shin Yeh is deeply rooted itself in Taiwanese cuisine and a good place to experience some authentic Taiwanese restaurant food. We tried the signature cai po omelette, fried spinach and the 3 cup abalone mushroom.
The food is not something that can make you dream about, the caipo omelette and spinach were ordinary with the exception of three cup abalone mushrooms which were surprisingly good even compared to the usual three cup chicken.
Do try the sweet potatoes porridge, the local sweet potatoes just tasted good with its fine and sweet texture. Price is reasonable for a Chinese restaurant; we spent 830NT on the total bill for the food.
Tamsui Old Street 淡水老街
A 400-year-old historical town which was a prosperous business establishment during the Qing dynasty. From the Old Street, the traditional can be found in those partially preserved old buildings and antique shops. Walking along the Tamsui old street, it gives you the feeling of commercial and history.
Yeh’s wonton restaurant 150NT 百葉溫州大餛飩
Jay Chou’s Favorite Wonton shop during his teen. The noodle served with Wanton egg slices, pickles, cucumber and pork sauce, not too bad with the ingredients mixed together. The sweetness of the soup base was equally delicious, a bowl of wanton that worth to try.
A: 177, Zhong Zheng Rd., Tamsui Dist., New Taipei City 251, Taiwan
This is the most popular fishball stall along the Tamshu street. Fish balls are not round but made into a short tube wrapped with minced meat. Chewy fish balls and the filling complemented well the overall taste. Broth was sweet and tasty. Worth to try.
The bun is nothing special and you can save the stomach for something else.
fish ball soup (魚丸湯) NT30, meat bun (肉包) NT10
A: No 232 Zhongzheng Road
Ah Ge Tofu Fishcake 40NT 阿給
Ah Ge (阿給) is a local specialty Tofu Fishcake unique to Tamsui. You need some good stamina walk up two slopes to get to the shop from the Tamsui main road. The shop is a distance (few hundred metres) from the Tamshu street (Zhongzheng Road) and old folks may have some challenges to walk there.
When you walked up the slope, there are two shops adjacent to each other, first one name Three sister Ah Ge and next to it is the Ah Ge shop which is the original shop. Just go for the original Ah Ge shop, a deep fried Bean curd shell filled with vermicelli or glass noodle and sealed with fish paste, doused with tau pan chili sauce and soaked in a special bowl of broth. Taste was a medley of sweet, spicy and savoury. Not too bad overall.
Original and Yuen Egg sponge cake 现烤蛋糕
There are two almost identical shop right opposite each other selling the same famous sponge cake. “Original” or”源味” has shifted to a shop right opposite after the lease expired and the old shop has taken over by the old master baker called “緣味” or “Yuen Wei” The two rivals have another two stalls a few metres apart along the wet market lane which is located at the small alley next to main Tamshu Street.
So which one better?
Both are equally good but if we have to make a choice “Original” or “源味” has slight better edge over “緣味” or “Yuen Wei” for the overall flavour.
Among the different flavours, it is hardly can go wrong with the original flavour and the cheese flavour.
A: 淡水区 中正路 (淡水老街) 228-2,
A: 228-2 Zhongzheng Road, Tamshui District, Taipei
Lian Siang Jhai Su Tsai- Jen Dow Vegetarian 蓮香齋
770NT dinner 660NT lunch
All-you-can-eat buffet, 200 varieties from oriental herbal to western mushroom soup, dim sum, noodle, local and international main course, fried corner, pizza/western snacks, local and international desserts, pastries, Menji and Hagar Dazs ice cream.
Some of the dishes do contain eggs. You have plenty of choices and filling up your stomach is not the question, the quality of the food may not the premium grade but reasonable based on the price we paid.
A: 188, Sec. 5, Nanjing East Road, Songshan District (at /in the basement)
H: Mon-Sun 11:00am-2:00pm, Mon-Sun 5:30pm-9:30pm.
Yong Ho Dou Ziang 98NT 永和豆漿
豆漿 Soy bean is a classic Taiwanese breakfast and a must try when visiting Taiwan. When come to popularity, Yong He Dou Jiang永和豆漿 is a prevalent name in Taiwan and shops bearing the same name can be found everywhere in the Taipei city.
We went to the shop at Hankou road which is famous for its traditional local breakfast, a small shop with very limited seating capacity but packed with customers queuing for orders or waiting to be seated. We tried the you tiao, soybean and egg roll, food was ordinary and probably more for the local palates.
H：5.30am to 2pm daily
Taipei Food Review
Our palates have well-experienced the different flavour from local street food to the delicacies in the local restaurants, it is indeed an enjoyable trip with a happy tummies.