After I went to Taipei, I finally understand how nice Chinese food can be! The food here was not salty, was not oily and did not have MSG! As I mentioned in my Singapore food post, advanced foodies relentlessly debate whether Singapore or Taipei has better food. Here is my take: Singapore has more variety, they offer Chinese, Malay, Indian and western food at a fairly high level. But as far as Chinese food goes, Taipei definitely is the BEST! The soup dumpling restaurant Din Tai Fung is a Michelin star Chinese restaurant.
After I read all kinds of websites and travel books, I reached a conclusion, I need to try Taipei's night market food, this is where local people go!
Let me give you a food tour!
Freshly roasted potato stall
The owner is making a Chinese dessert. It usually contains chewy tapioca balls, super boiled red bean or green mung bean, and some corn syrup and shaved ice. It is light and tasty.
Menu - 1 US Dollar equals to about 28 New Taiwan Dollar
Traditional Taiwanese food - Oyster Omelet
My eyes were widely open - keep in mind, this was after 20 hours travel time, and it was past midnight local time
Traditional Chinese breakfast - congee We had that in China too, but I found in Taipei, they usually offer more "add-ons", for example, shredded pork, grilled fish and seaweed is instead of just pickled vegetable. And also the "add-ons" are usually much fresher in Taiwan than those in China. I ate this pretty much every morning when I was there, it was so delicious.
This is what they sell in 7-Eleven, various kinds of Oden . I guess you know why Asian people are thin now, they eat oden instead of hot dogs .
Guess what Steve is waiting?
an order of wrap with special sauce marinated thin sliced beef. This was one of his favorites from his English teacher days of twenty years ago. It was worth cheating on the vegetarian diet for the delicious trip down memory lane!!
Here is the name of the restaurant - if you ever want to go, I can give you the address.
24 hour restaurant - Yonghe Soy Milk King. As super jet lagged as we were during the first couple days in Taipei, this place became a prefect choice.
We had - freshly made cold soy milk, warm soy milk, turnip cake, youtiao and shaobing.
"Chicken fried steak" - we did not eat there, but we found it funny. In Texas, we have chicken fried steak too (but it's something very different!). I ate what I guess we would call in Texas "chicken fried chicken" once in Taipei. The chicken was marinated very well, a bit spicy, and a bit black peppery.
Legendary Din Tai Fung - it was part of our midnight Taipei jet lag tour, we found its original location, not far from where Steve used to live.
Teppanyaki! It cost two of us about 250 NT$ including drinks, rice and soup, less than USD 10, we ate like queen and king there.
The asparagus is ours!
The real deal!
Taiwanese dessert place
You may think I am weird. (Some of my friends who have seen me in action definitely do!) I found this kind of Chinese dessert super delicious. It is called Yu Yuan Xian Cao Bing (ice). Xian Cao means grass jelly - which contains a clean, lightly sweet flavor, with just a hint of herbal aroma. Grass jelly is cooling and slippery, and gently dissolves in your mouth. Yu Yuan are soft cubes of stewed taro. The combination is mixed with shaved ice. It is light, sweet and tasty.
In KFC, we had egg tart. It is also a kind of Portuguese dessert.
I am having pan fried big dumpling stuffed with garlic chives
Steve is having his last piece of shaobing youtiao