Saturday, February 02, 2013

Taipei 2012: Food & Sightseeing

To say that Taipei is a food mecca could be an understatement. In fact, come to think of it, most Asian cities such as Taipei, Seoul, and Singapore (but of course!) offer a really good variety of food. Local cuisines, international restaurants, street food, and so much more.

Ximending (西門町)


The Taiwanese people are a really friendly bunch of folks. Everywhere we went, people were full of smiles and greetings. In fact, the above kueh was given to us by a salon hairdresser lady who did our hair. She was talking to us, and shared the kueh with us, saying that her granny made it and she had too much so she let us try some when we said we have not heard of it before (sorry, forgot the name - but we saw similar ones at Jiufen - though her granny's ones taste better heh).

The Taiwanese girls are also famed for having stylish fashionable locks and makeup. I mean, just look at the Taiwanese programs on TV, or even Taiwanese dramas. There are bound to be girlish girls with perfectly styled curls, and the longest dolly lashes. To say that '世上沒有醜女人,只有懶女人" would be apt to describe most Taiwanese 美眉. We did our nails there - look at how girlish and pretty they are! And the gel-ish manicure rates are slightly lower than compared to Singapore (well, at least the one that I did was cheap).

I guess with so many recommendations on where to go, and what to eat reviews that can be found online, one should always take each review with a pinch of salt. I mean. Just look at the above - from 永和豆漿大王, a breakfast place that was highly recommended. It looks delish doesn't it? Sad to say, the food was really disappointing. I reckon we should have had a clue when the restaurant was almost empty. It's okay, we learn. We visited another soy bean place that was heaps better (scroll down further).

Taipei 101


The above street food snack is akin to the prata found on our local shores. However, it is more savoury than prata as it is slightly seasoned with soy sauce (I think) and scallions. You can choose to add other stuff, like egg, cheese, meat floss (depending on each stall). We norm add an egg to it and it's yummy as it is.

Now, this is a much better breakfast place. You know it is promising when you arrive at the place, and find a queue snaking down to the first floor (it's on the second level). How cute. They even have a picture diagram to show you how to queue. And it really was like that in real life.

阜杭豆漿 (Fu Hang Dou Jiang)

Breakfast at Fu Hang was so so so much better. Trust me. The locals know the best. The place was absolutely swarming with people the day we went, the turnover rate for the food was great (unlike Yong He), so food was kept at optimum freshness and was served hot.

Shop: 阜杭豆漿 (Fu Hang Dou Jiang)
Address: 台北市中正區忠孝東路一段108號2樓之28, 華山市場二樓 (108 Zhongxiao East Road, 2nd floor of Hua Shan Market)
Getting there: Shandao Temple MRT station (善導寺站), Exit 5. The building is right next to the station exit.
Opening hours: Tuesday -Sunday 5:30am~12:30pm (Closed on Monday)

You can almost always trust the locals on where to go. On one of our cab rides, the cabbie recommended a place near our hotel, so when we found ourselves at a loss on what to have for lunch one day, we decided to search for the place to give it a try. And boy was it a great decision.

It was straight up Taiwanese food (at its best, I may add). I ordered a chicken cutlet rice, and my cousin ordered salted crispy chicken noodles soup. The serving portions were huge to say the least. The below left two dishes were mine, and the below right, hers. What I love about Taiwanese food is that they also serve sides (quite like Korean banchans come to think about it). For example, for my set, they served some 滷肉 meat sauce (this is the best Taiwanese food item ever and is avail everywhere) on the rice, some sauteed vegetables, beancurd, and half an egg. That was one delish meal.

龍山寺 Longshan Temple

鮮芋仙 Meet Fresh

My cousin highly recommended this local dessert shop. But we couldn't find a store anywhere, so we searched online and found that there was one near the Longshan Temple where we were planning to go (it has since closed - according to my pal who went a month later and couldn't find it anymore). So after visiting the temple, we walked over for a bowl of cooling dessert.

This is seriously the best dessert I ate in Taiwan. No joke. Super yums grass jelly, paired with yummy additions (you can create your own with your faves - which I did) such as soya bean curd, taro and sweet potato balls, tapioca pearls, sweet potato slices, red bean and more. The grass jelly texture was really good, and paired with all my faves sides, I was in dessert heaven. A pity it was our last (or second last?) day there, and that was the only bowl I had. Sad face. I heard that they opened a few branches in Aussie - why wasn't there any in Brisbane back when I was studying there???

Another 葱抓饼 stall

My cousin who loves all things savoury, couldn't resist getting one last one before we made our way to the airport. I've only touched on the merest surface of all of Taipei's food offerings. Hopefully, there'll be another trip there next time so that I can explore more. I've one last post for Taipei - Sadaharu Aoki. Yeah, I'm biased like that. I devote one actual post to a cake shop. What's new? I can't wait to finish publishing the final post for Taiwan, so I can move on to my Korea 2012 posts. My Korea 2013 trip is coming up way soon... ;)


  1. Yep they've got MeetFresh in Perth now!!! Newly opened only a few weeks ago - it's amazing! I love the taro balls - they're not overly chewy, and the 'tau fu fah' is so smooth! Hope I can make time to visit TW again!

  2. woaaah i need to visit aussie soon again for meetfresh! (and of cos, awesome shopping, and stuff heh). i also cant wait to visit tw again! :)

  3. I'm so jealous! I definitely want to visit Taiwan one day! I love green onion pancakes! Yummm. Everyone tells me Taiwanese food is delicious!

  4. there's certainly a wide variety of tw food to do visit tw someday!

  5. Hello Michelle! I love your photos, you have a great eye to go with your great taste ;) I happen to be in Taipei now and am desperately looking for a nail salon. Where did you get yours done? Hopefully it is still around...


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