Thursday, August 16, 2018

Taiwan Food: Part 2: 20 - 21 April 2018

Exchange Rates: NT$10 = MYR1.34; MYR1 = NT$7.46

Day 3: At a row of shops beside Hualien Visitor Center at Hualien Train/ Bus Station

I asked for an English menu at this corner shop. Ordered braised beef noodle in soup (Niu Rou Mian) which was on my to-eat list.

Niu Rou Mian. It was savory and sourish. I didn't know that Taiwan braised beef noodle soup is sourish. Since I don't like sour food, it was just average for me. 5/10
Day 3: Raohe Night Market

The most popular stand in Raohe Night Market sits at the street entrance (near the temple). It has a long and perpetual queue and is famous for its Fuzhou pepper buns. I am a Fuzhou but I don't think it is a Fuzhou snack. Rather, the baking of this pepper bun in a traditional oven has its origin in the manner Kompian/ Kompyang/ Guangbin/ 光餅was prepared and baked (

This stall was one of my reasons for visiting Taiwan.

It has the longest and a perpetual queue in Raohe Night Market

Even in a light drizzle, the queue did not abate. The majority of the customers seem to be foreigners.

Fuzhou pepper bun (Fuzhou Hujiao Bing) 

This was from the few pieces left from that particular batch. Still boiling hot inside but the crust was a little chewy. Savoury and suit our Malaysian palate. I like it. 8/10

A Jipai (chicken cutlet) stall. The chicken cutlet is popular but it wasn't something I would consider different from all the fried chicken we could get in Malaysia. It was not on my food list but nevertheless, I bought a piece.

The fried cutlet before it was machine-cut into bite-size pieces.

Tender and juicy. Heavenly. Rated 9/10
Day 4: MRT Zhongxiao Fuxing Exit 2, Taipei

While waiting for the bus to Jiufen at MRT Zhongxiao Fuxing Exit 2, I spotted this steamed bun stall. Steamed bun has always been one of my favorite food. I have always been curious about the taste of steamed buns from other countries.

The steamed buns tasted ok. The bun is soft and the filling savoury and juicy. Rated 6/10
Day 4: Jiufen Old Street

Before coming to Taiwan, I thought I might not be able to find this Fuzhou fish ball stall in the labyrinth of streets in Jiufen. Hence, I did not try to look for it. In fact, there was no need to look for it. It was just there, right on the main street. My intention was to try the Fuzhou fish ball at this stall. It was a popular stall.

The ball in dark texture tasted better than the Fuzhou fish ball (big round ball at the bottom). There were two smaller balls.

Fuzhou fish ball. Fuzhou fish ball has meat filling. Bouncy, savory and juicy. Not bad in taste. Slightly above average. Rated 7/10.
This is another popular stall in Jiufen. Colourful desserts made from taro, sweet potatoes, etc. in either hot or cold drink.

I had eaten half a cup already. The colourful combination makes it attractive. Sweet. Taste ok. Rated 6/10. 

Day 4: Around Songshan MRT station Exit 1.
On returning to Taipei from Jiufen, I alighted at Songshan MRT station bus stop. I explored the back/ side streets to explore for food and I saw this stall. It was selling O-ar Mi Sua and stinky tofu.

In my plan, I wanted to go to the famous Ay-Chung stall for this noodle. I do not know how the O-ar Mi Sua here compares to Ay-Chung.

The oyster was coated in sago and there was intestine (which I never took in the past). This time, I emboldened myself and ate the intestine too. The taste of the noodle broth (sans oyster/ intestine) was acceptable/ average. Gooey and savoury. Rated 6/10
Day 4: Back at Raohe Night Market
The Taiwan onion pancake was quite famous but I did not get one the earlier night because of the queue. This evening, there was no queue. I wanted one but because of miscommunication, I got a pepper bun instead. 

The stall sat at the entrance to Raohe Night Market but before the arch, on the left of the street.

Surprisingly, the pepper bun at this stall was better than the stall with the very long queue. The crust was crispy. Rated 9/10
The fried squid from my company mess here in PNG is excellent. It was therefore not on my list of food to try in Taiwan because all fried squid would taste the same. If it was not because of temptations, I would not have bought a cup of it.

The fried squid stall

It was very tasty. Tender and crispy. Rated 9/10
There were three stalls selling similar rib soup, sitting side by side. There were hardly any vacant seats, and patrons were sitting elbow to elbow. The rib soup at Raohe could be considered the second most popular food here, after the Fuzhou pepper bun.

I got my cup of rib soup from this stall

Patrons were sitting elbow to elbow. Very crowded.

Ribs, with slivers of meat. Bak Kut Teh (Malaysian or Singapore pork rib broth) or Bek Ting (Fuzhou 8 treasure soup) would be better. It tasted quite plain. Rated 6/10.

I didn't know what this middle-easterner was serving. I just wanted to have a taste of it.

Savoury. Tasted ok. Rated 6/10

Sunday, August 12, 2018

Taiwan Food: Part 1: 18 - 19 April 2018

Exchange Rates: NT$10 = MYR1.34; MYR1 = NT$7.46

For countries in the Far East, I have visited China three times. I was not interested in South Korea. Japan was low on my list. Many friends had been to Taiwan but it was low on my list because there were not many attractions, except for Taroko Gorge and its street food. 

Since friends spoke so highly of Taiwanese food, I decided to go there this time. For the food, top on my list were Fuzhou pepper buns, braised pork rice and beef noodle. 

Day 1: Shilin Night Market 
To go there, take MRT Red Line to Jiantan Station (R15) and take Exit 1. At the exit, you will see lots of people across the road. That's your destination. Turn right and walk to the road intersection. Cross the road from there. 

Da Chang Bao Xiao Chang (sausage in rice bun) stall. This was on TSC recommended list and I decided to go for it.

The taste came mainly from the sausage. Sweet and savoury. Rated 8/10 points

Shilin basement food-court

Xiaolongbao (Steamed Soup Dumplings). I love all things Dim Sum, but it was not on TSC recommended list. The Lu Rou Fan (Braised Pork Rice) was on his list.

Xiaolongbao - The first piece was good. The second piece was still ok. By the third piece, I started to get queasy … From the 4th piece onwards, I wondered whether I could finish the rest. Rated 4/10. Braised Pork Rice - a very simple rice dish, but exceedingly good. Sweet and savoury and should appeal to Malaysian taste buds. Rated 8/10

Aiyu Jelly. Quite good. Sweet and did not detect any tangy taste. Rated 7/10

O-ar Misua (Thin caramelised wheat noodle broth with oyster)

Guo Tie (pot-sticker)

Day 2: 7-11 near Chia Rong Hostel, Taipei

I went for the Macha Tea Latte

The Macha Tea Latte was sweet and creamy with a taste of tea. Good. Rated 8/10
Day 2: At a row of shops beside Hualien Visitor Center at Hualien Train/ Bus Station 

Location: N23.99164° E121.60249°

Economy rice. Self-service. Served mainly vegetables. The two meat dishes were on the left.

Braised pork - Savoury. Ok. Rated 7/10; Drumstick. OK. Rated 6/10

Day 2: At Dongdamen Night Market, Hualien (N23.97299° E121.61218°)

Dongdamen Night Market main entrance. I did not enter or exit from this entrance but at another entrance

I decided to stop at the "Aboriginal Grill House" because it was 'aboriginal'

Noodle - Quite good. Rated 7/10

Aboriginal sausage. I asked for one sausage and was advised to take ½ sausage, probably because he thought I might not be able to finish all the food. Tasted like normal Taiwan sausage with a tinge of sourness. Good. Rated 7/10

No idea what meat this was. Average. Rated 5/10

The next stall I visited was this rolled bread stand, again with 'aboriginal' sausage.

Rolled bread - Aboriginal sausage with cheese. The bread was made upon placing an order. Tasted ok. Rated 7/10