January 31, 2015 - kenshinjeff

Taipei food trip 2015 Jan

Ok… It’s not so much of a food trip but it’s a trip that mai waifu and I wanted to take for some time. Fortunately, the newlyweds YongZhuan and Yina were also intending to make a trip there to use up their Taipei wedding package so we decided to head down together! Woohoo~ Food trip!

Unfortunately we didn’t have much time on our hands, and we only managed to cover some spots. Fortunately, I nearly managed to finish what I wanted to eat so here they are! Let it be known that some things may taste good to me and won’t taste good to you before we begin!

Braised minced pork rice (魯肉飯)

We had lu rou fan from 3 different stalls. Jinfeng (金峰), Formosa (鬍鬚張) and Miao kou’s Tian yi xiang (天一香). Overall we liked Jinfeng’s and Miaokou’s one better. What can I say about this? Nothing. It’s fatty braised minced meat’s fat on a small bowl of rice, I don’t know how else I can better describe it. One thing I did realise was that it’s quite bland for all 3 stalls? Maybe we’re used to saltier things, but we found that if you asked for more zap in a separate bowl to add to your rice, it tastes better!

Formosa had the pork in the packet which you can bring home and cook for yourself. I liked that, and the wait staff were very nice to accommodate us, considering we ordered one lu rou fan and 2 eggs to share amongst four people 😡

Mee sua (麵線)

Ah Zhong’s mian xian (阿宗麵線) at ximen ding is actually surprisingly very good I must say. For someone who doesn’t eat mee sua and don’t eat intestines at all, it’s fantabulous. It’s all very commercialised in a good way, and you know it’s clean, systematic and all.

We were recommended Chunlai mian xian (春来面线) by Jeric. Now, the difference between this and Ah Zhong’s is rather mild. BUT they have oysters, AND THEIR INTESTINES ARE BRAISED. Also at this place, they have bazhang which is nice and this carrot cake like dish which was also quite nice.

Raohe night market (饒河夜市)

There’s this uncle selling some kind of fried doughnut sandwich slathered with mayo, a quarter of braised egg, some cucumbers and some kind of cutlet. I liked that the MOST. Taiwanese mayo is somewhat similar to Japanese mayo, it’s a little sweet, and doesn’t make you feel like you have sinned after eating a slab of it. (Probably)

Check the prices before you try the seafood there, they had abalone and alaskan crab claws there. It was pretty decent, but you know, I go to Song’s Fishery at jurong port to buy the frozen ones for CNY steamboat so it’s alright for me.

The baked pepper bun with pork is supposedly very good, but the queue was ginormous! We skipped that. For those who are interested to know how the pepper bun looks like, please view exhibit A.

The focus of this photo is the 赤肉胡椒饼 (left) and the 烤地瓜 (right).

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There’s this steamed egg thing with something like cheese and mayo inside. I opted for the ebi topping, and wow it’s surprisingly good.

Jiufen old street (九份老街)

Ah Zhu Xue Zai Shao (阿珠雪在燒) So you have two scoops of mixed ice cream, with shaved almond, wrapped in pohpia skin. This shit is sweet and good man I tell you. Yongzhuan and Yina says it’s better than the one they had at Shilin night market.

Mixed balls (Taro, Sweet Potato and Green Tea) in some kind of green/red bean soup. There’s two stores, the difference is rather mild, one has a sweeter soup base and the other is more chewy. You can order this dessert in hot or cold combinations. Personally I found the cold versions for both nicer, but Evonnz found the warm ones nicer. If you like ABC then you’ll love this.

FISHBALLSSSSSS. I recommend that you try a mixed bowl to figure out what you like then order the ones you like the next time. The mushroom and the fuzhou are particularly nice in my opinion. I tried 3 different stalls they taste almost the same to me. (For a gauge, I ate about 2.5 bowls. Much better than Danshui.)

Pro-tip: Make it a day trip that’s NOT A WEEKEND. Jiufen food stalls open early at 9AM-11AM, then you can go Shifen to write your wishes on a hot air lantern that floats in the sky, then go to Jiufen to have a walk, and end the night with KEELUNG’S MIAOKOU NIGHT MARKET!

jiufen map_001

KEELUNG’S MIAOKOU NIGHT MARKET (基隆 廟口夜市)

Depending on where you start off, you might be at the tail of the night market, but where you want to go is directly in front of the temple. (Which we totally did not take photos of, because we were too distracted by the food.) You’ll know you got to the right place when you see the stalls lined up, with the same type of signs, and they are numbered.

Numbered
Stall 31. 天一香魯肉飯 lu rou fan! The rice is not as great as Jinfeng, but the meat, eggs and the sauce is good. Try eating the egg yolk with the rice and meat, lovely! Out of the three we tried this is one of the better two. THIS IS OPEN 24 HOURS I KID YOU NOT.
Stall 41. 泡泡冰 I don’t know how to describe this, but you can just ask for the most famous flavour, it’s peanut and some kind of nut. Basically it’s a well blended peanut ice cream that’s really smooth. It’s like the dragon beard candy but very fine, and not too sweet. I liked this quite a bit.
Stall 70. We did try the crab claws that looked like they were cooked like chili crab. I thought the taste was a similar kind of chili crab sauce, but Taiwan style. Quite nice I must say.
Stall 5. 螃蟹羹 This soup dish basically has shark fin’s soup texture but instead it’s made of crab. I didn’t particularly like it, but it has everything my wife likes. Crab, egg, golden mushroom, mushroom, huat chai.
Stall 58. There’s also this nutritious sandwich (營養三明治) which was almost like what the uncle at miaokou sold. But I really liked the one at miaokou so this was not so good in my opinion.
Stall 15. Ngoh hiong chicken – We did not try this so we’ll try it next time!
Stall 16. Tempura – We did not try this so we’ll try it next time!
Stall 20. Pig intestine’s soup – We did not try this so we’ll try it next time!
Stall 21. Pork ribs rice – We did not try this so we’ll try it next time!

Rest of the non numbered stalls (I think?)
1. 基隆廟口愛四路第十攤的晚場三明治『炭烤三明治』
At the end of the numbered stalls there’s a toasted bread stall that’s just beside, it doesn’t have a number as far as I recall. But they toast the bread like how yakun would do it. This one can eat.
2. This place is also rather famous for seafood. I was told not to try the expensive butter crabs, man, you know you’re there when it feels like newton circus. I didn’t try it, but I would think given the standard of miaokou, it shouldn’t be bad at all.

Pro-tip: This night market closes late, like 12-1AM for most stalls!

Japanese

Say not cold, not cold, everyone wear until so many layers! With yewchong and meimei!

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Yi wei wu (乙味屋) – My old and trusty school mates (Yewchong and Meimei) bought me to this quiet japanese place in the middle of nowhere. What’s popular was their beef which was quite well cooked, the chicken wings with some stuffing, and the best there was the flat fish aburi. Yes, yes, I know aburi right. I cannot say how surprised I was, since I’ve never really eaten flat fish in japanese cuisine, there was so much fish oil in it that it tasted like cod to me, and the rice, oh my god, just the right amount of rice to go with it! That shit melts in your mouth!

比目魚 flatfish aburi that tastes extremely oily, feels like melt in your mouth cod. Most excellent with the rice.

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I have been told that Addiction (上引水產) is Tsukiji 2, and it’s the best you can get for fresh Japanese seafood. I wanted to go there but I decided if I actually went there, my stomach space would be all wasted on one location so I decided to skip that. I have been ASSURED of the quality several times, so next time I’ll drop by!

Meimei also recommended me to try the unagi rice at Fei qian wu (肥前屋). The queue was freaking long when I got there for lunch. Boy. I’ve not seen a queue longer than Teppei for a long time. This store moves very fast, I think there’s at least 50+ seats inside, and there’s lots of locals and Japanese folks there too. Highly recommended for the extremely taste vs price value.

The queue at 肥前屋. Famous for unagi rice. Just order the small one! Most excellent taste over value!

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Tamsui/Danshui (淡水)

I can tell you honestly tell you that at this point in time, ah gei (阿給) is an acquired taste. I only ate it because it was on my must try list. There’s also the iron egg, which I feel was just a super braised egg. Super in the sense that it was very braised till it’s black and hard, not that it tasted super to me.

Yeap, and that’s about it. Most people go to the wharf to see the beautiful sunset. I am also assured that the sunset is fantastico, just we were unlucky it was really cloudy that day. We were so disappointed that we went back to the same steamboat place that Jeric bought us to the other day. What a lifesaver, totally made up for the gloomy weather!

Pro-tip: Remember to check the weather forecast and sunset timing before you go!

Mala Hotpot (麻辣火鍋)

Man Tang Hong (滿堂紅頂級麻辣鴛鴦鍋)
If you know me, you’ll know how much I dislike eating hotpot. My singer friend, Jeric (handsome), bought us to this mala steamboat place and recommended that we should have one side mala, the other side milk. I was like what? Milk? Are you kidding me? What’s this you’ve been smoking in Taipei? We’ll just go with some plain soup man.

It’s an all you can eat alacarte buffet place. Just follow everything on this menu and you won’t go wrong. The beef omg. The pork omg. There’s this technique Jeric taught us too, aparrently you have to soak the Prince instant noodles in the mala side, take it up and eat it right away when it’s done. (Just like cooking regular instant noodles, but it sucks up all the mala and it’s quite the delight!)

Let me tell you how great this place was. We went there twice. The second time we were there, we tried the milk base. And we were like, oh my god, what is this butter taste running through the veins on our tongue!? Turns out that the base was white, I’m sure it had some portion of milk in it, but it tastes buttery. You’ll probably die young if you eat more than a few times a month.

Pro-tip: Add some chill, vinegar, soya sauce, garlic and a dash of grated radish for your dipping sauce. Dipping your meat in this sauce will give you a slightly tingly taste on your tongue. I don’t know why but it’s great!

Bonus: Here’s a photo of handsome Jeric and I.

They say if you eat steamboat in taipei you'll see handsome men!!!

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mala menu_001-R

Soya bean milk and dough fritter (豆漿油条)

Yong He (永和豆漿大王) – At Xi men ding’s yong he, we had the steamed bun mantou, the foldover (that tastes like a chinese roti prata), the youtiao, and the xiao long bao. It’s pretty normal I must say, and I haven’t eaten the yong he in Singapore for at least 10 years. I would think it’s just slightly better?

Fu Hang (阜杭豆漿) – I only went here because Jeric tells me they sell out by 2pm. Something that opens at 5:30AM and sells out by 12pm with a long queue? I’M THERE BABY.

The aunties at the counter can take orders in Japanese and they’re friendly!

The fold over wrap is the regular type, but you can add youtiao to it. This is nothing spectacular, entirely skippable. They sell soya bean milk in the regular version (sweet), and the salty version that’s warm. The salty version is a little like soyabean curd with youtiao in it, it somewhat feels and tastes like chawanmushi to me. Can try. The youtiao and the soybean drink are the stars of the show. I don’t know how they do it, but the youtiao was crunchy after half an hour or so of bringing it back to the hotel. You dip it into the soybean, it’s still crunchy!

Pro-tip: The queue starts at 5:30AM, be prepared to queue at least 90 minutes on a sunday if you reach there by 8AM.

Pastries

Chia Te (佳德鳳梨酥) – Silly name I know, laopo bing is rather meh. I kind of like the pineapple tarts, so I bought 6 boxes of 12 to give. There’s only one store in the whole of taipei and the queue starts at 7:30AM. I know, I was there on a Sunday morning. Everyone rushes straight to the counter to make their order. I thought their sponge cake was rather excellent too.

Yu Zhen Xin (裕珍馨) – I’ve not tried the pineapple tarts here, but I’m sure it’s pretty good too. Their milk cakes are really very nice. They sell this at the airport and they restock at around 12-1PM? Excellent last minute gifting choice.

Chia Te (佳德鳳梨酥) pineapple tarts and Yu Zhen Xin (裕珍馨) milk cakes. (I think)

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KTV

What is taipei without going to the KTV? They are professional, the rooms are of the premium partyworld standard before it all went to the drain, there’s a standing mike. One thing that I must say, the toilets are horrible with the people puking in there. Jeric says that if you hang out there long enough you’ll see celebs with their friends. KTV opens all the way till the morning I think.

yang food / night market / taipei /

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