What is a trip to Taiwan without buying any snacks back for your friends and relatives? I know many people would frequent ChiaTe for the favourites like pineapple tarts and perhaps cranberry tarts as well. But I came across this shop in Ximending, not just they make you feel at home with their friendly approach, they are offering free flow sampling as long as you’re in their shop! I seriously dunno if it’s because they know me or found me familiar but I saw other customers sampling as well! Best of all, they actually work with the neighbouring hotels and provide delivery services before your flight back! Reason is that they have some items like cheesecakes and green bean cakes which have to be refrigerated. Hence they will pack ready for you just before your flight in foam boxes with ice packs inside.
The shopping experience in this shop is a hundred times better than that of ChiaTe… they are really damn cocky! I was in their shop for a good 10 mins before realizing that I had to self-serve myself and no tasting! You have to buy a piece to taste it yourself! Worse still, traffic is really bad there and parking is rare. Unlike where 港记 is, parking is ample!
Taste: Must buys are the cheesecake, green bean cake, sun cake (lovely milky taste to it), crispy paper pork, pineapple tarts. I find the stuff here taste better than ChiaTe’s… You guys gotta try it yourself to know!
Price: Cheaper than ChiaTe’s!
RTE: Yes definitely will be back to buy more supplies!
Location: 台北市漢中街6號之2. Tel: 02-2375-1967. Opens daily from 09:30 – 22:00. They have 2 more outlets, check out their website for more info http://www.twkongkee.com.tw.
This is a little stall in between some fashion shops in one of the streets of Ximending. What caught my eye was the colorful display as well as the big portions of fillings inside these Japanese pancakes. So I went to the stall and chatted with the lady boss. She was nice enough to introduce me the 12 flavours they have, and also learnt that that was the only stall they have (maybe more by now). These are great snacks for ladies who are in between their shopping sprees and will definitely be charged up again to carry on!
Taste: Pretty awesome. Like I said, it’s a damn good snack served piping hot! You can even buy some back to hotel for brekkie the next day!
Portion: Slightly above average
Price: Only TWD15 or TWD20 (S$0.60-0.80)
Location: 台北市中华路一段114巷19号. Tel: 0931-850589. Opens daily from 1100-2200hrs.
Friends who frequent Taipei will know this name. In direct translation is Beard Zhang. This is not a pub or an attraction. It’s actually a well known economical rice value packs takeaways (便当), which is almost everywhere in Taipei… and expanding outwards. Came highly recommended by a friend (Thanks Elaine!), so I had to try this on my 2nd day in Taipei! This is great for those stuck in the hotel rooms cos of bad weather or too lazy to go out. 🙂 They started from just doing these value packs and now they have dishes so you can just call and order, and your lunch or dinner can be settled.
Taste: Too many options to choose from. Tasted quite good but quite oily. Best option when you just wanna chill out in your hotel.
Price: Very affordable. See pic. But min order is TWD$300.
RTE: Yes! Wanna try the rest of the other rice packs!
Went to Kunming Street as I was recommended the best beef noodles at 牛店 which is just across from this shop that I’m writing about but they do not open in the afternoon after 2.30pm and reopens only at 5.30pm. I guess their business must be damn good cos they were busy preparing for that night’s business. Hence no choice, I crossed the street and spotted another beef noodles shop. The deco looks neat and decent and the boss of the place warmly welcomed us to take a seat upstairs after we placed our orders.
Taste: Pretty good I must say. Specially made broth from gouqizi, vegetables and chicken, boiled for hours. Beef slices were tender and melts in your mouth. Noodles are also specially made for the shop. The side dishes of beancurd and eggs are nice too!
Price: TWD140 per bowl. A lot cheaper than the popular ones which starts from TWD180 onwards…
RTE: Maybe if I’m around the area but then again, there are so many food places in Taipei… and only 1 stomach… ;P
Location: No. 134-2 Kunming Street, Wanhua District, Taipei City 108. Tel: (02)2331-0397. Opens daily from 1100-2200hrs.
This is the first Taiwanese food that I ate when I was in Taipei. It’s a common snack in Taipei and this one has 3 outlets in Taipei alone… maybe more now :). 大肠包小肠 literally means big sausage wrap small sausage… But it’s actually a pork sausage wrapped with a sausage-shaped glutinous rice thingy.
I followed the BBQ aroma from just outside the ground floor of my hotel, and found this little stall in the middle of a small alley. The stall owner boast the sausages are made from wild boars from Wulai (乌来) which is several miles south of Taipei. Claims to be aboriginal food also but I doubt it and ruled it as more of a gimmick than anything else. I’m a fan of Taiwanese sausages so I ordered one with the black pepper topping option.
Taste: The Taiwanese sausages back home in Singapore taste different from the ones in Taiwan. The rice is tasteless but sausage is pretty ok.
Portion: Quite generous with the toppings.
Price: TWD50 for one sausage with the rice roll. Buy 10 get 1 free. Sausage only is TWD35 each, buy 3 for TWD100.
RTE: It’s a snack, so easy to just walk past, grab one and gobble down!
Ok I know this has been dragging for some time and finally I’m getting to write about the food I tried when I was in Taipei.
This So Free Wood Fired Pizza place came to me as a surprise actually. I was walking around Ximending looking around for a place to have something light, then this little restaurant caught my eye. Not because of the custom built big stone oven that is right at the counter in front of the shop, but also the crowd that is patronizing the restaurant at a weird timing of 3 to 4pm… So I decided to check out what they offer on their menu.
According to the manager in charge of that Ximen outlet, he told me the restaurant serves only organic vegetarian pizzas and only pizzas in one standard 8″ size. Best thing is, all the pizza bases and sauces are made in house.! With that I chose the Pesto Mushroom Pizza, and documented the following:
Rating: 5/5. For its freshness, originality and great taste!
Taste: Really nice and fresh! Love it!
Price: Damn I really can’t remember but price is definitely very affordable (below SGD$10)
RTE: Definitely! Hope to be back in Taipei soon!
Location: 台北市万华区西宁南路50巷1号 Tel: (02) 2314-6225 Opens daily from 1200-2200hrs.
eatwithroy will be heading to Taipei in Taiwan soon for the first time and will be featuring as many street food as possible while being there for a week. We’ve heard about it, we’ve read about it, we’ve seen them on tv, but how good they are, we’ll have to try these stalls out ourselves right?
So if you know any street or small stalls (no big restaurants or big famous chains) that you reckon is very good and should be brought to the limelight, please email us at email@example.com or share it here with the other friends of eatwithroy.com! The best and first recommended entry that is so awesome that Big Roy will float after trying it, will get a nice souvenir from Taiwan, specially chosen by Big Roy himself.
We will be putting up in Ximending, will be heading to Shilin Night Market and will probably sneak a day to Hualien. So please send in your recommendations now as we have only one week left to our flight! 🙂
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