Taiwan Trip Review: 小吃 Heaven (Part 1)

Saturday, August 09, 2008 Posted by YY on 10:06 AM

This is one very important aspect in our trip - FOOD.
As we had 4 people in our travelling group, we( K, me and YH) were thinking to split the snacks into 4 portions each time, so that we can try more variety but alas~ one person was on NO MEAT DIET *wtf rite?* so we had only 3 persons' strength zzz~

Overall thoughts on Taipei food is that the food culture here is quite heavily influenced by the Japanese. Bonito flakes, dashi stock, seaweed, japanese rice are very common ingredients found in the foods we tried. Our hotel was located in Ximenting so several occasions we actually had snacks for dinner, this led to a very heaty YY and there was no liang teh in Taiwan @.@

On one of the nights when we were there, we saw this mad rush.. We were sitting on the benches in Ximenting when suddenly all the aunties/uncles selling the snacks in the middle of Ximenting walkway rushed like mad..so we looked on with the o.O? look.

Ah~ we saw why later on, cos the police came and some hooligan like uncle said loudly,"不知道哪一个他妈的报警!" This was when we realised that these street hawkers were illegal hawkers..they were so at ease selling the foods, that we thought Ximenting often has such bazaar on weekends. Later on, I asked our hualien guide (Vivien) on this, she said that these people have to sell foods to earn a living and getting fined about once a month is actually pretty common.

Now let me introduce the foods(小吃) we tried during our 9 days in Taipei...排名不分先后:
The most of the snacks introduced are all available in Ximenting itself:-

No.1: 阿宗面线

We had this silly idea of 阿宗面线 = Oyster Mee Sua, but this is not true. 阿宗面线 has pig intestines inside and tastes heavenly with chilli and vinegar. The first time eating 阿宗面线 made me went O WOW~ but the second time did not..I wonder how, I wonder why?
According to our Hualien guide, 阿宗面线 is kindda overrated with the tourists and there are many other kinds of mee sua in Taiwan itself, like some with red soup. So do give others a try as well.

No.2: 葱抓饼

This snack tastes like chewy prata along with strong taste of spring onions inside, cooked by tossing(with utensils) it over the hot plate just like roti prata! This is Yh's fav snack.

No. 3: 水果冰

Near our hotel, there is this shop called 三兄弟 that serves fruits with ice, fruit juice..etc There's this strange guy that goes "RRRAAAANNNNGGGG zai~ ..."(meaning to say leng zai, handsome guy) with his "curling" tongue pronunciation, without fail every night when we walk past. Makes us go "LOL!" everytime cos his pronunciation is not accurate XD

One fine afternoon, we finally went in and ordered a 3P 水果冰 (3P fruits + ice) O wow~ this is great for summer, with lotsa mik and fine shaven ice, not like your usual ice kachang. This is perfect for 3 pple @ NT140...abit ex compared to ice kachang but ice monster branch in Sing Plaza is much more ex -.-

Another thing to try at most of the fruit stalls is WHITE bitter gourd juice with honey. This is really perfect for the summer and there's no herbal tea in Taiwan..weird eh? So this drink really comes in handy for cooling down the system after eating so much heaty snacks.

No. 4: Beer flavour green tea!

Yes this is green tea..with beer taste minus the alcoholic effects. Really really special and available in most of the convenient stores in Taiwan. For those who like beer, please try it.

No. 5: 炭烧烤麻薯 ( charcoal grilled mochi)

Never tasted anything this good and it has got me addicted to grilled mochi ~_~
This stall operates at one corner of Ximenting and each mochi is freshly grilled over the charcoal, several flavours are available. I tried the cheese mochi which came in some nice sweet milky liquid as well..hmm duno what it is.

No.6: 饭团 (rice ball)

This 饭团 is from 永和豆浆 opposite East Dragon Hotel...one of the local breakfast items. Its very big, with lotsa stuff inside which includes egg, cai po, pork floss, crispy bits of duno-what and ham. This is a heavy duty item that can last you to the last afternoon. 饭团 is also available in convenience stores but they look are wrapped with seaweed with several flavours available like pork floss, tuna, mayo with tuna etc.. One thing to note is that their pork floss is salty, not sweet like in sg.

No.7: 卤肉饭, 炖肉饭 (braised pork rice, stewed pork rice)

These 2 items can be found all over Taiwan..just opposite our hotel there's a stall specialises in 卤肉饭, 炖肉饭. For 卤肉饭, is basically bak chor with japanese rice and the yellow pickle included..doesn't the pickle remind you of Japanese food? The bak chor is mainly made up of fats + meat for this stall but the one I tried at Jiufen was much better. The rice was perfectly cooked too. The bak chor has a tinge of sweetness due to the sauce..it maybe abit too oily for some though but that's what that makes the rice smooth to eat.

Stew pork rice was very nice according to K, cos the fats basically melt in your mouth not in your hands -.-''

No.8: 台湾香肠 (Taiwan Sausage)

How can you not try Taiwan Sausage when you visit Taiwan?? K tried this taiwan sausage that was grilled on charcoal with chocolate applied to it. Pretty interesting taste but there's not enough chocolate @_@' cos the auntie(illegal street hawker) was very very busy. On another day at Taroko Gorge, we tried rice wine sausage which was really delicious. In fact, we were attracted by the smell of taiwan sausages grilling on charcoal *slurp*

No.9: 干晖鹅肉店 (Goose meat shop)

K and I discovered this shop while we were shopping around Ximenting. We ventured into this alley and saw this stall which is still opened at 9pm, selling GOOSE MEAT! Goose meat is pretty rare in SG =) We ordered goose meat noodles and coagulated pig's blood soup since we had snacks earlier on. The goose meat tender with a smoky taste and most importantly, it was not fatty like those you normally find in SG. Soup was great with lotsa fried onions and the noodles were thin shanghai noodles..I am running out of descriptives for this post =.=''

Continue in next post...