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Hidden good food in Taiwan that you probably missed out4/25/2015
Think of this: there's so many kinds of food in Taiwan, it's impossible for you to try...
Think of this: there's so many kinds of food in Taiwan, it's impossible for you to try them all in one single trip. I've been to Taiwan three times and each time, I get to try different local dishes. In this #ScootingTaiwan trip in particular, I got to try out food from other parts of Taiwan that most tourists do not know of. Eager to find out what they are? Let's check them out!
Farmer Zhan, the owner of Monster Loquat Farm (怪兽枇杷), is proud to own the only farm in TaiChung that grows Loquat larger than their usual sizes. He shared with us many tips to pick and handle the fragile yet juicy loquats right after harvesting them. We also get to harvest them ourselves on the spot!
Loquats are common in Taiwan, but big juicy ones like the one he is holding are rare to find. If you happen to be in Taichung, you should totally drop by and buy a box or two from him. If you're in a big group, he also delivers the loquats to your hotel on the last night so that you can bring them home. Good service!
Turns out farmer Zhan is a really nice and friendly old man who loves to crack joke with us. Fruit picking and learning about loquats was so much more interesting with his funny expressions.
And here's me snipping off the loquats!
Loquats are all wrapped in a paper bag to prevent pests and bugs from feeding on them.
Located around the vicinity was Sweet Charm Farm Winery (石围墙酒庄), where we gathered around for some plum wine tasting. The ladyboss was really nice to let us try almost all flavours that they have, which having me ended up getting two fruit vinegars and one plum wine! They were not only yummy and appetising, but really affordable too.
Here's the two wines that I bought home. They were only NT300 or so per bottle!
In case you are wondering if you can bring them home, I checked in these two bottles (275ml each) and one 200ml in my luggage, and all was well! Just make sure you have clothes to cushion the bottles. The bottles come in good quality carton boxes as well.
The bottle on the most right (transparent) has 70% alcohol content, crazy much!!
The winery also serves food, and it did set the standard of our meals very high considering it was only our first official meal in TW. This spread of Hakka meal was a tad salty, like how the cuisine originally is, but it definitely was tasty. Cooked mostly with ingredients like preserved vegetables and marinated meat, we really had a great time trying out different food dishes.
Different parts of pig intestines.
Something that resembles our ang ku kueh in Singapore, this desert is wrapped with something both sweet and salty. Can't really tell what is it, but overall it's much stickier and saltier - a unique blend indeed!
We all know salt is not good our health, but we can surely make it better by using organic salt as the main ingredient. The second day's lunch at 鹽鄉民宿 (Salt House) was equally satisfying with lots of fresh seafood as the main highlights, since we are located near the coastline.
Milk fish is one of their local specialty, so we obviously could not give it a miss. Known to be easily deboned and left with juicy thick flesh, the milk fish can be made in fried fish or fish soup - both were delicious!
Seafood like sea clams and oysters were VERY fresh as well, they taste just like ocean.
It was my first time trying pork blood and.... ok probably my last too -.-"
Pork blood was prepared with pig intestines again. Taiwanese really love animal organs (edible of course) as side dishes!
Our tour guide also brought us to 周氏蝦捲 (Prawn Roll) for their famous prawn rolls (did I just repeat myself?). If you're not a fan of prawns or fried food, they have small little eateries around the vicinity as well.
Address: No. 125號, Anping Road, Anping District, Tainan City, Taiwan 708
There are stalls nearby selling Lu Rou Fan too!
When it was time for night markets, we visited Da Dong Ye Shi (大东夜市) in Tainan.
One of the stalls really worth mentioning is this:
It's just omelette, filled with melted mozarella cheese and fish roes (fish eggs) and topped with even more fish roes and fish flakes. How can this be missed?! It can be found in Raohe Ye Shi as well, you can read my previous travelogue here!
Something more traditional is definitely the Seasoned Floor Tea (面茶). I must say I wasn't use to this, since it was a little too gooey and thick. But the tip that the boss shared really made a huge difference. He told us to add in freshly brewed coffee into the "gooey tea" and it turned out great!
Boss from Dong Hua Seasoned Flour Tea(Mush)
One of the local dish that you have to try before you tell someone you've been to Lugang, Changhua.
In the same Lugang Street, we chanced upon the stall selling Taro/Yam balls and Meat balls. Fans of taro will surely love this, but make sure you add some chilli sauce to spice it up! And guess what, it's only NT50 per bowl!
Wax Apple farm: 東蓮霧雄ㄟ黑金剛農場
For fruit lovers, especially Jambus (from malaysia), try to drop by one of the most famous Wax Apple farms in Pingtung! The wax apples here are much larger, hence the direct translation from mandarin: King kong wax apples (hahaha).
The wax apples here are definitely much larger and juicier than anywhere else! ;)
For fresh seafood (no joke on this), head to 阿利海產餐廳 for their famous 曼波魚 (mola mola) and fresh sashimi. Address: 屏東縣恆春鎮大光里砂尾路20-1號
|曼波魚, mola mola|
While we were at Kenting Street, we chanced upon this squid stall. Being a spice lover myself, I made sure I didn’t miss out on their famous thai spiced squid and it was delectable! Freshly retrieved from hot boiling oil and dressed in thai spice powder, no wonder it’s so famous along Kenting Street.
The dishes here at Sen Wu Farm 台南仙湖休闲农场 are nothing special in particular, but I would still like to mention them because all main ingredients are from the farm itself! The vegetables, meat and even tea leaves are taken from the farm, so the lunch turned out really fresh and yummy.
|And this plate of fried vegetables, something like your tempura, was our favourite. There was nothing left on the plate by the time we were done.|
Plucking cherry tomatoes on the way
台南仙湖休閒農場 Fruit and Vegetable Farm
Next recommendation is Du Xiao Yue (度小月) to try out their Tainan's famous noodles 担仔面.
Servings are perfect, small and tasty. If you really like this, you can call for another bowl. If not, try out their delicious side dishes to enjoy as many kinds of food here at Du Xiao Yue.
Another famous local delights here at Lugang, Changhua that you must not miss is the A-Zen Steamed Bun (阿振肉包). Comes in many variety and types, they are very well liked by the locals here. In fact, we didn't spot any tourists!
A-Zen Steamed Bun (阿振肉包).
Few minutes walk away you'll find another eatery that is packed with the locals.
Yong Xiang Snacks 永香民俗小吃(鹿港龍山寺旁).
Address: 505, Taiwan, 彰化縣鹿港鎮金門街
Their signature: Prawn and meat balls noodles.
Finally, if you happen to be in Taipei, drop by Nanmen Market (南門市場), one of the oldest public traditional markets there. It's three-storeys high, and it's basically something like our wet markets in Singapore. It's a great experience to be here and find yourself lots of dry food here. They can be easily brought home too!
AND just right being Nanmen Market (南門市場) is the BEST LU ROU FAN SHOP EVER.
I am not kidding you. This plain looking box of rice surely doesn't look good and appetising but it's the best lu rou fan I've ever tried. And it's only NT40 for a box? How I wish we have this in Singapore.
Jin Feng Lu Rou Fan (金峰滷肉飯)
10 Roosevelt Road, Section 1
If you don't already know, Shilin Night Market (士林夜市) has a basement level known to be the food heaven. It a whole level of food stalls and they are all very similar. We picked the one that has the most people and got ourselves some local delights like smelly tofu, lu rou fan (yes again but not as good as the previously mentioned one) and oyster omelette!
And of course, many mobile food stalls like the following are common along the Ximending 西門町 street. You can read my Xi Men Ding travelogue dated a while back.
Remember to go for Ah Zong Mian Xian 阿宗麵線 when you're at Xi Men Ding!! It's a must-have.
Alright, that wraps up my post on the different food that I tried in my third trip to Taiwan! For the shopping tips in Taiwan and the lifestyle habits, you may check out Alene's and Jac's posts!
A big thank you to Scoot Airline and Taiwan Tourism Bureau Singapore for organizing this trip!
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