Saturday, March 9, 2019

Taipei Foodtrip

Our main objective in Taipei was to eat, eat, and eat.

Mala Hotpot
Several branches in Taipei

As soon as we arrived in rainy Taipei, our first goal was to stuff our face with hot pot. To the nearest Mala Hot Pot we went (there are two branches in Ximending, and more around Taipei).

Mala Hot Pot serves all you can eat hot pot. Choose from 11 choices of meat, and dozens and dozens of hot pot ingredients: seafood balls, tofu, vegetables, mushrooms, noodles, etc. Dump it all in your soup base of choice (choose two out of five soup base options). Don't forget to make your own dipping sauce from more than a dozen condiments. Start eating, but leave room for drinks (juice, soda, beer, wine, tea, milk tea), desserts (cakes, pastries, jellies, fruits), and ice cream (Haagen-Dazs and Movenpick ice cream!!!)

Eating at Mala Hot Pot costs 598 NTD for lunch / 698 NTD for dinner, plus 10% service charge. The all you can eat hot pot is good for two hours only. Before the two hours is up, I am sure you will be bursting at the be sure to wear loose clothes when eating here!

We loved Mala Hot Pot so much—the best parts for me were the hot pot and the Movenpick ice cream (Movenpick ice cream in Cebu is so expensive!)—that we ate here twice!

Our hot pot!

Din Tai Fung, a Michelin star restaurant, originated in Taiwan. And a visit to Taiwan would never be complete without dining there (a warning, Din Tai Fung is a bit on the expensive side). Not to miss is their xiao long bao. But everything else is also worth every New Taiwan Dollar.

Sweet and sour pork spare ribs 250 NTD
Pork xiao long bao 220 NTD

Steamed shrimp and pork dumplings 270 NTD

House special spicy shrimp and pork wontons 180 NTD

Stir fried spinach 190 NTD

Shrimp and shredded pork fried rice 290 NTD

Braised beef noodle soup 260 NTD

Milk Tea

Pearl Milk Tea was invented in Taiwan and it's no wonder there are so many milk tea shops around. Choosing one will give you a headache. But if you want pearl milk tea from the one who invented it, head on to Chun Shui Tang. Chun Shui Tang's first store is in Taichung City, but it also has several branches around Taipei and we got to taste this original drink from their shop in the same building as the National Concert Hall, located in NTCH Arts Plaza (where Chiang Kai Shek Memorial Hall also is). 160 NTD for a medium sized pearl milk tea is quite expensive for me, but now I can say I have tried pearl milk tea from its inventor.

Pearl Milk Tea (medium) from Chun Shui Tang

Tiger Sugar was quite a new and popular milk tea player at the time and when my friend and I stumbled upon a shop in Ximending without any queue, I had to try out their best seller: Brown Sugar Milk with Cream Mousse (55 NTD). No wonder it's a best seller. It was so good!

Brown Sugar Milk with Cream Mousse from Tiger Sugar

Wangji Fucheng Zongzi
No. 84 Xining Road, Wanhua District, Taipei City

Zongzi is a large dumpling made of rice and fillings and wrapped in a leaf (some Chinese restaurants in the Philippines also have this in their menu as "machang"). During our historic guided tour, we asked our guide for suggestions for a snack, and she pointed us to Wangji Fucheng Zongzi 王記府城肉粽 (the store sign is in Chinese), behind The Red House, for some zongzi. They have three kinds of zongzi: pork (65NTD), peanut (50 NTD), red bean (50 NTD). We tried their specialty, which is the pork rice dumpling, and ended up having a meal, not a snack. So filling!


Jin Feng
No. 10 Section 1, Roosevelt Road, Zhongzheng District, Taipei City

A local eatery our guide suggested we try for lunch was Jin Feng 金峰魯肉飯. And, man, was it popular: there was a long line of hungry locals. We we were very hungry, but we toughed it out and waited. Jin Feng's specialty is braised pork rice (70 NTD). But we waited so long, of course we ordered more than just the braised pork rice! (They have an English menu, but the paper where you have to write your order is in Chinese, but you can ask help from their staff.) It was worth the wait!

Lunch for four at Jin Feng

Tian Tian Li
32 Hanzhong Street, Wanhua District, Taipei City

I believe a queue of locals indicates that the place is good. The menu board that faces the street was all in Chinese but it did not deter us from having dinner there. When my friend and I were finally seated, we asked for an English menu (they had one! Woohoo!) and settled on four things: marinated meat rice (small, 30 NTD), marinated meat rice with egg (large, 40 NTD), noodle soup (40 NTD), and turnip cake (40 NTD).

The queue outside Tiantian Li

Clockwise from bottom: marinated meat rice, marinated meat rice with egg, noodle soup, and turnip cake

Raohe Night Market
Raohe Street, Songshan District, Taipei City

Night Markets are popular in Taiwan. We chose Raohe Night Market for a little Michelin recommended food trip. What took us by surprise in Raohe Night Market was the crowd: it was so dense! My friends and I had to walk close together lest one of us get lost in the crowd. And we also had to double our effort to find the stalls we were looking for. We only found three of the five Michelin recommended food: Fuzhou Black Pepper Bun (50 NTD), Dong Fat Hao's oh-ah mee sua or oyster vermicelli (65 NTD), and ma shu bao bao or mochi with choice of crushed peanuts, sugar, or black sesame (40 NTD).

Fuzhou black pepper bun

Dong Fat Hao's oh-ah mee sua

Ma shu bao bao stall

Ma shu bao bao

This article is now available as a mobile app. Go to GPSmyCity to download the app for GPS-assisted travel directions to the attractions featured in this article.

Taipei 2019
Taipei Accommodation: Haozhan Hotel
Taoyuan Airport MRT
Taipei Foodtrip (you're here!)
Klook Activities for Taipei: Maokong Gondola, Taipei Guided Walking Tour
Taiwanese Snacks I Love
Taipei 2019: Itinerary and Expenses

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