Taiwan’s food scene is now exploding with varied and brand new cuisines, chefs are winning numerous awards and Taipei is full of up and coming hot spots serving amazing cuisines to the competition from Hong Kong and even Singapore and Tokyo.
Fusion taken very seriously!
The Taiwanese really know what fusion is all about, not just combining a donut with a croissant but there’s more to it. The Chinese, Japanese, Dutch, Spanish and Portuguese have all arrived here and their foods were combined with the local flavors to create a pure hybrid cuisine. Experimenters will find Taiwan full of strange food; they will love eating here and fresh sea food is always available.
The Must have dishes:
- Xiaolongbao: These delicate pork dumplings are filled with soup broth and steamed. Be careful about the scalding soup that may squirt out upon your first bite. These are originally from Shanghai.
- Nio Rou Mian: Taipei’s staple dish consists of braised beef brisket and bokchoy, in clear delicious broth over egg noodles. This is considered to be an amazing jet lag cure.
- Danzai noodles: In a clear shrimp broth,steaming noodles with pork and an egg.
- Gua Bao: Tasty pork belly sandwiches, with peanut powder, pickles and cilantro served on a steamed white bun.
If you dare to have them!
- Chou Dofu: You can smell the unpleasant aroma of fermented and deep-fried tofu from streets away. Therefore it is called ‘stinky tofu’.
- Squid:Served either deep-fried and spiced with salt and pepper, or coal-roasted. It is a local snack.
- Fried Sandworms: These sand-dwelling earthworms are usually served stir-fried with bean sprouts and needle mushrooms. They arefound in coastal areas.
- Pig Intestines: Whether it is stir-fried with pickles or steeped in vermicelli soup or deep-fried, it is inevitable that the Taiwanese would love a bit of pork offal.
- Century Eggs: Preserved eggs take on a mould-colored yoke and amber-like white when preserved in ash, clay, lime and salt. The outstanding and sharp flavor and aroma are totally unexpected.
- Oyster Omelets: A Taiwanese staple that takes the Western omelet to extremes by cooking it in pork lard and adding oysters and savory sauce thickened with potato starch.
For a perfect drink
- Pearl Milk Tea: Usually drank through a large straw, pearl milk tea is made of oolong tea, condensed milk and tapioca balls. This has been found to be strangely alluring.
- Oolong Tea: Taiwan’s tea cultivation began in the 18th century and today its most prized variety is oolong tea from the island’s high mountain areas, such as Ali Shan.
- Coffee: A surprisingly abundant coffee culture is found in Taiwan, with many street-side coffee vendors open late into the night, as well as some cafes featuring pictures on latte foam.
- Taiwanese Beer: The Island’s most interesting brew is the light Taiwan beer, a drink that goes best with salty street food. Beer nerds should head to Jolly’s; a local microbrewery. Taipei is also home to a growing craft beer landscape.