Monday, May 9, 2011

Taiwanese Street Food around Taipei Main Station

Months before our much-awaited trip to Taiwan, I asked my Taiwanese friend to give me food tips like the must-try restaurants and dishes to look out for. Her reply was simple: "Well for me, you can find the yummiest things on the street and they're all very cheap!" She said this with her Taiwanese husband nodding beside her. Paul was relieved, this means we can travel on a smaller budget and can still manage to eat, eat and eat.

One of the main things that I love about our hotel -- Caesar Park Hotel is its amazing location. Walk out the side door of the hotel and you'll come face to face with street after street of food kiosks! We later found out that there are a number of schools within the area thus a lot of small eateries and milk tea shops decided to open here. Our hunger pangs were immediately attended to with just a few steps needed to get to the nearest stall.

fanhuan taipei taiwan

On our second morning in Taiwan, we decided to have breakfast within the area. Our first stop was a stall managed by a young lady who's busy creating rice balls filled with deep-fried dough (yeow tiao), pork floss (ma hu) and some crunchy veggies that we are not sure what those exactly were.


fanhuan taipei taiwan

It was only when I met my aunt and told her how much I liked it that she told me that the rice ball is called Fan Huan and you can actually customized the filling depending on your taste but since I can hardly converse with the Fan Huan lady, I just went with her recommended filling. I love this so much that I had this for two mornings in a row.

share tea taipei taiwan

While enjoying our Fan Huan, I also had a cup of Milk Tea from a store that has been getting a lot of raves from fellow bloggers namely Richard and Rowena. I'm happy that Share Tea has English translation in their menu making it easy for Pan and I to choose our order. Of course, we both got our favorite Hokkaido Milk Tea.

share tea taipei taiwan

We were so used to the set-up here in Manila where they automatically add pearls to your milk tea. It was only after we got our cups that we realized that we should have requested for this while ordering. I love how milky the drink was that it had zero powdered bits. However, just like Serenitea, the tea was a tad too strong for my hyper-acidity stomach that I had to drink a lot of water to neutralize the acids inside after.

scallion cake taipei taiwan

After a long day of shopping and eating outside on our second day, we ended it with a feast back at the hotel. We visited the neighborhood again and found this stall selling Scallion Pancake. Oh I love Taiwanese scallion (spring onion) pancake and unlike here where we enjoy it dry, in Taipei they add this delicious sweet sauce that goes perfectly well with your savory thin pancake. It's very affordable too! Only NT30 for two huge pancakes that's good for the three of us! What a steal! :)

radish cake taipei taiwan

On our third and last day in Taiwan, my sister and I woke up early to visit the neighborhood again to buy breakfast. My sister loves Radish Cake and she really couldn't help but have radish cake for breakfast after seeing a stall near my favorite Fan huan stall selling this. We immediately assumed that it's really good seeing the growing line of customers patiently waiting for their own bag of radish cake. I tried a piece and I agree, it was delicious! It has the right amount of bite which was not too hard nor was it soggy. It was so good that we finished it in no time.

A visit to Taiwan is also not complete without enjoying their fresh fruits. Since I was a little girl, I remember my grandpa coming home with boxes of Taiwan Guava and a huge bottle of fruit powder for us to enjoy. My mom loves this! She would clean the guava, cut out the seeds and dip the fruit into the powder before taking a bite. Growing up, I continue to enjoy this fruit even more. I'm lucky that my in-laws always has a steady supply of guava and fruit powder at home too so I can enjoy this whenever I get to visit them as well.

guava taipei taiwan

This was my breakfast together with the Fan Huan on my last day in Taipei. I spotted a lady pushing a big fruit cart filled with all the fruits Taiwan is known for -- guava, macopa and a lot more! I zeroed in on the guava and bought myself a bag sprinkled with fruit powder. Ohhh it was so refreshing and good! I'm glad that I was lucky to grab a couple of bags of fruit powder before flying back home.

preso tea taipei taiwan

Lastly, we had another round of Milk Tea on our last day. This time it's from the stall across Share Tea -- Preso Tea! We noticed the bright green signage on our first day but decided to try other milk tea brands first. This time I got Yakult Green Tea, also another favorite from Serenitea. It tasted exactly the same only it costs just about half the price that Serenitea is charging here in Manila. Milk teas are so affordable in Taiwan! A cup ranges from NT35-NT50 only.

My friend was right, street eating in Taiwan is loads of fun and there's really no need to head to their swanky restaurants to enjoy good food. All you have to do is to walk and to keep your eyes open for all the yummy food being offered in almost every street.

How to get there:
Take the MRT and head to the Taiwan Main Station. Exit via Caesar Park Hotel and walk towards the hotel. These food streets are located near Caesar Park Hotel, K-Mall and Shin Kong Mistukoshi.

*photos are taken using a Canon S95

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