FOOD!! A foodies’ dream is to go home and eat. Especially a Taiwanese foodie.
The people of Taiwan only knows the pleasure of shopping and eating. Food is sold every few steps- in the stalls, in the streets, in the markets; friends gather together over a meal in cafes, restaurants, and dessert shops. Most of the time the best local food in the city doesn’t come with a specific address, name, or even time, and often is revealed by word of mouth, or recently, the world of blogging. From family, friends, and bloggers I’ve again tasted the famous fried Taiwanese chicken, the best bubble tea, and the bang for your buck bento boxes. Most and often times the meals cost less than $1.00. If I ever go bankrupt, I am moving here.
Breakfast in this city starts as early as 5am and closes down by 10am, so by the time we lazily roll out of bed, it is frustrating to see most of the good ones closing down. (Note: I blame Duff almost every morning – sigh…)
There are numerous old-style breakfast options on the streets and all pouring with people on scooters waiting to grab breakfast to-go or a quick sit down- and bloggers, friends, and family all argue about the best breakfast food stalls in their neighborhood.
Some of my favorites selections are chewy glutinous rice ball filled with dried shredded pork, eggs, fried up crunchy bits, and salty preserved veggie- all sprinkled with generous black sesame seeds (picture 1). Other selections like the Chinese pita-bread with fried salty doughnuts squeezed in the middle to be dipped into sweet soy-milk (picture 2 & 3), or even the simple steamed rice pudding with meat and salty egg filling, drizzled with a sweet garlic soy sauce (last picture) are one of the many other breakfast things I can’t get enough of.
The Famous Wu Bao Cun Bakery
My favorite bread-store in Kaohsiung is the recently raved- Wu Bao Cun Bakery; the baker is famous for his sourdough that supposedly won some awards in France. His store introduced the first sourdough crust loaf, with a Taiwanese twist, by adding Chinese medicinal fruit. The lines are always out the door, and there are always people buying a bunch of loaves to mail to other friends and family in the country.
I skip the french loafs and grab his version of brioche bread filled with delicious chicken curry, and a Taiwanese version of almond croissant (picture above). I LOVE IT. The brioche isn’t too oily or exaggerated fluffy, and the croissant was densely filled with almonds with a custard filling. A genius French-Taiwanese fusion bakery. (Note: Duff wakes up early for this one)
With Japanese’s influence on Taiwan since WWII, the country has long embraced Japanese and Western cuisines as part of their own. Sushi, bento boxes, udons, sandwiches, breads, hams, spaghetti, pizza, are all part of Taiwanese cuisine. Though the Western influence mirrors more like Japanese-western than the actual food back in North America, I happily ate up all the abundance of Japanese food and fluffy delicious breads: breads adapted to brioche-like fluffy texture, filled with delicious curry or custard filling, noodles in teriyaki sauce, sushi, and awesome izakaya.
One of the best izakaya I’ve had (in the world) is just a 10 minute scenic ride away from Kaohsiung, in Qi Jing. The ambiance is unique and the food is out-of-this-world: grilled mochi covered with roasted nut powder, grilled seaweed wrapped rice balls (all pictured above), chicken wings stuffed with egg roe, fried oysters etc. Check out this Taiwanese blog for more pictures and location.
Those pictures are worth more than a thousand words. Taiwanese food is cheap, good, and everywhere. Just go with local people that knows the food scene, or else you’ll be drowned with so many selections that you either have a bad experience or the confusion will send you to McDonalds.Or check out some of my favorite blogs below and randomly choose a place that has good pictures: