Wednesday, 2 September 2009

Food Journey #11 - Food in Taipei

Taipei snacks are definitely delicious but, in general, the food in Taipei is bloody marvellous! Just look at all the photos which I took on this trip. No idea where to start the review but considering I was in Taipei for 3 days only,
check out my recommended places in Taipei for this!
Wing Kong Beef Noodle 永康牛肉麵
Was highly recommended to visit this small noodle shop near Gold Mountain Road (金山街) and it is infamous for its Beef. You name any part of the cow, they will serve it in this shop.
For starters, we ordered the Soy Sauce mix with Beef Tendon and it was very delicious. The texture of the beef tendon is very chewy and the pairing with the soy sauce was perfect. Since the highlight of this restaurant is beef therefore we tried out the Stewed Beef & Tendon Noodles (Spicy) and regular Beef Noodles with Plain Broth. The beef was so delicious that I ended up eating most of the beef in both sets of noodles. However, slight disapointment was the noodles and it just wasnt exciting.
If you are a carnivore especially towards beef, highly recommended to visit this place but otherside, nothing else very much stands out in this restaurant. My additional advice is that do not order Spicy Red Oil Won Ton (紅油炒手) from this place as I couldnt taste a single flavour of spicyness and my mouth was littered with Peanut Butter sauce which was revolting. For a small noodle shop, spending around HKD300 for 4 people is considered to be extremely expensive!!
Food Quality (5* the highest): *** Price for lunch (5$ = very expensive): $$$$$
Tripod King (鼎王麻辣鍋)
If you like spicy Sze Chuan Spicy Hot Pot, this is the talk of the town. Unlike Din Tai Fung (see review below), it tooks us 5 weeks to reserve a table and that we had to have dinner at 1730pm just for this. Checked it out to see what the fuss was about and I can see why it requires such advance booking.
Our hot pot broth was medium spiced but it was very flavourful, not "too"spicy and it was littered with fresh To-Fu and (if you are not an internal organ fan, please turn away) congelated Pig's Blood. What was special was that it was an unlimited refill on the broth, tofu and congelated Pig's Blood throughout dinner and it was very filling indeed.
*The Beef & Lamb was very flavourful but too bad, they do not serve the local beef from Hong Kong (本地肥牛) or else it would have been more special.
*The selection of Meat & Fish Balls (Pork, Prawn, Squid, Beef) was very delicious indeed and much much better than the ones you can get in Hot Pot places in Hong Kong.
*The Crab roe with crab meat appeared in a small bamboo cone and that was also a treat for the evening. Not only did the crab meat tasted actually like crab but the crab roe inside the crab meat was also very tasty indeed.
Overall, extremely pleasant dining experience in Tripod King and can see why it was worth the wait. Downside is that their tea kettle is extremely heavy to be lifted to pour tea. Also, you will also begin to notice that the number of beers which one consumes during this dinner is uncountable. Highly recommended venue in Taipei!
Food Quality (5* the highest): ****
Price for lunch (5$ = very expensive): $$$
Din Tai Fung on Chung Xsiao East Road (鼎泰豐)
Quite possibly Taiwan's signature restaurant, so famous that it has signages inside the subway station point out the direction of this particular restaurant. Tourist hotspot and required 3 weeks in advance for this table booking. Very famous for their dumplings, Chinese Buns, Chinese Noodles and dumplings. My personal favourite dish in Din Tai Fung is their Drunken Chicken (醉雞), texture of the chicken tastes like an organic chicken and very sweet tender + much much better than the chicken you can find in Hong Kong. The Spicy Red Oil Won Ton (紅油炒手) is also a definite treat.
Do try out this place but my advice is to book in advance!
Food Quality (5* the highest): **** Price for lunch (5$ = very expensive): $$
Check out on my next posting soon on the savoury desserts & bakery in Taipei!!!!

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