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TAIPEI MUSTS

From street food to fine dining, I'm all ears! Best place for Xue Hua bing?

(No Din Tai Fung, please)

Thanks!

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  1. Come on all you Taiwanese Chowhounders - I know you're out there: let's give janixes some good recs for an unforgettable Taipei visit.

    In the meantime, my rec would be Shin Yeh for Taiwanese cuisine:
    http://www.shinyeh.com.tw/English_web...

    You should also *not* miss Taiwanese beef noodle soup:
    http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/759349

    Also, the night markets which are a treasure trove for street eats (the best-known is Shilin):
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_...

    5 Replies
    1. re: klyeoh

      @klyeoh this is excellent, thank you so much. I've starting devouring these links and jotting down notes. Can't wait for Taipei!

      1. re: janixes

        Forgot to mention my personal fave dining spot in Taipei for local cuisine: the Formosa at Howard Plaza Hotel:

        http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/705447

        http://taipei.howard-hotels.com/CT_Ta...

        Very much a family-style restaurant.

        1. re: klyeoh

          Formosa looks good! Just went through your photos on the other thread. Thanks for the recommendations!

      2. re: klyeoh

        After all these years, Shin Yeh remains the go-to place for consistent Taiwanese cuisine. There are others which have more interesting dishes, but for first timers you can't go wrong. We also go there for some family gatherings ourselves.

        My other go-to place for visitors (when I'm going with them) is Lu Sang, with 2 locations serving regional specialties from Yilan. http://lvsang.myweb.hinet.net/

        For reviews, perhaps some of the others can tell you where to look, since I'm not allowed to do any self-promotion here...

        1. re: Peech

          Thanks Peech, the seafood at Lu Sang looks great. I have Mandarin speaking friends so hopefully I'll be able to venture beyond Shin Yeh and go discover more local specialties like the ones from Yilan which you're also recommending. Cheers!

      3. Where are you staying in Taipei? It is spread out over a very large area.

        3 Replies
        1. re: scoopG

          I'm staying in Xinyi. In the words of a close friend "that's very caucasian". I laughed, it's a choice based on convenience, more than anything. I'm happy to travel near and far for good food, but always like to know about good, simple options nearby.

          1. re: janixes

            It *is* very convenient. BTW, check out Patisserie Sadaharu Aoki for French pastries, by way of Japan - they are *very* good:
            http://www.sadaharuaoki.com/boutique/...

            1. re: klyeoh

              I love Sadaharu Aoki, will most definitely be eating a sweet or ten there, cheers!

        2. Another Taipei must-visit isTu Hsiao Yeh (度小月) noodle shop, which has been operating since 1895.

          Dishes offered there:
          http://old.iddi.com.tw/en/food.asp

          2 Replies
          1. re: klyeoh

            This is sensational. Klyeoh, I'm so glad I posted this question, your recommendations are great, and they're adding to the excitement of the trip.

            1. re: janixes

              Glad to be of help - Taipei is a great food city, so I'm pretty sure you'll enjoy your trip there: the people are very friendly.

          2. I am not sure if you speak Mandarin or read Chinese…

            Just about every neighborhood will have a local restaurant that serves up beef noodle soup.

            For excellent Peking Duck, try 宋厨菜館 (Sòng chú cài guan) which is very close to Xinyi. They claim some type of lineage to Beijing’s original Quanjude Qianmen branch. I’ve been visiting this place over the years. You might need to call ahead to get a reservation.

            宋厨菜館 - Sòng chú cài guǎn
            北市忠孝東路五段15巷14號
            Tel:(02) 2764-4788

            MRT City Hall exit.

            https://plus.google.com/1029381413833...

            Near every major university it seems will be a Buddhist vegetarian restaurant. Near the Culture University’s Taipei branch in the Da An district (大安區) is 喜像堂素食館 (Xǐ xiàng táng sù shí guan). Ask around if there is a vegetarian restaurant near you and if you find yourself around Section Two of East Heping Road, drop in here! It's casual for sure. Better call to make sure they are still open. Buddhist run vegetarian spots in Taipei are hard to beat.

            喜像堂素食館 - Xǐ xiàng táng sù shí guǎn
            北市和平東路2段145號
            Tel: (02) 2705-1207

            See also A Hungry Girl’s Guide to Taipei:
            http://hungryintaipei.blogspot.com/

            5 Replies
            1. re: scoopG

              Forget Song Kitchen 宋廚 since you'll NEVER get in. They open up the reservation book on the 1st of each month for tables in the FOLLOWING months. Tables for all of August would be booked out on July 1. I don't think anyone ever cancels...

              1. re: scoopG

                Wow, ScoopG, thanks for this.... we ate 3 different Beijing ducks during our visit to Beijing in 2006 and the Qianmen Quanjude was by far the best, by a long shot. The duck had a rich smokiness that the others didn't come close to matching.

                We're visiting Taiwan in October, so this is great timing for us... I've already instructed my wife to call 宋厨菜館 on Sep 1 :)

                My wife is from the little village of Daya, on the outskirts of Taichung, so if you have any other suggestions for this area, I'd love to hear them. We will, of course, be visiting Taipei and Khaosiung as well... we'll be scuba diving on Green Island, too.

                By the way, her father has a friend whose family runs a beef noodle soup place in Taichung, truly fantastic. I'll try to remember to get a business card for the place and post here when I return.

                Mr Taster

                1. re: Mr Taster

                  I am jealous. And I look forward to your report. Last time I was in Taichung or Kaohsiung was 20 years ago. Fond memories of Caesars Park Hotel in Kenting and of course the Nixon Rock!

                  1. re: Mr Taster

                    Mr taster, did you ever get the name of that beef noodle place in Taichung? We're going in a week and would love to try it!

                    1. re: FattyDumplin

                      Wow, so sorry for not reporting back. We did, in fact, get a reservation for 宋廚 and found the place strange and oddly underwhelming. We asked if they were affiliated with any of the famous duck houses in Beijing, and they told us they were not. We asked if we could see their duck roasting oven, and they told us we could not. Getting the reservation was a huge hassle that involved repeatedly calling for 30 minutes on the first of the month until someone picked up the phone. And the duck itself was not evenly cooked-- although the skin was crispy, some of the meat was moist, some of it was very dry, and none of it was imbued with the deep smokiness that was the hallmark of the duck at the Qianmen Quanjude. They pushed several other dishes, none of which I can remember very well, at this point, unfortunately. But I don't recall anything being particularly bad.

                      As for the beef noodle soup in Taichung, sadly the old man who cooked the soup died a couple of years ago, and the son was now running the place. Sadly, the soup was not nearly as good as I recalled. I did take a business card, and he has a Facebook page which I'm trying to find. But it was not what I remember, sadly. Taichung was not the culinary highlight of our trip.

                      I did hit up a really good dough slice noodle place in Taipei. The clear soup with tomato was wonderful. http://hungryintaipei.blogspot.com/20...

                      Mr Taster

                2. This thread has some great recommendations for more pedestrian/local type eats

                  http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/780429

                  1. 1. Taiwanese modern cuisine (buffet style) in a very cultured setting:
                    『青葉新樂園』 "Chingye" in Huashan1914 Creative Park
                    http://www.huashan1914.com/index.php
                    http://www.aoba.com.tw/

                    2. The shops along YongKang Rd next to the original DTF
                    - Kao-chi's Shanghainese
                    http://www.kao-chi.com/food-YK.asp
                    -度小月
                    -Taro Soup cart behind a stair (芋头大王)
                    -A Japanese Ramen place called Happy Noodle House:
                    No. 7, Lane 10, Yǒngkāng St (Original taste soup
                    )-A Shanghai place one street west from YongKang St. 2-1 LiShui St. Famous for its shredded pork noodles

                    3. Soup Dumplings:
                    I found 12 recommended ones in Taipei but only tried out 4-5.
                    Recommend SuHang's gourd and shrimp ones.
                    http://www.suhung.com.tw/

                    4. Beef Noodles.
                    Tried many but one place that stood out was ShangDong Liu 劉山東牛肉麵 (establish 1951) in an alley near Taipei Main Station. No 2, Alley 10, Sec 1 Kaifeng St. I like their clear soup with slim noodles.

                    1. Street food: not too far for you is the Raohe night market where there is a stand famous for their peppered meat buns (hujiaobing 胡椒餅). It's a pretty touristy night market (like Huaxi/Snake Alley [if I remember correctly, there's a danzaimian shop there) and there's not that much else that's really great there. For better snacks and more variety, try Ningxia (lots of goose parts and seafood) and Linjiang night markets.

                      My favorite creamy evenly-textured xuehuabing is found at the Shilin Market at:
                      士林辛發亭冰店
                      台北市士林區安平街1號
                      No. 1, Andong St, Shilin
                      (Apologies if the following link doesn't open: http://www.ipeen.com.tw/shop/27481-%E...)