Friday, 25 July 2014

Taipei Food Edtion: What's brewing in Dongmen Station/ Yongkang Street

Friday, 25 July 2014
Ask about Taiwan and you will hear all about the wonderful, delicious food that will immediately get you salivating. Being the foodie I am, I went on a hunt for good food here in Taipei. Unfortunately (or fortunately), Taipei itself is hugeeeee and there are tons of cafes every few steps that its hard and almost impossible to try out every single one of them within a short spam of time.
Hence, I have classified my food posts into districts/stations so that it will be easier for you to know where are the local specialities in that area. Enjoy!

1) Ding Tai Feng 鼎泰豐
This is the famous Yongkang Street Dingtaifeng, simply because this is apparently the very FIRST that was opened in Taiwan. You probably heard of it already if you did your research on Taiwan, Taipei cause this is the "MUST GO" for all who chance upon this city (or so they say).
Hence, in the span of 10 weeks in Taipei, I visited this very branch 6 times. Yes, SIX times omg HAHA because each group of friends all requested to have lunch/dinner here. I'm not complaining (I love chinese food actually) I'm just saying its a crazy number of times HAHAHAHA.
So anyway, below are the few items you should order:
i) Drunked Chicken 280NT (Probably the most expensive dish you will order there HAHA)
I really love the Drunked Chicken Dingtaifeng Taipei serves. Not sure how many of you tried the one they serve in Singapore but it is often blend and tasteless, like eating cold chicken, not drunked chicken HAHA. But here they serve really flavourful ones and you can really taste the wine yumz
ii) Xiaolongbao 小笼包 (200NT for 10, 100NT for 5)
This probably needs no further introduction. Difference bettwen the ones served here and in Singapore: The skin doesn't tear (hence the soup won't flow out) before you put them into your mouth unlike some I tasted where my (lack of chopstick skills) resulted in a dry hollow xiaolongbao by the time it reaches my mouth HAHA.
This is the only two dishes that I'll really recommend as there's nothing else that is really particularly special. So if you really must go, don't have too high hopes about getting EXTREMELY good chinese food. Its good no doubt, but not really "to-die-for" like how some have describe it to be.
Oh, have I mentioned that you will have to wait around 60 mins?
How to go:

Address: 台北市信義路二段194號 (Start of Yongkang Street)
MRT: Dongmen Station, exit 5. Once you come out, walk approximately 20 steps straight and you'll see tons of people queueing

2) Kao Chi 高記

Credits to:
This place has often been overshadowed by their competitor DTF (who's at the start of the street). Like I mentioned earlier, it takes you 60 mins to get into the Ding Tai Feng on Yongkang Street. If you're sick and tired of waiting in the hot sun during summer, in the rain during typhoon season, or in the cold during winter, you should really try out Kao Chi. I've seen the menu and they serve not only food similar to DTF, they even have dimsum for those who are fans of it!
Kao Chi is really popular amongst locals and if you were to let a local choose between the two, most will tell you Kao Chi. Unfortunately, I hadn't had the chance to dine here as all my friends always choose DTF over this and I can't possibly come here alone (I'll get sick eating 10 xiaolongbaos on my own HAHA) Will update once I tried it though. Hehehehe. Let me know if its really better then DTF for those who went too^^

How to go:
Address: 台北市永康街5號 (5 Yongkang St, Taipei City)
MRT: Dongmen Station, exit 5 (On the left when you walked into Yongkang Street)

3) Smoothie House
If you're in Taiwan during summer, you'll understand what I mean when I say its HOT.
In situations like this, you'll appreciate a nice big bowl of shaved ice.
This is their Mango shaved ice with Panna Cotta and it is amazinggggg. I do admit it is pretty overrated with the long queues and exhorbitant prices HAHA. This cost around ~190NT (SGD $8), almost twice the price of what you will pay for somewhere else (and of course, less famous).
They have two shops almost side by side in Yongkang street (永康街) and it is less then 5 mins walk from Ding Tai Feng and even nearer to Kao Chi. This will be a good place to have a "appetizer" while waiting for your queue number to be called in Ding Tai Feng.

How to go:
Address 1: 台北市大安區永康街15號 (No.15 Yongkang St., Da-an District, Taipei City 106)
Address 2: 台北市大安區永康街9號 No.9 (No. 9 Yongkang St., Da-an District, Taipei City 106)
MRT: Dongmen Station, exit 5

4) Yong Kang Beef Noodles 永康牛肉麵
When I arrived in Taiwan 10 weeks ago, I knew the first thing I had to do was to try a bowl of beef noodles (along with a lot of other food HAHA pig) but soon I realized its not that easy. Especially when you see everywhere selling beef noodles and you'll be thinking "oh man, so where is nice omg?!?!?" HAHAHA okay maybe not that dramatic but having only 5-7 days in Taipei, I'm sure you will wanna go a guaranteed nice one right!
Beef Noodles 紅燒牛肉麵

Introducing Yongkang beef noodles, where crazy people queued up for it even on a Typhoon Day (I witnessed it for myself LOL). The meat is really tender unlike others where it is so tough you feel that your mouth ache after chewing.
You can order the full meat ones, or the half tendon half meat and choose between having the clear soup or the famous 紅燒牛肉麵. The queue typically takes about 15 mins before you get a seat.
As the place is rather popular, it takes some time for them to prepare your bowl of noodles. Hence I suggest ordering some appetizers first! Their steamed pork ribs and large intestines are rather popular. I wanted to get the large intestines but they were sold out! :O It comes in a cute bamboo bowl and they steam it with rice. A pretty unique taste.
How to go:
Address: 台北市金山南路2段31巷17號 (No. 17, Lane 31, Jinshan S. Rd., Sec.2)
MRT: Dongmen Station, exit 4 (Come out from exit 5 as exit 4 is a flight of stairs. Walk towards exit 4 which is just a few steps away. Right next to exit 4 is an alley, walk into it and on your right you should see Yongkang Beef Noodles)
Hope you find this useful!

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