One of the many things that Taiwan is renowned for is its food. Its unique geographical position and rich history have resulted in a delicious culinary heritage that the world is coming to deeply appreciate. Here at T-Life, our excellent location means that you’re never far from enjoying many of these unique Taiwanese flavours.
Below you’ll find out about some of the tastes that are on offer and where you can easily go to enjoy them at reasonable traveller prices!
Typical Taiwanese Dishes
- Pork Belly and Rice
This dish is simple and cheap. But don’t let that fool you. It’s simplicity and low price does not mean that it will disappoint. On the contrary, the pork is cooked to a level of pinky-red perfection such that it simply melts in your mouth, releasing a slightly sweet and incredible flavour. The rice soaks up the small amount of sauce, so you vary the incredible intensity of the meat with the softer taste of the flavoured rice. Despite being stuffed, it was difficult not ordering a second round of this!
- Egg Pancakes
These egg pancakes aren’t like pancakes those traditionally found in the west. They’re not the wafer-thin, UK pancake day style, not the thick, door-wedge pancakes from the US, nor are they French stlye crepes. They are there own thing. They’re a fresh, eggy, breakfast treat. They consist of a fairly thick dough which gets cooked on a hot plate, then lain on top of an egg that is cooked next to it. Finally, it gets wrapped up and snozzled in a small number of bites because it is too good to east slowly.
- Stinky Tofu
I don’t know what to say about this other than anything with the word ‘stinky’ in its name is likely to be a bit of an acquired taste. Everyone will agree that stinky tofu has a particularly potent odour. A tangy, sickly-sweet, festering pong. The contention is around how it tastes. Does it really taste stinky? Well, in my experience, I can say that, while its flavour is strong and powerful, it isn’t necessarily a bad flavour. It wasn’t initially to my liking, but afterwards, I was left with a pleasant after taste and an urge to try it again. It was like I didn’t trust my initial reaction. I mean, after all, I like strong cheese and that smells of feet. So, maybe, just maybe, I need to be patient with stinky tofu and give it another go.
- Beef Noodles and/or Dumplings
If you’ve travelled around Asia, noodles and dumplings won’t be anything new to you. If you’re anything like me, you’ll also be an addict, and you’ll simply have to try them in Taiwan. Depending on where you go, they can be similar to those you can try in China. But here in Taiwan, you can also find unique tastes, such as deep beefy tones and light refreshing finishes. Nom Nom Nom and Slurp Slurp Slurp!
- Bubble Tea
You can now find bubble tea all over the world but originally it came from Taiwan. Like all food or drink that becomes a worldwide phenomenon, while you can find great flavours everywhere, it is never the same as trying it in its true home. That’s why, when you come to Taiwan, one of your first breaks will have to be for a bubble tea. Whatever your tastes there will be a flavour that works for you. Just don’t do what I tend to do and drink too slowly, otherwise the tapioca ‘bubbles’ will be too big and gloopy to fit through the straw!
Nearby Night Markets
As well as the places highlighted above, there are also a number of superb night markets nearby T-Life. They are a sense sensation. An overload of lights, music, smells, humidity and, of course, flavours. What better way to spend an evening than wandering these delights.
From T-Life you can wander 5 minutes to the Tunghai Villa night market. It is literally that close. There are always some shops open but it’ll begin getting busy around 6pm and close around 1am.
Alternatively you can easily head to the bigger Feng Chui night market by taking the number 28 bus directly there. Ask the guys in the hostel and they’ll be more than happy to explain how to get there. Again, there will always be something open, but everything will be buzzing from around 6pm and close up around 1am.
At both you’ll find an eclectic mix of food and entertainment stalls. Plenty to keep you entertained for an evening!