I just realized that I’ve been in Taipei more than three months and haven’t written a single review of what I’ve eaten here. However, most of my meals out in Taipei have been working lunches with our client, so I never had the opportunity to fully review and critique every aspect of the dining experience like I would if I were going to review the place. Nonetheless, I have not forgone a true food adventure. Our client, a Taiwanese with a taste for adventure, promised us at the beginning of the project that he would take us to a different restaurant for lunch every day. Despite the wide range of food options near the office, this was nonetheless a tall order for a three-month project. But he was true to his word. And now I’ve been asked to rank the top five places we’ve visited during these three months, and we will re-visit each place once on our last week in Taipei.
Most memorable client lunches:
- Potstickers at Ma Shan Tang (麻膳堂)
- Japanese restaurant where I had a dish of silken tofu, thin pork slices, onions, and mildly spicy sauce in a small saucepan
- Soon dubu, Korean tofu stew, at DuBu House
- Ding Tai Fung
- Japanese tonkatsu place
Another memorable meal I had was at a Japanese restaurant with a (relatively expensive) prix fixe five-course menu, but it did not make the top 5 because it’s too expensive to visit again.
Excluding client lunches, I’ve also had some very memorable food in Taipei night markets, in Jiufen, and elsewhere:
- Taiwanese breakfast of peanut-soy milk, fried dough fritters, fried dough fritters and omelette wrapped in glutinous rice
- Jiufen: oolong tea, yu yuan and deep fried squid
- Raohe night market: a Taiwanese crepe with shaved peanut candy and three kinds of ice cream, 大腸包小腸 (a Taiwanese “hot dog” with a glutinous rice bun), 胡椒餅 (a baked bun with meat and scallion filling), 雪花冰 (shaved ice with condensed milk), fried quail eggs, and Taiwanese okonomiyaki
- Oolong milk ice tea
- Dong Qu Fen Yuan (东区粉圆)
- Maokong: stir-fried mountain grass, tea-infused fried rice, sweet potato fries
- Fancy Japanese food in places I never learned the name of
Taiwan is truly one of the most livable places I’ve been to and a food paradise. I would love to move here someday!