One of the great pleasures of living in Taiwan is the huge range of delicious food that is available. From snacks on the street, a sit down noodle shop or fine dining. Everywhere at anytime there is always a flavor to sate your appetite.
Some of our favorite street vendors are the pancake, deep fried hot-dogs and salty-crispy fried chicken. Fried chicken includes all bits of the chicken (excepts feathers- normally)
If that is not enough oil to get you going, try this glutinous rice meat dumpling dish. It is kept in a wok of warm oil until you order. It is then sliced and covered with soy sauce.
One of our favorites is the dumpling and pastry restaurants. The preparation and cooking is done at the front of the shop. Inside you help yourself to sauces and choose a couple of the small dishes to complement the lightly fried and steamed meal. Very tasty.
Here are some of the night market specialties;
eel and noodles
thin noodle soup
skewered fish balls, pig-blood rice and fish cakes all boiled in a light broth.
stir fried shrimps
a particular favorite at seaside venues, BBQ squid on a stick, painted with a sweet chilli sauce and sprinkled with sesame seeds.
Of course seafood is a Taiwanese staple and a sumptuous rite.
A wonderfully popular local dish is hot-pot. A large pot of soup is placed on a fire in the centre of the table to which you add meat, mushrooms, vegetables and all-sorts. You select the broth flavor with many shops offering a split pot for two different broths. These are incredibly popular, especially in the cooler winter months.
The devastating end of a hot-pot meal.
Not long ago if you wanted to experience tastes from beyond Taiwan you were rather limited to the local interpretations of foreign dishes. The sizzling steak house and curried chicken dishes have been around so long that they have blended into local dishes. One of the great things to occur in the last twenty years is the inflow of foreigners along with some great foreign dishes.
A lot of Vietnamese spouses have opened local noodle stores. These are generally simple places serving a Taiwanese version of Vietnamese dishes (or Vietnamese version of local dishes). Our favorite shop in Daliao offers superb meat and salad baggett, chilli mint salad and knock-over strong coffee.
Kieren at Escape 41 in Caishan quality controls the pizzas to ensure they are West Australian authentic. He also has an outdoor setting most Australians would die for.
Just recently I discovered chicken kebabs at our local Fengshan night market. The raw onion, fresh lettuce and chilli mayonnaise sauce make it a very foreign flavor for the night market. Perhaps they stuck with the sweetened bun wrapping so they didn’t completely scare the local customers.
The very successful Tex-Mex, Smokey Joe’s, is a great dining experience.
There are a good number of Japanese restaurants in Kaohsiung too. Run by Taiwanese with a very liberal interpretation on Japanese cuisine.
And for those out-of-towners that can’t find something local that suits their tastes there is always the internationally omnipresent McDonalds.