For those who are traveling to Taipei soon, here are a couple of restaurants to try if you are looking for something other than street food in their ever bustling night markets. These places are especially suitable when you are traveling with family and babies, because they offer proper seating arrangements.
1. 叁和院 Sanhoyan
Sanhoyan is a popular restaurant in Taiwan known for innovating the Taiwanese cuisine through creative recipes and presentations. It is well received by locals and tourists alike because even though the dishes might appear too ahead of its time, the flavors are still preserved to protect the authenticity.
At Sanhoyan, the ordinary fried rice with seafood @ $257 is shaped into a pyramid. Shown above is the standard serving which can be shared by at least 2 people. The larger portion is $487 and comes shaped in the island of Taiwan – see it to believe it. The fried rice is expertly prepared, separate into individual grains without breaking and it has a nice aroma of seafood. A spoonful of flying fish roe is added on top for extra flavor and crunchy texture in every mouth.
Five Flavor Abalone @ $87/pc is the ultimate ice cream made by combining Taiwanese style cold abalone and Western mashed potatoes in a sweet cone. Luxurious yet fun to eat, this will be an Instagram worthy photo for days.
For something more traditional, you won’t go wrong with any of the fried chicken choices. They are available in sweet and savory or spicy variants but I preferred the former version. The Fried Chicken with Plum and Fermented Bean Curd Sauce @ $257 is tender and the appetizing sauce makes the dish simply great to be enjoyed with rice.
And of course, Taiwan’s national rice dish – Braised Pork Rice @ $27 is also available on the menu.No. 14, Lane 101, Section 4, Zhongxiao East Road, Da’an District, Taipei City, Taiwan 106
2. 高记 Kao Chi
Kao Chi is the first Shanghai dim sum restaurant at Yongkang Street which had a humble beginning as a street food cart. After completing her apprenticeship in Shanghai, the founder returned to start the business in 1949 and focused only on traditional dim sum offerings such as pan fried pork bun and Xiao Long Bao.
The pan fried pork bun is made fresh upon order using minced meat from pork front leg which produces a flavorful broth when cooked. Besides dim sum, Kao Chi also serves an extensive range of other dishes like Dong Po meat, stir fried beef fillets with garlic, spicy pork stomach salad and etc.No. 1, Yongkang Street, Da’an District, Taipei City, Taiwan 106
3. 继光香香鸡 J&G Fried Chicken
When it comes to Taiwanese fried chicken, J&G fried chicken is without a doubt the No. 1 brand. J&G Fried Chicken is seasoned with a special recipe that contains more than different spices and fried in store daily using only skinless chicken breast that is never frozen.
Fresh ingredients aside, what sets J&G Fried Chicken apart is their unique pepper seasoning that is sprinkled on the fried chicken for extra aroma. You should also try their squid tempura which is delightfully chewy, it’s full of seafood flavor and the ultimate snack when dipped into their homemade tartar sauce.
4. 金峰魯肉飯 Jin Feng
It is not exaggerated to say that Jin Feng (金峰魯肉飯) is one of the most popular and busiest place to have braised pork rice. The proprietor actually apprenticed with a couple of other braised pork rice masters then combined all their good traits and his ingenuity to create his very own recipe. Most of the customers eating here do not just order a bowl of braised pork rice, they also get a few side dishes to complete their meal.
You might notice it at first, but Jin Feng’s braised pork is served in long thin strands instead of minced. Flavor wise it has a good balance of sweet and savory to cater to a wide range of taste buds. While you are here, do not leave without trying their 控肉 (pork belly) – you can have it with rice or order it ala carte. As sinful and fatty as it looks, you will absolutely love it. Just put your health concerns aside for a moment and enjoy. Maybe just skip dessert later in the day.No. 10, Section 1, Roosevelt Rd, 中正區台北市 Taiwan 100
5. 翰林茶館 Hanlin Tea Room
Safe to say a visit to Taiwan would be in vain if you did not buy a cup of bubble milk tea. While there are literally hundreds of stores and dozens of brands to try, I suggest that you start with the first which started the bubble milk tea craze around the world, and that’s Hanlin Tea Room.
Founded in 1986, Hanlin Tea Room took Taiwan by storm when they added a common Taiwanese ingredient – tapioca pearls into milk tea. But did you know that bubble milk tea was originally conceived as a hot drink? So if you want to experience bubble milk tea differently in a classy dining environment, look out for Hanlin Tea Room. Not to mention they also serve healthy and great dishes such as hotpot served in a unique pickled watermelon soup base.100, Taiwan, Taipei City, Songshan District, Beiping West Road, 3號台北微風車站