Monday, June 13, 2011

Eating Around National Taiwan University - 往台大走 (Taipei, Taiwan)

Lunch? Just Kidding
Lunch Anyone? Just Kidding!

To those of you that wonder why I rarely, if ever, blog about a Chinese restaurant in the San Gabriel Valley, here's the reason: I find it boring and I don't have any inspiration to write about it. I'll leave the SGV to someone more qualified than myself to blog about it. However, writing about the food in my native Taiwan is a different story. If you think the Beef Noodle Soup tour was the end of my Taiwan tour, think again. Let's get on with this before we have to cook the poor dogs from the picture above. (Just kidding of course)

Healthy Eating
Healthy Dumplings In An Unnamed Shop Around NTU

Eating out in Taiwan with my mom tends to be an interesting task. She's all about eating healthy, and I on the other quite the opposite to that. Before we got anywhere, we tend to stop by a place that my mom could eat at. First, we stopped at a local dumpling shop that tends to make things a bit healthier (ie: dumpling skins and noodle were made of vegetable juice).

Cold Soy Milk
Cold Soymilk For Me
Won Ton Soup
WonTon Soup For My Mom
Dumplings to Share
Curry Potstickers
Curry Potstickers For Me
Kimchi Potstickers
Kimchi Postickers

The food from above were legit, but definitely not my favorite. My mom enjoyed the won ton soup and the dumplings. The broth was light, but maybe a bit too light for my tastes. The dumplings were pretty standard, but I did enjoy the two varieties of potstickers. The curry version was my favorite and I snacked on most of the plate as my "amuse bouche" before I hit up my intended lunch stop.

Taiwanese Pork Chop Rice
大福利排骨大王 (Da Fu Li Pai Gu Da Wang)

Now this is what I'm talking about. Home of the famous Taiwanese pork chop fried rice, and probably my go-to spot to get it in Taipei.

Taiwanese Pork Chop Rice
Taiwanese Pork Chop Rice
Taiwanese Pork Chop Rice

If these pictures doesn't say "effing dericious," then I don't know what is! The pork chop was fried to a perfect crisp. The meat was tender and flavorful. The rice and the accompanied vegetable were fine, but the star of the show was definitely the pork chop. I kinda want a pork chop rice plate right now! (In fact, I think I'll be eating some later on tonight). I think this is one of the better pork chop rice in Taipei right now. At about $3 a plate, you can't really go wrong with this. There's a reason why this shop has almost been opened for 50 years. If you can find something better, please let me know!

Tai Yi
Tai Yi
臺一牛奶大王 (Tai Yi Niu Nai Da Wang)

Don't worry, I'm not going to skip dessert. The dessert to get in Taiwan? Shaved ice is always a good way to go. Tai Yi is my absolute favorite place to get shaved ice in Taiwan. In fact, a trip back to Taiwan without eating at Tai Yi is just wrong. There are many options at Tai Yi, but I almost always order the most popular shaved ice they have: Red Bean Shaved Ice with Condensed Milk. Although I always add pudding to my shaved ice.

Red Bean Shaved Ice with Pudding
Red Bean Shaved Ice with Pudding
紅豆牛奶冰 (Hong Dou Niu Nai Bing)

Now this is what I'm talking about! A plate of shaved ice piled high with red beans and condensed milk. Sometimes I do add 2-3 orders of pudding, but I went "light" on this particular order and only added one extra pudding. Trust me, this was a lot of shaved ice, as I'm barely able to finish the entire plate. Most people at the shop share an order, but I don't even want to bother with that. At $1.50, it's quite a nice bargain. I highly recommend Tai Yi!


After potstickers, a plate of pork chop rice, and a plate of shaved ice, it's time to take a bread, right? Wrong! My cousin decided to take me to her favorite tea place before she had to head back to school. Although Lattea has many drink options, they're know for this one thing called 綠蓋茶 (luu gai cha).

綠蓋茶 (Luu Gai Cha)

The 綠蓋茶 was basically freshly brewed iced green tea with a salted butter top. Sounds strange, yes, but it was quite tasty. Not particularly my favorite thing I've had, but I'd order it again. It combined the sweet and bitter taste of the tea with the creamy and salty flavors of the whipped butter. The whipped butter had a consistency of whipped cream, but much richer. I'd say try it for yourself before making a conclusion, but it was a unique experience for me.

Madhouse at MRT
Madhouse at MRT Station

After an afternoon eating around National Taiwan University, it's onward to other parts of town. For those that are familiar with the NTU and the 公館 (GongGuan) areas may be saying to themselves: this bugger doesn't know what he's talking about. How come he didn't talk about the gua bao place? the pork blood cake place? the famous boba shop next to that aforementioned pork chop rice place? Don't worry, I know all of those places. Sadly I didn't have enough time, stomach space to eat at the other famous food shops in that area, but I'll vouch for them all as I've had them many times on previous visits.

The areas around NTU is one of my favorites in Taipei, and one that I am quite familiar with. I can't wait to take my friends and explore some of the food haunts in this area later on this year. Be prepared people, be prepared to gain 5-10 pounds!

大福利排骨大王 (Da Fu Li Pai Gu Da Wang)
台北市中正區 (Taipei City, Zhong Zhen District)
羅斯福路三段286巷12號 (Roosevelt Rd. 3rd Section, Lane 286, No.12)
Phone: (02) 2365-1009

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臺一牛奶大王 (Tai Yi Niu Nai Da Wang)
台北市 (Taipei City)
新生南路3段82號 (Xin Sheng S. Road, 3rd Section, No.82)
Phone: (02) 2362-3172

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台北市 (Taipei City)
新生南路三段98號3F (Xin Sheng S Road, 3rd Section, No.93, 3rd Floor)
Located on the 3rd Floor of the Eslite Bookstore
Phone (02) 2362-6132 x311

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gourmetpigs said...

Salted butter top? Hmm. I had butter tea at Tibet Nepal in old town, and I didn't care much for it. It was too salty for tea and too bland for "soup". Maybe this Taiwanese version is better though?

bagnatic said...

i'm kinda smitten by those kimchi potstickers and that mound of red beans on the shaved ice...holy frijoles!

Beef No Guy said...

Oh yes, Bai Fang Yuen dumpling and pot sticker shop...this is a chain, they are all over like KFC. Pretty good, maybe typical or average by local standards but way better than 99% in Northern California. Only ate there once, during a visit to Yilan.

I really miss the cheap and high quality tea drinks in TW. The cream tea latte's there are excellent. So simple, yet nobody makes it in Cali.

Gastronomer said...

Your "go big or go home" eating habits are a pleasure to read. EAT EAT EAT!

Kung Food Panda said...

Fiona: It was interesting, and it wasn't that salty. Just an interesting creamy flavor that went fairly well with the tea. I'd get it again!

Amy: That shaved ice was so good!

BNG: Thx with the name of the place, I really had no idea since my mom took me there. I'm sure it's better than most place here in the States.

Ya, same here in re: drinks. Taiwan rocks!

Cathy: Word! Go Big or Go Home bitches!!

joanh said...

yeahhhhhhh, tai yi!! where's the tang yuan?!! you have to try that next time.

ba fang is good in a pinch. i used to eat it often when there was a branch next to an area i used to go to every week. but then it closed. sad face.

Jin said...

what is that yellow pudding thing on top of the shaved ice? what's in the middle of it? it looks like bone marrow!!!

Pandalicious said...

i want some kimchi potstickers!

Kung Food Panda said...

Joan: For some reason it's too hot for me to eat tang yuan there, though I've had it before via my mom. Ba Fang wasn't too shabby. My mom likes it.

Jin: Oh, that's caramel pudding. Definitely NOT bone marrow, though I could see the similarities.

Amy: Yum, me too!