Taipei Day 1: Living and Eating like a Local (sort of)
We flew out of Osaka and arrived in Taipei in the late afternoon. Looking to save some money, we decided to book an apartment in Taipei rather than spend $200 a night for a hotel. I found an apartment rental through www.vrbo.com and made several inquiries for apartments throughout Taipei city prior to the trip. We decided on an apartment located in the Daan District. It was nicely located within walking distance to some great food locations, about 7 minutes away from the MRT subway station, and it was pretty well priced at around US$82/day. The apartment was clean and just enough space for 3 people. We were living among the locals.
Lydia has family in Taipei and her cousin Meng met up with us at the apartment. Meng had a whole itinerary planned out for us. Our first stop was dinner at Din Tai Fung (鼎泰豐), the original store located on Xinyi Road in Daan. When in Taipei, Din Tai Fung is a mandatory stop. Everyone goes there for their famous paper thin yet juicy soup dumplings.
Being the original restaurant, the Xinyi Road location usually is pretty crowded but we were seated pretty quickly. Over the few years, many other stores have opened around Taipei as well as overseas. They must get a lot of Japanese tourist because all waiters and waitresses speak fluent Japanese. For a second, I thought I was back in Japan.
I particularly love their Shanghainese appetizers especially the drunken chicken and pickled spicy cucumbers.
We ordered a round of soup dumplings and some other vegetarian dumplings to share.
So good! I’m drooling just thinking about it.
Next we walked to a nearby night market and settled for some pan fried dumplings. Made on the street, fried on the street, and eat on the street. So good!
Next we went to look for shaved ice! I did not get to eat shaved ice the last time I came to Taipei so I was really looking forward to it. Meng took us to this famous local dessert spot. We shared a strawberry shaved ice and a bowl of hot peanut tong yuan (sweet glutenous rice ball). It was so refreshing and good. I was in heaven!
After shaved ice, we walked back into the night market. Taipei is filled with night markets where various vendors set up shop. Vendor range from clothing, jewelry,to all kinds of food. It’s especially busy during the weekends. I found a gua boa stand (steamed bun wrapped around fatty pork) I just had to have one! Lydia and I each got one to go and ate it while walking back to our apartment. I love Taipei!
More eating in Taipei to come!
Thank you Lydia for sharing some of your photos.