Let’s not forget, I did come to Taiwan to study Chinese.
So after spending the bulk of my morning prepping for my first day of class on Monday, naturally I was feeling quite stressed…and hungry.
I’m trying to avoid the stress eating in Taiwan, which is really hard to do when you live on top of the 24-7 stress eater capital of Taiwan: 7-11.
So as not to become a No Face sized pork bum, I decided to seek out something a bit more substantial than “American Hot Wing” flavored Doritos ( which are shaped like lightening bolts. I am not kidding) and Vanilla Oreos.
Since I’ve come to Taiwan, I have been called adventurous for my tendency to go and roam the streets alone.
Actually I’m kinda boring: I just like to eat and walk around.
And I will walk a really long time to find me some good food.
So, I found myself back on Yong Kang Jie–the infamous home of my dao xiao mian–aimlessly roaming up and down the streets, rather indecisively on the hunt for food.
It was raining….it was hot. I was wearing sandals and a dress. Totoro Backpack’s tummy pouch was in danger of getting soaked.
Ironically, rethinking my life decisions, I saw this store:
Wet, slightly sleep deprived, hungry: I would have liked to stay home too. Preferable in bed with warm gooey Chocolate Chip Cookies and season two of Orphan Black.
But had I not gone out, I would not have discovered this wonderful little restaurant.
[ 府城台南美食 ] or Fu Cheng Tai Nan Mei Shi is another little gem of Yong Kang street. The restaurants name translates as Fu Capital’s Tainan Table Delicacies.
There were a lot of little delicacies at this restaurant.
My favorite restaurants in Taiwan are the ones that have picture menus. As is obvious, I love to eat.
I just don’t always know what I’m ordering. Especially when this is your menu:
A lot of restaurant servers will hand you an English menu if you look like a “wai guo ren” or foreigner (which I most certainty do, and so they most certainly did!) These menus are always helpful, but since I am a student of the Chinese language, I like to know the Chinese names of the food I am eating.
As you can see I ordered two things. Number one, a fantastic tomato dish:
[ 古早味薑汁番茄 ] or Gu Zao Wei Jiang Zhi Fan Qie: Old Time Ginger Ale Flavored Tomatoes.
This dish was amazing!
I love tomatoes. It is why it is one of the four fruits/three vegetables I know the names of. (Do green onions count as a vegetable?)
The juicy tomatoes paired well with the sweet and slightly spicy “ginger ale” dipping paste.
In addition to this: I order the single best bowl of noodles I have eaten in Taiwan since my arrival. (sorry dao xiao mian).
[ 𩵚魠魚羮麵 ] or Tu Tuo Yu Geng Mian. Not only is this dish BEYOND delicious. (I am 9001% serious), but my Taiwanese friend says that this [𩵚魠魚] refers to a fish local to Taiwan, which after some probing turned up one Spanish Mackerel. I’ve inferred that the dish is Fried Spanish Mackerel broth noodle soup.
This is the first time I’ve had Mackerel that wasn’t from a can. Haru would be proud.
And it is the best! I can not say that enough.
Here’s another photo of it. For reasons:
Sprinkled with cilantro, with noodles that have the consistency of spaghetti, submerged in a rich sweet broth with specks of onions floating in it (to which I added chili paste), this soap is delightful!
I cleaned my bowl. Something that is hard for me two do when it comes to soups.
I am now in love with two food joints in Taiwan: the Onion Pancake Stall Man, and this one!
Well maybe three:
This is my place to get Milk Tea in Taiwan.
[ 50嵐 ] or 50 Lan or maybe even Wu Shi Lan is everywhere in Taiwan. I’ve been to three different ones. One at Gong Guan, one at Shi Lin Night Market, and here: Yong Kang Street. I first went to this Milk Tea place at the Shi Lin Night Market, though…
…and it was there that I tasted for the first time the milk tea I always order: [ 黑糖奶茶 ] or Hei Tang Nai Cha.
Brown Sugar Milk Tea:
This has to be had. I just love it! The taste is too hard to describe. It is perhaps a bit rich, obviously milky, and carmelly brown sugar tasty! I drinked my tea in the rain on the way home, and took a picture of it sitting on this bench.
…and in this bag: