Shilin Night Market
A must go for tourist would be the Shilin Night Market. If you are travelling by public transport then then nearest MRT station would be the Jiantan Station. The market is about 5- 10 minutes walk from the Jiantan MRT station.
Though near, I've no idea why I got lost on all three occasions even if I had a map with me. Yeah, I went to Shilin night market THREE times, haha.
The three visits were:
#1 To check out the location since it was on the way back to Taipei Main Station (same MRT line)
#2 Real visit, try out food, discover cheap buys
#3 Couldn't get enough of cheap shoes so I made one last trip there to buy more shoes
Talking about shoes. They have many cheap shoes i.e. flats going for RM19!!!! I bought 3 pairs of shoes for myself, one pair each for sisters and two pairs for mum. Well, mum's I bought one from Shilin market at RM19 and another (Aborigine prints) at Longshan Temple area for only RM10!!!!
Trip #1 Checked out the location. Found it easily with the help of people around
So the Shilin Market is really huge. Before you even reach the market you will see a whole stretch of stalls leading towards the market. They had games stall too! There was some balloon game, shooting game, fishing game etc It was very much like a fun fair. But I didnt play any because I had limited cash to spend LOL
Fried milk stall
One of the first street food I tried there was the fried milk. Initially I was reluctant to buy the fried milk because though I'm a milk lover, I find it weird to fry milk. And it was about RM2 (Forgot how much in Taiwan Dollars). Actually I was skeptical about a lot of food in Taipei hahahha It was all so different from the food I've been eating back home and it smell really different too.
I remember getting all excited about the 7-11 there. It's 24 hours like what we have here in Malaysia but they carry much more food there! And by food I mean proper food that you could heat up and eat anytime!
I arrived at Taipei at midnight because that was the cheapest flight available. By the time I took the bus and reach NiHao Hotel (right next to Taipei Main Station) it was already 1am. Good thing there was a 7-11 a few shops away from my hotel because I haven't had dinner (I didn't purchase food on flight because I wanted to save money).
Day 1 midnight dinner: Beef noodles RM7 and milk tea RM1
All the price of food here will be written in RM and it by approximation because its been a year since I went there so can't really recall the exact price.
The beef noodles was not too bad for instant beef noodles: 3/5 stars. The RM1 tea was horrible it tasted so diluted I can hardly taste the tea: 1/5 stars. So be happy that you can easily get yummy ice tea (teh ais) from any stalls here in Malaysia for about RM1.50. Good tea with thick condense/ evaporated milk!
Oh ya, the next morning I had my breakfast in 7-11 too before switching hotels. I had my favourite herbal eggs! Not too bad, but I can easily find better eggs here in Malaysia.
I didn't like the almond milk though. I forgot that I hated it back in Sydney and yeah, I hate it in Taiwan too LOL It has this really strong smelly nut smell.
Day 2 breakfast: Herbal eggs, RM1 and almond milk, RM3
Talking about smell, after Day 2 whenever I passby 7-11 I will get a massive headache because of the smell. I don't know what smell is that but I believe its from the food that the sell. That distinct smell made me sick. Literally. Good thing I had panadols.
OMG. There I go off topic again.
So back to Shilin Night market, this is where I had my fried milk! RM2 per stick. Recently, I went to Asia Cafe, SS15 and noticed this new stall selling fried milk too! Maybe if you would like to know how fried milk taste you can try it at Subang Jaya:)
Fried milk that looks like fish balls!
It sounds nonsensical to fried milk but actually it tasted not too bad. How I think they made it was first they combined milk and jelly to form some kind of milk pudding. Then they cut the milk puddings into cubes. Yes, I know it looked round but it was cubes before they fried it then it melted.
Oh ya, before they fried the milk pudding they dipped it in batter. Tada! Fried milk.
Fried milk, super hot on the inside. Caution!
Besides fried milk, I tried Smelly Tofu! Before going to Taipei, I did my research and smelly tofu was on my must eat list because it's so popular there. But once I reached Taipei, I couldn't find my guts to actually try it. You can smell the smelly tofu stall from miles away, it was horrible that again I had headaches.
But on the second last day, which is during my #3 Shilin Market trip I decided to give it a go. Apparently a Taiwanese lady from the conference told me that Shilin Market is well known for they smelly tofu.
Smelly tofu stall. Can't understand what's written but it should be the price for different tofu LOL
The stall lady was so nice that she allowed me to buy one piece of tofu from here instead of a set:)
Deep fried smelly tofu with prickled cabbage
There are two types of tofu I think but I ate the deep fried one. OMFG! It was actually so good! I love tofu so this is one of the best tofu I've ever eaten and it doesn't stink as much as it smells when cooking!
The exterior of the tofu is crunchy because its deep fried in really hot oil but the inside of the tofu remains soft and juicy! It goes really well with the prickled cabbage too! I tried adding the chili sauce but I didn't like it very much because the chili sauce smelt funny (again, I know).
Me and smelly tofu, RM1.50
Also, I tried the frogs egg drink in Shilin Market! Kidding!!
It's not real frog's egg. Its just that they place a froggy picture there. But then again I can't read Chinese so it might be real frog's eggs :P teehee.
Frogs egg drink stall
Frogs egg drink was a very soothing beverage especially for night markets where it can get hot and sweaty. It's actually a lemon drink with aiyu jelly and frog's eggs (a type of tapioca balls that looks like frog's egg). Go google.
Frog eggs RM4, you dare?
I think fried chicken is very famous in Shilin Market too but I had it in Ximending instead. So here is the second part to my post:
This is Ximending.
Ximending at night
I understand that a lot of Malaysians love to stay around this area because they its a good place for food hunt and shopping! I wanted to do my nails here but then I decided that I'd save on manicure and stock up on more cheap facial masks.
My Beauty Diaries face mask was RM22 per box (10 pieces) so I stashed about 4 boxes home. Here in Malaysia its priced double! There's this huge ass Watsons in Ximending, a FOUR STOREY Watsons!
Ximending's Watson located outside the Ximen MRT exit opens till late I think midnight. Some blogs say 24 hours but by mignight they were closing already.
I bought this face mask there, forgot the brand I think its QQ mask, RM18. Buy 1 free 1!!!! I regretted buying only one box because when I came back the next day there were out of stock already! Gah!
So as I was saying I had chicken in Ximending. I had two types of chicken actually- one huge chicken cutlet (like the ones that we find here at Shilin Street Snacks shop) and chicken chunks.
5 Star chicken cutlet, RM6
Seafood tempura, RM5
The chicken was sooooo good! So juicy inside! One of the best fried chicken I've tasted! Guess what? When I came back to Malaysia I noticed that they have an outlet at Pavillion's food court too!!
Chicken chunks from 1973? I think that's the shop's name.
The 5- Star chicken tasted better though! But if you are in a hurry like I was, you can get your chicken from 1973 too because it tasted okay and it's located right outside the MRT station. I was hurrying to meet one of my supervisor's mentor so I just packed chicken and run.
Oh, and in Taiwan I hardly drank water during the first few days... till I got dehydrated later on and then bought mineral water. So what I drank instead? Tea!
I realized this bad habit of not drinking water when I'm overseas LOL
Yup, I love tea so I was going bonkers on tea when I was in Taipei. By the way, Chatime here is on par, if not better than most of the milk tea there so I can happily enjoy my Chatime in Malaysia without needing to fly all the way there for good tea.
But one, only one shop in Taipei that I came across that sells super good milk tea that tops Chatime is 50嵐 (I copied and paste the Chinese character from Google). Apparently that chinese character is "Lan" :X
50嵐 (50 Lan milk tea)
The milk tea has this really fragrant tea smell and its so yummy with milk!! I've been drinking milk tea, green tea, black tea, red tea all with pearls for the first few days in Taipei. Then I felt a bit guilty because the milk seems unhealthy (and I wasn't drinking water) so I decided to have fresh milk tea!
LOVE LOVE LOVE Fresh milk tea!
But that, you gotta shake before drinking because fresh milk will separate from tea so you will get two layers. The fresh milk is so light and the fact that it's fresh milk erases all guilt if indulging in milk tea!
Fresh milk tea. See the two layers? Top fresh milk, bottom tea.
Back to normal milk tea with pearls again on my last night in Taipei LOL
Okay, I'm ending this post with Ah Cheng's meesua (rice flour noodles) picture. I didn't try it even if it's a must try in Ximending because there's pork intestines inside. But everyone was slurping away on their meeshua.
They only have stools there so you gotta hold the bowl and slurp up! I think its priced at RM5. Service was efficient though, everyone had their meesua within such short time so no grumpy customers.
Oh, another famous food in Taipei is their Lu Rou Fan (braised minced pork rice). I didn't try it though but this couple sitting next to me while I was flying to Taipei kept harping on how yummy that dish is and that I should try it and that she would want to eat bowls and bowls of rice. So it must be that good haha