It was really coincidental that we were in Taipei during the same period and almost the same duration with Em and her sis. We had been arranging to meet up the past few days to no avail as there would be a break in communication whenever they were out of the hotel since they did not get the Taiwan prepaid data roaming sim card. In view of that, we would always update each other about where we would be going at the start of each day and left it to fate if we bumped into each other. Just because of this wonderful night, I declare Shilin Night Market my favourite night market in Taipei!
I've always associated Shilin Night Market as a night market that sells mainly food. But it was just like any other night market whereby you could find almost anything there-- like a bespectacled bunny with a bandaged ear in hip-hop get up.
Obligatory wefie shot in the grounds of Shilin.
My my my... what notti little icies!
We were tickled to see Singapore Soya Beancurd as we did not even know we had one! There are too many soya beancurd brand names in Singapore but none by that name.
Em and I had fixed the famous Ah Zhong Mian Xian (阿宗麵線) as our meeting place...
... but before we could even get there, the greedy hubz wanted to try some noodles which I thought looked like any other fat yellow noodles in Singapore. He loved it. I didn't.
In a pretty little accessories shop, I saw a poodle-like item together with the accessories. I thought it could be a swanky furry stand until the poodle turned and looked at us... I've said it a few times, Taipei is an extremely dog friendly city.
We decided to take a seat inside Ah Zhong Mian Xian/ Ah Zhong Mee Sua (阿宗麵線) while waiting for Em and her sis. We were surprised that we managed to snag good seats though without tables at such a famous stall.
We could not resist starting on our own first. OMG! Ah Zhong Mian Xian is sooooooooo yummy! I could taste the soup right now and am totally craving for a bowl as I'm typing this.
It was so gratifying to slurp a bowl of piping hot vermicelli (mee sua) in the cold drizzly weather. Ah Zhong would be my favourite vermicelli if only they had the oysters version as well. I would really choose oysters over pig's intestines.
Do take note that Ah Zhong Mian Xian is only served with pig's intestines so it might not be everyone's cup of tea. I don't take a lot of intestines as those not cleaned well would have s strong porky innards smell that I cannot stand. Ah Zhong's ones are soft, chewy and really delicious; No "smelly" porky taste at all.
I thought that the little girl beside us was really cute and I sneakily snapped a picture of her playing with her dad.
Finally Em and her sis arrived! Just when I thought Ah Zhong had tipped my happiness index, Em overloaded it more. I'm always super thrilled to meet with friends overseas.
A wefie with our phones.
We had to snap a pic of where we met to seal this memory till we are old grannies. Lol.
Hubby also wanted an obligatory shot with the legendary mee sua.
Next it was time to check out more food! We love the Shilin huge chicken steak (大雞排) back in Singapore and decided to try some chicken steak from big brand names in Taipei.
We saw Sa Niao Ji Pa (撒尿雞排) which doesn't have an official English name but if I were to translate Mandarin to English literally, it means "Pissing Chicken Steak". Yes, you didn't read wrongly. Apparently it is claimed that the chicken steak is so juicy, its juice would spew like someone taking a piss.
Could you see the juice spewing out? No? That's coz there isn't any juice spewing. It didn't live up to its juiciness though I like the taste of it.
Next contender would be Hao Da Da Ji Pa (豪大大雞排) also known as Hot Star Large Fried Chicken. We still like to call it by its Chinese name coz it is a pun on word sound that could mean "very big chicken steak".
They asked me to put the steak next to my face to show how big this chicken steak is. I like the taste. You could already tell how flavourful and sinful it is from the seasoning on the crispy skin.
By the time I update on my Taipei throwbacks, Hao Da Da Ji Pa (豪大大雞排) has already opened a few stalls in Singapore. Do note that the few times I bought in Singapore, the steak all had bones! I don't get why chicken steak should have bones! The Taipei one didn't have bones.
Guan Cai Ban (棺材板) is supposedly famous too. Look at the photos with the stall flanked by celebs. Loosely translated to "coffin bread", you could tell how its name was derived from the pictures.
I did not like this coffin bread at all. I didn't like the combination of mushy ingredients inside.
This is supposedly another famous stall. It is full of fried food! Em's sis said that if you follow where the Taiwanese queue, you would never go wrong. This whole Shilin food area was a wonderland for Kh. He was hypnotized by all the varieties of food like how silly flies are hypnotized to dazzling bright lights. For a while, he disappeared for so long that we reckoned that the kid was just lost in Wonderland.
We had oyster omelette...
Deep fried mini crabs and some roll...
Meatball soup to wash all the oil down.
After filling our tummies to the brim, we decided to get out of the bustling main food area underground back to level ground and started shopping. Boy was there lots to shop! It was so fun shopping with gals!
I've always wanted a chic (faux) leather style jacket. There was this shop that sold such cool, chic, pretty and girlish jackets all under one roof. Once I tried this piece on, Em and her sis unanimously agreed that this looked the best on me. Kh also preferred this over the rest. I really love this style best but it was just too cheap as compared to the rest. I can't recall the price now though I remember kh's eyes popping in disbelief. The beautiful dolly sales assistant explained very honestly that the material for this jacket was not as good as the rest.
"You could wear a few times and throw away," she quipped.
Even with that, Kh said something along the line of "Buy la! It's just like me walking down this street and coming back with the same value of food and you could wear yours a few times."
I would get to the story of the cheap jacket in another Taipei Throwback post.
While we were shopping, Kh disappeared for a while and came back with something for all of us!
He got Em a rooster pancake as that is her Chinese zodiac sign.
I thought he got himself a rooster too but he got a gun instead. You can't see it in this pic coz he bit it off before I could snap him with it.
He got Em's sis a motorcycle saying there wasn't any suitable design left.
I was so excited to see what he got me when he declared that I would definitely love it a lot. Oh boy oh boy, I thought it would be a dog or a cat. When he revealed an ugly pig from the paper bag, em and her sis burst out laughing.
Uh... I mentioned before in this post that I like pigs and cats but when I meant pigs, I meant those cute pigs.
We bit them heads off and laughed and posed with our kills. We ought to be hanged.
After that, it was more shopping in the slight drizzle which soon transformed to a passing shower just as we were on our way to the MRT station. What a lovely night full of good food and hearty laughter with my dear gal pal. I'm also glad to make friends with Em's sis. We could all click quite well!
I would end this post with a little gift of snack that Em gave. Chia Te (佳德糕餅) is Em's favourite brand for pineapple tarts in Taiwan. She loves how the pastries came with other fillings instead of just the usual pineapple. Her personal picks are the pineapple egg yolk and the cranberries and so she gave me those exact flavours.
It was the first time I hear of this brand and I tell you, she made me a convert! Before Chia Te, I never ever liked Taiwanese pineapple pastries. I find the pineapple taste too fake and the pastry too hard. I've always loved the Singapore version with buttery crumbly pastries and pineapple filling that tastes just like home-made pineapple purée. Chia Te pastries are so good that they threaten relationships-- My relationship with the Hub was on tenterhooks during that few days as we fought over the pastries, each claiming that the next packet was ours. In the end, we made a trip to the shop one fine day and practically swept every flavour off the shelves for our families and friends.
Wow... I took quite a while to craft the last few paragraphs above as I kept nodding off to sleep. I don't even know if what I wrote above make sense. I'm just too tired to proofread through now and will be scheduling to post this early Friday morning.
Happy TGIF all of you!
Past Taipei Throwback posts:
Taipei Throwback: First Night in Taipei
Taipei Throwback: The Curiosities in Modern Toilet Restaurant and Ximen Red House
Taipei Throwback: Bopiliao Old Street, Longshan Temple and Taipei Botanical Garden
Taipei Throwback: Liberty Square, Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall and Shida Night Market
Taipei Throwback: Taipei 101 and Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hall
Taipei Throwback: Zui Ma La Hot Pot, Wufenpu and Raohe Night Market
Taipei Throwback: A Laidback Day at Tamsui Fisherman's Wharf and Tamsui Old Street
Taipei Throwback: It Drizzled All Day at Beitou