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Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Spring in Taiwan 2017 - Breakfasts We Had in Taipei

Breakfast in Taiwan, is a thing! So many things to try!
Very affordable for Malaysians.
Extremely cheap for those whose currency is even higher.

Taiwanese breakfasts are a bit different from what we usually have in Malaysia. And there's quite a lot to try on our short trip.

With four mornings in Taipei, we had these for breakfast. I tried to eat something different each day.

1. Qingdao Soy Milk 青島豆漿店

This was our first breakfast for the trip. I was attracted to the baked pastries, that were usually fried in other breakfast joints. The rating on Google was also quite good at 4.1. It is a popular joint among Japanese tourists, as you can see their comments on Google Map and on Japanese blogs

It was a rainy morning, and we took a bus from our hotel (yes just opposite the road) to the nearest bus stop of Qingdao Soy Milk. We arrived before 7am, and the tables were empty.

Prices of food are all on the wall. Service was quick and courteous.

See their work table. There's some raw dough, and some seem to be half cooked.

That's how they bake their pastries. Unlike the usual way that is pan fried.

This is what we ordered, both of us shared everything.

The chives box or leek box (as known to some) is quite bland. The sweet pastry is err..... not exciting

The savoury soy milk doesn't have a lot of curds (compared to Fuhang), but taste is ok. The best of the lot is definitely the pork pastry. Juicy pork encased in a doughy flour crust. It's very juicy!

The pastries here were baked no fried, and it's a good place if you are sodium conscious and fat content conscious. This outlet is very popular with Japanese tourists, and they even have a Japanese menu.(A group of them came after we sat down, and they all ordered the pork pastry). Personally, despite its good rating from locals and Japanese, the food here doesn't suit my tastebuds.

2. Qingdao Road Rice Rolls 青島飯糰

This was our favourite breakfast during our trip. And I was so glad when I found out about a very good rated rice roll is right there at out hostel's door step.

We purchased two purple rice rolls, one with everything, and another with fish and eggs. Both are good. Basic ones come with rice, cruller, meat floss and pickled vegetables. The rice was nicely chewy, crullers were crunchy, the meat floss added a light touch of sweetness. and the sour vegetables complemented everything.

Glistening rice granules

I introduced this stall to my brother who also visited Taipei, and he bought white rice roll and purple rice roll. According to him, the purple one is nicer.

Half a year after this trip, my friend and I still think of this rice roll. It's our favourite breakfast in Taiwan.
The opening time stated on Google is 6am, but they have just arrived. I saw them on our first morning at 6.20am, and they were still setting up. I was told that it will only be ready 6.30am onwards.

Queue on the left and prices and options are listed on the yellow board. If you don't know what to choose, just say "Joong Her', which means everything. Hahaha!

They are operating on a makeshift stall. By around 10am, they will need to close and make way for the knitting shop to open for business.

3. Legendary Baozi 傳說水煎包

This pan fried bun is located far off from Taipei Station area.
I came to this area because I wanted to take a direct bus at Nangang Exhibition Center to Yilan's Lanyang Museum . The shop is located in a side alley, hence the signboard is slanting to make it visible from the main road.

This place won't go well with the hygiene conscious. If you are unfamiliar with this type of eatery, you might not feel comfortable sitting down and have your meal. Malaysians should be able to accept it, just don't look around. There's nothing running around, but looks like not much maintenance was being carried out.

The ratings on google are pretty high, and I read some pretty good comments about it on Taiwanese blogs. And the price is very very affordable.

We ordered a breakfast set (any 3 buns + a drink for TWD52) and a healthy porridge (TWD20).

The buns are big!! We were glad we just took one set to share.

My favourite was the healthy porridge养生粥. Goji berries, purple rice, barley and a few other grains made up this simple porridge. It wasn't spectacular, but it was plain porridge that was just plainly good.
Something comforting for me.

The roasted rice milk 米浆 was good. A bit too sweet for us, but the fragrance was really good.

As for the buns.... the spicy chicken was what I read to be the highest rated among the locals, but sadly it didn't work out for us. Spicy, with a hint of fermented bean paste dry chicken breast cubes.. Sorry, not for me. I liked the pickled vegetable one the best.

I find that the one I bought in Dongdamen market to taste better than all these 3, but to be fair, these do not have hints of MSG. But even MSG aside, the crust was just too oily for me. The healthy porridge is useful in washing down all the grease from my mouth.

4. Fuhang Soy Milk 阜杭豆漿

Now, Fuhang can be said as the most popular breakfast outlet for tourists in Taipei. Just go on Tripadvisor and you will see why. The queue is insane. I came here quite early at about 6.50am. And I was already queuing on the stairs. 10 minutes later, the queue extended to the corridor. So, do come here early ya.
Usually I avoid touristy places, but I wanted to find out how good this is, is it really worth all that hype?

Fuhang is easily accessible with a MRT stop just in front, which makes it ultra popular with tourists. The shop is on first floor, not easily seen, but just look out for the crowd and you won't miss it.

6.50am queue on a weekday

Locals said their Shaobing is the best in town, hmmm ok. And their soy milk too. My brother came here few weeks before I did and he told me his bad experience with the fried crullers and the jianbing he had and he also said our mother's soy milk was better than theirs. LOL. He told me the crullers smelled of rancid oil and the oil taste lingered in this mouth the whole day long! I think that is the trouble with frying with vegetable oil that has a low smoking point. I also felt the same eating fried food from street stalls in Japan, the oil smelled rancid too. In Malaysia, we are used to eating fried food cooked in palm oil that has a high smoking point.

I took this picture of their kitchen when I was queuing to order.

Here's what we ordered.
1. Salty Soy Milk 咸豆浆- wonderful curds!!!
2. Roasted Rice Milk 米浆 - Not the best we had
3. Caramel Bun 焦糖甜饼 - Oh heavenly!
4. Green Onion Roll 葱花咸饼 - Ok, not bad.
5. Sesame Flat Bread with Eggs 薄饼夹蛋 - Ok... like Ok.

I didn't take picture of the prices, but the prices are everywhere on the internet. This breakfast cost two of us around TWD126, if I'm not mistaken.

Worth queuing for? Hmm..... I'll come if I don't need to queue longer than 10 minutes. The food is ok for me, maybe I skipped the bad reviewed items by my brother, and the food is indeed better than Qingdao. But is it really all that spectacular?

The best sourdough pastries in Taipei, is as rated by the locals is 老張炭烤燒餅店
(Old Chang Charcoal Baked Pastries)
in Nangang area, I wanted to try that on the day I was in the area, but it is closed on Mondays. There are videos online about this well loved pastry shop. Maybe you will like to pay them a visit instead :)

And...... lastly FuDingDumplings which should have been no5.

And I have one more place, that I really want to recommend. It's FuDing Dumplings. Initially I planned to visit this place on a morning, but a change of plans made us visit there for dinner instead. So, I will not list it here. FuDing is open from early morning to 9pm. It's along the brown MRT line that leads to the Zoo, so it's a good place to eat just before visiting the zoo, or going up to MaoKong. I will share about Ding Feng in a separate post, where it's all about Xiao Long Bao!

FuDing's Golden Chive Xiao Long Bao

Next post: Xiao Long Bao :)


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