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Taiwan: Food Paradise

December 3, 2015

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The time has finally come! We’ve been talking about it for a while, and now we are ready to share our 48 hours food porn paradise video. Allow us to present to you Taiwan: The Heroin of Food. No no, The Crack of Food…no wait…the Ecstasy of Food. Yeah. That sounds better. That’s how addictive Taiwanese food is and that’s how blown away we were with Taiwan.

One thing we can honestly say is that we didn’t know what to expect from Taiwan. Korea and Japan are places we’ve had on our bucket list and had readily tasted the food and the culture from back when we were living in Canada, but Taiwanese food and culture? Wow were we ever pleasantly surprised. Everything was so fresh and flavourful, the people are so friendly, and the city has the razzle dazzle of a big city with small alleyways still loaded with small town charm. If you’re planning on traveling to Taiwan, and we strongly recommend that you do, I hope this blogpost will help get you started on all the epic things you must experience!!!

Our Hotel Experience

To begin with, we stayed at the Shangri-La’s Far Eastern Plaza Hotel in Taipei and holy smokes, we got some epic views of the city. All those gorgeous time lapses you see of the clouds rolling in over the city are from the top bar at the hotel called the Marco Polo Lounge. We were able to relax and chill with a nice drink while the camera just snapped away from the window beside us. We had originally planned to hike up a big mountain to get an epic view of the city but honestly, my busted knees just wouldn’t make it, so the hotel was a great option. Plus we got to drink some amazing cocktails while we were waiting…hahaha! We haven’t stayed at a hotel in a long time and this place was awesome. Everyone spoke English fluently, were super friendly, and the breakfast buffet was AH-mazing. They had every type of breakfast food possible: Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Taiwanese, Western…a freakin juice bar, it was insane. Picture me happily skipping with a plate stacked with dim sum (that isn’t over cooked) Chinese noodles, Japanese miso soup, a single croissant, and local fruit. It was a weird but wonderful combination.

The Tea Ceremony

Also, we didn’t film all of it because it felt like we were intruding on the moment, but we went to a tea ceremony with the hotel’s tea expert and we learned about the differences between hand rolled tea leaves, black tea, green tea, the first pour and more. Simon had the very first cup of green tea that he didn’t hate and it was made by Taiwanese monks in the mountain. That’s one of those experiences where you’re like, “great, now I have to fly back to Taiwan if I ever want to have this one cup of tea I like.”

Boba or Bubble Tea

Speaking of tea, boba or bubble tea is on a totally different level in Taiwan. I didn’t know that boba was invented in Taiwan, but supposedly the tea shop we went to Chung Shui Tang was founded by the original creator! How cool is that. I also didn’t know that they MAKE THEIR OWN FREAKIN BUBBLE PEARLS. Most places order pre-made factory bubbles that they rehydrate/cook but not this place. Home. Freaking. Made. We actually tasted three different teas but we didn’t film it all. We tried the original Pearl Milk Tea, Tie Guan Yin Tea, and a Pomelo Tea (all with bubbles) and they were fantastic. The Pomelo was surprising because it was actually very refreshing. It’s like a citrus or grapefruit and it has a refreshing taste kind of link pink lemonade without being too tart. I don’t know how to explain it since it was my first pomelo experience. I think what shocked us the most was all the side dishes you could order. Our favourites were the sticky rice covered dim sum thingy, the radish cake, and the vegetables which are just mind blowingly crispy and fresh tasting.

Shilin Night Market

There are tons of street food markets all over Taiwan and they all have different types of foods. For example, I heard that if you go to one closer to the coastline, you’ll get a lot of seafood specials. We spent hours walking around the night market trying to decide what to eat. We actually had a full plan which was to only order one of something and just share it so that we could save room for many little meals, but that eventually got thrown out the window after we stopped sharing with each other.

This place was totally overwhelming and we could have filmed all our Taiwan videos there. I mean, we didn’t have one bad meal and we didn’t get an upset stomach or anything. Simon and I disagree with our favourite meal in the market. Simon loved the Fried Chicken Cutlets (Ji Pai 雞排). Like scream out loud when he had it kind of loved it. It was amazing, I’ll admit. Perfectly thin, perfectly breaded, perfectly cooked. It was easy to bite through, juicy, and the seasoned perfectly.

However, I am a dumpling person. That half-boiled, half pan fried dumpling (which BTW had a HUGE lineup) was mind blowing for me. The inside was so tender and perfectly seasoned. It didn’t have any lumps of fat or hard bits to chew through, just juicy, garlic, ginger, perfection ….UGHHHHHHHHH. All the dumplings we tried had slightly different seasonings on the inside so it wasn’t like having the same filling over and over again. Like the Pepper Cakes (Hu Jiao Bing 胡椒餅) were so crispy and juicy.

I think Simon and I both agree on the magic of the Peanut Brittle Shaved Ice Cream wraps. We had to chase this dude down because he closed up shop to move to a different part of the market on his little rolling cart. I had passed that giant peanut brittle brick earlier on and during my pre-Taiwan web searching, I had read about this epic food. When I saw him rolling away I was like, “NOOOOOOoOOOoooOOOoooOOOOoo” and we managed to stop him near an nice open space. YAY!

Ice Monster

When we were visiting California a couple years ago our friend Jen took us to Blockhead in LA which was our first time trying such thinly shaved ice dessert. While she originally compared it Korean patbingsu I see now that it was its own category of dessert. Ice Monster was absolutely incredible. I mean, Blockhead’s was super great, but the intense mango flavour at Ice Monster was insane! I didn’t know that mangos were a thing in Taiwan but apparently yes, they are grown there amongst the other magic fruits I tried. Also, it turns out that thing we thought was tofu on first glance was actually a cream pudding. Damn. I really want Ice Monster now.

World Soymilk King

If there is one thing you MUST do in Taiwan it’s go to this place. I’m sure local Taiwanese foodies could recommend more awesome breakfast locations, but we went here twice (once for pre-dinner snacking) and it was just epic. The menu is pretty overwhelming and they don’t have anything written in English, but they do have that outside display case where you can see what they have to offer! But no matter what you get, you MUST have the shredded radish cakes Luo Bo Si Dan Bing 蘿蔔絲蛋餅 Oh MAH GAWD! This was just…dream food. Just creamy, salty, mashed potato, I-don’t-know-how-to-explain-it delicious rectangles of joy.

Beef Noodle Soup

So if you leave Taiwan without having a really tender, really savoury beef noodle soup, you failed you trip. I didn’t know Beef Noodle Soup was such an epic Taiwanese thing, but apparently it is. We had about three on our trip but the best by far was one we found down some random alleyway near our hotel. Of course it was down a random alleyway. I didn’t get their business card or anything but I literally spent 10 minutes on google maps scrolling down the side streets until I found it. HA! They had a big pot of broth boiling out front and it was the first thing you laid your excited eyes on as you approached the modest looking restaurant. I ordered the beef noodle soup with wontons and Simon got the straight up original. It’s such a small place, maybe 6-8 tables, that I watched the chef make my wontons fresh through the thin glass divided us from the kitchen. There is something great about being able to see your food being made, you know? Anyhow, here is the address of the most delicious beef noodle soup we had on our trip. Sorry we don’t have the name but if you use google maps you can see the restaurant located right on the corner with the big silver pots.

27 Lane 1, Section 3, Heping E Rd, Taipei, Taipei City

We’ve got a few pictures of the trip in a gallery below, including the awesome pics of the Nasties we met up with! We spent so much time filming we forgot to take actually pictures with our camera. Haha vlogging life.

Otherwise, if you’re coming to Taipei, and want to visit some of the places we went to, here are their names and addresses. We put them in order of appearance in our video to make it easier for you to sort.

世界豆漿大王 World Soymilk King (for amazing breakfast and freshly made soy milk)
No.284, Sec. 2, Yonghe Rd., Yonghe Dist., New Taipei City 23445, Taiwan

春水堂 Chung Shui Tang (for the original bubble tea)
No.20-1, Zhongshan S. Rd., Zhongzheng Dist., Taipei City 10001, Taiwan

紫琳蒸餃館 Zi Lin Steamed Dumplings (where Simon abandoned me so he could eat dumplings and didn’t even share)
B1, No.97, Sec. 4, Zhongxiao E. Rd., Da’an Dist., Taipei City 10690, Taiwan

士林夜市Shilin Night Market (all the awesome street food we got was from roaming this market for hours) MRT Jiantan Station

北投麗禧酒店 Grand View Resort Beitou (the hot springs with the epic view)
No.30, Youya Rd., Beitou Dist., Taipei City 11243, Taiwan

鼎泰豐 Din Tai Fung (oh yeah…xiao long bao soup dumplings)
B1, No.77, Sec. 6, Zhongshan N. Rd., Shilin Dist., Taipei City 11155, Taiwan

Ice Monster (we recommend the mango, the coffee, and pearl milk tea boba shaved ice)
No.297, Sec. 4, Zhongxiao E. Rd., Da’an Dist., Taipei City 10696, Taiwan

品鱻熱炒 Pin Xian Stir Fired Bar (I don’t know what to recommend because we ordered EVERYTHING)
No.68, Leli Rd., Da’an Dist., Taipei City 10679, Taiwan

李白居 Li Bai Lounge (for the modern-meets-traditonal cocktails we had at the end of the video)
6F, No.201, Sec. 2, Dunhua S. Rd., Da’an Dist., Taipei City 10675, Taiwan

And of course, we had so many extra scenes. Check out the behind the scenes and extra food porn if you dare!

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Taiwan: Food Paradise

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  1. About how much was the food? I was wondering conversion rates because after seeing this I really want to visit Taiwan now! I would be coming from Japan but just if you lost a lot converting from the Won or if you gained…
    Thanks again for such an awesome video!

    3 years ago
    • I’d also like to ask what airport did you fly into? Thanks again! I appreciate the help everyone!!

      3 years ago
  2. When ever I watch your food videos I have to turn down my volume during the parts you eat. If I someone over hears you eating they will think I’m watching porn. “I’m going in” “mmmmm” “ugh thats so sweet and warm” “ughhh oh ohhhhh yea!” “oh my god OH MY GOD ” “lick it lick it good!” ( to give a couple of examples)

    3 years ago
  3. I’ve licked my screen and it was worth it

    3 years ago
  4. Hey Simon and Martina! Toronto EXO-Ls were wondering if you could help us out? EXO is having a North American tour, and Toronto could be chosen if we had more “makers” and “tastes”. To find out more, click here: https://www.mymusictaste.com/promotion/1531 We’d really, really appreciate the help! Thank you.

    3 years ago
  5. finally~~ :D it was so great to see you guys in taipei, even if only for a short time. can’t really see me in the intro, i’m standing all~ the way on the back.
    but you did such a great job at combining travel shots, with foodporn, with useful information and your humour! one of your best videos so far if i dare say (obviously not biased here… :P)

    next time you come here, try some bubble teas from bubble tea stores (they only sell take-way), they have such a huge variety there! my favourite is hazelnut bubble tea (50%sugar, 25% ice. you can choose how much you want of each), with small tapioka pearls. some places also have big white pearls that taste quite different! for convenience store bubble tea, there’s a vanilla milk tea from Lipton that’s absolutely amazing! (and also just around 1$)
    for food, try some all you can eat hot pot in ximen next time (incl.häagen dazs ice-cream!)! i think in general you’d like that area as well, lots of things to do there. game arcades! cinemas! karaoke!street performers! (also lots of taiwans own dvd-bangs *coughs*) also a lot of anime stuff. and there’s a cafe inside a pretty big plushie/stuffed animal shop which has small swings instead of benches to sit on.

    3 years ago
  6. Guys, I love your videos, but I’m not gonna lie – I miss the funny kpop review videos :/ because, ok, it’s interesting to watch about travel, food, etc., but I just miss the old entertainment where you do or say something just because you want to :) I think you don’t have to come back to filming them, but I would love if you would come up with some kind of series that would involve some sort of skit, random topic (like vlog) or something, because that way I was able to laugh with you (your sense of humor is perfect) :)

    3 years ago
  7. Your music editing skills are really improving. :)

    I was expecting a caning/bubble gum joke someplace, like something sexual, lol.

    3 years ago
  8. Great Vid guys.

    What kind of ice cream was in the spring roll? My wife does the cold spring roll thing really well … and this would be pretty cool to try.

    She USUALLY does the wraps with chicken or shrimp with a bar-b-que garlic and oyster sauce glaze, fresh cucumber – bell pepper – and carrot spears, and cilantro sprig.

    More or less a salad wrap.

    3 years ago
    • I don’t know exactly what kind it was, but I remember someone mentioning it being a brown sugar or something like that?

      3 years ago
      • the kind of ice-cream varies with each seller actually!
        sometimes it’s 3 different kinds of ice-cream, sometimes only 2.
        pineapple or taro are two common flavours, but everything should go well with it! maybe try lemon, strawberry or something like that?

        also those wraps sound amazing!

        3 years ago
  9. Meg

    One of my favorite things to do when watching your videos is to people watch the people in the background. Some look SO confused as to what you two are doing and its so amusing. Well, you guys settled it! When I go abroad this summer, Taiwan is definitely on my stop list!

    3 years ago
  10. Watched video

    6 pounds?
    I put on 6 pounds just – watching – the – video?

    3 years ago
  11. Joy

    Hahaha same, I think I stopped breathing during food shots. I’m going back in May and I can’t wait!

    3 years ago
  12. YES. Snow ice!!!! It’s the first thing I lunge for whenever I’m back in Taiwan. I can get it in NYC but it’s not the same. If I would want one dessert to represent Taiwan, that would be it.

    3 years ago
  13. Aw.. no Hello Kitty cafe… I miss that cafe…

    When I went to Taiwan, it was wonderful. Food was great, the tea, the apple milk, wandering the night market, the food, the hot springs with water from the mountain… It was just awesome. Only thing that sucked was that when I went, it was their monsoon/ rain season and it would ALWAYS rain heavily between 3-4 pm during our stay.

    3 years ago
  14. Why did you guys have to post this video while my mum is on a diet and won’t cook anything with carbs or meat in it!! This is torture! (xOx)

    3 years ago
  15. Ahhhskdfjhk I had to keep taking breaks in between food porn shots so that I could breathe. Taiwan, I need you in my life. My belly needs you. And I don’t think I can live in a world where I don’t get to eat your food. I’M COMING FOR YOU.

    3 years ago
  16. *ADDS TAIWAN TO PLACES SHE NEEDS TO VISIT*

    The food porn and travel porn shots are killllling me. This is one of the best videos you guys have done. Just epic. The desire to pack my bags and go there now is overwhelming….except cant. (recently unemployed and all…need to be smart and mature and conserve my money)

    Hot-Star (the large fried chicken place) just opened a location in Toronto (for reference next time you’re visiting your families back home). :D First one in North America! Been meaning to go, but the lineups have been crazy, and it’s also $10 for ONE PIECE OF CHICKEN. D: How much was it in Taipei?

    You can see Simon in the mirror when Martina is whipping her hair back and forth. XD I’m also in agreement with Martina on this one…1 hour of hair pampering and scalp massage? YES PLEASE. NO GREATER HEAVEN EXISTS.

    Martina, where did you get your black cherry print swimsuit? It’s adorable! And also wondering what you were drinking at Li Bai Lounge (the stem-less martini glass).

    3 years ago
    • hot star chicken is usually under 2-3$ in taipei, 10$ is quite expensive for that :D but then, it’s a huge piece so…i guess that’s still an okay-ish price?

      3 years ago
  17. Ammmmmazing! What a great video! I’ve been in love with the idea of traveling to Taiwan ever since I accidently stumbled into a soup dumpling and noodle Taiwanese café in Pittsburgh. My life was changed forever. One day I’ll make it to the dumpling motherland.

    3 years ago
  18. This is torture! WOW so much food and I’m hungry again (I just ate lunch). And Simon in the gym is my mantra too: I run so I can eat more, hahahah

    3 years ago
  19. Suck an epic video! Darn it, now I need to travel to Taiwan too! Thank you for adding all the addresses and the original name of the dishes, it makes it so much more tempting to go :D

    3 years ago