As I mentioned before, I place food as a priority when it comes to traveling, and one thing that I was adamant to try when we were visiting Taipei was the night markets there – so almost getting off our flight and picking up the hired car – we were off to Nanjichang Night Market.
Getting there is a little difficult purely on the fact that GPS systems in Taiwan are not particularly advanced and therefore directed us into the side street instead of highway – which meant that it took a while to get there; but much more joy when we arrived. Given that I didn’t eat on the flight – I was excited – especially when there were a lot of locals about.
Search around, one of the more popular dishes in Taiwan is stinky tofu, and Ms. Buddha noticed a store that she had read somewhere – just look out for the yellow sign.
For ordering, similar to local places in Hong Kong, you order by ticking an order sheet – Ms. Buddha inspected what to order and went with a few things.
First thing was chilli stinky tofu – which is basically fermented tofu that has a pretty strong foul smell – for those who love it – the smell is delicious and alluring, for those who don’t like it – I don’t know how it smells….
The taste itself was excellent in that the fermenting process creates “holes” like you have in cheese that soaks up the flavour of the chilli soup like a sponge!
Next up was some veggie topped with minced meat – the veggie was fresh and crispy (I don’t like them soggy) and the mince added a nice salty flavour to the leaves.
Last thing (at this place) was a small red vinegar noodle for Ms. Buddha – the noodles’ texture was nice and firm but for me, it was just slightly too “doughy” – the soup base on the other hand was nicely done!
After having our bellies temporarily sedated – Ms. Buddha and I walked for a bit and found a pork wrap place – the place itself was manned by a very cool bloke who didn’t speak to any customers – never smiled – but the smell was enough to still entice us to order – you also don’t tell him the sauce you want until he’s almost done because I think he actually forgets.
The wrap was delicious, and the owner is forgiven for his coolness – the shell was crispy and the meet was nicely cooked – Ms. Buddha loved it!
As we roamed around, I was caught by the sight of what looked like blood cakes, so stopped and looked – the store itself is basically a point and pick what you want and the lady will cook it and plate it up for you. If you order enough, you also get unlimited “soup” – which is the broth they cook the food up with.
You find a free seat and just start eating – the pig’s blood cakes were nice although lacked a little of the blood taste because I think it’s slightly more diluted. The other items were typical meat balls and fish cakes – which were delicious.
In terms of night markets – the markets are not as big as Thailand CentralWorld Bangkok, Market – Experience, but the variety and atmosphere was a lot less touristy and food overall was worth the visit.