Jodie's journal

Taiwanese fast food: Lu rou fan

What is the most popular dish in Taiwan?
What is a typical Taiwanese dish?


When we were little, my mom was sometimes too busy to prepare our lunch. She would give us some money and tell us to eat at the Luroufan stand near our home.

We would be so glad to have the chance to eat out, especially Luroufan, because it was our favorite. My sisters and I would run to the Luroufan stand.

At lunch time, the shop were always busy, but the luroufan was usually served very quickly. Everything was prepared, so the waitress simply needed to spoon the sauce on top of the rice in the bowl, and bring it to us right away. We never needed to wait for long.

Church, temple and childhood

 Before I was 30, I never enjoyed entering a Taiwanese temple. The Gods looked weird, wearing strange clothes and hats, some of them were even very dark. They were frightening to me. They were not God. (photo by Joyce Tay)They were not kind like my God.

The burning incense in the temple was even worse. It made the whole temple smoky, the smell of the incense pushed me away from the whole religion. I didn’t understand why those people were holding the incense and talking to those wooden idols.

I thought everything about the temple was just stupid: the Gods were not real, incense smelled terrible, the people were ignorant. I didn’t even agree with the way Taiwanese offered the food to their idol God and their ancestors.

12 ways to explore old Taipei's Dadaocheng area

 

1. Morning markets

Tàipíng market: This is the oldest open market in Taipei, built more than 100 years ago. The market offers all kind of fresh fruits, vegetables, meat and seafood. The food stores around the market have been offering the most delicious food for more than half of a century. Originally, it was a wholesale market.

Yǒnglè market: It was originally established around 1910, during the Japanese colonial period, when it was the first indoor market in Taiwan. It was the first time Japanese administrators organized an outdoor Chinese style market, and brought the stallholders into a cleaner and more hygienic indoor market. Upstairs on the 2nd floor is a fabric market.

2. Night markets

Níngxià night market:

Taiwanese Beer Houses

If you're visiting Taiwan on business and your local business partners take you out for dinner, it's very likely they'll take you to some famous, expensive restaurant, in a prestigious location like Taipei 101. Even if you are here visiting friends, it's still likely they'll take you to some clean, well-staffed restaurants for dinner. Possibly your host will even take you to a western-style restaurant, even though you're in Asia.

Things to do in Taipei, Taiwan: Mazu temple's beer garden

Mazu Temple Beer Garden (photo by Joyce Tay)Mazu temple's beer garden

Did you ever see a church with its own beer garden? Probably not, but in Taiwan people have a more relaxed attitude to such matters.

For example: the beer garden in the Temple to the sea-Goddess Mazu, near Dihua Street. You might think that it's very disrespectful to put a beer garden here, but I would say it must be the mercy of the Goddess, that more than 40 family-run restaurants could make a living by her temple, and the hard-working people could enjoy very good food and beer in her courtyard at a bargain price.

There are many street restaurants around the temple, and people enjoy eating and drinking under the banyan tree in the temple yard. It's a place the hard working people have traditionally gone to relax after work. There are more than 40 authentic Taiwanese street food restaurants and food stalls.

Exploring Taiwan's history, culture and cuisine

Old Taipei Tour - Dadaocheng and Dihua StreetIn the near future we will start offering this tour of historic Di Hua Street, and the Da Dao Cheng Area in Taipei. The tour will cover the morning market, temples, the traditional food stands and small restaurants.

Scooter Diary: The City over The Mountain

September 5th, 2012: This morning, I unpacked my own Chinese tea set and went to sit in the guest house garden. I want to drink oolong tea on this sweet potato farm, and enjoy the view of Yangmingshan where my ancestors lived 100 years ago.

Scooter Diary: Everything is art

Juming museum and art gallery, Taiwan - Outdoor taichi sculptureSeptember 4th, 2012: I got up very early. The bright sun light shining through the guest house window woke me before 7am, even though that cup of fresh coffee I had yesterday kept me awake till very late.

Scooter Diary: Sweet potato history in Jinshan

We keep on driving on Route 106 through Pingxi district. There are many brightly-colored sky lanterns flying up into the clouds from the village of Shihfen, trailing smoke. There's nothing to slow us down – we only spend a minute waiting for a long traffic light and then continue our journey. I wanted to take a photo of the sky lanterns flying above the mountains while waiting for the lights, but the camera is never as good as my eyes.

From Shifen to Wanli to Jinshan

Scooter Diary: From Coal to Coffee in Jingtong, Pingxi

Photo by Joyce Tay September 3rd , 2012: Well, I am packed, and the scooter is ready – no more doubts. We left by 1pm, the sun was above us all the time when we were driving on Route 106. We left Taipei city and Shenkeng behind, and drove up into the mountains.
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