When I first mentioned we were headed over to Taiwan for a family holiday the initial response I got from a couple of people with disdain in their voice was “What on earth for?”.
I didn’t realise there was a stigma of Taiwan not being a tourist destination – after all it is a convenient and cheap short fight from Hong Kong and the exchange rate is incredibly favourable. Apparently I hadn’t got the memo that not many non-chinese look at it as a serious destination. Well such a shame for anyone who would write it off because Taiwan is a great destination and wonderful value for money.
Of course, our family is pretty easy to please. Give us some exposure to the local food and we’re set! One thing Taipei gave us was an absolute explosion of food and flavour.
As soon as we had dropped our luggage at the hotel we headed off to one of the night markets to find some stinky tofu. Yep – it really is stinky (think those fake fart smell toys we had as kids in the 80’s), but if you like tofu then you’ll probably like the stinky version as well. It is coated in a yummy mild chilli sauce. The tofu has a subtle taste of the stinkiness, but if you can tolerate the smell it doesn’t detract from the dish.
Did I ever mention how much I appreciate the fact Bethany will try anything once?
The next morning we headed onto the streets once more to find some breakfast buns – something we were told the locals would enjoy. Around the corner from our hotel was this great little place with locals lining up to get their steamed buns for breakfast. It was just a makeshift stall set up between two buildings where buns were being rushed down from their restaurant close by to meet the demands of hungry passers-by.
They had a sign with their menu – ranging from plain steamed buns with no filling to a variety of savoury filled buns. I couldn’t read the menu since it was in Chinese, but I trusted my hubby to pick up a selection for us to try. The buns were ridiculously cheap and at first when I was told how much they were I thought I hadn’t heard right.
Freshly steamed, and bagged up we walked back to the hotel to enjoy them. My favourite was filled with garlic chives. I know that sounds strangely odd, but chives inside a bun is actually tasty (if you like chives). The taste isn’t overwhelming as the bun softens the flavours a bit and it was quite a refreshing meal to have for breakfast.