We don’t think we know of anyone who haven’t gained a few kilos after visiting Taiwan. The reason: Tasty Taiwanese snacks and well-known street food that aren’t available in Singapore.
The ever-popular tourist destination — especially for Singaporeans — is well-liked for many reasons, but the biggest draw (at least for foodies like us!) has to be its street food culture. Oyster mee sua (wheat vermicelli), fried chicken cutlets, beef noodles, minced pork rice, and stinky tofu…we’re already salivating at the mention of all these night market mainstays.
While we can travel to Taiwan now — there are Taiwanese joints in Singapore that serve up a slew of authentic food that even natives approve of. Read on for the full list
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Our biggest guilty pleasure? Fried Chicken. There’s no denying the allure of a crisp salted batter that’s fried to perfection, especially when it encases a juicy slab of meat within it. The thick chuck of Devil Chicken comes in two flavours(Original, and Spicy) and three levels of spiciness(mild, normal, and extra spicy). So those who are able to handle the heat can get a kick from the extra spicy choice.
(Image credit: @devilchickensg via Instagram)
Expect hearty, affordable Taiwanese favourites at Eat 3 Bowls, located at Crawford Lane and Pasir Panjang. The classroom-themed joint was opened by a Singaporean and his Taiwanese wife with a single mission in mind: to offer value-for-money and authentic Taiwanese fare right here in Singapore. Here, we recommend ordering the Signature 3 Bowls set, complete with a trio of petit-sized bowls of Braised pork rice, intestine mee sua, and chicken rice. If you’d like to stick to just one dish, regular portions of all three dishes are available as well.
Pasir Panjang outlet – Opening Hours: 11am – 9pm (Wedbesday – Monday). Closed on Tuesdays.
Crawford Lane outlet – Opening Hours: 11am – 9pm (Tuesday to Sunday). Closed on Mondays.
(Image credit: @tummyforlyfe via Instagram)
Typhoon Cafe is where you should head to if you’d like to have your dishes in a slightly more modern, cafe-styled environment. While their signature main dishes have a fair share of fans, we’re mostly heading here for a plate of soufflé pancakes. Think fluffy, sweet cloud with fruit and ice-cream toppings for the ultimate end-of-meal treat.
Opening Hours: 11.30am – 10pm (Monday to Sunday, Last Order 9.30pm), 10.30am – 10pm (Last Order 9.30pm at i12 KATONG MALL on Saturday and Sunday)
The homely decor of this Taiwanese cafe is inviting, despite being located near a bus stop. Opened by a Taiwanese but now a Singapore PR, classics like Taiwanese Braised Minced Pork Rice, Oyster Intestine Mee Sua, and Taiwanese Salty Crispy Chicken are definitely winners here.
The fat-to-lean meat ratio of the pork belly is just nice here and melts in your mouth easily without being too coy and pairs well with the fragrant short-grain rice. It also helps the braised sauce is addictive and that makes you want to polish the bowl in seconds.
Opening Hours: 11am – 3pm (Monday to Thursday), 11am – 3pm, 6pm – 9pm (Friday), 11am – 9pm (Saturday),.Closed on Sundays.
(Image credit: @pohshiyen_/Instagram)
Roji Monster, the internationally-famed shaved ice store from Taiwan, landed in Singapore earlier this year with a bang, and has continued to enjoy much success from curios patrons around the island. The dessert store is renowned for its monster shaved ice, available in flavours such as Milk, Uji Matcha, Black Sesame, Milk, and Belgian Chocolate, paired with two toppings (including selections like housemade mochi and doriyaki) of your choice. Limited-edition flavours like Mango Passionfruit come out occasionally as well.
Opening Hours: 1pm to 11pm (Wednesday, Friday to Monday), 3pm to 11pm (Thursday)
(Image credit: @iceshakeats via Instagram)
We loved heading to Monki Cafe at Holland Village for their authentic Taiwanese grub, but before you head over, do take note: Monki Cafe is now at its new location at The Star Vista.
One dish we’re looking to re-order? Their version of Da Chang Bao Xiao Chang, is an iconic glutinous rice, sausage and vegetable roll combination that’s a little harder to find here on our shores.
Opening Hours: 10:30am – 9:30pm (Monday to Friday), 10:30am – 9pm (Saturday to Sunday)
Don’t be fooled by its Japanese name. Isshin Machi is a Taiwan-specialist eatery with an extensive menu. The Hakka-style Braised Meat Rice or Lu Rou Fan here is generous with ingredients, topped with both fatty and lean strips of braised pork, pickled vegetables, sliced cucumber and a whole braised egg.
Those who crave noodles can find the uncommon ban mian-looking Tainan Guan Miao Noodles, which you can substitute with the usual La Mian for any noodle dish like the Taiwanese Braised Beef Noodles.
Opening Hours: 11am – 9:30pm (Monday to Sunday)
(Image credit: @isshinmachi_sg/Instagram)
Abundance is derived from the wordplay of ‘bun’ as they specialise in Taiwanese-style buns like the Taiwan-style Gua Bao and other classic Taiwanese dishes. Their signature bun is stuffed with savoury pork belly, sweet peanuts and tangy pickles that make it a moreish bite.
Also notable in the modern Taiwanese eatery are delectable side dishes like Spicy Chilli Dumplings aka Hong You Chao Shou, Prawn Toast, Fried Pork Chop ($8), and Popcorn Chicken.
Lengkok Bahru outlet – Opening Hours: 11am – 3pm, 4pm – 10pm (Monday to Sunday)
Jalan Besar outlet – Opening Hours: 11am – 3pm, 4:30pm – 10pm (Wednesday to Sunday), Closed Mondays and Tuesdays
(Image credit: @a8undance/Instagram)
Named after the international dialling code for Taiwan, +886 is a contemporary Taiwan Bistro that serves the best of Taiwanese dishes with its menu. No Taiwanese eatery is do without signature items like Braised Pork Rice. Here, it’s named Ah Bao Braised Pork Rice. Also must-orders are the fragrant Scallion Chicken Rice, Imperial Pork Chop, Honey Glazed Crispy Chicken, and Fried Chicken Skin.
Those who aren’t into oysters can opt for Chicken Mee Sua, an alternative take on the classic Oyster Mee Sua.
Opening Hours: 11:30am – 9:30pm (Monday to Sunday)
(Image credit: @886bistro/Instagram)
A first in Singapore, Taiwan Night Markets is a food court conceptualised by Fei Siong Group that replicates Taiwan’s renowned night markets. The 8000-square-foot outlet houses 19 street food kiosks and 5 mini restaurants that allow 300 indoor seats.
Signatures here include Night Market Huge Steak, Taiwanese QQ Sweet Potato Balls, Peanut Roll Ice Cream, and Salty Crispy Chicken. The Sesame Oil Chicken Soup is also a standout for its comforting flavour and nourishing qualities of the fragrant stir-fried ginger.
Opening Hours: 11:30am – 9pm (Sunday – Thursday), 11:30am – 9:30pm (Friday – Saturday)
(Image credit: @taiwannightmarkets/Instagram)
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(Hero and featured image credit: Typhoon Cafe)
This story first appeared on Lifestyle Asia Singapore