Shilin Night Market 士林夜市 is the largest & most famous night market in Taipei, so how could we miss it when we were visiting the city for the first time? 😉
To get to Shilin Night Market, take the MRT to Jiantan Station (剑潭站). The mrt ride was about 15 min from Ximen MRT Station. The night market is a short 5 min walk after crossing the traffic light in front of the station exit 1. There are signs directing visitors to the night market so don’t worry about getting lost here.
As the night market only opens from 5pm, we reached Jiantan Station after 6pm & there was a bit of rain. But the rain didn’t seem to deter visitors as the night market was still crowded with people. Same for us who couldn’t wait to start our food hunt! 😉
Before the trip, I had already read online & heard from friends about this Hot Star Large Fried Chicken (豪大大鸡排), located near the start of the night market from the MRT station, that it’s nice but the stallholder won’t cut the chicken into smaller pieces for you. True enough, they already indicated that upfront on the stall that they won’t cut the large fried chicken for you. There is only 1 original flavour (unlike in Singapore where they have different flavours) & cost NTD55 each (about S$2.30). Though there was a long queue, but it moved pretty fast & I think we got the fried chicken within 10 min. The fried chicken was really crispy & tasty, I like! 🙂 Oh btw, they have 2 outlets in Shilin Night Market, the other one is near to the basement foodcourt (newly renovated & opened in Dec 2011).
After eating the large fried chicken, I was quite thirsty but couldn’t find this Wang’s Qing Cao herbal tea (50年老店王青草茶). It was only after more than an hour of shopping around did we ask an uncle from the shop my friend patronised about the directions to this herbal tea (青草茶). Fortunately it was worth the hunt! We each ordered 1 cup of herbal tea (NTD15, about S$0.65) which was very refreshing. The shop signboard says that it has a history of 50 years & uses all natural ingredients in the beverage. The herbal tea has no preservatives, no artificial flavouring & colouring, & no added sweetener or other chemicals. From the description, I already felt so healthy drinking it lol.
We found that the street where this herbal tea was found, had lots of other yummy-looking snacks & beverages too. This stall nearby caught my attention, with its queue & interesting product:
This 黑噜噜粉圆 stall is selling traditional handmade brewed brown sugar black pearls milk. Though I hadn’t read any reviews about it online, I just felt like trying so we shared a cup of Brown Sugar Milk with Taro Pearls (NTD40, about S$1.70), as we had just drank the herbal tea. The cup size was like those bubble tea regular size cup. I love how chewy the taro pearls were & the brown sugar milk was fragrant. Thumbs up!
After about half an hour, we ended up at the new basement foodcourt area of Shilin Night Market.
At the foodcourt, we tried 3 different types of food: 大肠包小肠 (literal translation is “small intestine wrapped with large intestine”), 臭豆腐 (smelly tofu) & 蚵仔煎 (oyster omelette).
Before we ate the 大肠包小肠, we actually thought it would really be big & small intestines. Only when we bought the food did we realise that it was a piece of sausage wrapped in glutinous rice. Nice! 😛 There was no queue at the stall we bought this (near the stairway entrance), but it was good enough for me hehe.
On the other hand, I didn’t really enjoy the smelly tofu & oyster omelette (can’t remember which stall we bought from, but there were many customers seated at their stall). The Taiwanese smelly tofu does not smell as pungent as the Hong Kong version until you are very near to the stall, so I dared to put it into my mouth haha. But the tofu was not tasty or crispy at all, in fact it was somewhat tough. 😦 As for the oyster omelette, oysters were aplenty but I didn’t like that the sauce was sweet. I still prefer the Singapore version, especially since I can’t really take seafood like oysters anyway (so giving me plenty of oysters = useless) lol.
Think this was the only night market where we ate so many different types of food & drinks! I think Shilin Night Market is a nice place to sample the various types of Taiwanese street food, but if you wanna shop to your heart’s content here, you will probably end up disappointed. I didn’t buy anything at all except filling up my stomach. A fruitful night for my stomach! 😛