Savour Taitung City’s Tantalizing Local Flavors 台东市中心美食篇:品尝诱人的在地风味

One of the alluring factors for visitors to Taiwan is its mouth-watering street food selection, particularly at the numerous night markets in the country. Just in the vibrant capital – Taipei alone, there are at least 17 popular night markets, & we have not taken into account the multifarious local budget eateries, cafes & high-end restaurants all over Taiwan. While Taitung doesn’t have famous night markets to boast of like its northern sibling, there are plenty of good eats in the city too. After spending 3 nights in Taitung City, here’s a compilation of the food we tried & tasted through recommendations by locals!

台湾以诱人的街头小吃吸引到不少游客的到来,特别是它分布于不同地区的著名夜市。在首都台北,就有至少17个受欢迎的夜市供大家游览,还有数不尽的特色小吃店、咖啡馆及高级餐馆让你大快朵颐。台东市虽然没有像台北一样有那么多著名的夜市,但还是有许多美食选择。以下是综合了我们在台东住宿三晚所尝过的在地美食,供你参考!

1. Blue Dragonfly Fried Chicken Fast Food Restaurant 藍蜻蜓炸雞

Address/ 地址: No. 214, Datong Road, Taitung City, Taitung County/ 台東市大同路214號

Open/ 营业时间: Tuesday to Sunday 周二~星期日:10:30~23:00

Phone/ 电话: (+886-8) 931-0869 

Social Media/ 面簿: Facebook

If you love fried chicken / fast food, you cannot miss Blue Dragonfly Fried Chicken Fast Food Restaurant. Established over 20 years ago, there is only 1 outlet in Taitung City, as well as the entire Taiwan. Mr Wang recommended the fast food restaurant to us, saying the restaurant serves the best fried chicken in Taitung & long queues are often seen here, but its owner doesn’t want to open more outlets to reach out to more customers.

如果你的心头爱是炸鸡,来台东市绝不能错过藍蜻蜓炸雞速食店。这间成立了20多年的炸鸡速食店,仅此一家,别无分号。汪先生强力推荐我们去品尝,因为它是台东最有名的炸鸡店,客源络绎不绝,但店家就是不要在别处开分店以方便更多顾客。

Blue Dragonfly has a simple shop decor, & is located in an inconspicuous corner facing the side of a building along Datong Road. So do keep your eyes open when searching for the shop, otherwise you may miss it. We were lucky when we found the shop around 7.30pm on a rainy Thursday night, there were just a handful of customers queuing in front of us. But after we paid for our order, the crowd started to stream in.

藍蜻蜓的店面并不起眼,面向大同路的一栋大厦的侧边。所以稍不注意,就会错过此店。我们还蛮幸运的,找到藍蜻蜓的时候是周四,大概晚上7点半,没有长长的人龙。但点餐付钱后客人开始多了。

Although termed as “fast food”, the wait for our Fried Chicken Meal (115 TWD, ~S$5.35) took about 10 minutes or so, not exactly that fast eh… We decided to share a set as we wanted to try another highly recommended local restaurant nearby too. The Fried Chicken Meal consisted of drumstick, chicken wing, chicken tenders, fries & a soft drink (we picked Fanta Grape). Frankly, the meal didn’t look fantastic, in fact the fried chicken looked a bit burnt. However, 1 bite into the chicken meat, & we were immediately won over by its flavourful tenderness! The fries were also tasty, although the portion was quite miserable. Are potatoes that expensive in Taitung?  😅 I think if I get the chance to visit again, I will order 1 set meal for myself to enjoy!

虽然标明是速食,但我们等了约10分钟,炸鸡全餐(台币115元)才做好,好像也没有很快速咯……因为还有另一家美食要品尝,所以我们只点了一份套餐共享。炸鸡全餐里有鸡腿、鸡翅、鸡块、薯条和一杯汽水。炸鸡卖相看起来不怎么样,但鸡不可貌相,真的很美味!鸡皮很酥脆,鸡肉也腌得很入味,很嫩。薯条也炸的很香,美中不足的是分量超少。台东的马铃薯有这么贵吗?😅下次有机会再去的话,我想我要一个人吃一套炸鸡全餐!

2. Rong Shu Xia Rice Noodles 榕樹下米苔目

Address/ 地址: No. 176, Datong Road, Taitung City, Taitung County/ 台東市大同路176號

Open/ 营业时间: Daily except closed on alternate Wednesday & Thursday/ 每天,隔周三周四公休:9:30~15:00;17:00~20:00.

Phone/电话: (+886-9) 631-48519 

Social Media/ 面簿: Facebook

Just a few doors away from Blue Dragonfly on the same Datong Road, is the popular Rong Shu Xia Rice Noodle Restaurant. Before the trip, I had already read many online reviews raving about this restaurant serving the short rice noodles aka Mee Ta Mak in Singapore context. Mr Wang also highly recommended Rong Shu Xia to us. I also noticed that even the Taitung official tourism website has a page dedicated to this restaurant, it says a lot about Rong Shu Xia’s reputation!

就在藍蜻蜓的同一条路上,可以看到另一家著名的台东美食店 —— 榕樹下米苔目。还没去台东前,我已在网上读到许多榕樹下的好评。既然汪先生也强力推荐,台东旅游官方网站也有榕樹下米苔目的专页,我们怎么能不试一试呢?

Compared to Blue Dragonfly’s unassuming shop front, Rong Shu Xia’s decor appeared more classy with wooded decor. We ordered a large rice noodle soup (50 TWD, ~S$2.35) for takeaway as the restaurant was rather crowded. The service was quite prompt despite the crowd. Although mee ta mak is a common dish that can be found in Singapore, the Taitung version differs from the mee ta mak we know. The rice noodle itself was longer than what we have in Singapore, but still shorter than the usual rice noodles. There was also no curvy tail ends to each noodle, but it appeared somewhat like a shorter yet fatter version of the “you-mian” we know here. Minced pork, chives, bean sprouts & bonito slices were served in the soup, making it very flavourful. However, I found the soup a tad too salty, as it left an aftertaste in my mouth, long after I finished eating. I had to wash away the taste with lots of water thereafter. Not my style of mee ta mak I guess, maybe next time I will try the dry version.

比起藍蜻蜓不起眼的店面,榕樹下的装潢看来较摩登,以木制设计为主。餐馆看起来像客满,我们就点了一份大的米苔目汤带回旅店品尝。虽然很多顾客,但有很多服务生,所以也不必等太久。台东的米苔目跟新加坡的不一样,比较长,感觉比较像我们的幼面,只不过稍微胖和短。米苔目汤里用料丰富,有碎肉、韭菜、芽菜和柴鱼酥,使得汤很有味道。但越吃越觉得咸,那股味道一直在嘴里很久都散不去,喝了很多水才OK。我想我还是比较喜欢清淡点的汤类,或许下次可以试一试干的米苔目。

深受在地人以及游客欢迎的榕樹下米苔目

3. Qi Li Xiang Restaurant 七里香·水煎包·滷味

Address/ 地址: No. 7, Lane 385, Zhenqi Road, Taitung City, Taitung County/ 台東市正氣路385巷7號

Open/ 营业时间: Tuesday to Sunday 周二~星期日:15:30~01:00

Phone/电话: (+886-8) 933-4615 

Located at the junction of Zhenqi Road & Nanjing Road, Qi Li Xiang Restaurant is loved by locals for its large pan-fried buns, & also its braised food. After bidding goodbye to Mr Wang, he dropped us off just outside the restaurant as he highly recommended us trying the buns here. The restaurant has been featured in many television foodie programs & often see with long queues, but fortunately, it was still early, just slightly after 5 pm when we reached so there was barely anyone else except us.

坐落于正气路和南京路的交叉口,七里香·水煎包·滷味也是一家人气美食店,以水煎包和滷味打响名声。跟汪先生道别后,他就让我们在路口下车去品尝这里的人气小吃。七里香被许多电视上的美食节目强打,所以这里常常会看到长长的人龙,不过或许我们抵达的时间还早,是傍晚5时许,还没什么客人。

We could see quite a variety of braised food spread out at the counter for customers to take their pick from. But we asked for the pan-fried bun (25 TWD, ~S$1.15) without hesitation since it’s the signature dish here. After a short wait, our piping hot buns were ready. Wow the bun smelt great & was bigger than my fist! It was my first time eating the famous Taiwanese street snack & I was quite impressed by the crispy skin, while keeping its inside fluffy & juicy. Furthermore, it was generously filled with pork meat, sliced carrot, chives, cellophane noodles etc. Really a delicious filling bun that is truly worth the deal. 🙂

看到柜台前有玲琅满目的滷味材料,但我们毫不犹豫地点了招牌水煎包(台币25元),一人一个。不过一会儿,水煎包就新鲜出炉了。香气四溢的水煎包比我的手掌还要大!这是我第一次吃这个著名的台湾小吃,有种相逢恨晚的感觉,怎么这么好吃啊!外酥内软又多汁。而且,里面的馅料也很丰富,有猪肉、红萝卜、韭菜、冬粉等,口感十足。吃完后觉得好饱哦,真的是物超所值。😁

4. Sea Breeze Cafe 海風咖啡

Address/ 地址: No. 80, Datong Road, Taitung City, Taitung County/ 台東市大同路80號

Open/ 营业时间: Monday to Saturday 周一~周六:08:00~18:00

Phone/电话: (+886-8) 936-2032

Social Media/ 面簿: Facebook

Chanced upon Sea Breeze Cafe on our first day in Taitung City when we were roaming around to explore downtown Taitung. From its exterior, the cafe looked like a relaxing cottage for a pit-stop. It was certainly inviting especially after walking so much on a rainy afternoon.

在我们漫游台东市的那天,偶然与海風咖啡“相遇”。从外观看来,海風咖啡像是一间很惬意悠闲的小屋,让游人歇息。因为在雨天走了那么多路,我们也毫不迟疑地踏进咖啡馆小歇一下。

Welcome to Sea Breeze Cafe

By the time we settled in the cafe, it was almost 5.30 pm & Sea Breeze would be closing soon. We didn’t order any main courses or food since we were going to have dinner at the hotel soon as well. As the cafe’s Chinese name suggested, most of the beverages are coffee-based. The friendly staff recommended their home brewed iced sour plum drink with basil leaves (95 TWD, ~S$4.45) to me upon hearing I couldn’t take any beverage with caffeine then. My drink tasted very sour on first few sips, but after a while, I got used to the taste & found it quite refreshing. My friend got her iced coffee fix (75 TWD, ~S$3.50) as well as a lemon tart (her favourite pastry). She commented the coffee was OK but not fantastic. I tried a bit of the lemon tart & it was alright, though didn’t wow us. Nonetheless, with usual cafe staples such as breakfast, brunch, pasta, sandwiches & baked rice, a cosy ambience & friendly service staff, Sea Breeze Cafe is still worth a try.

我们抵达时,海風咖啡只剩约半个小时就要打烊了。由于已接近晚餐时间,我们不想吃得太饱,所以只点了饮料与甜点。正如咖啡馆的名字,饮料多属咖啡类,我都不能喝。于是,亲切友善的店员向我推荐他们家自酿的冰酿紫苏梅 (台币95元)。喝了几口,感觉饮料真的好酸,但慢慢地习惯它的酸,也还不错,是个可清热解暑的选择。朋友点了冰拿铁(台币75元)和她最爱的柠檬塔。冰拿铁的味道还可以,但没有超赞。柠檬塔也是一样,没有让我们特别惊艳。不过,海風咖啡还有蛮多主食选择,如意大利面、三文治、焗饭等,馆内的设计很温馨,店员也很友善,下次还可以再到访。

5. Jin Fang Iced Shop 津芳冰城

Address/ 地址: No. 358, Zhenqi Road, Taitung City, Taitung County/ 台東市正氣路358號

Open/ 营业时间: Daily 每天:9:00~23:00

Phone/ 电话: (+886-8) 932-8023 

Website/ 网页: Taitung Tourism Website

From Qi Li Xiang, turn into Zhengqi Road & you will see Jin Fang Iced Shop shortly. Opened since 1963, Jin Fang has been one of the favourite iced shops in Taitung for locals for a long time. Taitung enjoys a tropical climate most of the time, & hence it’s a good idea to pop by Jin Fang for some shaved ice or ice pop to escape from the sweltering heat.

从七里香那儿,转进正气路不远处就能看到津芳冰城的店面。这家创立已逾50多年的冰店一路来都深受台东人的喜爱。台东属热带气候,天气炎热时去津芳冰城吃冰,何尝不是一件乐事。

From the menu at the counter, we could see that there’s a wide array of iced desserts, drinks & fruit juices to choose from. I saw that many customers ordered the red bean milk with shaved ice, but too bad, my friend doesn’t like bean products & hence we ordered the fruit shaved ice (40 TWD, ~S$1.85) instead. Beneath the smooth shaved ice, we found an assortment of fruits such as papaya, watermelon & pineapple. Nothing too special to us, but even at about 6 pm, there were quite a number of customers. I should have ordered the savoury iced pop (20 TWD, ~S$0.95) to try instead, as I read that it’s the signature item in the shop (after the visit). Sob… hope there’s a chance next time!

在入口处的柜台后就能看到冰店有许多不同种类的冰品、饮料以及果汁供选择。看到好几桌的客人都点红豆牛乳冰,感觉好像很不错,但朋友不喜欢豆类食品,所以只好点水果冰(台币40元)了。水果冰里有好几种热带水果如木瓜、西瓜及凤梨。水果冰就像在新加坡常吃到的冰品一样,没什么特别。不过,津芳冰城好像真的蛮受欢迎的,我们去吃冰时,大概是傍晚6点,都一直有客人。如果早一点上网查一下津芳的名品,我应该会试一试咸冰棒(台币20元),好像很多人都推荐!

6. Taitung Tourism Night Market 台東觀光夜市

Address/ 地址: Zhenqi Road, Taitung City, Taitung County/ 台東市正氣路

Open/ 营业时间: Thursday to Saturday 周四~周六:16:30~02:00

Phone/ 电话: (+886-8) 932-8023 

Website/ 网页: Taitung Tourism Website

Unlike well known night markets in Taipei, Taichung or Kaohsiung, Taitung did not have any night markets until July 2010. Located along Zhenqi Road, by day, it is a fruit & vegetable street, & at night, it is transformed into a night market so that tourists & locals alike have a place to shop around after dark. Taitung Tourism Night Market was setup after many travellers to the city feedback that there was nothing much to do at night, except some mobile food stalls along Siwei Road in front of Ren’ai Elementary School every Sunday night. However, do note that the night market is only open from Thursday to Saturday, & if it rains, most likely the stallholders will not be opened for business (as it happened on the rainy Thursday night when we were there).

相较台北、台中或高雄有著名的观光夜市,台东直到2010年7月都没有观光夜市。只有在周日晚间,才能看到四維路上、仁愛国小前广场有流动夜市。由于前往台东旅游的游客反馈台东入夜后好像没什么地方可以逛,因此有关当局决定在正气路建立台東觀光夜市。白天,正气路是一条贩卖各式各样当季蔬果的街道,到了周四至周六傍晚时分,它就变成灯火辉煌的夜市。有一点要注意的是,如果周四至周六傍晚下雨,夜市可能也不会开(我们在周四晚就扑了个空)。

台東觀光夜市 – 桂田喜来登酒店就在夜市旁

Compared to famous night markets such as Shilin, Fengjia or Ruifeng, Taitung Tourism Night Market is only 200 metres long. So it didn’t take us too long before we finished touring the entire market, with time to munch on some local street delights. We tried the fried chicken chop with soy milk paste (60 TWD, ~S$2.80), which was very flavourful but became too salty after a while.

台東觀光夜市不能与台湾其他知名的夜市比较,因为它只有200米这么长。因此我们也无需花太多时间就逛完整条夜市,品尝小吃。😊逛了一圈,觉得下图的豆乳香鸡排(台币60元)较特别,就点来吃。鸡排炸的很香很美味,但由于是豆乳酱料,吃多了会感觉咸。

fried chicken chop with soy milk paste

To quench our thirst, we also enjoyed the uniquely Taiwan “frog hits milk” beverage (35 TWD, ~S$1.65), prepared using premium Chulu Ranch fresh milk. The beverage name is a literal translation from its Chinese name, which is in fact just fresh milk with plenty of chewy tapioca pearls. Nice & aromatic!~

为了解渴,我们到下图的青蛙撞奶·冰红茶摊位买了台湾独创的青蛙撞奶(台币35元)。看到摊位的摆设有台东上等鲜乳——初鹿鲜奶的包装,青蛙撞奶果然很香醇!

香醇的青蛙撞奶

7. Chan Kee Mochi 陳記麻糬

Address/ 地址: No. 186, Bo’ai Road, Taitung City, Taitung County/ 台東市博爱路186號

Open/ 营业时间: Daily 每天:06:30~19:00

Phone/电话: (+886-8) 935-3286

Website/ 网站: Official website

We thought our foodie discovery in Taitung City would end at Taitung Night Market, but it was a pleasant surprise the next morning when we met our second driver, A-Wei, for the last day of the private tour. He presented us each with a welcome goodie bag – Chan Kee Mochi! I didn’t do much research about good food in Taitung prior to the trip, but he mentioned that Chan Kee’s mochi are very popular in the city, with customers heading there early every morning in order to lay their hands on the freshest mochi made that day.

原本以为美食之旅会在台東觀光夜市结束,但隔天一早与我们台东包车游的另一名司机导游——阿伟会面,有个意外的惊喜。一进入车里,他就递上见面礼:陳記麻糬。这次到台东,我并没有搜索太多美食资料,所以并不知道陳記麻糬这么红。阿伟说陳記的麻糬每天一大早就有很多客人前去购买,只为抢购新鲜出炉的麻糬。

Just like Blue Dragonfly, Chan Kee has only 1 outlet in the country, & it was first opened by the current boss’ maternal grandfather, after he picked up the skills from being an apprentice in a Japanese confectionery in 1934. Now into the third generation of management, Chan Kee is still going strong. I read that Chan Kee has a creative mochi flavour made from swordfish, interesting! Too bad A-Wei only treated us to the “safer” flavours – green tea (20 TWD, ~S$0.95), peanut & green bean (18 TWD, ~S$0.85 each). But they were all very chewy, & we love the generous tasty fillings in the mochi!

和藍蜻蜓一样,陳記只有一家店面,是现任老板的外公与1934年开始在日本人开的糕饼店作学徒练就一份好手艺而创立的。虽然现在已是第三代的陈志和在掌管,生意还是很兴隆。在官网看到陳記有独创的旗鱼麻糬,真特别!可惜这次没尝到,因阿伟买了较“安全”的口味请我们吃:绿茶(台币20元),花生和绿豆(台币各18元)。全部都很好吃,不止Q弹,馅料也很多,👍!

I hope I have more time for a foodie journey next time I visit Taitung. Definitely, I will want to return to some of the above shops again to try their signature items, can’t wait! 😉

希望下次到台东市有更多时间品尝在地美食。我也很想再去以上的美食店尝一下它们的招牌菜!

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