Travelling Taipei Tip #5:
Plan to visit Danshui after a visit to the National Palace Museum. They are along the same MRT line and it is possible to finish Danshui within an afternoon.
Danshui Old Street is easy to get to via MRT. It’s the last stop on the line and impossible to miss. From the MRT station, it is a short stroll to the start of the street. There’s lots to see and lots to eat along this street especially because the shops along here specializes in Taiwanese snacks. The most famous of them being the Iron Eggs (铁蛋) which are small eggs that have been continually cooked in soy sauce till they are dark, flavourful and chewy. Unfortunately I didn’t take any photos of them but you can easily google that up if you are curious. As for eating them, I love them! But I do love anything eggs.
1: Ah Gei (阿給) unopened. 2: Ah Gei (阿給) opened. 3. Braised Pork Rice (滷肉飯). 4. Tian Bu La (甜不辣) or otherwise known as Taiwanese Tempura
Another thing that Danshui is famous for is Ah Gei (阿給). I couldn’t go to Danshui without giving it a go so hopped into the first shop I saw selling it to try out this local specialty. You can see what Ah Gei looks in photo 1 and 2 in the collage above. So what is it? It’s Fried Tofu stuffed with glass noodles covered with a spicy sauce. Was it good? So-so. I wasn’t blown away by it but it was definitely interesting to try something different!
Braised Pork Rice (滷肉飯/Lu Rou Fan) is a mince pork with soy sauce rice dish. Usually ordered as a side dish, this is often incredibly flavourful and very yummy. Every restaurant/street hawker does their version slightly differently and I started ordering this at every place that sold it to compare. So, so good! (Note that in the southern part of Taiwan, instead of mince pork you will receive a whole piece of pork.
Tian Bu La (甜不辣) is an assortment of different fried foods covered with sauce. It’s also known as Taiwanese Tempura but has no relations with the Japanese Tempura, with the most obvious difference being that the Taiwanese version has no batter. Definitely try it – again, done slightly differently at every stall.
There are different stalls lining the walkway and I stopped curiously in front of this one. Fried durians? I love durians, so bring it on! Unfortunately, it wasn’t that nice. There was hardly any durian and way too much batter. Not really worth the tummy real estate.
I couldn’t help taking a photo of these even though I don’t much fancy Spongebob Square Pants. So cute! These are cakes on a stick. Yum.
As we were walking along, I couldn’t help being drawn by the intoxicating smell of butter. We tracked down the source to this bakery, and it turns out that they were selling croissants! Or what looked like croissants anyways. There were quite a number of flavours but I realised with a shock when I tried to sink my teeth into them that they weren’t quite the buttery soft croissants I was after. They were hard! Still, I finished it all but I don’t think I’ll be getting them again in a hurry!
Travelling Taipei Tip #6:
Danshui is a port town and famous for its fishing. Lots of the town’s catching is then turned into food items such as fishball. Make sure you find yourself a good bowl of fishballs and wonton to try while at Danshui. They even have a fishball museum!
I recommend: Keko Fishball Restuarant (淡水可口魚丸) No. 232 Zhongzheng Rd, Danshui.
This, in my opinion, is the whole reason to visit Danshui again. Danshui Ke Ko Fishball Restaurant (淡水可口魚丸) has the best fishballs and wontons I’ve ever eaten in my life. The fishballs are bouncy, full of bite and the middle is stuffed with minced meat. The wontons have the softest melt-in-your-mouth skin and everything was bursting with flavours.
We weren’t hungry originally, but after tasting just how amazing everything (especially the wontons!) were, we were definitely hungry for more and ordered more bowls thereafter. How can you stop eating those wontons?!
So, so good. If you are ever in Danshui, you have to visit this restaurant!!!