The writer (third from left) with family and friends // © 2016 Kathleen Lee
Feature image (above): Shilin Night Market is a popular foodie stop in Taipei. // © 2016 Kathleen Lee
Having lived there for a summer years ago, Taiwan feels like my second home. A small but beautiful country, it’s full of welcoming people, abundant sightseeing opportunities and, best of all, fantastic food. During my recent winter break in January, I was lucky enough to return to Taipei with my family to visit friends and, more importantly, stuff my stomach to my heart’s content.
Food plays an important role in Asian culture, as meals bring people together and can subsequently strengthen relationships. Therefore, it isn’t surprising that it is almost impossible to turn a corner in Taipei without seeing a place that offers authentic and affordable food.
From bustling night markets such as Shilin Night Market to hole-in-the-wall cafes and fine-dining restaurants, some of my most memorable eats during my trip were Taiwanese shaved mango snowflake ice at Ice Monster; delicate handcrafted desserts from Letao cafe in Zhongshan District; slow-cooked braised pork over rice at Jin Feng; and xiao long bao (mini soup dumplings) at the original Din Tai Fung.
Taipei should be on any food enthusiast’s travel list because eating well won’t break the bank. Although I was sad to leave, I know I will be back as soon as I can.