Taiwan is on a culinary mission. They launched a more than $32 million dollar “gastro-diplomacy” campaign this summer internationally. For food tourists, it’s one more reason to head to the island and taste for yourself.
First stop: Taipei. Restaurant chain Din Tai Fung started here and is world famous for their handmade dumplings. Make sure you nibble a hole in your dumpling and drink the delicious juices inside before you eat, lest you spill. You can get anything from xiao long bao to shrimp to red bean fillings.
Selections are endless at the Shilin Night Market. You can get shaved ice desserts or try bubble tea, oyster omelette and if you dare, the infamous “smelly” tofu.
Don’t forget the papaya milk you can get just about anywhere on the road.
Fine dining fans go to the Silks Palace restaurant next to the National Palace Museum. Enjoy a seven-course feast that echoes the exhibits in the museum. Eat a “cabbage jade” that looks just like the famous jade cabbage carving, but unlike the stone it’s crunchy and gently flavoured.
Taiwan is home to fourteen distinct indigenous tribes. Near Hualien city in the south the Amis tribe runs the Red Cottage Restaurant serving traditional hot pot. Constructed from betel leaves, the “pots” are filled with seafood and water. Superheated rocks are added to make the water boil, which makes for quite the show, not to mention a delicious meal.
There’s something for every taste and budget. Put Taiwan on your travel list. Come back sated.