Giving priority to the dining style of Southern Fujian and Guangdong provinces, and being combined with the dining features from China mainland, Taiwan created a splendid dining culture over the years. Chinese style food was mainly introduced to this island from provinces of China, especially from the development of Fujian and Guangdong dining cultures, which focus on the cooking of seafood and restorative soup. You can also find some representative dishes of Chinese cuisines, but the tastes may be not as original as you had in the mainland. Some say that local snacks are more popular than the local dishes since they are featured in the local tastes and the local products. Taiwan snacks are more representative and appetizing. Have a try of the light and fresh local cuisine when you are numb with the peppery heat of the Xiang (Hunan Province) and Chuan (Sichuan Province) dishes.
(The restaurants recommended below are not your only choice. There still are many famous and popular one which we will not list one by one here.)
With a light taste, fine appearances and materials of mainly seafood, the traditional dishes of Taiwan cuisine are merged with Min (Fujian Province), Yue (Guangdong Province) and Hakka cooking styles, developed with local products and dining customs to be a special cuisine also influenced by Japanese culture. The tastes of the traditional dishes tend to be natural and original since the weather of the island is muggy. No matter what the cooking style is, it emphasizes the light and fresh, which constitutes a unique school in Chinese cuisines.
Three- Cup Chicken (San Bei Ji)
It is a typical homely dish in Taiwan style. One cup of soy, one cup of oil and one cup of rice wine are the basic condiments for the palatable dish. Put the chicken pieces with salt together into a stone pot and then mix them round. Pour the three cups of flavorings into the pot and scatter some pieces of ginger and garlic. Then the pot should be put on roaring fire until the liquids are boiling. At this time, the fire can be slowed until the meat cooked and the flavoring juice dry. At last, basil (also called Jiu Ceng Ta in Chinese, is a very popular flavoring on this island) is a kind of necessary seasoning. And then the dish can be served. Three-Cup Chicken tastes tough and chewy, and it goes very well with rice and alcohol.
Fried Dried Radish Omelet (Cai Fu Dan)
It is a very simple dish in Taiwan style. Firstly quick-fry the pieces of dry radish with garlic, and then put them aside. Fry the egg mixed together with the dry radish pieces until it looks golden. It is simple, economic and goes well with rice and porridge.
Braised Meat with Bamboo Shoot (Sun Gan Hong Rou)
It should be the seasonal bamboo shoot. After one day pot-stewed, the meat can be continued to braise together with the fresh bamboo shoot until the meat is thoroughly cooked. It tastes soft but not oily.
Shinyeh Restaurant is famed for its Taiwan style dishes, if you are interested in, you can have a try there.
Address: 34, Shuang Cheng Street, Taipei City
Shinyeh Restaurant (Jungshiau Branch)
Address: 2/F, 112, Jungshiau E. Rd. Taipei City
Tai Nan - Coffin Shaped Bread (Guan Cai Ban)
Maybe firstly your sight will be caught by the name of the food. Factually it is a thick piece of western style bread without the core part, which will be filled with the prepared stuffing of fish and meat or vegetables. After filling the slot like part with the delicious stuffing, it can be fried in oil until golden. At last, a piece of fried bread should be covered on the top. Then you can enjoy it.
Chyn Kaan Coffin Shaped Bread
Address: 180, Yeong Kang Market at Chyn Kaan in Tainan
Opening hours: 10:30 to 22:30
Tan Shui - Fish Ball (Yu Wan)
Referring to fish ball, you can taste the authentic Taiwan-style balls in Tan Shui. There are hundreds of snack bars and stalls operate fish balls. The popular snack is made of shark flesh stuffed with ground meat. The first time you try it, you can bite a small hole in the ball and suck the palatable juice and stuffing from it before chewing the meat to enjoy the rough and chewy texture. A very famous snack bar for fish ball is located at 228, Chung Cheng Road, Tan Shui.
Yong Ho - Yong Ho Soybean Milk (Yong He Doujiang)
With the special food of soybean milk, deep-fried twisted dough sticks and sesame seed cake, Yong Ho Soybean Milk now has became a healthy and famous brand in Chinese catering trade. Yong Ho City is the cradle of Yong Ho Soybean Milk, so you may have a different feeling when you enjoy it there with their circumspect service.
Taipei Yong Ho Soybean Milk
Address: 353, Junghua Rd., Bade City, Taoyuan
Hsin Chu - Meat Ball and Rice Noodle (Gong Wan He Mi Fen)
Locals often eat meatball soup with rice noodle mixed together, which creates a perfect taste. A small snack counter at 98, Xi Men Street, Hsinchu City is must try.
Chiayi - Chicken Rice (Ji Rou Fan)
As a representative local snack, authentic chicken rice is usually served with fresh and soft turkey flesh, which will offer you a larruping flavor.
If you want to try various kinds of snacks in Taiwan, snack streets and night markets will be the ideal choice. Taipei Shih-lin Night Market, Huahsi Street Night Market, Raohe Street Night Market, Tan Shui Night Market, Keelung Temple Night Market and Hsinchu Lord Temple Night Market are all recommended - enjoy it!