Are you one of those people who might have both pre AND post dinner dessert? Or maybe you would gladly eat dessert for any meal of the day? Well, join the club! I like all food in general, but if I could have my way (and a highly active metabolism) I would be eating dessert whenever I get the chance.
Taipei and Taiwan in general is a food mecca. The food there is one of the main reasons why I love going there so much. And because I eat so much whenever I'm there, just one "Things I Ate" post would be too long. So for today, I'm just introducing some desserts that I ate in Taipei. Let's get to it!
Soft, Delicious Mochi
I had just finished visiting Hsing Tian Kong, a popular temple in Taipei, and was wandering the streets looking for the MRT station. It was a few hours after lunch and my stomach was letting out low growls, making it known that it wanted to be fed. That's when I came across a long line-up in an alleyway. Knowing the Taiwanese, I knew that this likely meant that there was some good food to be had, so I joined the line without really knowing what it was for. As I inched closer to the front of the line I saw them: rows of beautiful mochi coated in golden brown peanut powder.
I have always been a huge fan of mochi. Something about the chewy but soft mouthfeel of these rice cakes just really appeals to me, so what a treat to stumble upon a famous mochi cart! Bulao Hakka Traditional Mochi (不老客家麻糬) sells mochi in 6 flavours: original, coconut, taro, red bean, sesame, and peanut for $10 NTD (less than $1 USD) per box for 6 pieces of mochi. Because it's so good and so popular, you'll be limited to buying two boxes. I can't rave about the mochi from this place enough. It's so soft, and the mochi to filling ratio is perfect!
Bulao Hakka Traditional Mochi (不老客家麻糬) is located in Lane 297, Songjiang Road, Zhongshan District, Taipei City. The closest MRT station is Hsing Tian Kong MRT Station - Exit 3. They are closed Mondays.
Unique Ice Cream
Since 1947, Snow King (雪王冰淇淋) has been churning out delicious ice cream in over 70 different flavours. They have your classic ice cream flavours like chocolate and vanilla, but for the more adventurous, their menu diverges to include some unique flavours such as basil, bitter melon, and even pork floss! Prices per scoop hover at around 100 NTD (about $4 USD) but it is intensely flavourful ice cream, and a great experience if you're after those unique flavours that you can't find elsewhere!
Snow King is located at 100, Taiwan, Taipei City, Zhongzheng District, Section 1, Wuchang St, Number 65. It's on the second floor of a building that's on the corner of Wuchang Street and Yanping South Road. Look out for a sign that says 雪王冰淇淋. The closest MRT station is Ximen MRT Station. Exit the station via Exit 5. They are open from 12 p.m. - 8 p.m. daily.
Crispy Wheel Cakes
Wheel cakes or 車輪餅 (che lun bing) is a traditional dessert that originated from Japan (it's called Imagawayaki over there). As a side note, you'll find many Japanese influences in Taiwan, as Taiwan was under Japanese rule between 1895 and 1945. Wheel cakes are made with a pancake-like batter, cooked in special device, so that the outside is crispy when you first bite into it. The inside is filled with a filling of your choice. The most traditional filling is red bean, but nowadays you can find all sorts of filling both savoury and sweet like custard, cheese, fruit, ice cream, and even mochi.
You'll likely spot wheel cake stalls in your forays into the famous night markets of Taipei. I came across quite a few of them at the Shilin Night Market.
When Frogs Meet Milk
What happens when frogs meet milk? Deliciousness ensues! Don't worry, this isn't some eclectic dessert made up of frogs stuffed with sugar and dipped in milk. Frog meets milk (青蛙撞奶) is actually soft, chewy, tapioca pearls cooked in a rich brown sugar syrup, with milk poured over it. Sort of like boba or bubble tea, but with milk instead of tea! The difference from regular bubble tea is huge though. Because it's just milk the texture is a lot creamier, and the brown sugar syrup leaves an intense, deep caramel flavour in your mouth. It's worth a taste! The drink is quite sweet, but you can ask for it to made half sweet if you don't have the biggest sweet tooth.
Why is it called frog meets milk? It's purely a description of the visuals of this dessert drink. The dark tapioca pearls could look like frog eggs to some, but no frogs were used in the making!
Frog meets milk can be found at Chen San Ding Black Sugar Bubble Tea (陳三鼎黑糖青蛙鮮奶創始店), located at No. 2, Alley 8, Lane 316, Section 3, Luosifu Road, Zhongzheng District, Taipei City. It's open 11:00 a.m. - 9:30 p.m. Tuesday to Sunday. Quick tip: there is a restaurant right across the street that sells the most amazing gua bao!
Stay tuned for more Things I Ate posts on good Taiwanese eats!
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