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Friday, October 02, 2015

CarmenXTW: Chiayi City Food Hunt, Have Fun Lining Up 嘉義市排队美食

Feeling super excited now coz it's time to talk about FOOD yo!!

Well I would like to blog about this first before I forget about all the taste!

It was the third weekend in Taiwan and once again we had another escapade. It was suppose to be a Alishan kind of tour as we planned to go Alishan Forest Park 阿里山 and FenqiHu 奋起湖 for two days. But thank God our trip to FenqiHu wasn't successful as there was no train tickets left and the Typhoon landed exactly on the 3rd day of our trip. So other than Alishan, we spent most of our time in Chiayi city and explored the main streets. Chiayi city was much more fun that I expected, lots to see, lots to buy and definitely lots to eat! Okay let me correct the last statement, should be lots of delicious food to eat!

You probably won't think of Chiayi when it comes to food heaven in Taiwan, instead it will be Taipei or Tainan. But throughout our 3 days trip, I am we are very impressed and satisfied with all the food we had. Dedicating this post to all the awesome food we had!! Hope more people know about all the yummy Chiayi treats!

Just like the title suggests, the restaurants that we went, were either having full house or worse better, have a long queue outside. And they are not the usual Taiwan's signature food/snacks but they sure taste awesome!

1. Best of All 林聰明沙锅鱼头 Smartfish Fishhead Soup
Hands down best food so far! It was 3rd day of our trip where typhoon landed and it was raining and wind was blowing crazily. We were kinda torn out from all the walk in the rain but we stayed determined to find this shop. It was damn worth it. The delicious soup instantly warms our body and its slightly spicy flavor really sends a strong pulse down our tongue! All the veggies added more flavors to the soup, really yummy ar!! Argh I don't know how to say this in English but it's called 鲜甜 in Chinese haha.  

Address: Guanghwa Road 光華街 (Opening hours: 3pm to 11pm)
The outlet that we went was more like an old shop while there's another outlet at Zhongzheng Road 中正路 near Wenhua Road which looked like it's designated for tourists. Depends on which ambience you like haha.

Proof of Line-Up Criteria! 

沙锅鱼头 Fishhead Soup/Stew -- TWD260 (for 3 pax)
See all the veggie!!! The soup was slightly spicy and has a overwhelming flavor of all the veggies and the deepfried fish. The soup has Tofu, Taukee (beancurd skin), Chinese Cabbage, Black Fungus, Spring Onion and Pork Belly!!  (Argh mouthwatering now)

火鸡肉饭 Turkey Meat Rice -- TWD25
To pair with the rice-thief fish head soup! 
You may order normal white rice at TWD10 (Which we did order!)

Next, gonna talk about a few stores nearby Wenhua Road Night Market, 文化观光夜市. If you happen to visit this Night Market, do look out for the following shops!

The fountain at the roundabout of Wenhua Road.
It's a statue of a baseball player, from the movie Kano.   

At the other end of the road. 

2. 郭家鸡肉饭,粿仔汤 Guo Jia's Turkey Rice and Ricecake soup
Didn't know chicken rice could taste so much better in Taiwan!! Well of course it's slightly different from Msia's Chicken Rice. Looks simple, the taste was actually quite straight forward as well, yet it's just delicious! Sometimes you don't really need a lot of complicated seasonings...

Address: 148, Wenhua Road 文化路

鸡肉饭 Turkey Rice -- TWD30
The rice are more plump and sticky and they seasoned the rice with super fragrant oil (I guess it's sesame oil) and some soy sauce. The turkey meat was more tender than chicken rice and it's kinda juicy. Must try this!!! 

粿仔汤 GuoZai Tang -- TWD50
I'm not sure what's it called in English, but I would call it a rice cake soup. 
The soup taste like super rich chicken and pork broth and contains crunchy pig intestines as well. The rice cakes are kinda like our lontong and it absorbs all the broth's essence. Super yummy. 

糯米大肠 Glutinous Rice Sausage -- TWD50
Savory snack where glutinous rice, with some peanuts and paired with a salty sauce. I kinda like the sticky texture and love the fragrant glutinous rice, the more you chew, the more the aroma rises. 越嚼越香!  

yes we went back on the second night and no sharing this time. Everyone has one bowl of turkey rice!

Photo on Day 1 dinner

3. 源興御香屋 Yu Xiang Wu 
Yiling was telling us that she spotted a shop with a long queue and the last thing I expect this shop to be is a beverage stall, moreover a fruit tea stall. Yes, people queuing just for some fruit tea!! But hey, it's not your usual fruit juice like watermelon or avocado juice. Their bestsellers are unique teas infused with Lemon, Rosella and Passionfruit. Just checked their facebook page and turns out their menu change from time to time to offer special drinks from fruits that are in season from local producers. So many of the drinks are for a limited time only. And what's more, they are so good that some of their bestsellers don't have a fixed price but depends on the day itself!! Goshhh I tot only seafood can be priced like that haha. 

Address: 321, Zhongshan Road 中山路 (It's near the fountain that I posted earlier on, just walk around and look for people queuing up, and you'll find the shop)

yesshhhh can u imagine?? people lining up just for lemon tea, chrysanthemum tea or rosella drink? 

We ordered 
冻顶柠檬 Sucrose Lemon Alpine Tea (from Pingtung) TWD 45
洛神花茶 Rosella Scented Tea (from Tainan) TWD 30
In general, both teas have a fruity flavor and I wouldn't know there's tea inside coz there's no bitter taste at all (which is an aftertaste of tea). I think the lemon tea is super nice, it's sour but does not burn your throat, it's sweet (probably from honey) and tangy making it a super refreshing drink. and there's no bitter taste from lemons. You'll be craving for more. The rosella drink, I suppose "natural" is the best word to describe. Mildly sweet with the right amount of sour to be the perfect thirst quencher!  

The drinks here are truly special, thanks to its quality ingredients and freshly squeezed and brewed teas. The authentic and premium taste is the reason why people are willing to line up. 

4. 嘉義豆奶摊 Chiayi Soy Milk Stall  
Located just opposite of GuoJia turkey rice. This is a place for light snacks, breakfast and fresh soy beverages! Well people were lining up and most of them ordered a take-away meal. It was around 10pm when we were tired from all the shopping at Wenhua Road. So we decided to have a try on their soy milk to quench our thirst.

Address: 103,Wenhua Road 文化路

Soy Milk 豆浆 -- TWD 20
Soy Milk Tea 豆浆红茶 -- TWD 20
Soy with Milk 豆浆牛奶 -- TWD 25
Well can't say their beverages are awesome coz it's just Soy Milk afterall. But Soymilk did taste natural, not so sweet, bursting aroma of soybean, including the bitter flavor of soybean fiber. My milk tea was quite nice too as the sweetness from tea layers on the natural sweetness of Soy Milk. You might ask what about Soy with Milk, turns out it taste exactly like Soy Milk that we drink in Malaysia, and we can't help but to wonder have we been drinking Soy with Milk all this while LOL. 

沙拉 (Sha La) -- TWD 30 
I had this for supper! It's one of their bestselling snacks. I like it, soft bread stuffed with salad. The salad taste like coleslaw and potato salad. Simple, crunchy and yummy.  

Judging by the amount of people lining up, I guess people are here for the homemade drinks and delicious snacks. If i have the chance I will try other snacks/breakfast treats.

5. 珍珍 蚵仔煎 海产粥 Zhen zhen Oyster Omelette and Seafood Porridge
we passed by this stall on our way back to our hotel on the first night, wondering why we hadn't see the stall while we explored Wenhua Road earlier on. Determined to check this stall out on the second night! Turns out this popular supper joint only opens at 10pm! Oh I mean they only start preparing at 10pm. But customers were already lining up at 10pm and we were one of the eagerly waiting customers as well!!

Address: 600, Wenhua Road 文化路,in front of 嘉麦鞋店 ChiaMai Shoes (Opens only at 10pm)

Yesh other than people who dined in, the queue for takeaway was really long too!!

蚵仔煎 Oyster Omelette -- TWD 50
Well I'm still not used to the Oyster Omelette here, which is more sticky, gooey and starch based instead of our crunchy and egg based omelette. But once you don't keep Malaysia's fried oyster in mind, well it taste actually ok. Crunchy veggies, juicy oysters and traces of egg's fragrant aroma. 

干煎虱目鱼 Pan Seared Milk Fish -- TWD 100
Taiwanese love this type of fish! and I love it too coz it's kinda like salmon where it's tender and greasy. The Pan seared fish has a crunchy skin while the fatty layer starts to melt and the oils seep into the meat. Goshhhh love the texture and it's only lightly seasoned with salt and some lemon drizzled over. Damn nice!

海产粥 Seafood Porridge -- TWD 80
The broth! Delicious combination of flavors from all the ingredients like prawns, squid, clams and there's bamboo shoots as well. 汤是甜到!!!!! And of course, the rice absorbed all the broth, turning it into a delicious porridge. 

That's all for Wenhua Road's food moving back to the area near our hotel at Ximen Road:

6. 幸福綠光 悠活餐飲 (Xingfu LvGuang) Breakfast Joint
Another thing that I love about Taiwan, having breakfast seems to be their important thing! Lots of breakfast or brunch shops within the same area. Regardless whether they are western or local delights, there's always people having breakfast haha. This breakfast joint is located at the same street as our hotel, which is a rather quiet street but I was surprised by the amount of people in the shop early in the morning despite its rather isolated location. Anyways this breakfast joint serves both western sandwiches and local snacks as breakfast. The sandwiches comes in different forms of breads and different forms of filling or flavor. The bread includes normal toast, bagels, focaccia, croissants and more! Whereas the fillings include tuna, smoked chicken, deepfried chicken, pork strips, bacon, ham and much much more!  

Address: 644, Guangcai Street 光彩街 (intersection with Ximen Street 西门街)

The shop was full house, and people actually come in for takeaway orders. 

Sandwich in Chicken Floss -- TWD 20
The conventional sandwich stuffed with loads of chicken floss!! Best part is their sandwiches all have egg and crunchy greens which makes it a balanced and delicious sandwich. There are a lot more variants to choose from.   

Vanilla Focaccia with Bacon 培根佛卡夏  -- TWD 35
My breakfast and I love it!! First time trying Focaccia and I like how it's dense yet fluffier than normal toast. The bacon strips were dressed with some kind of sauce. Probably made from mayo and tomato which taste really good and the onions add texture and sweet flavor. Really like, but I wished the portion can be bigger hehe...

火腿蛋土司 Ham and Egg Toast 

Egg roll with Bacon 培根蛋卷

五谷米浆 Whole Grains Rice Drink -- TWD 25
Gooey and mushy, taste like sesame drink! Love the aroma and it's mildly sweet taste. Best part is it doesn't feel too heavy despite its starchy texture, it's refreshing.   

Extra: Smoked Chicken Sandwich TWD 25 and Soy Milk TWD 20
My breakfast before heading to Alishan!! Just like I mentioned before, soft bread, crunchy greens, egg, ham with tasty smoked chicken slices. Breakfast is so worth it for this price.   

7. EXTRA -- Rice Dumpling 国际肉粽 at Ximen Road 西门路
Okay this may not satisfy the criteria of line-up crowds,'s good!! This is a rice dumpling shop right across our guesthouse in Chiayi. The stall was really simple, not many places to sit, Ximen Street is also one of the less busy roads and so I wonder how they survive. But I guess the best promo the stall did was the awesome aroma of lotus leaves lingering on the street, making me craving for it haha. 

Address: 172, Ximen Street 西门街 (Right in front of a Taoist temple) 

家乡粽 (Jiaxiang) Homemade Rice Dumplings -- TWD 30
So cheap!! The fillings include pork belly layer, peanuts and salted egg yolk. Love the chewy but not too sticky texture and the aroma of pork grease just smears across the fragrant rice. As you can see here, their rice dumpling is white in color, and drizzled with their own dark sauce gravy. 

Fishball soup -- TWD 10 
The boss recommended this to pair with the rice dumplings. Once again, something simple but it was quite yummy. Especially with the raining, this hot soup is really satisfying!

So that's pretty much for our food hunt at Chiayi! If you happen to stop by Chiayi town before going Alishan or something, do take some time to try out all these delicious local treats!!  


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