Surrounded by mountains and ocean, Taitung is a place with a lively blend of different ethnicities, deep-rooted traditions, and multicultural heritage. All of the cuisines of Taitung, including local restaurants with 50-60-year history, western cuisine brought from new immigrants, and creative fusion food, all build up an unforgettable and terrific memory for people who were born and raised here.
In Taitung, many local restaurants have been operated by the same family for over three generations. For these traditional foods, you cannot judge each dish’s quality just by its simple look. However, when you taste it, you can experience the ingredients that formed the great memories of the elder generation, and that brings an amazing journey of flavor to travelers.
Do you miss the salty dumplings that could often be eaten on small streets when you are young? The full-bodied white dumplings served here are tangy, using a traditional handmade recipe. This small stand, which has been in operation for more than 40 years, is a spot where Taiwanese people and office workers eat every week. In addition to the variety of rice noodles and secret recipes, handmade glutinous rice balls are recommended. Some other recommended dishes include their handmade soup dumplings, which are covered with pork filled with an ancient taste. The fillings and sweetness of the soup are accompanied by the embellishment of red and green onions, which is really a good taste for people to miss again and again!(IGPhoton by @bonnnnnieview)
A-Rong’s Radish Cake
A piece of ordinary radish cake is cooked in an ancient way with solid production process. Over eight hours of preparation and cooking is conducted to present the natural flavors of rice and radishes for creating extraordinary deliciousness. This has become a hidden edition of private delicacies in Taitung.The crisp and toasty radish cake makes one eager to dig in and taste its savor. Topped with soy paste, the radish cake is crispy outside and tender inside, and the aroma of rice and the genuine flavor of radish become more intense in your mouth, making it impossible to stop eating. Good flavors don’t require excessive additives and seasoning as A-Rong’s radish cake has captured the heart of customers with its plain and simple flavor.
Guanshan Stinky Tofu
With steam billowing out from the small stand, the Guanshan Stinky Tofu vendor at the traditional market has maintained its traditional flavor over the past 40 years. Although only a small booth, the limited seats are always packed with customers. There are a variety of braised dishes, cut noodles, and side dishes. Of course, the most famous stinky tofu is loved by everyone. With a crispy outer layer and strong tofu aroma, the balance of stinky but fragrant flavor is a peculiar contradiction. The salty flavors of the braised dishes are done to perfection. Even though seemingly simple food, the crowds continuously coming and going provide the best proof of how delicious this food is. This classic snack is definitely worth the wait in line! (IGPhoto by @kenwei0870).
Golden Flower Beinan Bun Store
What the stuffing and skin of the bun pursued is nothing more than a snack based sense of satisfaction and matching. The Golden Flower Beinan Bun Store often have customers waiting in long queue, which proves the delicious taste of their buns. There are bamboo shoot and meat bun, cabbage bun, taro red bean bun and salty-fragrant steamed roll. The salty-fragrant smell is just perfect and the good dough smell is from mouth bite. No matter it is full of meat stuffing or read beans, the perfect match of the stuffing and the skin is boiled in your mouth. As for the taro fragrant steamed buns, white steamed buns and brown sugar steamed buns with raisin, their taste is being made to the best. Snack nut like you must give it a try!(IGPhoto by @yen_lonlon).
Lao DongFang Herbal Tea
Lao DongFang started from a herbal medicine shop, which has been has been inherited with their original intention for 60 years. They insist on the simplicity and purity of the raw materials to make healthy and delicious herbal tea for every person in Taitung. Step by step, from decoction, stirring, and taste trying. It takes a period of five to six hours of processing, everything from collecting the herbal medicines, washing and decocting, which is very time-consuming. It requires careful attention of the heat, decoction, stirring, and taste trying to ensure that the aroma of the herbs is completely divergent, which is suitable to have a cup on hot summer days.(IGPhoto by @square_chen).
Dongbanxiang Traditional Rice Workshop
The Ban in Hakka actually refers to “Guei” we say. In every store in Taitung, there is more hospitality, a link with memory. This stall has history of sixty years, giving people the same taste and elasticity, just like the emotion of their family for three generations. Almost every woman in Hakka Village can make Ban Food with different taste and feeling in the mouth and this is the link everyone goes home to. With adherence to good the rice from the Rifle Valley, it is refined, dehydrated, stirred up, hand-made, steamed after 3 hours being in the water; every step is to make the most natural aroma of five grains getting inside for smooth bite; the chewing feeling is hidden that it is the best one without exception.(IGPhoto by @mo_llly___h).
Xiao Family’s Bawan
This joint uses hand-kneaded sweet potato flour, which is made up of exclusive proportions. After frying, it is not greasy, but instead it ss able to highlight the excellent rind of the stuffing and softness. A bite of scented pork, juicy and crispy bamboo shoots inside of the bawan, with a variety of sauces, is delicious. Frying heat control is extremely important for the bawan skin. The exquisite taste is one of the unique advantages of traditional hand-made foods. This may explain why this is a small shop where so many people queue up(IGPhoto by @summerdzeng).
FU-HUNG Clay oven crusts
Persistence in creating hand-made products is the traditional intention of this store. From the tables and chairs, to the oven roll broilers, all are hand-built by the owner. There are five kinds of biscuits, such as the sweet sesame, pepper, small size sesame, green onion and baked scallion. Each type of biscuit has different kneading and rolling methods, and is embedded in different fillings. Therefore, each type of crust needs to be savored carefully. The crispy, fragrant crust is hard on the outside and soft on the inside. The rich aromas flow throughout the store. One of the most famous pepper crust is stuffed with scallion. With a bite, the sweet green onion taste is evident, and the hand-made aroma of the crust will surely fill your mouth!
Tofu Skin Store
The owner moved from Miaoli to Chishang, and is an industrious and frugal Hakkanese man. He has been persistant in utilizing the traditional ways of selling handmade tofu skin for 50 years. While visiting the small store, in addition to enjoy the sun dried tofu skin, you can also appreciate the entire production process. You will find the scent of exquisite steaming soy milk, and sheets of golden tofu skin hanging and drying. Every step of make tofu skin has its far-reaching charm. From raw of soybeans, to grinding and isolating of bean residue and soy milk, along with the steaming tofu skin, the entire process is taken care of the way they insisted, just like tradesman. The dining area is located outside of the factory. The menu is surprisely simple, as it only includes tofu chips, tofu skin, tofu pudding and soy milk. The signature dishes are tofu chips and tofu skin. The tofu chips are fried untill golden, so that the taste comes through as soft and crisp. Likewise, the tofu skin, which is accompained with parsley and a bit of soy sauce, has a wonderful but simple delicacy always sells out quickly.
Lin’s Stinky Tofu
Lin’s Stinky Tofu makes the best stinky tofu in town. The bite-size tofu cubes with their golden and crispy exterior are extraordinarily juicy from the inside out. Their stinky tofu also goes well with spicy sauce, Taiwanese preserved vegetables, and basil.
Taitung Chang’s Oyster Noodles
Oyster vermicelli is Taitung Chang’s Oyster Noodles’s signature dish. It contains rich local ingredients, such as oysters, intestines, carrots, and bamboo shoots, with Katsuobushi and vegetable broth. You can add crushed garlic, cilantro, and hot sauce into the noodle soup to make it more savory.
Taitung PoSang Turnip Cake (Ke Family Breakfast)
You can find the most authentic PoSang Turnip Cake in Ke Family Restaurant. The chef uses the crafts and recipes developed through five generations to make the golden and crispy turnip cake, enriched the long heritage for decades. You can also taste the sweetness of turnip and unique flavor of soy sauce when serving the cake with Ke Family’s secret chili sauce.
Banyan Tree Mi Taimu
Mi Taimu, also called silver needle noodle, is a Hakkanese food and made of rice. Banyan Tree Mi Taimu Restaurant is famous for its chewy Mi Taimu served with traditional Katsuobushi broth. You can also add hot sauce to the soup and sense the mixed aroma coming from the sauced pork and fish in the noodle. Banyan Tree Mi Taimu has been opened for over 60 years and it is still considered one of the most popular restaurants in Taitung.