Day 2 in Taiwan and we planned on visiting Yong Kang Street, famous for their TW Beef Noodles and cafe culture. From my research prior to the trip, I followed Ladyironchef’s guide to Yong Kang Street and wanted to eat my way through the cafes. But first, had to feed my Daddy with a “proper” breakfast and so Yong Kang Beef Beef Noodles was first on our list.
Woke up earlier than usual (I like waking up at 12pm lol) because they open at 11am and are famous for having a serpentine queue at 10+am even before they open.
Yong Kang Street is located conveniently above Da an Station and we planned to meet there at 10.30am before heading out for breakfast.
Reaching the station, we went straight to the control station (again) and asked for directions and which exit to take. Showed the staff a picture of Yong Kang Beef Noodles and they guided us swiftly to Exit 3. (If I remember correctly) Once above ground, we relied on our trusty Google maps to guide us specifically to the destination.
Yong Kang Beef Noodles
No 17 Lane 31 Section 2 Jinshan South Road
Tel: 02 2351 1051
OPENS 11AM (Be early)
We were seated within minutes, the queue moves as quickly as it did in HK, and I was quite surprised because the queue was LONG. The turnover was so high!!! Everyone left immediately after they finished their meals and we proceeded to order our own.
The menu comes with pictures and English translations so no worries if you don’t speak Chinese. Just point and order. LOL.
We ordered the Glutinous Rice Pork Ribs which we saw sitting on almost every other table, and this was indeed a good choice. It’s very different from the usual we get at the dimsum restaurants here in Singapore. I almost ordered another!
They are extremely famous for their Beef Noodles and they come in two different broths. Spicy and clear. You can also choose the type of noodles and whether you want tendons etc. There’s quite a lot of variety to pick from and I went with the Beef Tendon option. It was so soft!!!! Not the uber chewy and tough kind. Really liked it.
My only gripe with it would be the fact that the spicy broth was a little too oily… And I still prefer the Beef Noodles from Kau Kee in HK!! It’s impossible to beat!
My brother went ahead with the clear broth and it tasted a little like fishball soup. It’s more 清淡 but I still preferred the spicy version as it had more flavour and packed a punch.
After enjoying our bowls of piping hot noodles, we headed out to brave the rain (damn suay it KEPT RAINING WHILE WE WERE THERE) and bought umbrellas because it was too heavy. We KIV-ed our cafe-hopping plans because the rain was a complete bummer and it was so annoying having to squeeze with others on a tiny street with our brollies.
Sigh!! Wish I checked the weather forecast!
World Trade Centre Metro Station
Decided to hang out somewhere indoors and we headed towards Taipei 101! It’s like THE ICON of Taipei anyway, Jw hadn’t been to TW before and we decided to check it out.
They have their famous Michelin star Din Tai Fung here, and my cousin swears upon their quality and consistency, but we didn’t have a chance to patronise it…..
LOOK AT THE QUEUE!!!! The timer on the top right corner shows you the waiting time!! 60 minutes! INSANE!!! We were also quite full after having our beef noodles so we gave this a miss. Not really a fan of XLB (ya ikr) anyway….
The interior of 101 is still as amazing as ever. I remember visiting 101 maybe about 7 years back and it looks the same, but better! It’s almost like ION Orchard, but WAYYYYY bigger and more majestic, and you won’t be squeezing with a billion people while you’re here! I love it! We skipped the Observatory because the weather was bad and we wouldn’t be able to see much anyway…. It was expensive too! Not worth it!!!
But of course, I had seen the view myself once and I remember it as being completely WORTH the money IF THE WEATHER WAS GOOD. Such a shame the weather didn’t work with us on Day 2. They will tell you what the view is like before you purchase tickets so don’t worry, they are very ethical!! Hahaha…
During the Christmas season there was a super chio Xmas Tree parked in the middle of 101! Couldn’t help but snap pictures with it in the background because it’s really gorgeous. I think this is even nicer than our Takashimaya tree… Haha….
After walking around a bit we decided to go back to rest up and wait for the rain to clear up before heading out again. Day 2 was a very slow and chillax day for us! Dad and didi went to do their massage while Jw and I headed out after bumming around for a bit. We still hadn’t visited Yong Kang’s cafe street!!!!!!
The “hipster” in me couldn’t take it!!! Like rain or shine also must go. HAHAHHAA. Pestered Jw to brave the rain with me because we were already on holiday and it was a waste to just stay in the apartment doing nothing.
Headed to Dongmen again before CAFE HOPPING!!!!!!!!! Like I said, we followed Ladyironchef’s guide and had a good idea where we were going. But once again, Google Maps saved our lives (and Jw’s map reading skills LOL) and navigated us safely to our destination.
Carried our umbrella out because it was STILL RAINING (@#$%&**&@$@$@$) quite heavily and we had no choice.
So this is what the “start” of our cafe hopping adventure looks like. We walked and walked and walked, 5minutes, and stumbled across the busy street.
You can probably use the signs, or this hugeass ostentatious 7-11 that tells you you’re on the right path.
Continue walking straight and you should see the cafes mapped out by Ladyironchef.
8% Ice Cream Shop
No 6 Lane 13 Yong Kang Street
Tel: 02 2395 6583
Daily: 12pm – 10pm
We were most intrigued by this cafe called 8% Ice Cream Shop and I was freakishly craving gelato even though the weather was freezing cold. I am such a freak. Hahahhahaha.
The interior is amazing, and the varieties of ice-cream they had were quite interesting. Was spoilt for choice and asked for a recommendation, which we got.
We settled with this VERY unique flavour which I haven’t seen in Singapore, Bolero.
I have no idea what it was but I ordered it anyway. They don’t allow you to taste the gelato before purchase btw.
THE CUPS ARE SUPER HIPSTERRRZZZ CANNOT TANK SO QT.
The Bolera gelato was so smooth, exotic in taste and I give it an absolute thumbs up! I would definitely visit 8% Ice Cream Shop again because it’s so quaint the atmosphere is perfect for a lazy day out. We had such a good “rest” here and recharged our emotions (dampened by the bloody rain) before exploring the cafe street again. I really like how this “stopover” energised us with just the right atmosphere! I bet studying here would be really productive.
They even have a wishing pond!!!
I wonder how much loose change they earn though… Hahahha…..
OK and then we were back on the rainy streets………. I almost bought Milk Tea from Coco but I knew I was in for a treat at the REAL KOI in Taiwan!!! It’s btw not called KOI there, it’s original name is 50 嵐 (50 Lan) and it has a very distinctive yellow and blue signboard which you cannot miss!
TADAH!!!!!!!!!!!!! FOUND IT!!!!!
Meet the original KOI cafe!
I heard lots of good things about 50 Lan and because I am an avid fan of milk tea (even in Singapore), I HAD TO GET A CUP FOR MYSELF. It would be my first milk tea in Taiwan (after many many years) and I wanted it to be amazing.
Picked from their extensive menu and I was so damn shocked at their prices!?!! WTF!! DAMN CHEAP!!!!!!
I was paying like $4 for a cup of good bubble tea in Singapore and over here… A HUGE ASS CUP COST LIKE $4 OR LESS. WTH!??!?!?!? SIAO EH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! And please, you don’t pay extra because you ask for less ice. PARADISE.
SO THANKFUL FOR MY CUP OF BUBBLE TEA!!!!!! The cup is really huge lor. It’s like our L cup in Singapore but at less than M size price. INSANE! I KNEW I WAS GOING TO GET SO FAT IN TAIWAN…..
Not disappointed at all!!! Their milk tea is super GAO and thick, creamy + milky….. And not too sweet. Shiok!!!! They have quite a number of outlets across Taiwan (50 actually ahhaha) and I’m pretty sure you’d see one while you’re there. They have a few more outlets in Xi Men Ding too!! MUST TRY!!!!!!!!
Took some shots in their run-down alleys because I love them! So hard to find anywhere and anyhow in Singapore right?!?!
Bloody van photobombed me. Hahahahhahaha…..
Ok but after walking around quite a bit we realised that didn’t have coffee yet!! Jiawei was getting a little cranky because… Coffee-addict. Haha. Checked out this place called Eating Time which we past by and thought looked really decent. The food from the outside looked amazing as well.
No 18 Yong Kang Street
Tel: 02 2351 3663
Daily: 8am – 11pm
There’s a min spend at this cafe, but we weren’t very hungry that day (surprisingly) and it was almost time for dinner. It was such a shame because when we looked around, everyone’s food looked damn freakin’ good! Like really legit brunch options omg. We asked the staff if we could just get two coffees and bum around for a bit and they were so kind to let us do that.
I guess it was because we were there during non-peak hours though. I’d bet 50 bucks that the place is packed to the brim during weekends and at lunch hours because the smell of the kitchen was just insane.
The interior is very cozy and quaint, a great place for chilling out!!!!!
HAHAHHA that picture…. ^
Sorry, we were waiting for our coffees.
Their latte art was (Y) and the coffee was MMMMM…. I’m not a coffee connoisseur so I shan’t pretend that I’m one. I prefer to just say that their coffee is so damn photogenic!! LIKE!!!!!!!
He was in a much better mood after having his coffee and we continued walking back to Dongmen station before meeting up with my Dad and brother.
Stumbled upon a Japanese sweet shop and I screamed because they had my favourite soft grape gummy…. Yes that one on the last row. I bought it because Jw and I love it so much and it’s a huge part of our childhood!!
After that, it was time to head over to Hou Shan Pi Station where Wu Fen Pu (the wholesale clothing market) is located! Check the metro map I attached in Day 1! Again, ASK WHICH EXIT TO EXIT AT!!!!!!
Getting to Wu Fen Pu is quite idiot proof because there are signs on the streets and you can just follow them or ask the locals. We walked ourselves and lo and behold… It was still raining. Such a damper!!!!
Wu Fen Pu
Open from 2pm onwards
By the time we reached Wu Fen Pu, we realised that only some of the places are sheltered and other times we had to inconveniently shoot out our brollies to shield us from the rain. It was kinda annoying while you’re shopping (lol) and I didn’t see much to buy anyway. Taiwan was in their winter season and everything was super thick + long sleeved! Really nothing much to buy….
It felt like Bugis Street but a little pricier.
Only plus point was maybe the dogs we found in the wholesale market. So freaking cute!! Missed Prince so much while I was in Taiwan….
I didn’t buy ANYTHING in the end. Like seriously. Nothing.
Other than food. We had this Egg cake (LOL direct translation) aka our Kueh Bahlu in Singapore which was super shiok!!!!
We decided to give Rao He Night Market a miss (because what’s the point after visiting Shilin right?!?!) as it was raining like mad and we just wanted to eat comfortably in a sheltered establishment. I guess if the weather was better we would have went there to take a walk and look around. I’m going to include the address for Rao He anyway because of that!
RaoHe Night Market
Follow the signs! Ask the locals!!!!!
Dad was craving for some Lu Rou Fan and we stumbled across this famous joint called Formosa Zhang. They are like a fast-food chain for braised meat dishes and we decided to give it a try. It’s like trying Mcdonalds in the USA. We had to!
Their Lu Rou Fan was MMM!!!!!!!! I remember trying this dish years back in Taiwan and I loved it so much!! The fats are cooked SO well they literally MELT IN YOUR MOUTH. The bowl is also really small and I’m quite sure just one bowl will not make you full. Probably jelat but not full!! There’s very little meat but instead more fat in the bowl and I usually stop at one because I very scared fat. HAHAHAHA….
Holiday just enjoy la!
Also ordered the Pig trotters which was alright. Nothing amazing but decent enough to fill our bellies.
Dad ordered the Green Bean Soup which was sugary sweet and I didn’t like it.
We were still quite hungry after that because the portions were so small and decided to go for Hot Pot nearby my apartment. They charge by plates and the colour of your plates and it was quite pricey yet not very yummy… Don’t want to waste your money or calories on this but I must recommend having hotpot in Taiwan!! There are some really good restaurants around so just do your homework.
Went off to buy more groceries at 7-11 after dinner because it was so unsatisfying before heading back to catch up on sleep! Day 3 was going to be a long long day because we’re travelling out of Taipei!!!!!