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Best of Food @ Hualien, Taiwan

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Hualien, like every part of Taiwan, there is an abundance of food and local delights to try.  A few of the eateries have become famous and are considered “must eat” if you visit Hualien.

baozi-Gongzheng-Street-Hualien 3To start off, Gongzheng Street (公正街) in Hualien City would be a good place to begin the food trail.  At the beginning of the street is Gongzheng baozi (公正包子), aka xiaolongbao 小籠包 or meat buns.  These baozi are a little different to my impression of the Shanghainese counterpart.  It’s a tougher version of xiaolongbao; thicker but with fluffy skin and every bite is filled with plenty of juicy meat filling.  The store opens 24 hours, satisfying hungry souls any time.

Address:  No. 199-2 Zhongshan Road, Hualien City, Taiwan. Opens 24 hours. 花蓮市中山路100-2號

Yixin Bubble Ice @ Hualien
Yixin Bubble Ice (一心泡泡冰) with its smoother-than-slurpee texture and a multitude of flavors to choose from, it’s is a summer delight.  My personal favorite flavor is the black sour plum, unique with a sweet and sour taste.  

Address: No. 16 Zhonghua Road, Hualien City, Taiwan. 花蓮市中華路16號. (In the vicinity of Gongzheng Street).

Mochi Store Hualien
Hualien being the home of many aboriginal tribes in Taiwan, mochi is the dessert that is specific to the Amis tribe (阿美族), originally made for special occasions and festivals.  Today it has evolved into one of Hualien’s most popular souvenirs to bring home.  There is Tzen Ji mochi in the vicinity of Gongzheng Street, and Amei Mochi in the Hualien train station as well.

Address: No. 161 Zhonghua Road, Hualien City, Taiwan. 花蓮市中華路161號.
Tze Chiang Night Market Hualien, Taiwan. Night markets are always the best places to find local delights.

Coffin Toast @ Tze Chiang Night Market Hualien
In Tze Chiang Night Market (I) 自强夜市 of Hualien, expect to find 1.  Chiang Family’s Hualien Style Coffin Toast (棺財板) that may sound scary but in fact it really is a kind of deep fried sandwich with your choice of filling;

Taiwanese-spring-roll @ Tze Chiang Night Market, Hualien 12.  Taiwanese spring rolls wrapped with lots of goodies inside made continuously to meet the high demand and one portion is enough as a satisfying meal, 

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3.  No. 1 Barbecue with the fresh and perfectly barbecued items, the business is so good they encourage you to buy the barbecue sticks and barbecue it yourself at home;

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4.  Master Koh’s Seafood 高大侠海鲜, an awesome small seafood restaurant with only a few tables and a topless chef,

Tze Chiang Night Market Crispy Spare Ribs 1
and other snacks like the “babu” ice cream, Taiwanese sausage, polo buns, fried pork ribs, fresh juices and of course, the national drink, the bubble tea!  Thought Tze Chiang Night Market (II) is not as big as the famous Shilin Night Market in Taipei, but it will still take a good 2-3 meals to sample all the food.

Address: At the intersection of Tze Chiang Road and Heping Road, Hualien City.

Live-jumping-shrimp-Hualien 2
Moving away from Hialien City, live jumping shrimps are a delicacy commonly found alongside of Liyu Lake.  It may sound a bit cruel, but eating the heavily seasoned shrimps is quite an experience.  Salty, garlic-y crustacean shells with a bit of sweetness and fishy smell.

shrimps-white-bait @ Liyu Lake, Hualien
There is also the cooked version available if you don’t like it raw.  The shrimps are deep-fried till crunchy with appetizing red shells.  Mix it with white bait to get the best of both worlds.

Address: No.100, Huantan N. Rd., Shoufeng Township, Hualien County 974, Taiwan.

Manmei Pork Knuckle
In the Fonglin Township, tourists flock to eat Manmei Pork Knuckle (满妹猪脚) by the bus-load.  In the business for the past 43 years, the tender and melt-in-your-mouth pork knuckles are highly praised by both tourists and locals. 

Address: No. 10, Wànsēn Road, Fonglin Township, Hualien County, Taiwan 975
Tel: +886 3 875 1298

Well, that’s pretty much all the good food that I have covered in my 3 days of stay in Hualien! There’s still a few things that I didn’t get to try, but that will have be next time.

Like this post? See my Food List in Taiwan here 🙂


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Malaysia Pangkor Island / Sitiawan Perak

Lunch @ Sea View Hotel, Pangkor Island, Malaysia

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We ate  lunch at Sea View Hotel on Pangkor Island as it brings back vague memories from my childhood.  Many many years ago, Sea View Hotel was one of the earlier hotels established on the island.  If you have traveled to Pangkor say 10, 15 years ago, chances are, you probably have stayed in the hotel before.

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The hotel’s restaurant – Seaside Restaurant is literally by the sea with a superb view.

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As we were there around 2pm, a lot of fish dishes were unavailable and we had to resort to something that we don’t normally order – sweet and sour fish.

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The fish fillet pieces are deep fried – excellent tender fillet with a crispy coating, unfortunately spoiled by the sweet ad sour sauce which tasted completely artificial, as if the sauce came straight out from a chili sauce / tomato sauce bottle.  And it’s pricey for a not-very-big-portion at RM 35.

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The simple vegetable stir fry (RM15) is ok but the oyster sauce is too thick for my liking.

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The soup is not too bad, and  full of goodies like various kinds of vegetables, mushrooms and fish cake.

If you are lucky, you might be able to spot hornbills eating bread docilely off the table nearby.

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Here’s a few pages from Sea View Hotel’s Restaurant menu.  The price seemed to be marked up for during Chinese New Year Period.

I am rather disappointed at the pricey & so-so lunch here.    I get it that things get marked up during Chinese New year but at least give me better food if you want to mark up the price! I was actually thinking we should be able to get some good & cheap seafood since we are on an island, but no, seafood in Sitiawan is better off.

Looks like I gotta look for a good seafood restaurant the next time I am on Pangkor Island.

Contact Info
Sea View Hotel Website
Address:  Pangkor Island, Jalan Pasir Bogak, 32300 Pangkor Island, Perak
Tel: + 605 685 1605 

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Batu Gajah Malaysia Perak

Tanjung Tualang Prawn @Restaurant Sun Mee Fong, Malaysia

When one goes to Tanjung Tualang (about 45 minutes drive from Ipoh), the delicacy to eat there is definitely the big head prawns.  We ate at Restaurant Sun Mee Fong (新美芳海鮮樓) which looks like a new restaurant, but it’s an established seafood restaurant that’s been around for the past 20 years and has just been rebuilt.  Continue reading

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New Zealand Wanaka

Capriccio Bar and Restaurant, Wanaka New Zealand.

Capriccio Bar and Restaurant is on the main street of Wanaka Town (Ardmore Street), but it is not as visible as it hides a little on the second floor of the Wanaka Shopping Center.  We were lured in by the “seafood” signboard, hoping that we can get some Bluff oysters that is unique to New Zealand.  We were in luck as the Bluff oysters were on the menu! The size of the oysters is bite-sized, and just the right size for slurping!  The texture is creamy with a sweet smell of the sea.  The texture is so soft and smooth everything just melts in your mouth.

For my main, Continue reading

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Australasian Resturant and Bar Greymouth, New Zealand.

Australasian Bar and Restaurant is just 2 minutes drive from Alpine Rose Motel.  The building is light grey, and the interior is also an elegant greyish decor.  We went in the restaurant with our windbreakers and jeans and realized that it’s a more of smart casual and almost a semi-formal type of restaurant, so we were kinda underdressed.

Gary and I ordered the sea-food chowder for starter.  This rich chowder Continue reading

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