If you want to buy food gifts in Hualien, the first thing that many people think of is probably mochi, because mochi is a snack suitable for all ages, and the most famous mochi in Hualien has to be Tzen-Mochi.
Tzen-Mochi only has outlets in Hualien and Yilan County’s Suao Town. If you live in another part of Taiwan, don’t worry; Tzen-Mochi offers home delivery for a fee. For more information, please visit their website.
The following are the two stores we visited in Hualien:
Address: No. 163-1, Zhonghua Road, Hualien City, Hualien County
Opening hours: 10.30am – 2.00pm, 3.30pm – 8.00pm daily
Address: 1F, No. 446, Zhongzheng Road, Hualien City, Hualien County
Opening hours: 10.30am – 1.00pm, 2.00pm – 9.00pm daily
Both outlets are in the same location, separated only by a road. So, if you want something that isn’t available in one shop, you can easily check availability at the other shop.
+886 3 834 1000
If you want to buy food gifts before leaving Hualien, you can also go to the Hualien Station outlet:
Address: No. 100, Guolian 1st Road, Hualien City, Hualien County / Counter No. 12, 3rd Floor, Hualien Station (next to the ticket gate)
Opening hours: 8.30am – 9.00pm daily
Tzen-Mochi is very generous to allow sampling of their products – not just cut up pieces, but the entire thing. We tried both the Hualien Taro and the Hualien Sweet Potato. Both appeared identical from the outside. The crust had a nice eggy flavour that reminded me of Chinese egg yolk pastry. The sweet potato filling was a combination of sweet potato and mung bean paste, so it didn’t have a strong sweet potato flavour. I thought the taro one was better.
Traditional Handmade Mochi
As these mochi are handmade in the store, it is best to consume them within the same day. I like how they make the mochi in batches throughout the day rather than all at once to preserve the freshness and texture.
We tried the peanut, red bean and taro mochi. All were delicious. The mochi skin was thick, but springy and chewy. The fillings were fragrant and not overly sweet.
Ice Cream Mochi
It was only during our second visit to the shop that we discovered these ice cream mochi in the freezer. We tried four flavours (chocolate, strawberry, peanut, and passion fruit) and my favourite was the strawberry, which tasted like Strawberry Ripple ice cream!
Aside from trying handmade mochi and ice cream mochi in stores, you can also bring pre-packaged mochi home to enjoy. The benefit of these mochi gift boxes is that they have a longer shelf life, allowing you to give them to family and friends when you return home. However, mochi in boxes would not be the same as freshly made mochi.
In addition to mochi, expect to see honey sweet potatoes, pineapple cakes, butter bread crips, bamboo cakes, mochi cakes, sachima, and peeled chilli peppers (Hualien’s famous specialty).
Check out their website for a complete product list.
Tzen-Mochi’s handmade mochi and ice cream mochi are among the best I’ve ever tasted. Especially the ice cream mochi, which I can never get enough of. QQ glutinous skin with ice cream that is cold and creamy. The pairing is truly a match made in heaven. If you’re visiting Hualien in the summer, this is a great dessert to have on a hot afternoon!
Tzen-Mochi is a must-try for mochi fans!