We got back to the city centre at almost 6pm after our Yehliu Geopark, Jiufen and Shifen Day Tour with Klook. The coach driver kindly dropped us off at Ximen metro station (instead of the original meeting/pick-up point at Taipei Main Station) as we wanted to check out Ximending and also go to Huaxi Street Night Market to grab some dinner.
Huaxi Street Night Market 华西街夜市
Take the metro/MRT blue line and alight at Longshan Temple (BL 10). Huaxi Street Night Market is just a 5-minute walk away.
Huaxi Street Night Market used to be a red-light district. It was also known as ‘Snake Alley’ as restaurants there served up snake meat, snake blood and snake soup. Though news reported that the last snake restaurant had ceased operation in 2018, it seemed like there was still one restaurant selling snake meat and soup. Just look for the restaurant with a tank of snakes at the entrance if you’re interested to try.
Now, the night market is pretty much a tourist night market with different eateries and restaurants, massage parlours, beauty & nail salons, fortune tellers and shops selling Chinese trinkets and ornaments.
It is open every day from around 4.00pm to midnight.
Michelin Guide Taipei Bib Gourmand 2019-2022
We stopped by Wang’s Broth 小王煮瓜 for dinner as they’ve been on the Michelin Guide Taipei Bib Gourmand list for the last few years since 2019. It’s a place that both locals and tourists rave about. It’s famous for its Steamed Minced Pork with Pickles in Broth and Braised Pork Rice a.k.a. ‘Black Gold’.
How it works
If you’re dining in, grab the white-coloured order chit. The yellow-coloured one is for takeaways. There’s English on the order chits so not a problem for those who can’t read Chinese. Find a table and be seated. Indicate your table number on the chit and pick out what you want to eat. Next, bring the chit to the cashier and make payment. The food will be served to your table.
Here’s what we ordered
Steamed Minced Pork with Pickles in Broth 清汤瓜仔肉
The broth was flavourful and surprisingly refreshing (probably because of the pickles). Loved the nicely marinated meat nuggets as they were somewhat springy and not dry at all. Must order!
Shredded Bamboo Shoots 笋丝
Got this for the hubby as he loves bamboo shoots. I’m not a big fan of it but I did enjoy the crunch.
Braised Cabbage 卤白菜
Nicely cooked. The naturally sweet cabbage had kind of absorbed the braising sauce, which made it really savoury and fragrant.
Braised Pork Rice 卤肉饭
No wonder this is called ‘Black Gold’. Just look at the meat on top—black, oily and shiny. What I really liked about this braised pork rice was that they didn’t use minced pork but rather diced pork with a good ratio of fats to meat. The fatty parts just melted in the mouth, so soft and delicious. Rice was beautifully cooked too. Not stodgy at all. Perfect consistency to go with the braising sauce of the meat that was tasty and not overly salty.
Stewed Pork Rice 控肉饭
If you prefer taking big bites of your meat, you have to order this kong bak png, which came with a thick slab of pork belly. The meat was tender but not to the extent of being super soft or ‘melt in the mouth’ so would still need to chew a little. This was really good too!
I do agree with many that Wang’s Broth 小王煮瓜 is one of the top places in Taipei to enjoy a delicious bowl of braised meat rice. It wasn’t just the food that was outstanding but the service was impeccable too. Even though the restaurant was very busy during dinner time, we were served with politeness and thoughtfulness throughout, which we really appreciated. Thumbs up!!