Food: Best Kong Rou Fan In Taipei

Aimlessly wandering around an unfamiliar city can lead you to wonderful discoveries, that much I can attest to how wonderful Taipei is. It was a little past 12 in the afternoon when I decided to step out of my hostel and brave the impeding rain brought by the dark clouds over Taipei.

I’ve downloaded an offline map of Taipei but I really wanted to get lost, this time intentionally. I walked around a couple of blocks further going towards the streets that I’ve never gone through away from where I was staying. The streets in Taipei are a bit kind of dreamy for me. They offer a safe space to leisurely glide your feet one after the other while wandering around an unfamiliar block, something that is hardly seen in my home country.

Kong Rou Fan

Several minutes into walking, I saw this small shop in a cross street right in front of a temple. Keeping in mind that golden food rule, “Go where there is a line” I crossed the street and started inspecting their menu. I think I made my self a little too obvious that I didn’t knew how to order when a group of students came up to me and help.

I ordered this rice wrapped braised chicken by pointing to another table’s plates. I broke the triangular molded rice to reveal the chicken inside which apparently was mixed with spices and peanut. It was something so familiar but different. The play of texture of the dish really made me enjoy savoring every bite.

Kong Rou Fan

A middle aged guy sitting on the same table started conversing with me, asking me from where I was and how long have I been in Taiwan. But what struck me the most was when he asked me how did I found the place. He said in broken English that the place is some sort of a secret from tourist and that only locals know that this is where the best Kong Rou Fan is. He insisted that I should try the dish. Convinced enough I walked up to the shop’s front and ordered my self a Kong Rou Fan.

Kong Rou Fan

Kong Rou Fan

Kong Rou Fan is a slow cooked sweet pork topped on rice and served with pickled cucumber on the side. For someone who doesn’t like un-fried pork fat, this dish actually is excellent. Why? I could eat the fatty part without being irked! As soon as the pork fat lands on my mouth it starts to completely melt! It was heavenly! The meat part was also so tender that it just breaks down as soon as you taste it. Very minimal chewing was needed for this meat, just savor it. Kong Rou Fan

I am really happy that I intentionally got my self lost around the area. If I didn’t push my self in exploring beyond what are written on blogs and books I would have not tasted Taipei’s best Kong Rou Fan.  I highly recommend hunting this food store down the streets of Ximending. Not only do they serve the best Kong Rou Fan but all of their dishes are actually great. I really feel that this spot will give you a great idea of how locals eat like if you are into learning cultures. Besides one of the best ways to learn about a culture is through their food right? So chow down!

P.S. I don’t know the name of the restaurant but its the one on the top photo, right side of the Suzuki signage.

一甲子餐飲 (Pinyin: Yī jiǎzǐ cānyǐn)- As per google maps
Address: 108, Taiwan, Taipei City, Wanhua District, Kangding Road, 79號

 

 

Food: Ol’ Pub San Juan La Union

Situated in the thriving surf town of San Juan, La Union Ol’ Pub opened its doors three months ago. We were graciously invited to taste their diverse menu on our last night in La Union. Ol’ Pub exudes a young and energetic theme that’s great when bonding with friends after a good day’s surfing. I love their big bikes displayed in the pub pumping that youthful vibe.

Ol Pub La Union

Ol Pub La Union

Ol Pub La Union

We were given a free hand on what to order on whatever was on the menu, must say that they are pretty confident with the quality of their food allowing us to do this.

Cocktails and Drinks

Ol Pub signature – dark run malibu pineapple juice dash of grenadine. This is perfect while having casual conversations with friends, has that kick but doesn’t knocks you down…. I love the how it just creeps in.

I also must mention that beers are priced perfectly. Just take a table and not worry about how your bill is going to be, I tell you, you’ll be surprised how cheap they are thinking that the place is nicely set up.

Ol Pub La Union

The Food

Ol Pub La Union

Tuna Kilawin – if you don’t like fish, order this! The dish will make you regret that you hate fish. Ol’ Pub just takes the Tuna to a whole new different dimension. The spiciness of the dish is just right as it elevates the experience but doesn’t takes over the whole dish. How spicy? just right nothing to be alarmed of.

Ol Pub La Union

Summer Salad – A medley of fresh greens fruits drizzled with their recipe of a  special strawberry vinaigrette that will remind you of summer. The playful texture of the salad just climbs as the dash of nuts rolls into your mouth. This is a totally must order off of the menu! Our favorite!

Ol Pub La Union

Quarter Rosemary Chicken – Rosted to perfection the rice dish is served with whole spinach leaves. But I don’t eat rice, yeah I know I’m crazy, but you know what I really enjoyed this dish as I roll the chicken meat in the spinach that giving a refreshing experience to your mouth while the cucumber refreshes your tongue preparing you for your next bite of heaven.

Ol Pub La Union

Tapa – reminiscnt of the classic Filipino TapSiLog Ol’ Pub’s served with coleslaw to tame the spiciness. Some may say that this dish tastes ordinary but if you have a bit of a sensitive taste bud you’ll definitely savor on the subtle innovations they’ve made on the dish without deviating much from the Tapa that we’ve all grown to love.

Ol Pub La Union

Around San Juan, I can feel the community’s effort to promote and support each local business that there is in the town and Ol’ Pub is no exception. They try to source their ingredients locally and staff their pub with locals, yep even the chef is an ElYu local. Ol’ Pub is located near Circle Hostel in Urbiztondo, San Juan, La Union. Now we know what to eat before we party, we’ll have to stay beyond dinner time next time so we can experience their awesome party hours!