Round Up

TAIWAN FUN MAGAZINE, November, 2006.

YongKang Street

Ice Monster
15, YongKang St, 1F
(02) 2321-1393Hours: 11 am-11 pm
MRT: CKS Memorial
Credit cards not accepted.

This well-known ice shop fully deserves the reputation it has as an excellent place to enjoy shaved ice dishes. Firstly, the dishes are visually very appealing--a mound of fruit, sorbet and condensed milk presented with flair. Secondly, they taste delicious--but then I'm not sure anyone could make mango, ice, and condensed milk taste anything other than heavenly. However, it's the recent refit which has seen people queuing round the block. Their seating is sheltered but open, allowing customers to watch the hustle and bustle of YongKang Street and catch up on some people-watching. It has to be said that it's really quite funky, too--sporting bright colours and bubbly water features. They offer a variety of dishes from Traditional Style Red Bean (NT$60) to a delicious Fresh Fruit Mix (NT$160). The dishes are large so you might want to consider sharing!


6, Lane 23, YongKang St
(02) 2322-2000
Hours: 11 am-11 pm
MRT: GuTing
Credit cards accepted.

Of course, no write-up of YangKang Street would be complete without a mention of the Japanese food it's famous for. This welcoming sukiyaki and shabu shabu spot is pleasantly situated just off YongKang Park, with some outside seating available. They offer set prices for their complete menu depending on the time of day (Mon-Fri 11 a.m.-4 p.m. NT$299, 4-11 p.m. and all day Sat-Sun NT$359) .You can choose from a selection of soup bases including, of course, sukiyaki and shabu shabu, spicy and vegetarian. There is always a good selection of ingredients to add to your soup--clams, shrimp, sometimes crab in the shell, vegetables, frozen dofu and more. Their ingredients always look pleasingly fresh. They also offer excellent value for money for families, as kids eat for NT$159 and kids under 100 centimetres eat free. Small Japanese-style dessert confections and soft drinks are included.

Hui Liu

9, Lane 31, YongKang St
(02) 2392-6707
Hours: 11:30 am-10 pm
MRT: NTU Hospital
Credit cards accepted.

The intense flavours that burst from each mouthful here, and the regular changing of the menu to keep things fresh are sure signs of quality. Something a little different on the vegetarian scene, Hui Liu offers good-sized dishes influenced by worldwide cuisine, and is also a showcase for great organic teas and ceramics. Main courses range from NT$220 to NT$300, or you can enjoy set meals from NT$380 to NT$480, which include tea and dessert. The broad rice noodles (NT$280) and Double Layer Open Ravioli (NT$480) come highly recommended. Always making an appearance is the Hui Liu favourite Sesame Sauce Noodles (NT$220)--hand-pulled noodles with rich sesame sauce under layers of organic raw vegetables. There are also plenty of side dishes and appetizers--the yummy Plum Sauce Pressed Tofu Squares being noteworthy, and fantastic homemade bread with pesto spread (NT$90). This attractive restaurant has also successfully created the perfect atmosphere for much- needed winding down.

Fukieng Traditional cuisine-pepper cookie

11-4, YongKang St
0922-884-229/ 0958-367-890
Hours: 2:30-10:30 pm
MRT: CKS Memorial
Credit cards not accepted.

Two years ago "Fukieng Traditional cuisine-pepper cookie" opened up a stall on YongKang Street. His Hu Jiao Bing (pepper buns) were already renowned in Taipei as he has been in the business of making them for more than 10 years. 'Hu Jiao Bing' are handy little snacks. A pork and green onion filling is wrapped in a non-sweet pastry and the buns are placed in a big round furnace pot. The unbaked buns are stuck to the side of the pot where they bake, earning them the nickname 'pot-stickers'. The result is a surprisingly filling bun with a firm outer pastry and deliciously moist centre. The stall is manned by cheerful staff and, while I was there, a woman pulled up to advance order 40 buns for an event in eastern Taipei--a reflection of just how good these buns are. The stall is located opposite Ice Monster and above a second-hand flea market, which is also well worth popping into.