Taipei I buy

Warning: unabashedly consumerist post ahead.

Have been slowly weaning myself off the habit of finding fleeting joy in mindless shopping (it’s been so hard, especially with books and … toiletries).

But still it’s fun reminiscing about places where there are unique and reasonably priced (strong SGD permitting) goodies to be found, and one of them is Taipei. I haven’t visited since 2010 (first visit was in 2003!), but fondly remember:

  1. Just Herb, which proffers organic stuff and non-pushy salespeople. My fave products there are this perfect quick-drying, gunk-removing face towel that I regret not buying multiples of, and Comfort Tea, which is a blend of peppermint and liquorice in silk teabags and very good for soothing tummies (possibly unsettled due to point 5 and its 5 subpoints).
  2. Earth Tree, which continues the green theme, this time in the form of delightful fair trade goods, from quinoa chocolate and funky jute bags to admittedly high-end but highly browseable People Tree gear.
  3. Mr Hair, which has a DIY approach to natural haircare, letting you choose even the colour and fragrance of your products. I like the street where I found it too: details here.
  4. Opportunistic roadside pedlars lining the borders of legit night market stalls. Only from them can you land, say, a big, comfy and respectably patterned shawl that can be machine washed and happily lent to friends for NT$100. That’s less than S$5, folks!
  5. The food! Not inclusive of my beloved but inedible piece of jade at the National Palace Museum crafted to look like a succulent piece of kong bak (fatty pork belly), or the 姜母茶 (ginger tea encased in gorgeous blocks of black sugar) made and hacked to pieces in Jiufen, a locale outside the purview of this list, here are my die-die-must-tries when in Taipei:
    1. König has the best castella cake in the world. I know this because I cannot imagine anything more delicious than the light-as-air, honeyed spongey slices of love tinged with green tea that an ex-colleague brought back in a box shaped like a house. I just can’t.

      Yup, that's how long it takes to scarf down a slice

      Yup, that’s how long it takes to scarf down a slice. Thanks, GG!

    2. Oh, if we’re talking about edibles, I must highly commend those finger-shaped fish cracker-type thingies in Danshui. Addictive.
    3. And I know 葱油饼 (scallion pancakes) are like Taiwanese-style roti prata, but I utterly enjoy the chewy and the tasty. Ooh, and ask for a dollop of chilli sauce. My favourite is the one on Yongkang Street: details here.
    4. MY and I once stumbled upon an amaaaaazing 扣肉饭 (braised pork belly rice) shop near Riviera Hotel. And couldn’t get enough of it. We just couldn’t.
    5. So, you savour Teochew porridge, especially for supper? Wait till you try the double whammy of bubbling 地瓜粥 (sweet potato porridge) and crackling 菜脯煎蛋 (fried egg with preserved radish/turnip) at the supper shop just a skip and a hop away from Da-an station. Bonus: the porridge is presented in a pot with a ladle. Cute!

I have more recommendations for Taipei here, and (sometimes harrowing) records of my visits here.

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One thought on “Taipei I buy

  1. Pingback: Taipei and I | The Frothy Tome

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