The best winter food to have in Taipei

From hot pot to modern riffs on traditional winter food, these restaurants are testament to Taipei’s reputation as a food mecca. Here are the best six places to try.

Top One Pot, Taipei
  • Serene Lim
  • January 2019

Taipei’s reputation as a foodie destination is well deserved. While its famous night markets offer a staggering amount of street food to pick from, we figured you’d want to seek refuge from the cold by heading indoors. This list of must-eats include everything from a Michelin-starred restaurant offering modern and ’gram-worthy takes on traditional dishes, to a punchy and aromatic hotpot made from ginger and duck offal.

Top One Pot, Taipei
Top One Pot offers unique soup bases including one made from pickled cabbage and a fiery Royal Spicy Hot Pot, which comes with a free flow of coagulated duck’s blood.

1. Top One Pot

Décor inspired by the Chinese dynasties, imperial costumes you and the kids can don, meat slices shaped like roses and even a Chinese “emperor” who walks around inspecting his kingdom, oh wait, we mean the restaurant … there’s definitely nothing understated about dining at Top One Pot.

2. Bawei Jiangmuya

Heard of ginger duck hotpot? Well, it’s a winter ritual in Taiwan. Locals swear by the full-bodied and aromatic broth that’s made with ginger juice, sesame oil, cooking wine and Chinese herbs. The list of ingredients to pick from is concise and is made up of mainly duck offal, from intestines to, well, testicles. It might be a daunting dish to try, but remember, fortune favours the bold.
233, MuXin Road, Section 2, WenShan District

3. Tairroir

Tairroir, Taipei
At farm-to-table restaurant Tairroir, the simple traditional Taiwanese snack of tea leaf egg is elevated to a beautiful fine-dining dish.

This is probably the most avant-garde tea leaf egg you’ll ever come across. At the one Michelin-starred Tairroir, the Pu’er Tea Silkie Egg is beautifully done at 65 degrees, and adorned with traditional porridge condiments such as pickled radish and fermented bean curd. A serving of chicken congee is poured onto the dish before you relish every bite.

4. Lotuss

Lotuss is ideal if you’re craving a lighter hot pot meal that doesn’t leave you in a food coma. Tuck into herbal soups, organic veggies and a salad bar of wild mountain herbs. The hearty, nourishing fare isn’t just good for your body, it’s good for your soul too — the restaurant hires hearing-impaired staffers as its owner (who’s also deaf) believes in empowering the deaf-mute community.
1F, No. 318, Sec 5, Nanjing East Road, Songshan District

5. O Olan Bar

O Olan Bar,
Hipster oden, anyone?

Located on the trendy Yongkang Street with high-end fashion boutiques for neighbours, O Olan Bar serves up a stylish take on oden made with local ingredients. Have it with sake and craft beer, and you have the perfect night in.

6. Niu Ba Ba

Would you pay SGD$444 for a bowl of beef noodles? That’s the price tag of the Presidential Beef Noodle Soup, the world’s most expensive beef noodle soup. The broth is deliciously complex, with three layers that are individually distilled from six different types of stock. The beef comprises four different types of premium cuts that have been specially braised for three days to achieve the perfect flavour and texture. You can also choose from 20 kinds of noodles to go into your creation.

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