One thing is for certain, Taiwan loves a good night market. They are the best (and cheapest) place to sample the local cuisine. Shilin night market is Taipei’s biggest and arguably their best. We headed down Shilin on the hunt for the famous Taiwanese chicken cutlet. Check out our other reviews of where we visited in Taiwan.
ALL THE FOOD
The first place we had to check out at Shilin night market was Hot-Star Large Fried Chicken, its located on street level at the start of an alley to the left of all the games inside the main market. Just look out for the long queue and you know you’re in the right place. I had heard a lot about these gigantic chicken cutlets, basically the size of your face, and it was at the top of the list to try. I recommend sharing this one if you want to have a chance at being hungry enough to try any other food at Shilin night market. Hot-Star did not disappoint, the chicken was succulent and that crispy coating was out of this world. I had never tasted anything like it before and I can’t work out how they make it. It was something akin to the crispy texture of bubbly pork rinds – trust me it’s amazing!
Another must try at the Shilin night market or anywhere in Taiwan for that matter is their famous bubble tea. I’m hooked on this stuff it’s so tasty. Bubble (or boba) tea is a tea-based drink, usually served cold, that can be mixed with fruit, milk, chocolate etc. The drink is filled with chewy tapioca balls which is where the name bubble or boba comes from. Rosie ordered a mango bubble tea from the stall next door to Hot-Star, delicious, although you would never know this from her face!
Shilin night market also has lots of places to drink, which isn’t that common at many of the night markets in Taiwan.
Other noteworthy foods to try are bbq corn-on-the-cob, coffin bread, deep-fried milk, cheese potato, charcoal meat rolls, and stinky tofu (not for the faint-hearted). We tried the stinky tofu at Shilin night market from a lovely and generous local. It is fermented tofu that had been deep fried and served with a pungent sauce, a delicacy in Taiwan. Tempting I know, but we just had to try it. It tastes ok at first but once you get chewing the flavours start to come out and it’s that sauce that really gets you in the end! Let’s just say it’s an acquired taste.
When visiting Taiwan you must head down to their night markets, the options of food, drinks, and fun games are breath-taking. Shilin night market in Taipei is a great one to start with and gets a massive thumbs up from us!