Category Archives: night markets.

dessert/night market: sesame peanut mochi shaved ice (芝麻花生麻糬冰)

date august 8, 2014
contact Ningxia Night Market in front of No. 35, Ningxia Rd. (in front of Family Mart)/台北市大同區寧夏路35號前(全家便利商店斜對面)
hours 17:00 to 01:30 (closed tuesdays)
price 70NT for shaved ice with two mochi balls
rating ♥♥♥♥♥ (5 out of 5 hearts)
nearest mrt MRT Zhongshan Station exit 2 (捷運中山站2號出口) 
website Linji’s ipeen page (Chinese only)

One of the things I love about Taipei is that there is always something kind of random, but totally delicious to try. On the recommendation of a friend, my out-of-town friend and I went in search of the sesame peanut mochi shaved ice at Ningxia Night Market.

To get to Ningxia, take the red line (Tamsui 淡水) to MRT Zhongshan station (捷運中山站), which is only one stop north of Taipei Main Station. Exit out of exit 2 and make a right, heading west down Nanjing W. Rd. (南京西路), toward the Starbucks. Continue down Nanjing W. Rd. for about 10 minutes until you hit Ningxia St., where you will see the entrance to the night market.

Ningxia is predominately a food night market. So, if you’re looking for something savory before the sweet, have a look around, there is plenty there.

The mochi shaved ice is located at Linji Mochi (林記燒麻糬), which is stand number 97. According to Linji’s ipeen page (the Taiwan equivalent of Yelp), the stand is located in front of No. 35, Ningxia Rd., directly in front of Family Mart. When we found it, the stand was located near Family Mart, but on the other side of the street. Either way, you’ll need to keep an eye out for it.

The stand sells mochi and shaved ice, as well as other traditional Taiwanese-type desserts (i.e. peanut soup [花生湯] and red bean soup [紅豆湯]). However, we went with one very specific mission: sesame peanut mochi shaved ice (芝麻花生麻糬冰). The menu is on the stand and pasted onto the tables in Chinese and Japanese (no English)  with pictures, which should make ordering easier for non-Chinese/Japanese readers.

Based on what I could gather when ordering, how big the portion of ice is depends on how many pieces of mochi you get (refer to the menu photo). The more mochi you order, the larger the portion of ice. I think this is because they base the portion off one mochi per person. We opted to get two pieces of mochi (one sesame, one peanut), which cost us 70NT. If you choose the one mochi, one flavor option, it looks to only be 40NT. You can choose between sesame and peanut flavor. Which ever flavor you choose will determine what is sprinkled atop your ice. The mochi, which you can see being boiled at the stand, is quite large and is cut up into smaller pieces before being served. The ice itself is a milk ice, so it is a bit sweet, but we both thought this added to the richness of the overall dessert, which is one of the reasons it is so good.

Basically, I highly recommend giving this a try if you: a) like mochi, b) like shaved ice, or c) you want to try something a little special. I would recommend getting a mochi of each flavor so that the ice is half sesame, half peanut, but really, do whatever your heart (stomach) tells you, you can’t go wrong.

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dessert: 愛玉之夢遊仙草 (àiyùzhīmèngyóuxiāncǎo; fig jelly dreams of grass jelly)

date january 09, 2012

contact No. 56, Tong Hua St., Daan District, Taipei City/台北市大安區通化街56號/02.2706.1257

hours 7 days a week 12:00-03:00

price 50NT (avg. dessert)

rating ♥♥♥ (5 out of 5 hearts)

I love dessert, especially Asian desserts. My friend introduced me to 愛玉之夢遊仙草 (roughly translated as Fig Jelly Dreams of Grass Jelly) near Linjiang Night Market (臨江夜市), more popularly known as Tonghua Night Market (通化夜市), back in 2007.

As the name of the store suggests, they are most famous for their fig jelly (aka aiyu jelly) and grass jelly (aka xiancao) desserts, which range in price from 50NT to 60NT. They can be served on ice or hot. The store itself is pretty tiny and maybe only sits 20ish people if you cram in. There is often times a line of people waiting to get their bowl of grass jelly and/or fig jelly (they also have tofu pudding [豆花]), but the line goes pretty fast. Also, you can always get your dessert togo or even delivered (only if you are purchasing 20 or more bowls and live within a 2km radius). Personally, my favorite thing on the menu is the grass jelly ice with coffee creamer (仙草奶球冰) for  50NT, which just happens to be one of their signature dishes (招牌).

Before pouring the coffee creamer on.

The grass jelly ice with coffee creamer (仙草奶球冰) comes with grass jelly and your choice of two toppings over shaved ice with one of the small individual servings of liquid coffee creamer. They have a lot of toppings to choose from, such as: tapioca balls (珍珠), glutinous rice balls (湯圓), taro balls (芋圓), mung bean (綠豆), red bean (紅豆), peanuts (花生), jobs tears (薏仁), etc. I always get the glutinous rice balls (aka tangyuan) and taro balls (aka yuyuan). I don’t know how they do it, but their glutinous rice balls are ALWAYS cooked perfectly. The mixture of all these things together is amazing. The toppings add the perfect amount of sweetness to the unsweetened grass jelly and the coffee creamer makes the ice creamy, for a lack of better description. I also like the glutinous rice balls and taro balls because it adds a chewy texture to the dessert.

Overall this bowl of creamer, “qq” balls, grass jelly, and ice is a great dessert. It’s also pretty good for someone who doesn’t like particularly sweet desserts. I usually share this bowl with someone because it’s too much for just me, but I’ve seen plenty of people get their own, too. Either way, if you’re in the Linjiang/Tonghua Night Market area and are looking for a quick dessert, I highly recommend giving this a go.

dessert/taiwanese: s.f.t. juice & ice (辛發亭冰品名店)

date november 21, 2011

contact No. 1, Anping St., Shilin District, Taipei City/台北市士林區安平街1號/02.2883.1123

hours N/A

price <300NT

rating ♥♥♥ (5 out of 5 hearts)

nearest mrt Jiantan MRT (捷運劍潭站) at Shilin Night Market (士林夜市)

One of the things about keeping a food blog is that you become the food guide to all your friends. One thing that my friends visiting from the States always ask me about is shaved ice, more specifically “snowflake ice” or milk ice (雪花冰). One of the most famous places in Taipei for this type of shaved ice is probably S.F.T. Juice & Ice (辛發亭冰品名店) at the famous Shilin Night Market (士林夜市).

According to my friend, this store claims to have invented “snowflake ice” aka xue hua bing. They proudly boast on their banner that their shop has been around for 46 years. Whether or not they actual did invent “snowflake ice”, who knows. What I do know is that their “snowflake ice” is delicious! Note that directly across from S.F.T. Juice & Ice is another shaved ice shop. Their banner is green. When we last went it looks like they might have finally closed shop. Basically no one was ever in there. Even if there was a huge line at S.F.T. and the other place was empty, people would wait at S.F.T. Just watch out for that.

The inside of S.F.T. Juice & Ice it pretty compact. Lots of tables jammed pretty closely together. There is almost always a wait to be seated, but the turn over is pretty quick so you shouldn’t have to wait more than 15 minutes for a seat.

Menus are taped to the tables and in Chinese only. The ones marked with the little thumbs up are their most popular flavors. This place is most famous for their “snowflake ice”, which is thinly shaved milk ice. Besides from the “snowflake ice”, they also have traditional shaved ice and fresh fruit juice. I’ve had several of their “snowflake ice” flavors, including:

– Green Tea Snow Ice with Red Bean (抹茶紅豆雪片) 70NT
– Snow Ice with Fresh Mango (新鮮芒果雪片) 90NT
– Snow Ice with Maple Syrup and Tapioca (楓糖粉圓雪片) 60NT
– Cherry Snow Ice with Chocolate Syrup (櫻桃巧克力雪片)

Of all the flavors I think my favorite is the Green Tea Snow Ice with Red Bean (抹茶紅豆雪片) for 70NT. The ice tastes like creamy green tea. It’s not too sweet, and still has a little of the bitter tea taste. Condensed milk is drizzled over the top and red bean is served on the side. So good.

I was really surprised to find that they still had fresh mango at the end of November. The snow ice with fresh mango and fresh strawberries are seasonal, so I’m used to the mango being out. Anyways, it was a good surprise. The two out-of-town friends (first time to Taiwan) both loved the Snow Ice with Fresh Mango (新鮮芒果雪片) for 90NT. The milk ice is served with fresh mango chunks and condensed milk. This was gone in about 2 minutes.

Our visitors wanted more, so we got the Snow Ice with Maple Syrup and Tapioca (楓糖粉圓滿雪片) for 60NT. This was pretty tasty, too; probably the sweetest of the ones we got.

On a different occasion my friends and I decided to try the Cherry Snow Ice with Chocolate Syrup (櫻桃巧克力雪片). This was not so good…After the first bite we all just sat there staring at each other trying to figure out what it tasted like. Then it hit us, cough syrup: cherry cough syrup with Hershey’s chocolate syrup drizzled over it. If you’re a fan of the medicinal cherry flavor you might like this, but I’d stay away from it…

Overall, S.F.T. is a great place for shaved ice, and maybe even the originator of “snowflake ice”. So, if you’re in the Shilin Night Market area or looking for some tasty shaved ice, give it a go.

dessert/night market: orange elephant banana roti (橘象香蕉煎餅)

date november 22, 2011

contact Raohe Night Market at Bade-Songxin entrance/饒河夜市 - 八德松信路口

hours 7 days a week 18:00-24:00

price 55NT per roti

rating ♥♥♥ (4 out of 5 hearts)

nearest mrt Houshanpi MRT (捷運後山埤站‎)

One of my favorite night markets in Taipei is Raohe Night Market (饒河夜市) near Songshan Train Station (松山火車站); the nearest MRT station is Houshanpi (後山埤), where the famous clothing shopping area Wufenpu (五分埔) is. Walking from Houshanpi to Raohe takes you about 10 minutes.

Raohe is particularly famous as a food night market. Among it’s most popular snacks (小吃) are the Fuzhou Black Pepper Pork Buns (福州胡椒餅) and pork bone stew (藥燉排骨). Something pretty unique to Raohe is the banana roti stand, Orange Elephant Banana Roti (橘象香蕉煎餅), at the Bade-Songxin entrance.

Orange Elephant is down the left side of Raohe from the Bade-Songxin entrance. It seems to be pretty popular because every time I’ve gone I’ve had to wait in line. They only serve two things at Orange Elephant: banana roti (香蕉煎餅/55NT) and Thai iced tea (泰式奶茶/40NT).

Notice the giant yellow tub of butter? The banana roti is fried up on a flat grill with A LOT of butter. Each roti has one whole banana chopped up in it. The roti comes with condensed milk drizzled on the top, but you can also choose to have chocolate sauce and/or honey drizzled on it as well. I’ve had it with chocolate sauce and condensed milk, and with all three. I think I prefer to just have the chocolate sauce and condensed milk; with all three it’s a little sweeter than I prefer.

No matter how many sauces you want, each banana roti is 55NT. So delicious. The outside skin or wrap is nice and crisp. The bananas are nice and warm and all together, it’s just a bite of deliciousness. I also recommend the Thai iced tea here. Each cup is 40NT and pretty tasty, not too sweet.

Anyways, if you’re looking for something sweet at Raohe, I recommend giving Orange Elephant’s banana roti a try. It’s a sweet, warm, gooey treat!