Shi Lin - Taiwan Day 3 Part 2

Shilin Area
You must have heard of Shilin before travelling to Taiwan! One of the largest, most popular night markets in Taiwan. Friendly locals who are eager to let you taste the unique flavours of their traditional recipes such as Bubble Tea, Giant Fried Chicken Steak,  Oyster Vermicelli Oyster Omelette, Stinky Tofu, Tempura. I shall list a few stores that are popular! To get here, we took the MRT to Jiantian MRT station. (Take note that Shilin Market is not at Shilin MRT).

Exterior of Shilin Market


Around Shilin Night Market

Hot-Star Large Fried Chicken
There is always a queue for Hot-Star Large Fried Chicken. Creators of the larger than palm-sized (probably bigger than someone's head) crispy chicken are one of the most popular night market snack. The chicken are cooked crispy on the outside and tender on the inside. One must note that it is oily and may not be well appreciated by those who are health conscious. Otherwise, it is one of the better street food in Taiwan.
One of many Hot-Star Fried Chicken Branches
The company believes in "fried-to-order: concept where takeaway kiosks will only cook upon customer orders. This allows the chicken to be crispy and juicy when served. NT$55 per piece!
Watch the lady season the chicken with chilli powder!
Hot Star Large Fried Chicken,
Main outlet address: Shilin Night Market, Yangming Theatre
士林總店地址: 士林夜市陽明戲院
 Shilin 2nd outlet (豪大大雞排士林二店)
Address: Jihe Road next to Shilin Market Entrance
地址: 基河路士林夜市新市場旁
For other Hot Star Large Fried Chicken outlets, visit: http://www.hotstar.com.tw/

Xin Fa Ting Juice & Shaved Ice.
Another must try food item is the Shaved Ice Mountain. Xin Fa Ting is the store that has been highly recommended to serve this dessert. The hot, humid and stormy weather gives you excuses to have the shaved ice mountain! The ice is finely shaved that it is as soft as a sorbet. A must try!
Exterior of Xin Fa Ting
 Order any flavours you like! Unfortunately, I missed out on the Mango Shaved ice as it is seasonal. Nevertheless, the other desserts weren't too bad!
Green Tea with Red Beans
Chocolate Shaved Ice
Peanut Shaved Ice
Strawberry Shaved Ice
Among the four that I tried, the Strawberry flavour and the Peanut flavour are worth trying! The machine used to make the shaved ice which looks no different from our ice kachang machine but with a sharper blade! And of course the ice being shaved are flavoured, unlike Singapore where we have to drizzle syrup to give the plain ice taste. A bowl cost around NT$70 -NT$100.
Watch how your shaved ice is being prepared!
Xin Fa Ting (辛發亭冰品店)
Address: No. 1號, Ānpíng St, Shilin District Taipei City, Taiwan 111
Tel: +886 2 2882 0206

Wang's Qing Cao Herbal Tea
The signboard reads: "the shop has 50 years of history and uses natural ingridents in the drinks. They do not had artificial flavouring, artificial colouring, no sugar, no chemicals. The taste is original and they don't dilute it...". You may wonder, is this some marketing gimmick? The herbal tea is extremely good! This is definitely one of the must tries when you are around Shilin area. It is cooling, refreshing and saves your voice from all the dry grilled and fried stuff! NT30-60 per cup!
Wang Qing Cao's Herbal Tea
50年王記青草茶
Tel/電話:02-28810966
Address/地址:台北市士林區大南路44號

Rao He Pepper Buns. 
I wrote this earlier on when I tried this buns at Rao He night market. Unfortunately, the buns did not live up to expectations. The buns exterior was crispy but extremely tough on the inside. The meat saved the day as it was tender and juicy that it drips out of the bun! I don't think this is a good representation of Taiwan snacks but if you must have pepper pork, this is definitely one of the better pepper pork buns in Taipei.
Rao He Pepper Buns


Shi Lin Market Basement Food Court


Shi Lin Market has an air conditioned underground food court. Here you can find several favourites such as the oyster omelette and "large intestine wrap small intestine"!
Basement of Shilin Market
Big Dragon Head Oyster Omelette 大頭龍蚵仔煎 
The oyster omelette are famous but I missed the famous store named 大頭龍蚵仔煎 . It was the first store when entering from the entrance nearest to Jihe Rd. However, being Singaporeans, we went for the store with the most number of people. Wonder if the rest did the same.... The Oyster Omelettes (NT$50-75) were made with lots of sweet potato starch, lots of small oysters and paired with mild sweet sauce. It is still one of the better street food Taiwan has to offer, even though it would have been better with sambal. :P Consider ordering the Oyster soup.
Big Head Dragon Oyster Omelette
Oyster Omelette from a Random Store NT$50
Fu Rong Ji (福榕记) Large intestine wrap small intestine
This is what everyone should be here for. Saved the best for the last. The direct translation of this Street Food 大腸包小腸 is big intestines wrap small intestines but in reality is not made up of organs! The "large intestine" is actually grilled glutinous rice in the shape of a sausage, sliced open and stuffed with a small sausage (the "small intestines") along with delicious pickled vegetables. If you only have space for one night snack, this must be it! Of course, you want to savour the best store and I personally feel that Fu Rong Ji (福榕记) serves one of the best 大腸包小腸 that I had when I was in Taiwan. It is located in the basement of Shilin Night Market, store no. 72.
The store front of Fu Rong Ji
Look at the delicious sausages, comes in various flavours and sizes. Small ones cost NT$50.
Look at all the sausages >: )
Look at my 大腸包小腸 being made. That glutinous rice grilled till crispy on the outside, stuffed with savoury preserved vegetables. MUST TRY.
The preserved vegetables are being stuffed into the grilled glutinous rice!
Finally, it is topped with the sausage. What you see is the original flavour. If you aren't salivating, please read this post again.
大腸包小腸
Fu Rong Ji Shilin Big Sausage (福榕记士林大香肠)
Shilin Night Market, store no. 72.

There are plenty of food choices such as, aiyu jelly, white bittergourd and honey juice drink, grilled quail's egg, smelly tofu , pig's blood cake and more! Do take note that, taste is again subjective. You be the judge and drop me a comment of your favourites!


Shops


Besides food, there are plenty of stores that sells local, traditional and international merchandise.
Plushies
We went in winter, hence most of the apparels were mostly winter wear.
Shops selling Jackets
Rows of shoes for you? The shops at Shilin are trendy and might just be the place you want to be to shop!
Shoes!
And when you are hungry, there are plenty of alleys that will bring you back to the Shi Lin market to have a snack.
More Shops!
For those who don't shop, you could do some prawning or shooting (unfortunately, no photos allowed of the BB guns).
Prawning?
 There is also the Shilin Cixan Temple which is dedicated to goddess Mazu.
Shilin Cixan Temple

Overall, Shilin is overwhelming, spanning many blocks with lots of retail and food options. This is definitely the "Mother of all Night Markets" as it is definitely the most comprehensive night market in Taipei I have visited. A great introduction to night markets in Taipei. Make sure that this is on your list!

Things you have to know:
- The friendly hawkers genuinely want you to enjoy the food they have to offer. If store that you have purchased your food does not have seats, don't be afraid to take away food and eat it in another restaurant. Just seek permission and most of the stores will be fine! 
- Trash bins are extremely hard to find and locals normally take a bag to store their trash. 
- Be sure to try the 大腸包小腸. I'm sure that this will be one of the best street food you have tried in Taiwan.

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Day 4 is in progress. Here is a map that shows the places I have visited on day 3 part 2 of my Taiwan Trip. Enjoy! 

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About Haoming Koo

Koo Haoming. Founder of The Fat Chemist. Currently an undergrad at the National University of Singapore with a burning passion for science! Inspired to start a blog after reading the book, "Napoleon's Buttons, How 17 Molecules Changed History". The book fills the gap between Chemistry and History. Adapting the style of the book, posts written by me highlight the chemistry in the food we eat.
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