Taiwan: Chiayi City

Love touristing in Taiwan, DW’s country of origin. When in country, I just totally relax and enjoy the ride.

Oceanside town of Budai, a one hour drive pass rice paddies, fields of corn, many lagoons and canals. Lunch at a huge seafood emporium, large turnover ensures super fresh choices.

Running the gauntlet of tanks.

The all all important decision and discussion on which species, which individual, prep? Which apps and sides to complement the mains? Per usual, I acquiesced to DW to make these crucial decisions.

1st up. I had mentioned earlier that some prawns would be nice. These tasted fresh out of the sea, briny and snappy.

Oyster egg rolls. Mostly oyster, with bits of shrimp & scallops.

Squid sashimi. Not a personal favorite, but one of the wife’s must haves. These were large pieces with a great snap. I politely shared a piece or three.

Young tender spinach.

The star of the table.

Barely steamed.

Carapace and legs in a miso broth.

More than enough for the three of us. Somehow managed to finish it all.


Everything looks wonderful! The prawns remind me of the ones I had years ago in an out of the way Chinese place in Honolulu. I was there for a conference, and I dragged a bunch of friends to the restaurant which was known for its fresh seafood. When I ordered the prawns, a man came out of the kitchen with a bucket, scooped some prawns out of a tank, took them back into the kitchen, and came back about two minutes later with them cooked on a platter. My colleagues were very impressed!


Tank to table under two minutes. Way to go!! :love_you_gesture:

Made some new Taiwanese friends, had dinner at a fun family style restaurant.

Taibo town in lioujiao Township. One specialty is self-grilled oysters at their outdoor tables. We opted for aircon comfort.

Our companions were Taiwan Beer loyalists, but we ordered a few bottles of Buckskin Beer anyway. The promoter was very nice and friendly.

One of the guys brought a bottle of 24yo Shaoxing Wine. Whoa!! Full bodied with well developed flavors, nice.

Traditional Taiwanese palate starters, peanuts and some marinated raw little necks. For the designated driver, a bottle of Alishan iced tea. Never seen an actual tea bag in bottled tea before, nice touch!

Large plate of freshly shucked oysters. Taiwan is an island, many oyster farms mere kilometers of most points. Oysters were plump, creamy and absolutely delicious.

New to me and even my partner, flowers from the Betelnut tree. Tasted like bamboo, which we both love.

Pork toro (neck meat) in a sesame sauce. We do pork toro at home often, enjoyed this rendition.

Ginger beef.

Pepper Snails cooked in clay pot.

Omelette with preserved daikon, a Taiwan classic.

Pork belly. Can’t remember where/what dish this came from. Alcohol kicking in.

Fried rice, great wok hei. Even my rice adverse wife had two bowls.


Fish Kama (collar). Yellowtail?

Chunk of sea bass.

The aftermath. Help yourself to beer from the chiller. Each serious drinker gets a beer bottle carrier, carnage is tallied and billed when all done.

Outside dining was hopping with happy campers grilling oysters and chowing down. I :sparkling_heart:Taiwan!!!


Seen any inneres-ing crispy snacks yet?

(Beef noodle) soup flavour (photo taken in Kaohsiung)! Asia leaves us all in the dust in every aspect.



Great seeing your beautiful pictures
I have young friends who live on Taiwan.
They post like mad on Facebook, however I am intrigued by your pictures & the place you visited & you seemed to be having fun.
I must get to Taiwan it looks fantastic

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Saw. A couple of new exotic flavors. No pics as yet, should have some time in Kaohsiung.

Great last meal at Smartfish this evening. Smartfish was featured on a Netflix street series. We don’t normally chase stars, but resto’s reputation is more than deserved.

Everything from the wait sign up process to the inobtrusive service was a well greased machine. The quality and execution of the food merits a quick return for a deep dive.

Signature fishead dish.

Eggplant, bamboo and white bitter melon. All good.

Pork tongue and daikon soup.

Another Chiayi signature dish, turkey rice also tasty. We had turkey rice earlier at lunch at the best specialist shop in town (so they say), Smartfish was a on a slightly lower level.


DW just returned with late night snacks.

Some fried stuff for her. (We ARE on vacation). :slight_smile:

Still stuffed with fishhead, I just requested a couple of beers.

A couple of Classic Taiwan Beers. And. A bag o’ RIBEYE STEAK ‘tater chips showed up. I married well.


Is this bitter melon, tinted blue?

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Nah. Eggplant. Wife loved it, I enjoyed it.

The white bitter melon may be the best we ever had. Ever so lightly blanched and chilled. It screamed freshness and perfect prep and product selection. My wife does not enjoyed bitter melon as much as I (too bitter). There may be hope for her yet.

@klyeoh have u tried Smartfish yet? I rarely beat the drum on any restaurants, but Smartfish is outstanding.


Ah, OK.

Sounds good! I’d had juiced white bitter melon many years ago in Kaohsiung.

No, I’d not - I’ll be on a look out for it the next time I’m in Taiwan.

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Surely, you meant to reply to Google Gourmet.

And I concur. 100%. Wish I could go to Taiwan every year like him.

Not ribeye but I did see “steak” on Lanzarote.

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We need the Rib Eye chips in US :scream:


Off to Kaohsiung today.

Quick breakfast/lunch. Sandwiches from a street cart. One fried chicken, one grilled chicken.

Soy milk to drink.

Enjoyed our first visit to Chiayi. We will be back!!!


Does it have squid?

I checked a couple of Taiwanese cookery books I have and there’s a home-style Hakka stir-fry with pork belly, squid and some green vegs. The name is “ke jia xiao chao”.

In Kaohsiung I went to this restaurant several times for goose and clams. They have whole frogs and fish as well. Opens only in the evening and I saw only locals here.


Name of restaurant is in the background.


Dunno if these 2 greens are in season at the moment, I often ordered them. The pretty dragon fern with twirly tips is my favourite.

And this one

Another place with goose (name of chopsticks)

Yet another goose specialist

Also check out the market in Kaohsiung.


I think the vegetable you like is white water snowflake. Have seen in Costco Taiwan before and last night while stocking up for the week.

My favorite vegetable Fiddlehead Fern must be seasonal. Have not seen any yet, and last couple of trips. That’s ok, just ups the enjoyment when I do indulge again.

Two vegetables from last week. Yam leaves and “China Girl”. Not sure if China girl is the proper name, but Taiwanese refer to it as such because it is so tender.

Had to order these bamboo shoots, looked just like mom’s. Taste like it too.

First time ever heard of Betel Nut Flower, let alone tasting.

Quite like these green tendrils. Seems they’re only known as mountain vegetable. Served chilled and hot.

Delicious fruits at the market this morning in Kaohsiung. Will start new thread.


Isn’t that veggie dish with the curly tendrils and rough leaves called “dragon whiskers”, roughly translated. I’ve had it in a restaurant in LA and recall it being named “long xue cai” and the prep looks similar, just blanched (and served chilled) with sesame oil, soy, and chili pepper. One of my favorites and not easy to execute, from what I recall - tried to do it once and it was horrible :slight_smile:


Great, thanks!!! Only been described to me as mountain vegetable all this time. NOW, my wife tells me the direct translation is dragon whiskers.

Totally appropriate name.


While I’ m not as fortunate as you to be eating my way through Taiwan, your pics inspired me to find a place in LA for dinner tonight that serves that dish! Mission accomplished.

And yeah, I do believe its a mountain vegetable… that concept is seared into my head because many years ago, my father in law took us on a 3 hour bus ride to go up into the mountains for a meal. And after getting there, I learned the entire meal was going to be veggie focused, but very specific veggies grown in the mountains. Great meal, except on the way back, the bus was delayed and we waited in freezing cold rain for nearly two hours, lol.

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