Taiwan is hot. Although there are many cheap places for food, most likely eating in those stores/stands are not as comfortable (think not AC’ed enough) as eating in an upscale mall, airport, tourist attraction sites, or the movie theaters. Therefore, it’s essential to figure out what to eat when presented with numerous choices, each seems better than the last, while fighting against the crowd to get to your preferred option.
Here is what I do.
First, I assess the mall and figure out its clientele. Usually, if the mall caters to international travelers, the price point is higher and the food is not necessarily better. If the mall caters to the local population, the food may be great but it will be hell to find a spot to sit.
Second, I queue at the store that sells more authentic Taiwanese food and has the longest line of customers. When the line is long, the food is usually good.
Third, I avoid any Western cuisines. They tend to be horrible for someone who lives in the US because they are Asianized. Somehow the taste is changed to suit the Asian palates.
Lastly, be decisive. Once you take a quick survey of the food court, it’s time to queue at a store while you send your friends to find a spot to sit. The food in general will be good, if not pretty good, if you follow my advice.
Here is one successful outing at The Mall, located at No. 203, Sec. 2, Dunhua S. Rd., Taipei. The Mall caters to the international crowd but the food was very decent and the ambience refreshing and pleasant.
Breaded, fried pork chops with noodles， 排骨細麵
Pickled vegetable with pork noodles， 榨菜肉絲麵
Beef noodle soup with hand cut noodles, 清燉牛肉麵
Here are the menu and prices for 朱記
Bon Appétit! May your tummy be filled with yummy food.
2 thoughts on “The Essential Skills for Food Court Eating in Taiwan”
Quick question… how does a person know really great noodles from not-so-great …. or is it hard to differentiate (all other things being equal) :0)
Shawn, Your great noodles may not be the same as my great noodles. Just start eating and try different places, different types of noodles. Then we can compare notes. We can start with the HMart at Hartsdale!