The Shilin Night Market is one of the biggest night markets in Taiwan. They stay open 'til midnight, offering street food, clothes, accessories, shoes and various knick knacks. But since more than half of the stuff they offer look oddly similar to the ones we have here in our local tiangges, we decided to just zoom into the food part.
Various food stalls line up the streets, offering snacks and drinks for the shoppers. I'm not sure if it's our accent, our wide-eyed stares or simply the way we ask the prices for everything, but some street vendors seem to immediately distinguish us from the locals. How do I know this? Because the prices shoot up like crazy.
This was my mom's favorite street snack of the whole trip! We noticed a line of people waiting for their orders so we came over to check what he was selling. It's a Chinese sausage (similar to a hotdog in looks but not in taste) served on a layer of chopped cabbage and placed in between a bun-like mixture of sticky rice. It was served to us still piping hot. Yummy! Worth every penny, I mean, NT (that's the currency)!
The food market below. If you're not odor-resistant, you won't survive here. The mixture of different kinds of food cooking combines to a powerful stench that almost had me back out. But I'm always curious, especially after seeing throngs of people inside.
Unfortunately, we didn't last long here. We were SCAMMED. A seemingly nice lady vendor offered us to taste the fresh fruits she was selling with her boyfriend. The piece of honeydew I tasted was juicy and fresh. A fan of melons, I decided I want more, so I told my mom to ask the lady how much an order was. When she asked, the lady immediately sliced up an eighth of the honeydew, put it in plastic and asked for 250NT. That's exorbitant for a piece of fruit! We haggled and she reluctantly agreed to 200NT. When we paid, her boyfriend even shortchanged us 50NT. Good thing we counted before leaving! My mom was mad at this point, but I just said we could charge it to experience.
The worse thing was...the honeydew she cut up and handed us was overly ripe and mushy already! I could hardly keep the thing down. So we left the night market, scalded by the rip-off.
Annoyed and hungry we looked around to find a suitable restaurant. We saw this steakhouse (name is on the menu above, but I don't know how it's read) just across the street and quickly got a table for a late night anniversary dinner.
A nice wall fixture that I really liked.
This is the seating booth near the front of the restaurant. Quirky cute, isn't it?
My dad took this stolen shot of me looking a bit grouchy, because I was the one who insisted on going to the night market, thrilled at the thought of discovering a secret food joint or finding a bargain. I was so disappointed. Anyway, onto dinner...
Ordering an entree meant you get a small portion of salad and bottomless soup and two kinds of iced teas. No photo of the salad because I wolfed down mine... Oops.
Our family friend ordered Chicken. It came with a weird marinara-like sauce.
I, of course, had steak! They steaks were tender and well-cooked, however, they lacked something very integral in the way I like my steaks. GRAVY.
Still it was a night of celebration and we left the restaurant filled to the brim with good food and excitement for the adventure that still awaited us in Taipei!
Part 3 of our Taiwan trip is next!