Could someone direct me to specific places including addresses and/or directions to Burmese Restaurants in Nan Shi Chao b[/b]? I would also like to know their hours of operation as I know they have different hours than most other restaurants. Thanks.
I live in Little Burma. My girlfriend considers it a dingy working-class immigrant neighborhood, and won’t touch most of the greasy-spoon Burmese, Thai, and Yunnanese restaurants here.
My opinion is a bit different. The floors of a lot of the Burmese restaurants here are dirty-looking, but I have NEVER gotten sick from eating at any establishments here. When it comes to a cheap dinner down the street, I personally wouldn’t live anywhere else – it’s nice to have a few flavors in your food, other than the usual Taiwanese salty and fatty.
So how do you get here? Take the MRT to Nanshihchiao b[/b] . Go out exit 4, and go right on Hsingnan b[/b] Rd. There’ll be a couple bends in the road, and finally Make a left onto Hwahsin b[/b] St. That’s where most of the Burmese and Yunnanese restaurants are. You’ll even find a couple attempts at Japanese and Hong Kong food. Charming little neighborhood, if only it had a sidewalk. Stick to the right side of the street, look for the squiggly Burmese writing, and choose the cleanest looking place. I don’t remember the names of any of the places.
Other things you’ll find on Hwahsin b[/b] St. include the only Muslim restaurant I’ve ever seen in Taiwan, a Burmese restaurant run by an old woman who’s a Jesus freak with walleyes, genuine original Thai “Red Bull” energy drinks, and Burmese betel nuts, wrapped in a leaf, if that’s your thing. You’ll also find many older men who speak English, and will be eager to speak it to you. Most of the people here, regardless of country of birth, are ethnic Han Chinese, by the way.
Try the fish curry or “babas” noodles in any Burmese restaurant, for a food reccomendation. Enjoy.
Is there a little India, little Dubai, or little Japan here?
As for business hours, I find the Burmese places are open around 10 in the morning, and most serve until about 7:30 or 8 PM. You’ll even find one that’ll serve until 10 or so. The Burmese are a very relaxed people, like Americans often imagine Italians or Jamaicans being. They’re definitely sit around in a sarong and nurse the same cup of coffee and discuss world politics kind of people. The Chinese have a less kind phrase for this kind of lifestyle: “Guo4 yi1tian1 jiu4 suan4 yi1tian1!” (Pass a day just count a day.)
This one place that serves late is my favorite. It’s run by an old couple who are from Yunnan Province, and really chill. Very fast service, extensive menu, flavorful food. It has glass doors that work, a TV that isn’t too loud, and a clean interior. If you’re walking away from Hsingnan b[/b] Rd. on Hwahsin b[/b] St., you’ll want to be on the left side. Walk almost to the end of the street. The end of that block has a Watson’s on the corner. Before that there’s an Internet cafe and a bank. That block also includes an open air ramen shop. But slide the glass doors open of a rather nondescript place between the bank and the ramen shop, and you’re there. They have a great chicken dish whose Chinese name I can’t remember. Just tell them “gimmie that chicken dish that the shaved-head laowai who comes in here always gets.” You should get some chopped fried chicken steak with basil, pepper, sweet and sour Thai sauce, on a bed of cabbage. Their “Yunnan liang ban” makes a great lunch too. The lady who’s in charge will sometimes throw in a drink for free when you order your meal – a bottle of coke or a cup of iced Ovaltine. As I said she’s wicked cool.
At the other end of the street, avoid a place on the right side that has a very exotically decorated interior full of dolls, and a menu full of pictures and English. It’s a tourist trap, and you’ll pay NT$200-300 for one measly dish that isn’t even that great. Greasy tables complete the picture. It’s the first SE Asian place you’ll notice as you turn onto Hwahsin b[/b] St, so go figure.
Enjoy yr mini trip to mini SE Asia. Budget about NT$100-150 for each person for a meal. Watch out for this old thin dark-skinned dude with a silver moustache who hangs around that area. He’s a raging alcoholic, and kinda surly if you talk to him.
As for a little Japan, I’d check out the neighbohood around Zhongshan. I was there once trying to find a store, and noticed a lot of the cafes and restaurants had Japanese signs and menus. However, that could simply mean there are a lot of Japanese businessmen working in that area. Wouldn’t surprise me if Tianmu had a street or two that caters primarily to resident Japanese, though that’s not my turf by a long shot. In general though, I find the Japanese (and the Italians, FWIW) in Taiwan tend to be well-networked but decentralized, and both fairly aloof to other foreigners.
As for Indian places, they seem very dispersed. There are the places around ShiDa, and then a couple upscale places elsewhere, but if there’s an Indian NEIGHBORHOOD or COMMUNITY in Taipei, I’m not aware of it. My guess is the few Indians here are like the Italians and Japanese – low key, well-networked, decentralized.
There seems to be a Muslim Malaysian restaurant in my neighbourhood, just around the corner from Taidian Dalou, on the same lane as the Riverside Cafe.
I haven’t been in there, but I’d like to go some time. However, the place itself is nothing special, plain tables, not much decoration, not fancy like a couple of the Burmese restaurants around there.
Has anybody been there?
You are right. With the Japaese School being in Tianmu, there are lots of Japanese families who live in there. The lanes to the east of Chung Shan b[/b] N. Rd. Sec. 6, between Shih Tung b[/b] Road and Tien Mu b[/b] E. Road are loaded with Japanese restaurants of all types. There are also some businesses–dry cleaners, video stores–that cater to the Japanese. But the one Japanese bar and a cool CD cafe have closed. Bummer.
The bar area for Japanese businessmen is in the lanes to the east of Linsen N. Rd. to the south of Nanjing E. Rd. (does that make sense?) Though it is VERY Japanese in look and attitude. Not to mention price. One of the English papers did a feature on the area recently…forget which one and a quick search led me nowhere. I’ve heard it called “Little Tokyo” and “Little Japan”.
As for the Japanese “aloof” might be too strong of a word. They have less in common with the western forgeiners and they have a very large expat population here. They really don’t relate or need to mix with other foreigners. My main interaction is through the few Japanese students and their families in our bushi-ban and a couple of Japanese friends.
I went to the Huaxin st in Nanshijiao last Sunday. I found the Bank, Watson, and the Internet Cafe (Network Planet). But I couldn’t find the Burmese restaurant you mentioned. So I just picked any restaurant near. We ended up at the one next to the drinks stall. Like the Yunnan Liangban. I think I will go there often. Also bought myself some coconut milk and durian cake.
Yes, there is an area, about 12 square blocks, called LITTLE TOKYO, at the intersection of Linsen North Road and Nanking East Road. The narrow lanes are just like the narrow lanes of Shinujuku and Kabukicho in Tokyo, and I heard there are over 200 hostess bars there for travelling Japanese businessmen and their Taiwanese counterparts. Most of the girls working there are Aborigines, go figure. Definitely worth a weekend traipse.
Good posts all round folks. I’ve been living in Yong He sometime but have never got around to chasing down the “Burmese strip.”
Ax…what about an Indonesian area? Gado Gado anyone? Or one of those curry stalls you get in Indonesia - it’s a place name… lots of bowls of great food all at room temperature pick and order. Damn my memory but I seem to recall its a west Indonesian city???
there’s a longstanding indonesian place on fuhsing n rd, west side north a bit from min sheng. went once and liked it but don’t know about authentic or not. they had gado gado as i only realized later after traveling to bali, would like to be at one of those stalls right now–but I will be in thailand next week, it will have to do
Glad u enjoyed the place you found, ax. I’m pretty sure that’s the one I was talking about. You’re right – one could almost pass through little Burma and not even realize they’d gone through a distinctive neighborhood. But it’s plenty special deep down. Next time you stop into that place, try the jiao ma ji (literally “pepper hemp chicken”) – a 100 NT well spent.
There are several Indonesian restaurants in Taipei, the Satay House on Le Li Road, and Pondok Mutiara on Fu Xing North Road. There are lots of Indonesian food stalls if you go inside the Taipei Main Station, level 2, mostly cater to the factory workers, though, so the quality is not as good as the 2 restaurants mentioned above. My wife would go to the Taipei Main Station area to buy special Indonesian spices for her daily cooking. They even have “tempe” there!
For gado-gado and satay, I would recommed Satay House on Le Li Road. They serve gado-gado with the best peanut sauce I’ve ever had in Taipei.
Try their “Ayam Goreng Kalasan” (Kalasan Fried Chicken). Satay House fewer menus, but you can ask for sth not listed on the menu if you want. For desert… try “Lemper” and “Cendol” drink.
Try this restaurant (forgot the name) located on Hua Xin Street No. 12 (Nan Shi Jiao). It’s also a Myanmar Resto, and the food was great. We tried Deep Fried Fish (with bawang merah-putih, ebi, etc.), then sth similar to our “Urap” --> vegetables with peanuts, sesame, coconut sauce. Delicious!