Taiwanese food sucks!

Look at all of that shiny fake soy sauce/corn starch/maltose syrup…

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I personally think there’s a growing trend of not caring about the quality of food in Taiwan, especially amongst 20 to 30 year olds, who just want food to be fast and cheap. They usually live in major cities, and are responsible for supporting the crappy food scene.

Although, in comparison, I still think it’s easier to find good and healthy food options here than most other nations.

There are a few things that Taiwanese people evidently stopped cooking with that really interests me. One that immediately comes to mind would be lemon grass.

Apparently Taiwan used to be a huge lemon grass exporter. It was introduced by the Japanese, but even well into the 1950s, Taiwan’s lemon grass extract exports dominated by taking up about 70% of the world’s market. It used to be a huge business for Miaoli county.

You would think such a lucrative ingredient would gain some popularity locally, but no, you would never find it in a local dish.


I don’t see this as anything particularly new. This has always seemed to be the case. Why every time some puffed up news report begins the same tedious feature on the same tedious restos/resto types with the same tedious line, to wit “People in Taiwan love food!”, I like to gag. The true statement is “People in Taiwan love eating”.
They rarely concern themselves with how good it is, as long as it’s A. there, and B. cheap.

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I think that wasn’t always the case though. At least for many middle class or better people in their 50s or 60s. They lived through the economic golden age, while doing pretty well for themselves. They would actually travel just to eat at a famous hole in the wall, local restaurants, or unique food stalls, as opposed to young people today who travel and still eat the exact same things that’s available at every night market.

C. IG potential.
D. queues outside


Doesn’t matter how good food tastes or how good the quality, if it isn’t

  1. cheap and
  2. convenient (like on this side of the big street instead of the other side)

Taiwanese won’t go and the shop will either

  1. make the food cheap with low quality ingredients or/and eventually
  2. go out of business.

I understand wanting cheap because of this, but Taiwanese don’t know good food.

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The quality of restaurant food improves all the time, but points A to D still apply. It kills me when I see a quality restaurant close. You know what it’s going to be replaced by.

Does anyone here even know a quality restaurant around Nangang?

I guess from this thread that Taiwan has one of the worst food/restaurant scenes in Asia. Philippines is even worse IMO. I remember a NYT article from the 1990s (or maybe it was WSJ) raving about Chinese food in Taipei. Guess that’s no longer the case.

I like the Diner when I’m in the mood for western food. Not far from the mrt station there’s a pretty good dumplings store, but I have no idea about the name. When I get home I’ll use the pc to take a screenshot and show where it is.

I personally think Philippines are better but maybe I am biased.

Wrong, still loads of great food here. Depends if you like real Chinese food or not. I know dozens of places .
Philippines better …???
It’s the worst food in South East Asia…

Go to any beach there.
Sir…BBQ fish ?

Fine mins later…
Sir …BBQ fish?

Sir…BBQ fish?

Repeat Ad Infinitum

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Have to agree on Filipino food. So so so so much fried stuff, and heaps of my Manila friends don’t eat vegetables?!?!

Yes, I agree on both points. That’s why I’m a bit surprised at the overall direction of this thread.

There’s shit tons of really high quality world class restaurants here. Everybody KNOWS your average day-to-day meal here is crap, it’s just that your average Joe Bag of Zhongzhe doesn’t normally consider quality to be worth spending $ on.

A couple years ago I just stopped being able to eat the biantang. Just couldn’t look another one in the face. Whatever I’m eating, it just won’t be the same slop riding on a shovelful of crappy rice.

Then a few months ago, my youngest read some article about Seattle’s Famous Chicken Teriyaki. Knowing I’ve spent a little bit of time there, she asked if I knew it and if it was really that special. I told her, yeah, in fact, it really is good, especially considering how basic and cheap it is. She asked if I could make it for her some time, I said sure. So one Saturday night I did, it’s easier than slipping on dog shit. Thing was, I had to make a fresh load of white rice, which I never do. And when we sat down to eat, I took a bite of rice, and it was AMAZING, it was so tasty and aromatic and just the right texture, it blew my friggin mind it was so fuckin good.

And I realized that what I had been hating about the normal street level food was, among other things, that it was constantly being delivered on shit quality, mass produced, past-its-time rice. With equally low standards applied to the rest of the meal as well.


Yeah I’ve found the rice here is quite often particularly bad, it often tastes mealy with no texture or bounce in the grain. I have eaten short grain for a long time before coming here :slight_smile:. Personally prefer the short grain, but the quality here is very variable…

The rice is sitting in the cooker too long usually. Plus Taiwanese like the short grains fat rice whereas many folks prefer Jasmine rice.

Noodles man. There can be a world of difference between fresh noodles and mass produced crap.

There should be more fresh noodle shops. I knew some good ones in Taichung.

A variation of soup and noodles? Shocking stuff. If you think this is bad then that says more about your own taste. Soup / souple noodles / thick gloopy stuff is taiwanese peoples favorite style of food and that shouldn’t be a surprise for anyone.

Southern Taiwan food is all about the gluten (similar to some Cantonese food). Not my favourite stuff although I do like suan la tang.

Speaking of thick gloopy stuff, if you’ve ever had hot’n’sour soup or egg drop soup or princess shrimp or a variety of other dishes at a fake Chinese restaurant in N. America, then you will know a preference for thicky gloopy stuff isn’t confined to Taiwan.