The vibrant food culture of Taiwan has got us all falling in love with their yummy cuisine. We haven’t heard of anyone who doesn’t like Taiwanese cuisine, and since now that we can’t travel much, we’re definitely missing those dishes a lot more. Don’t fret though, because we’ve found a few Taiwanese restaurants right here, in Singapore, so you can satisfy those 滷肉飯 (braised pork rice) cravings while reminiscing about your past Taiwan adventures.
Indulge in the traditional flavours of Taiwanese food at GATAO Taiwan Breakfast. This one is authentic — definitely something very similar to those you can get from the traditional eateries on the streets of Taiwan.
Egg crepe is a staple breakfast item in Taiwan. The ones at GATAO comes in flavours like tuna, ham & egg or just the original egg crepe if you are looking for something simple. Not a breakfast person? If you are up to devour a wholesome, satisfying bowl of Braised Pork Rice or lu rou fan (滷肉飯) as the Taiwanese call it, they have it too!
This restaurant is owned by a Singaporean and his Taiwanese wife. They’ve came a long way. From a pasar madam stall in 2015, they moved to a hawker stall at Seah Im Food Centre before officially moving in to their current location at Crawford Lane. The first thing you’ll notice upon stepping into Eat 3 Bowls is their interiors. It feels like entering a typical Taiwanese classroom with all their old school, vintage decorations and Taiwanese pop music playing in the background.
If you’re really missing the local Taiwanese dishes, make sure you get the Eat-3-Bowls set that consists of their signature braised pork rice, shredded chicken rice and oyster intestines mee sua. These are as authentic to the real thing as they can get. For the sides, the Herbal Pork Rib Soup, Taiwanese Sausage and Tofu With Century Egg are also the must-orders!
Eat 3 Bowls
462 Crawford Ln
A modernised Taiwanese-style cafe located in Lengkok Bahru — just a 5 minutes walk from Redhill MRT Station. While their menu isn’t as extensive as Din Tai Fung, you can probably still find most of your favourite Taiwanese dishes over there.
Aside from typical Din Tai Fung-style dishes like the Pork Chop Fried Rice ($13.30) and Red Hot Chilli Dumplings (aka 紅油抄手) ($11.90), Abundance is actually famous for their Gua Bao ($8.90). Gua Bao, very much like Singapore’s kong bak bao, is a classic Taiwanese snack consisting of a fatty, delicious slab of braised pork belly, fragrant roasted peanuts, pickles and coriander sandwiched between a piece of hot piping steamed lotus bun. They also have other iterations like the Crispy Chicken Bun ($8.90) — think Bao London, but Abundance style.
The Salted Plum
The Salted Plum is named after the national flower (plum blossom) of Taiwan, to symbolise strength and adversity — a constant reminder to the restaurant to deliver great, hearty fare every single time. Taiwanese tze-char, also more commonly known as re chao dian (熱炒店) in Taiwan, are local Taiwanese restaurants known to serve affordable and yummy home-cooked style dishes. The team behind The Salted Plum was inspired by that concept, and they are serving up a variety of dishes full of Taiwanese flavours and ingredients, while catering to our local palate.
A home-cooked Taiwanese lunch always include a hot, piping bowl of sweet potato congee with a variety of side dishes. Check out The Salted Plum’s version of sweet potato congee — slow-cooked using purple sweet potato and dashi, it gives the dish a gorgeous purplish hue. A popular side is the Oyster Mushrooms & Smashed Potatoes with Plum Powder. It’s a burst of different flavours and textures. Also check out the Kao Rou — a plate of well marinated Taiwanese Grilled Pork Belly with fragrant garlic chips. Really good.
8 Degrees Taiwanese Bistro
If you’re a fan of the OG Taiwanese pop singer, Jay Chou, you’ll find a familiar ring to the Chinese name of this restaurant. Yes, the owner was inspired one of his songs, so he named the shop after Jay Chou’s 八度空間.
Believe us when we say their menu is extensive. Expect a huge variety of must-have Taiwanese dishes like the usual braised pork belly rice, oyster mee sua as well as dishes that are not so commonly found in Singapore like the Cold Noodles, Taiwanese-style Pickled Radish Egg (Chye Poh Neng) and Braised Beef Noodles Soup.
Woo Ricebox (Closed Temporarily)
This one is also for the busy ones who yearn for a wholesome and proper meal. The Taiwanese love their bento boxes and Woo Ricebox gives you just that. If you didn’t know, Woo Ricebox is the franchise of Woo. They are Taiwan’s largest bento chain that had been serving the Taiwanese generous servings of nutritious food for over 80 years.
A bento from Woo Ricebox usually consist of rice as the base, along with a huge, generous piece of meat, braised egg, tofu, slices of Taiwanese sausage and vegetables. Signatures include the Fried Pork Chop Bento, Taiwan Railway Porkchop Bento and Spicy Drumstick Bento. These bentos cost less than $10, and they are really filling.
Rice balls are considered one of the most wholesome Taiwanese meal one can have. The Taiwanese love having a huge, nutritious and filling rice ball for breakfast. QQ Rice had been in Singapore’s F&B scene for many years, but not a lot of people know that it is actually a Taiwanese franchise. Founded in Kaohsiung, Taiwan, in 1988, it now has more than 300 franchises worldwide. In Singapore, QQRice serves healthy meals designed for the busy individuals.
Their products had since expanded from the usual rice rolls to bento boxes, porridges and sandwiches. But the rice rolls is still one of our favourites. You can either choose from their standard rice roll menu with choices like the Smoked Duck, Ah Ma Curry Chicken or customise your own rice rolls with a variety of healthy fillings that include different vegetables and proteins. Also, you get to choose the type of rice you want — they have options like the purple rice, red rice and wheat five.
That’s about all the Taiwanese secrets we have. But here’s another secret we’d like to share — this bottle of red wine from Louis Latour is a perfect match with the classic Taiwanese dishes. The distinctive flavour from the Pinot Noir fruit has robust tannins with a good balance so it’ll go really well with braised and grilled meat. If you haven’t tried your favourite classic Taiwanese dishes with a glass of wine, we’d totally recommend you to give this combination a try.
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