There will never ever be enough time to try all of what Tainan has to offer. We met up with our gracious and knowledgeable host who so expertly guided us three years ago on a whirlwind food tour to Kenting and back. This time we were in her back yard. She happen to live in Tainan.
Our tour started with a little oyster and shrimp ball made fresh from a roadside restaurant. There was a little old lady shucking oysters right there. A sweet mouthful. Unfortunately, I ate it all before taking a picture. Sorry.
Oyster and Shrimp omelette is available all over Taiwan but my host explained that in Tainan it’s all about the brown sauce. This sauce was sweet and balanced with the savory oyster and shrimp.
Pork Meatball is specific to Tainan. They use chuncks of pork in sweet potato flour dough that makes for a chewy exterior and very flavorful filling.
Fish noodles is one of a kind. This is probably the most stand out dish of this entire trip. They shred fish into noodle like form. When you order they drop enough into a rolling hot broth. Then pass minced pork through a strainer to make a finer pork. All of this is served with cabbage braised in the same rolling broth. The whole process takes a few minutes. The attendant works with extreme precision and accuracy. The taste is umami with hints of white pepper. A dish engraved in my memory forever.
High tea in a royal style. Assam hot tea, Assam cold tea with fruits and Assam hot tea displayed wonderful black tea flavors. Mini waffles that tasted more like donuts than waffles topped with carmelized bananas and chocolate ice cream were a surprising delight.
There is much more to explore and discover about Tainan. It might take much more than a few hours to really showcase this ancient city that was once the capital of Taiwan. Until then here is a start. We will meet again.