Desmond Tan, Elvin Ng, and Romeo Tan’s food guide to Taipei

Sick of visiting all the tourist traps? We’ve got your back

Desmond Tan, Elvin Ng, and Romeo Tan’s food guide to Taipei
Desmond Tan, Elvin Ng, and Romeo Tan’s food guide to Taipei
02 Sep 2019

Desmond Tan, Elvin Ng, and Romeo Tan’s food guide to Taipei

Among the must-visit cities on most Singaporeans’ maps are Bangkok and Taipei – and with good reason. Good food, along with an abundance of friends who would gladly hop onto the next flight with you there, are just some of the reasons why we head there so often.

That being said, do you ever get the feeling that your itinerary is a little too touristy?

At the press conference of currently-airing drama All Is Well, we caught up with Desmond Tan, Elvin Ng and Romeo Tan to ask them about their recommendations. After all, they’ve lived there for a couple of months on end, and the Taiwanese cast also recommended them to some of the best places to hit up.

From a sandwich shop that can “make or break your day”, to OOTD locations you can hit up to show off your latest threads, read on for their recommendations.

Liang Su Shang Hao (良粟商號)
Liang Su Shang Hao (良粟商號)
02 Sep 2019

Liang Su Shang Hao (良粟商號)

According to Elvin, getting a sandwich at this brunch place can give you the boost that you need for a hard day of filming. On the flip side, getting there a little later than usual and being greeted with a sold out sign is a recipe for getting your entire day ruined. If it’s of any consolation, there’s always the rice bowls (as Desmond is pictured with) if you’re too late to get your hands on a sandwich.

In particular, the charcoal-grilled meat and egg toast has a special place in both Elvin and Romeo’s hearts. They will gladly unleash their Singaporean instincts and queue for this, and Romeo recommends that you get there before 10am to up your chances of getting your hands on one of these gems.

Address: No. 8, Lane 330, Songjiang Road, Taipei 10491

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Ningxia Night Market
Ningxia Night Market
02 Sep 2019

Ningxia Night Market

In all three actors’ minds, ditch the ultimate tourist trap Shihlin Night Market and head for the smaller, more authentic night markets instead. Their pick: Ningxia Night Market, a smaller, but much cozier, space that doesn’t require you to spend hours dealing with insane crowds.

While Desmond declared that “everything and anything along that street is damn good!” Romeo had one thing in particular that he thinks everyone should try: muah chee bing.

“The muah chee is still warm when it’s served, so when you have a bite of that, and then another bite of the ice, it’s a really shiok feeling,” he described. “The muah chee is very soft as well, and the peanuts go really well with everything else!”

Address: Ningxia Road, Datong District, Taipei City, Taiwan 103

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Ginger Duck Soup
Ginger Duck Soup
02 Sep 2019

Ginger Duck Soup

Imagine this: Being stuck outside on a cold day as you have to work overnight to finish a shoot. Suddenly, a huge pot of delicious-smelling soup appears on set, and the first taste of it warms you to the bone.

Sounds like an advertisement? Not really, as Elvin chuckled that this is exactly how he felt when he had his first taste of ginger duck soup. While he doesn’t have any restaurant in particular to recommend, he shared that there are numerous variations of this herby goodness. Some people have it with hotpot, others order a huge pot of it to share at the dinner table.

If you’re craving it on your own, there’s always the option of just ordering a one-person serving. The good news is, Elvin says you can get it “just about anywhere”.

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Wu Lao Guo (无老锅)
Wu Lao Guo (无老锅)
02 Sep 2019

Wu Lao Guo (无老锅)

Hotpot is one of the things that we all love to indulge in, and Desmond’s personal favourite is Wu Lao. The soup bases come with generous servings of duck blood, and the ingredients are fresh too.

Pro tip: Call ahead to make a reservation as they’re usually full, especially on weekends. If you don’t have a local number to call ahead of time, ask your hotel or Airbnb host for help – it will save you at least an hour of waiting time.

Address: Various locations, including No. 36-1, Sec. 2, Zhongshan N. Rd., Zhongshan Dist, Taipei 104

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Huashan Creative Industry Park
Huashan Creative Industry Park
02 Sep 2019

Huashan Creative Industry Park

If you have leisurely time to spare, Romeo recommends spending an afternoon in this area. He shared that they have an array of quirky popup shops, along with art exhibitions. Plus, it’s also a good place to get your OOTD shots that don’t look too mainstream.

If you prefer being behind the viewfinder rather than in front of it, the place is also perfect for taking photos as it isn’t too crowded (yet).

After spending some time there, you can also pop by Dunhua South Road, which is about 10 minutes away by taxi, to shop. Homeboy JJ Lin’s SMUDGEstore has its flagship outlet there, and there’s also a Stayreal Cafe by Gabee in the area for fans of Mayday.

Address: No.1, Section 1, Bade Road, Zhongzheng Dist, Taipei 100

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Jian Dao Shi (剪刀石)
Jian Dao Shi (剪刀石)
02 Sep 2019

Jian Dao Shi (剪刀石)

Romeo is a huge fan of mountain hiking – he says all you need is about three hours of time to get to the top and enjoy the scenery on top. While Xiangshan (Elephant Mountain) is the most well-known, his personal favourite is Jian Dao Shi. Near the peak, you’ll have to use a rope to ascend, but you’ll be cheered on by all the uncles and aunties climbing alongside you (and some of them even carry their pooches with them too).

You can hike up from the Jinmianshan Trail, and don’t forget to bring your camera along, because the view at the top is amazing.

Address: Address: Section 2, Huanshan Road, Neihu District, Taipei City, Taiwan 114

Photos: Romeo Tan

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