A few weeks ago, my girlfriend and I took a trip to Kaohsiung, South Taiwan, and discovered the food heaven that awaited us.
Obachan is a term in Japanese to refer to an elderly woman in a friendly manner, and we started using it as a nickname for the lady who worked very long hours (10am-12am) at this very cheap but delicious find. We ordered a range of dishes, not quite knowing what was coming. Mostly vegetable dishes doused in garlic, and other noodle and soup based dishes with some more garlic. The total price for two rarely exceeded NT$200 (£3.90) which is an absolute bargain! We returned many times much to her laughter…
This town is full of night markets selling a variety of food. Most were seafood just out in the heat and under a light, which did not look like something we could stomach, so we avoided those as a rule. My girlfriend teased me for not wanting to try the stinky tofu, but as we walked down the market, something started to tickle her nose. Was it sewage, she thought. Perhaps vomit? No was the simple answer. Stinky Tofu!! She almost let out a minute barf in response and refused to try it. Some of the highlights included hot dumplings, sugarcane juice, and quail eggs. Most dishes were around NT$50 (£0.97!). The affordability led us to painfully full stomachs.
I would highly recommend a brief stop at Kaohsiung if you’re in Taiwan to taste Taiwanese food on a budget, and just as food without the fanciness of delicacies.