Xi Men Ding (西門町) is hailed as Taiwan’s version of Harajuku/Shibuya and it does not disappoint in delivering the same city energy, glitzy lights and ads, and crowds in the shops and restaurants. I believe the shopping will be great in summer, but most of the shops were selling winter wear, which I will hardly wear in Singapore. Even the name Xi Men Ding (西門町) has Japanese roots – the character 町 means cho in Japanese, which means a part of a municipal ward, a term commonly used in Japanese addresses.
We tried a random stop for breakfast, Tian Tian Li, which turned out really good!
We tried a few famous food places in Xi Men Ding. First up, famous Ya Rou Bian (鸭肉扁) coffee shop, which has been opened for 63 years now. The shop name is called duck, but they actually sell goose meat!
We shared a quarter of a goose and liver. Goose are usually tough but this meat was soft and tender. N enjoyed the flavourful liver very much and managed to finish it despite it being a big serving. The soup of the noodles is brewed from a pot of 10 geese, hence the soup is very sweet! No wonder this stall has managed to stay open for so long!
|臺北市 萬華區 武昌街2段2號
Information courtesy of TaipeiTravel.net
I think one’s trip to Xi Men Ding is incomplete without trying Ah Zhong Mian Xian (阿宗麵線, Mee Sua). One of the most famous original Mian Xians in Taiwan, it lives up to its name and queue with its savoury rich oyster soup and soft silky Mian Xian. We shared a small portion (NTD30, ~SGD$1.30) and it was already pretty filling from the starch. Highly recommend to try with the vinegar and chili as the condiments enhance the seafood zinc-y taste of the soup.
We chanced upon the Modern Toilet Restaurant, which we have seen on various theme restaurant sites, so we decided to give it a try. It is truly a unique experience of “Ashes to Ashes, Dust to Dust, Toilet to Toilet” as the Hotpot food is served from a “toilet bowl” and the drinks are served from a “urinal”. The seating area is modeled like a huge bathroom, with showers dangling from the walls. The seats are in the form of actual life size toilet bowls, but we are seating on a closed lid one, of course :P. Even the dessert is served in the shape of “crap”. The food is decent but not great, but quite a unique fun experience we will not find in Singapore.
Overall, highly recommend tourists to spend at least half a day in Xi Men Ding after 12pm (shops don’t open too early) into the early evening to experience the shopping, food and also all the glitzy neon lights and signboards that will only come on at night!
Full sets of posts that might be useful for your Taipei planning:
- Wu Fen Pu (五分埔) Shopping and Rao He Night Market (饒河街觀光夜市)
- Xi Men Ding (西門町)
- Shi Lin Night Market (士林夜市)
- Taipei 101, Christmas Illuminations, 大佳河濱公園 Park for 2014 Countdown
- Restaurant – L’Atelier de Joel Robuchon Restaurant (侯布雄法式餐廳)
- Hotel– Hope Hotel (全家歡商務旅店 ) and Cosmos Hotel (天成大飯店)
For locations outside of Taipei:
- Taiwan: Alishan (阿里山) – Fen Qi Hu (奮起湖) and 53.1 Homestay Min Su (民宿)
- Taiwan: Alishan Main Attraction – Alishan National Scenic Area (阿里山國家風景區)
- Taiwan: Alishan 阿里山, Sun Moon Lake 日月潭 , Cing Jing 清境, Taroko National Park 太魯閣國家公園
- Taiwan: Taroko National Park 太魯閣國家公園
- Taiwan: Taroko National Park 太魯閣國家公園 Lodging/Hotel – Silks Place 太鲁阁晶英酒店
- Taiwan: Taroko National Park 太魯閣國家公園 Lodging/Hotel – Leader Village 立德布洛灣山月村
For more information on your trip to Taiwan, please visit Go!Taiwan