Embark on a culinary adventure in Kaohsiung, a southern Taiwanese gem renowned for its diverse and flavorful cuisine. From sizzling street-side delicacies to aromatic seafood hot pots, the city's food scene is a delightful fusion of tradition and innovation.
Kaohsiung’s vibrant culinary landscape mirrors the city’s captivating blend of diverse and rich ethnic cultures. It’s also where WildTaiwan co-founder, Wendy Kung resides. Here are her local insider tips on the must-visit dining spots in the city.
Nestled away in a quaint lane since 1985, Nanbei Lou exudes an oriental palace charm that’s impossible to overlook. This culinary gem seamlessly weaves together the flavors of salty-sweet Zhejiang and spicy Sichuan with the cherished traditions of Taiwanese cuisine. For locals, it’s a treasure trove of memories, from wedding feasts to the cherished One-Year-Old Catch celebrations. With such an iconic symbol of nostalgia, you can trust that the flavors and service here are nothing short of exceptional. It’s worth noting that on holidays and special occasions like Mother’s Day, Nanbei Lou opts for fixed menus tailored to specific group sizes. They are open daily for lunch and dinner, and reservations are recommended.
A step inside Liu’s Traditional Juancun Food is a step into the heart of a Military dependents’ village. The founder Liu is a living relic of the sharing and supporting ethos that defines this type of cuisine. Here, pickled cabbage is a star, naturally marinated using age-old methods, resulting in those distinctive sour notes that tantalize the taste buds. The charcoal-cooked hotpot itself is a special experience served with dumplings on the side that evoke the warm, communal feeling of a family gathering. The restaurant provides lunch and dinner daily, but rests (is closed) on Mondays.
Wendy’s favorite dishes: Sour Cabbage and Pork Hot Pot 酸白菜火鍋，Beef Noodle Soup 冠軍牛肉麵，Dumpling 水餃
Location: No. 507, Zhongshan 2nd Rd, Qianjin District 前鎮區中山二路507號
Siang Fu Yuan is a modest community restaurant that needs no flashy decor or TV interviews to shine, earning its reputation for deliciousness amidst the bustling Wenhenger Road Night Market. Here, pancakes and dumplings are freshly prepared upon ordering. A charming mix of patrons, from parents with school-going children to grandparents seeking a comforting meal, infuse this humble eatery with a sense of home. Siang Fu Yuan’s bottomless cups of black tea and soy milk add to this homely atmosphere. Opens daily for lunch and dinner, reservations are not necessary—simply walk in and savor the experience.
Old New Taiwanese Cuisine, a culinary gem endorsed by both CNN Travel and Michelin, promises an extraordinary gastronomic journey to visitors. Here, every dish is an artful blend of tradition and innovation. Their kitchen, run by the same team since its inception in 2008, presents meticulously crafted 7- to 8-course omakase menus in diverse price ranges. While locals savor robust flavors, don’t hesitate to request a more delicate touch. The restaurant’s relocation in 2011 brought forth a captivating transformation, seamlessly marrying retro East-meets-West aesthetics.
Sanhe Chi-Feng is a haven for authentic Taiwanese flavors. Chef Robin Lin, previously chef de cuisine at Eight Tables, brings an academic’s wisdom to the modern Hakka culinary world. With a passion that borders on poetic, he delves into the subtleties of ingredients, whether it is the distinct nuances of Szechuan peppercorns or the art of pickling bitter melon. Nestled in a serene community, the restaurant’s unassuming grey-blue door opens to a space that captures the essence of a traditional Taiwanese home. As seats are limited, reservations are a must. Mark your calendar for the 15th of each month at 11 am to ensure your spot for the following month’s culinary journey.
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