Bull Demon King at the Shida Night Markets

January 26, 2010 in Food, Taiwan, Travel by pacejmiller

Feel like delicious steak at reasonable prices?

Restaurant: Bull Demon King
Cuisine: Steak (Beef, Chicken, Lamb etc) and comes in set meals with salad, bread and soup
Price: Around TWD 200 per head for normal sets, up to TWD 300 for special sets
Location: No. 8, Lane 49, Shida Road (Shida Night Markets)
Opening Hours: 11:30am-2:30pm; 17:00pm-22:30pm
Contact: (02) 3365-2635

The Bull Demon King is one of the key characters of Journey to the West, best captured by the TV show, Monkey Magic.  It also happens to be the name of an awesome cheap steak joint at the Shida Night Markets in Taipei.

The Shida Night Markets is a hot spot for university students, especially those from the nearby National Taiwan Normal University (don’t ask me why this university is more ‘normal’ than the others…), which has a very high ratio of foreign students.  Walking around at night, it’s not unusual to hear people speaking English.

The markets don’t have a whole lot of stuff to buy, but there is plenty of food.  And from what I have tasted dare there, dare I say Shida ranks right up there amongst the other night markets in Taipei.

Anyway, Bull Demon King has an outdoor store in the middle of the Shida Night Markets, but apparently it has done so well it opened up a proper restaurant (with waiters and air-conditioning and all) in one of the side alleyways nearby.

Bull Demon King is cheap and it is delicious.  For under TWD 200 per person, you can get a full meal set with unlimited refill iced tea, salad, bread, soup and a main course.  Most people either get the beef steak or the chicken steak, which comes with spaghetti noodles and a fried egg, and is served on a sizzling platter.

(Click on ‘More…’ to read on and see the food pics!)

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Keelung Miaokou Markets!

January 26, 2010 in Food, Taiwan, Travel by pacejmiller

The crowded Keelung Miaokou Markets

One of Taiwan’s more famous food markets is situated at the northern port of Keelung, about 40 minutes out from Taipei city.  It is known as Keelung “Miaokou”, or the “Temple Space” in Keelung.  What the name is really trying to convey is that the markets are situated right outside the Keelung Temple.

Anyway, we visited Keelung Miaokou on an overcast Sunday morning, expecting there to be quite a few people as (1) for once it wasn’t raining; and (2) it was a Sunday.

We were right.  By 12pm, Keelung Miaokou was jam packed with people.  The so-called food market really only had one long alleyway with food stores packing both sides and portable vendors cramming the middle.  On top of that, apart from the seas of people, you also have motorcycles occasionally threading through, so it was pretty crazy.  Apparently it gets much worse at night.

The markets are rather tourist-friendly, with each store having an English description and store number.  Because there are so many people and the stores are often quite small, expect to have to share tables.  The plastic bowls and metal spoons generally appear to be quite clean and you use disposable chopsticks.

Now, as for the food…well, it depends what you get, I suppose.  With so many places to choose from, a little luck is involved if you’re going for the first time.

(Click on ‘More…’ to see the food pics and read the verdict on the Keelung Miaokou markets!)

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