Ahhh… Taiwan. The last time I travelled to Taipei, I stuffed my face silly with braised pork rice bowls, bubble tea, fried chicken, beef noodles and so many more delicious dishes. Not to mention the night markets (pre-COVID-19, at least), which were teeming with yummy local street food.
While COVID-19 has certainly made it trickier for us to travel overseas nowadays, you’d be surprised by the number of Taiwanese restaurants, hawker stalls, bakeries and cafes in Singapore that dish out decent plates of Taiwanese cuisine.
To start you off, here are 10 authentic Taiwanese eateries in Singapore where you can get your fix of Taiwanese food.
Located within Dunman Food Centre, Lin’s Braised is helmed by a single lady, Eileen Lam, who has lived and worked across Asia. After being retrenched due to the pandemic, Eileen decided to bring one of Taiwan’s most iconic dishes to Singapore— lu rou fan, also known as braised pork rice.
However, Eileen’s lu rou fan comes with a twist, as she knew she had to adapt the recipe to suit Singapore’s weather and local palate. After much R&D, she eventually decided to add local Hakka flavours into the lu rou fan, such as preserved vegetables and taupok.
A must-try is Eileen’s Signature “Hakka” Braised Pork Rice (S$5.80), which came with preserved vegetables, braised pork, beancurd, taupok, egg and pearl rice. Impressively, all of the ingredients are painstakingly made in-house. Yes, including the preserved vegetables!
I loved the hearty and comforting mix of flavours, which made this bowl of lu rou fan incredibly easy to eat. There was just enough braised gravy to drench the pearl rice— such that each bite had a good balance of sweet and savoury flavours while ensuring that the rice was not drowning in sauce.
Tai One Wei is helmed by Chef Tony Chen, who hails from Taiwan’s Nantou City.
While he was originally an engineer in the semiconductor industry, Chef Tony’s love for cooking led him to open this Taiwanese restaurant in June 2022 so that Singaporeans can experience the unique food and culture of Taiwan.
What differentiates Tai One Wei from other Taiwanese joints is its menu, which offers Taiwanese zi char dishes on top of your usual Taiwanese fare!
For a truly unique Taiwanese experience, be sure to try Tai One Wei’s Stir-Fried Water Lotus and Stir-Fried Fern With Cordia Dichotoma, which are native Taiwanese dishes. The ingredients were specially flown in from Taiwan, so you can be assured that this is the real deal. According to its menu, these two dishes are priced according to the market price due to its limited supply, so you might have to enquire with the staff for more information.
As for the meats, you can’t go wrong with the Crispy Squid Mouth (S$18), which features fried squid mouths with peanuts, garlic and spring onion. It’s sprinkled with Taiwan pepper and salt pepper, making it a super addictive dish similar to the well-loved crispy chicken cutlet!
3. Wu Pao Chun
Wu Pao Chun rocked the bread scene when it first opened in Capitol Piazza in City Hall back in 2019. It was founded by Taiwanese master baker Wu Pao Chun, who rose to fame when he clinched the world champion title in the 2010 Les Masters de la Boulangerie competition in Paris.
In fact, his winning bakes at the competition are now known as the bakery’s Champion Breads, and have become super popular in Taiwan!
Since then, the bakery has opened its second outlet at Paragon Shopping Centre. If you’re dropping by, be sure to get its award-winning Champion Breads, which come in two flavours: Lychee Rose Royale and Red Wine Longan (S$21.80 for whole, S$14.80 for half).
Personally, I’m most excited to try the Lychee Rose Royale variant, as the dough in this loaf of bread is soaked overnight in lychee wine, black leaf lychee and natural rose petals.
4. Eat 3 Bowls
Eat 3 Bowls is an adorable classroom-themed Taiwanese cafe located at Crawford Lane in Lavender. It’s most known for its homely and comforting Taiwanese fare, such as lu rou fan, bubble tea, oyster mee sua and Taiwan-style chicken rice.
The bright and inviting space made it a real cosy experience. I loved the eatery’s attention to detail, such as the huge chalkboard which lined one of its walls, as well as its jotter book-themed menu!
The brand seems inclined towards themed cafes, as its second outlet in Pasir Panjang is decorated to resemble a train station, complete with a time table-like poster depicting the arrival timings of various train stations in Taiwan!
I wanted to get its famed Signature 3 Bowls with Drink (S$18) set, which came with a bowl of Braised Pork Rice, Chicken Rice and Oyster Mee Sua (thus the name “eat three bowls”), but unfortunately the mee sua was not available that day.
As such, I went for the à la carte sets instead, and got the Braised Pork Rice Set (S$8.50) and Chicken Rice Set (S$8.50). To complete the meal I got the Taiwan Bubble Tea (S$4.30).
My favourite dish was definitely the Braised Pork Rice Set, as the lu rou fan was incredibly savoury. The rice was soaked in braised gravy, which had hints of star anise, and the braised pork was soft and tender, making it an absolute delight. The Chicken Rice Set looked pretty plain, but I was impressed with its fragrance, as it had a hint of scallion or sesame oil.
462 Crawford Lane, #01-61, Singapore 190462
+65 9154 8191
Tue to Sun: 11am – 9pm
Closed on Mon
In Taiwan, charcoal-grilled toasts are a popular breakfast item. Fong Sheng Hao rules that category with its milk-infused bread, which is toasted on charcoal to give it that delicious crisp on the outside, while retaining that softness on the inside.
While Fong Sheng Hao had previously expanded to NEX and Westgate, we recommend that you drop by its original flagship outlet at PLQ for the original experience.
Get Fong Sheng Hao’s signature Pork & Egg Cheese (S$6.30), which features fluffy milk bread that springs back (just like expensive memory foam). Sandwiched between the soft bread is a thin piece of grilled pork loin and layers of silky cheddar omelette. Alternatively, try its TW Special Pork Patty (S$6.30), which uses house-made pork mince for a juicier patty.
6. 8 Degrees Taiwanese Bistro
Jay Chou fans should be familiar with this cafe, as 8 Degrees Taiwanese Bistro is named after one of his albums, 八度空間. This quaint restaurant has three outlets: Jalan Besar, Serangoon and Sembawang.
I popped by its Jalan Besar outlet to have a look and was impressed by its menu, which featured close to 100 dishes that ranged from rice bowls, noodles, vegetables, drinks, grass jelly desserts and even thick toasts!
A must-try is 8 Degrees’ Chitterling & Oyster Meesua (S$7). Chitterlings are the small intestines of domestic animals (usually pigs), but don’t let that deter you, as this large bowl of mee sua comes with large pieces of intestines that are cooked till it’s soft and tender. The oysters come in sizeable portions as well, and pair well with the deep-fried scallions.
7. +886 Bistro
The story behind +886 Bistro is a fascinating one. One of its co-owners, Tony, is half-Taiwanese. Though he came to Singapore when he was five years old, he has family in Taiwan and often goes back to visit during the June and December holidays.
Back when there was no internet, Tony would often have to go to the phone booth with a phone card to contact his relatives. +886 is the international dialling code for Taiwan, thus the meaningful significance.
Tony’s family has a long history in Taiwan’s F&B business— it dates back all the way to his great grandparents’ time. Flip through the menu to find photos of his grandmother at their family shop at Shuanglian in Taiwan, specifically along Minsheng West Road!
Come here for their Ah Bao Braised Pork Rice (S$5.80), which uses premium Japanese rice and superior soy sauce for a melt-in-your-mouth experience. There’s no minced pork in this dish, so it’s really just rice and braised pork belly, both of which are accompanied by spring onions and turnips.
If you’re ordering sides to share, try its Crispy Enoki (S$5.80) or Honey Glazed Crispy Chicken (S$8.80). The latter will definitely be a hit, as it features fried chicken thigh that’s glazed with honey and topped with sesame seeds.
8. 5 Little Bears
Easties will be familiar with this humble little eatery. 5 Little Bears can be found tucked away in the corner of the basement of Paya Lebar Square, and most know this as the go-to spot for no-fuss and comforting Taiwanese food.
I must confess that I’ve personally been here multiple times and never got round to recommending it, but there’s no time like the present!
While most customers come here to purchase its XL Chicken Chop (S$4.80) to go, I recommend that you stay for a bowl of its yummy Beef Noodles (S$8.50).
The noodles are thick and chewy while the broth is flavourful with a touch of herbs, and the cherry on top of the cake is the generous amount of tender beef and tendon slices, which make this bowl of noodles utterly comforting and satisfying.
60 Paya Lebar Road, Paya Lebar Square, #B1-09, Singapore 409051
+65 9004 6525
Daily: 11.30am – 10.30pm
9. Isshin Machi
Isshin Machi might sound like a Japanese restaurant, but it’s actually a fast-growing Taiwanese brand that serves up authentic and affordable Taiwanese food. It expanded in a blink of an eye, with outlets in Holland Village, GR.ID, Waterway Point, East Coast Road and Greenwood Avenue!
Despite their fast growth, you know it’s going to be a truly authentic experience when online reviews commend the place for staying true to its roots, sporting Taiwanese servers and plenty of Taiwanese customers.
On top of staples like the Hakka-style Braised Meat Rice (S$9) and Fried Rice with Specially Marinated Pork Chop (S$12.30), be sure to order the crowd-favourite Shrimp & Pork Wontons with Fiery Chilli Oil (S$7).
These are huge and juicy wontons which sit on a bed of black vinegar and chilli oil. Don’t mistake this for sichuan chilli oil though, as the vinegar adds a piquant yet appetising sourness that elevates the whole dish.
10. Lai Lai Taiwan Casual Dining
Located in City Square Mall is a humble yet authentic Taiwanese eatery. Lai Lai Taiwan Casual Dining opened in 2002 and specialises in one Taiwanese item— beef noodles.
Its recipe hails directly from Taiwan, with its team sharing that they even flew to Taiwan in early 2000s to bring back an authentic braised beef noodle recipe from an actual Taiwanese chef!
A bowl of Braised Beef Noodles (S$13.90) features udon-like handmade noodles with a savoury and flavourful broth. While the soup is said to already be a little spicy, online reviews mention to pair the tender beef cubes with Lai Lai’s homemade Taiwanese chilli for that extra spicy kick.
If beef noodles aren’t your thing, you can also consider Lai Lai’s other Taiwanese dishes, such as its Taiwan Pancake (S$9.90), Dumpling with Spicy Soup (S$6.90 for five pieces) and Pork Floss Toast (S$6.90).
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