[Yilan, Taiwan] While Yilan 宜蘭 is not on many people’s travel radar, its proximity to Taipei, scenic spots of Wufengchi Waterfalls and Dongshan Water Park, a relaxing Su-ao Cold Springs, and a National Center for Traditional Arts which reminds me of Spirited Away are all good reasons to make a trip there.
Foodies also should miss Luodong Night Market 羅東夜市, one of Taiwan’s biggest and most crowded night market. I went during summer, and it was staggering hot and super crowded. Tip is to go before dinner time when stalls are opened but not too congested yet.
When asked about Luodong, the specialty street food includes mutton soup, dragon phoenix rolls and spring onion pancakes.
Some of the popular stalls include:
– 隆新一串心 Braised skewers
– 阿公仔龍鳳腿 Dragon phoenix rolls
– 阿灶伯當歸羊肉 Herbal mutton soup
– 義豐蔥油派 Pan fried spring onion pancake
– 老王蔥捲餅 Spring onion pancake
– 魏姐包心粉圓 Tapioca Dessert
– 卜鴨麵 Duck parts noodles
– 羊鋪子 Mutton Soup
– 建宏豆花 Soy beancurd
阿灶伯當歸羊肉 Ah Du Po Mutton Soup
Stall 1094. Opening Hours 5pm – 3am
The Angelica Root Mutton Soup (NT65, SGD$2.70) is revolutionary tasty, tender thinly sliced mutton with soup which doesn’t have that intense smell or taste. I never was fancy of Smelly Tofu, but Ah Du Po’s version (NT40, $1.70) was bearably pungent, crispy on the outside, smooth of the inside, dipped in an addictive chilli sauce with a side of preserved vegetables.
This could translate a 20 minute wait during peak hours. Their competitor 羊鋪子 just next stall sell similar dishes (but a passerby I asked said she preferred Ah Du Po’s).
義豐蔥油派 Yi Feng Cong You Pie
Min Sheng Road, Near the Post Office. Opening Hours 2pm – 10pm
As Yi Lan is an architectural land known for their spring onions, it isn’t hard to imagine where Spring Onion Pancakes are one of the most commonly found street night here. But it is the Yi Feng Pancakes with over 20 years of history, which makes theirs crispy and fluffy, even though it looked seemingly drenched in oil. I loved it. Worth the venture.
魏姐包心粉圓 Wei Jie Tapioca Dessert
No 1079. Opening Hours: 11pm- 12am
There are a few of such stalls and shops around. The difference is: their tapioca pearls have red bean wrapped inside! Other than the little surprise, taste wise, it’s standard Taiwanese dessert fare. Their soy beancurd desserts with various toppings such as pudding, pearls, peanut and ice cream (between NT50-65) are worth a try if it gets too warm outside.
王老吉懷舊滷味 Wang Lao Ji Braised Meats
中山路三段199~201號 Zhong Shan Road. Opening Hours 2pm – 12am
Braised meat stalls are dime a dozen in Taiwanese night markets, but Wang Lao Ji’s version may feel ‘healthier’ than usual. The shop does not use that much dark soy sauce as base, but instead incorporate 15-16 different types of Chinese health. Thus, the taste of their braised items is not as heavy and salty as expected. Not my favourite dish though.
阿公仔龍鳳腿 Ah Gong Zi Long Feng Juan
民生路、興東路口. Opening Hours 2:30pm – 11pm
This is something I havn’t seen in other street markets and so was rather excited to try. Dragon Phoneix Rolls. These rolls on stick have fish paste, cabbage and flour wrapped in thin pig intestine casings then deep fried. What? The skin has a web-like pattern which looks like the scales of a dragon thus the name. It’s so sinfully yummy – juicy with crunchy bits, that I can finish 3 sticks on my own.
Luodong Night Market (羅東夜市)
No.100, Gongyuan Road, Luodong Township, Yilan County, Taiwan 265