New Taipei City – LeHua Nightmarket 下港米糕排骨酥店 Restaurant

DingXi is a popular place in the YongHe/ZhongHe area for westerners. Walking left out of exit 1 for around 10-15minutes, you’ll stumble across LeHua Nightmarket 樂華夜市. 樂華 is a popular nightmarket and, whatever night, is often bustling with a wealth of different street vendors. However, often what people miss in the nightmarkets, is the row of shops and restaurants situation behind such street vendors. I am, personally, not that much of a fan of nightmarkets. I tend to go there for my fix of fried chicken and stinky tofu, but not much more. So here, just around the back of  樂華, sits a rather large restaurant which always looks busy.  


This place is as any Taiwanese 小吃店 should be: packed with customers. I say that this is a 小吃店, but really, it only mimics some of the food that is found inside such restaurants. I feel that, for the Taiwanese, this is the food that reminds them of those Sunday lunches that mum used to make. With that in mind, more often than not, there is a somber atmosphere and little energy in such places. However, in here, there is a busy energy and an excited vibe. 

1. 焢肉飯 (kong4rou4fan4) Belly pork meal
2. 下水湯 (xia4shui3tang1) Offal soup
3. 排骨酥湯 (pai2gu3su1tang1) Soft pork soup
4. 油豆腐 (you2dou4fu3) Tofu
5. 魯筍絲 (lu3sun3si1) Braised bamboo
6. 魯蛋 (lu3dan4) Braised egg
7. 筒仔米糕 (tong3zi3mi3gao1) Bamboo sticky rice



1. 焢肉飯 (kong4rou4fan4) Belly pork meal
The sheer value for money here is incredible. All of this, for just $60! On the plate, we have a big mound of white rice, topped with a pickled Daikon (蘿蔔 luo2buo2) and some gravy. To the right we have the main attraction, that’s the 焢肉 belly pork. To the top right we have a generous helping of braised bamboo, to the left of which we have a braised egg and also a piece of tofu. On the left we have pickled cucumbers and also pickled cabbage. Let me tell you: the 焢肉 is pretty darn good! I have always been a big fan of belly pork growing up (much to my mother’s distaste), with the layer of silky fat, soft stewed meat, another layer of silky fat, soft stewed meat, another layer of silky fat and finally finishing with the final layer of soft stewed meat. There’s no getting away from the fact that it is not the healthiest piece of meat out there, but it is certainly worth a punt every now and then. I’ll go into more detail about the vegetables later, as we had already ordered each of them separately, without realising that they would appear on my meal…

2. 下水湯 (xia4shui3tang1) Offal soup
For those of you who read my first post on the wonderful beef restaurant 今春發牛肉店 then you’ll know that I am a regular offal eater. Difference being that this soup is pork offal. Inside the soup we have pork, intestines, stomach and also kidney. The broth is light and the ginger gives it the fresh healthiness that you grow to love in Taiwanese soups, however, it the soup is a little oily. Whilst this doesn’t bother me for one bowl of soup, I think I would only be wanting the one bowl, I wouldn’t be going for seconds. The contents of the soup, on the other hand, were very nice indeed: The intestine was cooked nicely and wasn’t in any way tough, the pork pulled off the bone with complete ease, the kidney wasn’t too chewy and maintained a good strong flavour and the stomach added a good texture, too. 



3. 排骨酥湯 (pai2gu3su1tang1) Soft pork soup
Bearing in mind that the shop has 排骨酥 in the name, this soup should be a definite order. This soup is, in a word, fantastic. The pork has, in the traditional Taiwanese manner, been cooked for a very long time. It seems to have a deep-fried coating, but then been placed into the broth to stew. So, the pork inside has stayed wonderfully delicate, but also the coating on the outside has become almost soggy. It’s a little strange, it’s like a cross between breaded pork goujons and deep fried pork goujons. Don’t get me wrong – the taste is great. But I just don’t understand why… Anyway, there are nice big chunks of Daikon radish 蘿蔔 inside the soup and these balance the strong flavours of the pork really nicely. You can tell that they have been cooked for a long time as they just fall apart in your mouth. With a generous hand of coriander on the top of the soup, I would strongly recommend you give this a go! It may look heavy, but it really isn’t!




4. 油豆腐 (you2dou4fu3) Tofu
5. 魯筍絲 (lu3sun3si1) Braised bamboo
6. 魯蛋 (lu3dan4) Braised egg
4,5 and 6 are together on a plate:
This is the same type of tofu that I have previously written about (oily tofu). It has a slightly resistant skin on it, allowing the center to be soft and the outside to hold most of the flavour. This particular one tasted like a standard 油豆腐 and didn’t really excel in any way. Similar to the bamboo, actually. It was nice and fresh, clearly well seasoned and well braised, but it wasn’t wowing me with a different flavour in any way. The braised egg 魯蛋 was delicious. Sometimes you get really lucky and it’s a braised duck egg, but this was a chicken egg, probably braised for over 4 hours. The inside was a wonderful consistency and the taste was beautifully meaty. 



7. 筒仔米糕 (tong3zi3mi3gao1) Bamboo sticky rice
For my money, this is a strange thing to order, but hey. I have called it bamboo sticky rice, as it’s what it both tastes and looks like. The rice is somewhat stickier than normal rice with generous helpings of 魯肉 and gravy dripping down the middle and inside are hidden some baby button mushrooms. On top lies some long, thin Enoki-like mushrooms. I am not sure if they were, indeed, Enoki. But it’s what they looked like. The mushrooms had been stewed for a long time so they had taken on a rich flavour. Sprinkled on top you can see was a little bit of Pork floss. Some westerners I have spoken to are adamant that pork floss is on par with stinky tofu and century egg for levels of disgusting. Whereas others will gladly spoon it into their congee. The jury is out for pork floss, but I can say that whilst I like it, I won’t go out of my way to order it. In this dish, it did soak up some of the oil and stickiness exuded by the rice and braised mushrooms. The taste was really interesting: sticky, rich, earthy and starchy. You certainly felt full after eating it! 

Overall I was really impressed with both the quality and the quantity of the dishes we ordered. For the money, it’s a no-brainer. Nightmarket food is exciting, I agree, but sometimes we tend to miss the other restaurants worth going to, because we are hell bent on ordering deep fried chicken or oyster omelet at the nightmarket stalls. Next time you’re at a nightmarket, check out the side alleys and check out the restaurants behind the stalls. Maybe you’ll stumble across a beauty – like this one!


Best dish: 3. 排骨酥湯 (pai2gu3su1tang1) Soft pork soup: It was stunning in its simplicity but the flavours were fantastic! 

Dish I won’t order again: 4, 5 and 6 combo: Simply because I would be happier buying the meal and having a slightly smaller portion of each. It’s not because they were not tasty (because they were!), but it’s simply because we had a lot of food and some of it was doubled-up.



新北市永和區保平路14號
No. 14, BaoPing Road, YongHe district, New Taipei City.




Happy Eating!

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