Over 250 years old stands the CiYou Temple 慈祐宮 on the east side of the RaoHe Night market. It is what will great you if you arrive by MRT from SongShan Station 松山捷運站.
Immediately after coming in, you will arrive at this place in the center. Line up. No matter how long the line is, line up!
This place has been here over 20 years, and there is most definitely a reason why…
This is the 胡椒餅 – Pepper Cake. You can see at the back, they are rolling the dough and preparing it to be filled.
Next, they get a healthy portion of minced pork and pack plenty of scallions/spring onions on top, encasing it in the bun, later to be baked.
The top is patted with water, then sesame seeds, where it is then stuck on the inside of the tandoor (which is what it essentially is) below…
A short while later, it emerges as this majestically beautiful pepper cake!
Give them your $50 and prepare your mouth for 1. Incredibly hot pepper cake, 2. Well seasoned and put together peppery filling, 3. Get ready to line up again…
For the taste, you should expect: a crunchy outer-casing of fairly neutral bread. On the inside, expect a searingly hot pork and spring onion mixture which oozes with fresh pork juices. Be aware that the meat steams inside the bun and as you bite in, the juices could (will) come oozing out!
This place doesn’t really cater much for customer service when paying, but it’s probably because it is always very busy and they cannot look to engage each customer in conversation when a line of 50+ people are behind. But, simply either show your fingers for how many you would like, or here is what to say
一個 yī gè (1) , 兩個 liǎng gè (2), 三個 sān gè (3), 四個 sì gè (4), 五個 wǔ gè (5).
This place looks pretty good, check out that platter of meat inbetween bean noodles (left) and hot and sour soup (right).
These are very popular, too, at nightmarkets. But, I am not that bothered about them, personally. The steak is heated slightly from the bottom but its main cooking comes from a blow torch from the top. Yeh, it’s alright, but the quality often isn’t that good.
I was getting thirsty by this point
Grass jelly drink – $35. Minty, healthy and wet. It hits the spot!
In the mood for abalone or snails? Nah, me neither…
These look good, though.
Squid, squid, squid!
This place is really friendly, make sure you stop by here for a bowl of delicately cooked and fresh squid.
This family run business has been here over 20 years. They say that the reason they have maintained regular customers for so long is that they offer and authentic taste of Taiwanese squid, a traditional flavor which many others don’t offer…
The squid is dropped into boiling hot water (only water).
How to order: 一份 (1 portion) yī fèn
Choose your level of spice – 微辣 wēi là
，小辣 xiǎo là ，中辣zhōng là ，大辣 dà là
I wasn’t fancying going upstairs to their seating area an awful lot…
Possibly better in winter, but don’t discount it in summer, either. Their soup is slightly sweeter (in my opinion a little more palatable) than other Chinese medicine soups I have tasted. This is another stand that has stood the test of time with 20+ years!
藥燉排骨 yào dùn pái gǔ
Medicinal broth with pork ribs
There’s plenty of pork to get your fill, here. The soup is also plentiful. Chinese medicine can often be a little bitter, but this one is slightly sweeter and easier to take. For the seasoned Chinese medicine soup drinking pro, it could be too sweet. But, if it’s your first time, check this one out to see if you like the flavour.
藥燉羊肉 yào dùn yáng ròu
Medicinal broth with lamb
Lots of ginger accompanies this dish, along with plenty of lamb! Expect the same broth, but with New Zealand lamb, instead of Taiwanese pork.
RaoHe Street, SongShan District, Taipei City