Taiwan Market Food Plaza
2789 Yan An West Road
I’m a little unclear as to what exactly this Taiwan Market Food Plaza is.. as there is little information on it online. Thankfully, I have a fellow foodie gal pal who is game to make the trip out to Hongqiao with me to check it out.
A ~20 minute cab ride later, we are deposited outside a large building, with nothing on the ground floor but 3 lifts. We assume we take them to go up to the restaurant, so we enter into the middle one. Surprisingly, there is only one floor that this lift goes too – a pet store! We go back down, and then realise each lift actually takes you to a different level of the building – talk about inefficient ;) So we take the one on the right, and voila! We step straight into the restaurant.
It occupies the entire floor, and is a buffet-style restaurant. You pay a flat price per head, and you can wander around the various ‘stations’ of food and drinks and eat to your heart’s content. We are pleased :)
After being seated, we immediately get up and scurry around the place, grabbing at plates and food like crazy people. We are a leeeetle over-eager and end up with more dishes than we could fit on our table – oops! And that was just Round 1 ;)
And so we tuck in, and I am pretty impressed. I wouldn’t say every dish was drop dead amazing, but they did a very decent job of serving up tasty food. Some of my favourites were the zhong zi (delicious sticky rice with peanuts and pork studded through it), the sweet potato fries (OK probably not very Taiwanese but I do love my deep fried foods), cod fish (ultra moist and tasty), and the pork loin which is sliced from the main serving and is ridiculously tender and flavourful.
I’m also impressed with the pearl milk tea which is not too sweet, and with springy tapioca ‘pearls’ lolling around the bottom of my glass. And dessert? The ice creams were fantastic! I was expecting icy, cheap stuff since it’s a buffet.. but they were creamy and had an authentic flavour. The strawberry ice cream did verge on the syrupy side, but the peanut ice cream was absolutely delicious, as was the cookies and cream ice cream. The pineapple cake is also a hit with us – it’s just crumbly enough, yet still moist. I don’t like the marble cheesecake which I find gelatinous and strange, and the tiramisu can hardly be called as such – it’s a bastardized version that contains, simply, a cup of (strange tasting) cream with cocoa powder dusted on top. Eh?
There was also a lot of really strange food… like the terrifying stinky tofu (that smells like damp socks and rotten eggs), intestines/guts from various animals, and other unidentified stuff. Obviously we avoided all of that :P The selection and volume of the food is impressive though, and we are stuffed to the brim with the food that we did like. At 98元 (on weekends, I believe it’s cheaper on weekdays for lunch), it’s reasonable and a great place to hang out with (food lovin’) friends.
Read my friend’s post here, which has more information.
The lift doors that transport us into Taiwan
An array of dishes
Cooking up the oyster omelette
Obligatory touristy photo
Weird and wonderful(?) creatures offered at the sashimi station, which we avoided
The delicious pork loin station
Round 1 of food ;)
This was taken at the pet store (when you take the middle lift, instead).
Aren’t the bunnies cuuuute?
They even had toads, that looked fascinating
Cute piglets, check out the wee lil on!!