Taste of Taiwan Food Fair | Not Too Authentic, But....

7th July 2013
I've never reviewed a food fair before — mainly because I don't like the crowds, the hot acrid smoke billowing in my face and the lack of a comfortable place to enjoy the food. But when Parkway Parade invited me for a tasting at their Taste Of Taiwan Food Fair, I thought it was an interesting opportunity to enjoy the variety of Taiwanese delicacies that were on offer.

My mum would probably love this. Hmmm.

The 太阳饼 that wasn't too sweet and was creamy (was made in Singapore though)

Some Taiwanese jelly. This was legit-ly authentic okay. 

The 20-odd stalls on display were in the basement atrium area of Parkway, and sold all sorts of things from 太阳饼 to Taiwanese Mochi. I guess the variety here is decent enough, although I didn't get to eat my 炸地瓜 (fried pumpkin slices). 

This was not too bad, I just felt the pancake was a little flat in taste next to the robust sweetness of the durian. Good if you like durian though. 
Some of the stuff that was on offer included Taiwanese Dumplings (basically the Hokkien Ba Chang), Braised Pork Rice, Taiwanese Sausages, Ai Yu Bing, Oyster Mee Sua, Oyster Omelette, the acclaimed Crispy Fried Chicken Chops, Spicy Fish Balls, Lok Lok, among others. The prices were reasonable, a slightly more expensive version of Pasar Malam prices (but decently affordable), and worth it considering you're in an air-conditioned building. 

A fellow blogger (Peter) and his girlfriend and I decided to embark on our epic food quest to cover most that was on offer (for the cooked foods at least) by sharing. There were some hits and misses, to say the least. 

The Hits:
Kong Ba Pao + Bee Hoon + Chee Cheong Fun (House Of Gua Bao stall)
Honey Fried Chicken Chop + Salted Crispy Chicken (Taiwan 小吃 stall)
砰砰饼 at the Master Mi stall (米大师)
Xiao Long Bao at the Steamed Buns stall
Rice cakes at the Taiwanese pastries stall
The 太阳饼 at the Pineapple Cakes Stall

The So-So:
Oyster Omelette
The Fried mushrooms from the Taiwan 小吃 stall
The Taiwanese Sausages
The Durian Pancakes (Dora Keiki) 
The Meatballs. 

The Misses:
The Taiwanese Tube Glutinous Rice 
The Taiwanese Smoked Duck

This was probably one of the more popular stalls that was operating that day. The chicken was really delicious! 

Pictured here: The Fried Mushrooms, Honey Fried Chicken Chop & Salted Crispy Chicken

I think the highlights of the day were the offerings from the Taiwan 小吃 stall with their fried chicken offerings. Fragrant, not too oily, sinful and filling, they tick all the right boxes for hearty and wholesome street food. The chicken was not overtly breaded with batter (like those at Shilin Night market in Taiwan) and was decent moist and tender, on top of being well-seasoned. I especially enjoyed the Honey flavoured chicken chops that added a slightly smoky sweetness to the otherwise savoury taste of the fried chicken.

I also liked the Xiao Long Bao, even though Peter did mention that the other small bun was better. Maybe I'm a sucker for that explosive sensation of savoury stock in my mouth... :P 

Quite liked this, a pity we didn't finish it as we were too full...

The Kong Ba Pao offerings weren't too bad in general, especially for the bee hoon and the cheong fun. The sauce was smoky and sweet, moistened with the savoury tenderness of the braised pork itself. The pork meat was almost melt in your mouth, especially in the cheong fun. Yummy. 

This very generous auntie overwhelmed me with pastries upon hearing that I was on an invited tasting. 

I generally would recommend most of the cakes and pastries here, because if you like anything soft and sweet, this is decently good. But some, like the green coloured rice cake, were a little too sweet for me at times. 
I also liked the rice cakes that were on offer in the Taiwanese pastries stall, because of the soft, chewy nature of their rice cakes that was nicely melded with a controlled sweetness (not saccharine) of the filling inside.

Other notable snacks included the addictive keropok offering called 砰砰饼 which is like a non-oily keropok with flavours like curry, cheese (I like) and prawn. The 太阳饼 was also not too bad, it wasn't as sweet as I thought it would be (like some I tried in 九份) in Taiwan and had a nice creaminess to it.

If you like the Taiwanese version of or luak (Oyster Omelette), then you'll find that this is a decent rendition of it. The sauce was a little too sweet, and it wasn't as slimy as the ones I had in danshui and Raohe night markets in Taipei. Most notably, they had too little oysters… but still. Could be worse. 

The fried mushrooms were actually okay, if not for the very high amount of batter swarmed on the poor mushroom. The rest were just nothing to write home about. 

Dry duck, anyone?
Microwaved with tender loving care. 
I won't really focus on the misses but let's just say I don't enjoy microwaved food with garnish on top, nor do I enjoy dry duck. 

Overall, I wouldn't go as far to say as this was an authentic Taiwan experience, but if you are just dropping by with a craving for Taiwanese street food and nibbles, this would probably do that craving justice.

This was an invited tasting. Thank you to Tsz In for the invite.

Taste of Taiwan Food Fair
1st to 14th July 2013
10AM to 10PM daily

Parkway Parade
80 Marine Parade Road
Basement 1 Atrium


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