Fried chicken is a huge, as in XXXL deal in Taipei and people have long been professing their artery-clogging love for favourites such as Hao Da Da Ji Pai (豪大大鸡排) at Shilin night market and Ju Guang Delicious Fried Chicken (继光香香鸡/繼光香香雞) at Xi Men Ding.
Our hosts took us to their favouritest 台灣第一家鹽酥雞 (台北市中山區北安路530號, 104 Taipei). Now, this is some hidden though not a secret gem as it is pretty much located in the middle of nowhere till you suddenly see a huge florescent sign and hoards of people crowding around the entrance of the store.
Houston, we have arrived.
And so have the others.
Like the state of free speech in Taiwan, there is an amazing display of autonomy and choice.
There are all sorts of balls …
And if you are a ‘legs’ person …
Seeing-is-believing meat and seafood skewers …
And of course, INNARDS!
Unless you are innately adverse to fried food, you would be able to find something you love. The trouble, as usual, is narrowing down what to order and that’s why it helps to have others willing to share the burden (woe is me!) with you.
We tore apart the bags in record time as soon as we settled down.
Popcorn chicken (the batter to meat ratio was 2:1, yummeh) and sweet potato fries (feeling healthier already)
Popcorn squid (these might look like the inferior cousins of the popcorn chicken but with their squidgy, briny taste, I dare say this was even more chuggable than the popcorn chicken) and shishamo (this preggie loves preggies fish)
Turnip cake (crisp and soft - easily another winner)
甜不辣 (sliced up denser version of a fishcake *heart*), century egg and chicken intestines (first time trying these and all I can say is, "Why can't Old Chang Kee come up with something similar?)
And another unpictured bag filled with silken tofu 百葉豆腐 (nothing but love for this tofu we discovered in Taipei) and abalone mushrooms
These weren't your typical XXXL chicken but on the pleasure barometer, the entire meal was XXX satisfying. Adjust your pacemakers and dig in.
As there were very limited seats at 台灣第一家鹽酥雞, we nestled at the neighbouring beancurd store 晴光豆花 and ordered a few bowls of sweet beancurd desserts to ease our way through the fried food frenzy. The combination of piping hot fried food and intermittent sweet injections of beancurd is an experience not to be missed!