Desert the heat with cool eats
Busan World Food - Sister Cities ⑦ Taiwan - Kaohsiung
Summer has arrived, so it's time to cool down with something fresh and flavorful. In this issue, we introduce Taiwan, a country famous for its refreshing mango shaved ice and Kaohsiung, one of Busan's sister cities.
A spoonful of mango bingsu will help the summer go down as one to remember.
■ Sister City : Kaohsiung
Kaohsiung is the second-largest city in Taiwan and the largest port city. Two-thirds of the country's imports and exports pass through Kaohsiung Port. On June 30, 1966, Busan and Kaohsiung signed a sister city agreement, making it Busan's first sister city. The cities make exchanges in numerous fields such as culture, art and architecture. Also, to strengthen the relationship, city officials attend the annual Taiwan Lantern Festival in Kaohsiung.
■ Taiwanese food
Taiwan provides both island and Chinese culture. The local culture prides itself on simplicity in both cooking and eating. For example, many people enjoy having breakfast in restaurants. Therefore, many eateries specializing in breakfast open at 6 a.m. and close around noon. Two types of breakfast restaurants are frequented on the island: Western-style shops which serve sandwiches, toast and continental brunches and Taiwanese-style. In Taiwanese-style restaurants, customers can enjoy dan bing (egg crepe), rousong (pork floss), dou jiang (salty soy milk soup) similar to Korean-style kongguk (cold soymilk soup) and more.
Dim sum, niu rou mian and mee suah (mee sua) are popular warm dishes. In Korea, the name dim sum is often used synonymously with "Taiwanese dumplings." Locally, dim sum refers to a collection of small dishes, including dumplings with a variety of fillings. Niu rou mian is beef noodle soup. Similar to a soup dish favored by China but said to be less spicy and oily, this well-known meal is sometimes called "Taiwan ramen." Oyster vermicelli or mee suah is quite versatile. Animal intestines are added or substituted to taste.
Taiwan's climate has led to the development of night markets to escape the daily heat. Guests can find oyster omelets, gua bao (pork belly burgers), da chang bao xiao chang (sausage hotdogs), ji pai (fried chicken cutlet), di gua qiu (fried sweet potato balls) and yu yuan (balls made of the root vegetable taro).
Iced desserts and beverages are served throughout the day, including mango bingsu (shaved ice). It is made with ground frozen milk, mango slices and mango-flavored ice cream. Traditionally, tea is one of the most popular beverages enjoyed in Taiwan. Recently, iced sweet milk tea or "bubble tea," with tapioca pearls, are trendy among young tea-drinkers. Other desserts served alongside tea are large Taiwanese castella cakes, nougat crackers and feng li su (pineapple cake).
■ A taste of Taiwan
△ Mangolu (망고루)
A coffee and dessert cafe specializes in mango shaved ice topped with mango. It is served with additional toppings on the side and a cup of dry ice in the middle. This locale offers a sweet treat as well as an extraordinary experience.
Hours: 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Closed on the second and fourth Tuesdays of every month.
Address: 239-11, Dalmaji-gil, Haeundae-gu
How to get there: Jangsan Station (metro line 2), exit 8. Then, take Haeundae-gu 10 village bus and get off at Useongbillateu stop.
△ Bao Haus (바오하우스)
The most popular menu item here is bao, a Taiwanese steamed bun. Other diverse dishes include tomato egg stir-fry, mapo tofu (tofu cooked in a spicy sauce), beef noodle soup and dan dan noodles.
Hours: 11:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. with a break from 3 to 5 p.m. weekdays and 4 to 5 p.m. weekends.
Address: on the second floor, 62-9, Seojeon-ro 38beon-gil, Busanjin-gu
How to get there: Jeonpo Station (metro line 2), exit 7. Walk about three minutes.
△ Niurou Mian Guan-zi (뉴러우멘관즈)
This restaurant has an entirely local feel from the exterior to the interior, with a menu board written in Taiwanese. The menu focuses on authentic noodle dishes such as hong shao niu rou mian (red-braised beef noodle soup), wonton (dumpling) noodle soup and liang mian (cold noodles).
Hours: 11:30 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. with a break from 3 to 4 p.m.
Address: 25-4, Suyeong-ro 388beon-gil, Suyeong-gu
How to get there: Namcheon Station (metro line 2), exit 3. Walk about five minutes.