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Tasty traditional eating (and drinking) by Nantun District's Wanhe Temple--Lin Chin Shen Hsiang Aroma Study House, Beau Life Old Wumei Juice, Zhong Nan Brown Rice Bran, Fu Ji Meatballs

Words and translated by Yinno Yeh

Lin Chin Shen Hsiang Aroma Study House

(04) 2389-9859
94, WanHe Rd, Sec 1, Nantun Dist
Hours: Thu-Sun 10:30 am-6 pm

In earlier times, Taichung's unique jute leaves were mainly made into soups. The 150-year-old Lin Chin Shen Hsiang Pastry Shop opened its Aroma Study House with the goal of passing along traditional jute cuisine by integrating new elements and using them in desserts and drinks. This includes preserving the fragrance of jute leaves but removing their bitterness. All set-menu meals (NT$220-250) include a main dish, drink and dessert specially designed by the chef to complement each other, with paired items such as the Jute Sun Cake with Deep Roasted Coffee or Jute Chiffon Cake with Jute Latte. The a la carte menu includes not only fresh option like Jute Ice Cream (NT$160), Jute Bagel with Jam (NT$100) and Roasted Wheat Flour with Milk (NT$130), but also Taiwanese pastries like Pineapple Pie (NT$60) and Pink Champion Cake (NT$60). DIY pastry-making activities can be arranged by phone or in person.

林金生香研香所 林金生香研香所


Beau Life Old Wumei Juice

555, NanTun Rd, Sec 2, Nantun Dist
Hours: 10 am-8:30 pm

A once-nameless millet mochi shop on Nantun Old Street was transformed into Beau Life Old Wumei Juice Shop this year, selling smoked plum juice. From the shop logo to labels on containers, all details here have been designed by the Liu family owners. In contrast to other ordinary stores, for example, the attractive shop sign features the owners' calligraphy. The smoked plum juice sold here is hand made with two days of braising and seven hours of steaming, using brown rock sugar instead of white sugar and no food dyes or preservatives. With its bittersweet flavor and sweet aftertaste, this beverage is a refreshing, traditional summer drink reputed to have health benefits, especially for the digestive system. Plain and white gourd flavors are sold by the cup (NT$45-55) and bottle (NT$70-150) with more flavors being introduced in the near future.

Beau Life Old Wumei Juice  Beau Life Old Wumei Juice


Zhong Nan Brown Rice Bran

(04) 2389-3519
670, NanTun Rd, Sec 2, Nantun Dist
Hours: 9 am-10 pm (closed Sun)

Brown rice bran, a common nutrition source in early rural society, contains high levels of vitamin B and fiber and can also boost the metabolism and balance blood sugar. Zhong Nan is Nantun District's only shop that has insisted on using traditional processes to make brown rice bran over the past 40 years. All natural ingredients, like brown rice, soy beans, wheat and coix seeds, have to go through four steps to become brown rice bran, first being baked separately under high temperatures and high pressure before being popped in a traditional machine like popcorn, which creates a distinctive sound for those walking down Nantun Old Street. Finally, all ingredients are ground into powder and mixed together. Besides brown rice bran (NT$120-150), other options include black bean powder (NT$150), coix seed powder (NT$110) and almond powder (NT$300).

Zhong Nan Brown Rice Bran Zhong Nan Brown Rice Bran


Fu Ji Meatballs

(04) 2386-2724
648, NanTun Rd, Sec 2, Nantun Dist
Hours: Mon-Fri 9 am-9 pm

Taiwanese meatballs ("ba-wan") are a not-to-be-missed traditional street food. Located near Nantun Old Street, Fu Ji sells handmade "ba-wan" (NT$35) with a mildly chewy skin and tender luscious meat. Different from the commonly used sweet chili sauce, Fu Ji's homemade chili bean sauce provides a finishing touch, enhancing the savory, but not too salty, flavor of the meatballs. In addition to the homey atmosphere here, retro foods such as Mitaimu Noodles (NT$35) and Sesame Paste Noodles (NT$45) help take customers back to the good old days. "Tangyuan" glutinous rice balls and Green Bean Soup (NT$40) are also served in different seasons and frozen dumplings (NT$40 for 10) can be ordered by phone a day ahead of time.

Fu Ji Meatballs  Fu Ji Meatballs


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