I've been having Chongqing hotpot for so many years and thought nothing could change my love for it but then came Taiwanese style hotpot at WuLao (無老鍋) last month....
No. 124, Section 1, Xinsheng S Rd,
Zhongzheng District, Taipei City
Mondays - Sunday AM11:30 ~ AM01:30
There are many WuLao stores across the whole of Taiwan with four stores in Taipei as of today, I visited the one listed in the address above. You definitely need to book early online, if you book closer to date you may either miss out or expect to eat at weird hours like after 10PM.
WuLao is most famous for it's Creamy Tofu (direct translation from Chinese is Ice Cream Tofu) and hotpot broth. You can visit the menu here.
We ordered half White Broth and half mild Red Broth. The White broth was made from ginseng, Chinese Herbs, chicken bones and large pork bones, the Red Broth was made from Chinese spices that can get pretty spicy. You can tell them what to leave out in your broth, e.g we didn't get ginseng in our White Broth.
We also ordered:
1. Creamy Tofu - x2
2. Scallop Paste
3. USA Boneless Short Rib
4. Fried Bean Curd Sheet
5. Egg Dumplings
6. Baby Cabbage
7. Fried Cheese Tofu with Fish Paste
The meal costed a total of approximately HKD650 for two people which is pretty reasonable given the quality of the food. In Hong Kong expect to pay approximately HKD800+ for decent hotpot between two people. By the way they do give some additional freebies so keep reading to find out.
Look at how much beef you get (yep it was quite heavy carrying the plate for the photo). The plate was even bigger than my face.
The waiter will come around from time to time to offer more tofu and duck's blood, we got one refill which was more than enough since Mr W. doesn't eat duck's blood. The restaurant is also very thoughtful and gave a bottle of free melon slushy as a palette cleanser which is what you really need after eating oily spicy food.
In terms of the food, the Creamy Tofu really tasted like vanilla ice cream (so good) and was quite unique so you must order that! The Egg Dumplings were interesting as the skin of the dumplings were made from egg. Another item that stood out to Mr W. and I was the Fried Cheese Tofu with Fish Paste, it is quite unique and the cheese oozes out of the tofu when you bite into it (literally was like a burst of happiness in your mouth). Ofcourse the beef was fantastic, we only wish we had more tummy space to order more of it. WuLao was where I started eating duck's blood for the first time in my life and now I'm totally hooked, I think I had about 10 pieces of duck's blood that night. I really hope I can visit this store one more time before moving back to Australia (yep so that's how I started being disloyal to Chongqing hotpot and started to shifting towards Taiwanese hotpot).
After an unforgettable meal at WuLao, we finished the night at Bar Mood, a bar that serves trendy cocktails.
Bar Mood 吧沐
No. 53號, Lane 160, Section 1, Dunhua South Road,
Da’an District, Taipei City
+886 905 773 621
We made a booking on Bar Mood's FaceBook Page two weeks beforehand for 9.30PM on a Sunday night. The bar was situated in an alleyway so might be a little hard to find.
There were different series of cocktails in the menu such as Flora Series and Fruit Series, the menu is quite helpful because it has a scale on the bottom of the page indicating the level of sweetness, smokiness etc. With some help from the waiters we ordered the Sweet Osmanthus Blossom and Silence of the Royal Court (you can see the details in the two photos below).
The presentation of the some of the cocktails were quite amazing and cool, for example the Silence of the Royal Court came in a little a traditional Chinese tea cup with a little matcha cookie on the side (same as the photo above) and my Sweet Osmanthus Blossom had a whistle like straw as well! I'm not a big drinker and I tend to take hours to finish my cocktail but as for my choice this time, it was super easy to drink and refreshing so I actually finished my drink within an hour! Both cocktails were NTD450 each which is similar to what you pay in Hong Kong. You can also order food at Bar Mood, we saw a man ordering 3 dishes to himself with a cocktail so the food must be quite good!
Hope you enjoyed my first Taiwan post and have a chance to visit the two places mentioned!
Until next time foodies! xoxo