Eating at Alishan (阿里山), Taiwan.

The Alishan Forest Railway (阿里山森林鐵路) is a small, red choo-choo train that brings you up the winding track, passing by some 49 tunnels and 77 bridges. The journey takes about 3½ hours and is quite interesting as the porter cum guide gives quite a detailed description and explanation of the sights we pass by.

As Alishan’s main draw is it’s famed sunrise, we spent the night exploring the “town centre”, only a short walk away from our guest house which had a local post office, shops selling local products, restaurants, 7-11 and even a Starbucks Coffee!

Our first stop was at this shop – Sunrise (日出商店). Quite liked the look of this place, had a warm, cosy feel to it. It sold quite a bit of local products, mainly on local tea etc. But it was the fresh mochi that caught our eyes. I am a huge fan of yam (taro) so ended up choosing the black sugar one. It was once again, wonderfully soft and chewy. They had quite a variety of fillings, but I barely remember them now. Still the same goes for our group… everyone grabbed one and everyone shared.

As we walked further in search for our dinner, we stumbled upon this stall selling wild boar meat (烤山猪肉). The meat was sliced into pieces and seared over the hot plate before being served with garlic and lime. It was sinfully good! We “comforted” ourselves that the wild version was leaner, therefore we could have more pieces, Lol.

This grass jelly (烧仙草) stall ended up being one of the most visited spots of ours at Alishan, second only to the 7-11 store. The grass jelly drink is piping hot, and served with jelly bits like our local sago beads, with peanuts. The thick gooey concoction was comforting and tummy warming that I could slurp away at it the whole night if I had to. We did “tapao” (takeaway) some but it quickly solidified in the cold weather to the usual grass jelly cubes we were used to.

Our dinner was arranged for at this nearby restaurant, 山宾美味餐厅. It’s a tiny set up but with the wooden tones and timber finishes, it gave us this lodge cabin feel, which was homey and comforting. Plonked ourselves at the table and waited as the waitresses busied away. Very soon, our dishes were served one after the other and seriously, we had too much food! But it was oh so good, and made for one of the most memorable dinners, together with the brilliant company.

The cute paper bowls served. The steamed freshwater fish is a species local only to Alishan. It was smooth and sweet tasting.

Ma Po Tofu and Stir-fried cabbage. The tofu was a good accompaniment for the yummylicious Taiwanese short grain rice. And as for the cabbage, I do think that it’s sweeter and crunchier!

Stir fried mushrooms with clams and deep fried village chicken. I practically polished off the entire plate of mushrooms by myself coz I am the biggest mushroom fan. So fresh you can eat them raw! The chicken was well flavoured and luckily, smaller than usual! Lol. We were getting quite stuffed now!

To top it off, we had this huge hot pot bubbling away full of ingredients – meat, mushrooms, meatballs, clams, cuttlefish, corncobs, greens, tofu etc etc. All in all, quite a satisfying food and we had no complains about the quality of the dishes. Until now, my friends and I still reminisce about this dinner. 🙂

More coming up in Part 2…



  1. omg..i m already fulll looking at how this food!!

    epicuriousgirl says: which just shows how much we pigged out 😛 lol

  2. Simon Seow said

    So many ingredients. Slurp, slurp. Die lor like that, Precious Pea is posting food of HK and you posting food of Taiwan. I where go so much many to travel to two countries?

    epicuriousgirl says: lol. one country a year?

  3. Vanessa said

    i love your blog. All those food must have tasted good. Where are your from?

    epicuriousgirl says: hi. thanks for visiting. me from SJ 🙂

  4. cumi&ciki said

    the fresh mochi looks drool worthy.. making me salivate this sluggish monday morning.. lol

    epicuriousgirl says: oh it was good. now i regret not having more! 😛

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