Eating at Alishan (阿里山), Taiwan – Part II

the main activity that most tourists at Alishan go for is sunrise viewing apart from the usual hiking etc. so we too woke up at 5am to get ready to go to the viewing plateau. it was far colder than we were used to but i enjoyed the crisp morning air.

anyhow the cool mountain air sure helped us build an appetite as we found ourselves scouring for food despite having scoffed down a serving of french toast at the hotel earlier. the “town centre” was still bustling with tourists so we skipped the restaurants and ended up at a row of stalls near the car park.

Started off with the Mushroom Porridge (香菇粥) & Dong Guai Duck Soup (当归鸭汤). The porridge was more like rice drenched in soup, Lol. I can’t recall the taste of the soup, so it wasn’t spectacular enough. Hehe. However, both were quite oily, which was the main reason why we couldn’t finish all that we ordered.

Also decided to try Taiwan’s version of the Malaysia Lou Shi Fun (老鼠粉), by the name of Mi Tai Mu (米台苜) & the Kway Teow Soup (粿仔条). The MTM was chewier and longer than the M’sian LSF and looked very similar to their vermicelli. The Kway Teow was much bigger than ours, and had a chewy bite too, like our M’sian Pan Mee. The broth was quite plain, and as per the other dishes, too oily.

Instead of boarding the train again, we decided to take the minivan down the winding roads. The journey included a brief stop at Fenchihu. A quaint stop that boasts an old shopping street, with stalls selling all kinds of food and souvenirs, stretching down a whole street. Even though the most famous refreshment available here is the bento lunch box (奮起湖便當), we have also heard much about the cudweed cake (草仔糕), also known as the “Tsa A Kueh” and the Yam Cake.

The stall selling the chinese cakes is always surrounded by a crowd so one can’t possibly miss it. The Cudweed cake sells out quite quickly so I was quite lucky to get it. The dough is greenish due to the use of the cudweed grass (鼠麴草). The filling is mostly dried radish and meat or some other vegetables. I quite like it, very glutinous (as you can probably see from the photos) and very delicious (despite looking unappetising :P). The yam cake on the other hand, was well mixed with whatever ingredients in it. It was very dense, and tasted so. Definitely preferred the cudweed cake to the yam version. Does make for a good snack.

However, one can’t visit Fenchihu and not try their famous bento lunch boxes. So we went to the Fenchihu Hotel (奋起湖大饭店) for their version of the lunch box. There was already quite a big crowd in the main dining hall and we had to go down to the basement to get an empty table. The rice was already prepacked in these wooden tubs, complete with 4 types of local vegetables, including the cold bamboo shoots, half a braised egg, pork chop and a chicken drumstick.

Generally it was very good though I didn’t like the local vegetables much. Maybe coz I wasn’t too clear about what I was eating. Lol. Esp. the red coloured strands. But it was quite an experience finally being able to taste the famous lunch box this town is famous for.

Despite wanting to spend more time exploring Fenchihu, we ended up leaving as soon as lunch was finished as we were short on time and had a train to catch from Chiayi to Taipei.



  1. olduvai said

    Oh those are great pictures!

    epicuriousgirl says: thanks! 🙂

  2. what is cudweed? looks cool.. i wanna try !!!

    epicuriousgirl says: it’s some kind of grass ler.. but not sure what. can google and see the photos 🙂

  3. Simon Seow said

    The mushroom looks so fresh.

    epicuriousgirl says: yeah it was. tried having them whenever I could when I was in Taiwan coz I love mushrooms.

  4. d_luaz said

    Hi, I am Desmond. this is the 2nd time I am leaving a comment here because I couldn’t reach you by email.

    I run a foodie search site – Malaysia Most Wanted Food ( to allow easy searching of yummy food reviews and recommendations by blogger. I am wondering would you be interested to allow the site to link to (and archive) the food reviews in your blog (we shall respect the copyright of your content).

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  5. Ashley said


    I got ur webbie address from my fren’s blog (coz she wanted to go to taiwan too and she recommended that we check out ur site!) and i muz say, the pictures are amazing! I will be going to taiwan end of May, and i will definitely check out the stuff u recommended. Thank you! Plz update more yeah =)

    epicuriousgirl says: thanks for visiting and I hope you have a great time in Taiwan! I have a couple more entries on Taiwan coming up. 🙂

  6. […] is Ah Lan (阿兰), a famous shop here selling the yam cake (芋粿) and cudweed cake (草仔粿) I mentioned trying in Fenchihu. Business must be quite good as a group of women were seated, furiously kneading […]

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