All of the reviews and tips solely reflect my personal opinion.
1.Feng Jia Night Market, Taichung – 5/5
2.Rui Feng Night Market, Kaohsiung – 4.5/5
3.Rao He Night Market, Taipei – 4.5/5
4.Hua Yuan Night Market, Tainan – 4.25/5
5. Yi Zhong Jie, Taichung – 4/5
6. Liu He Night Market, Kaohsiung – 3.75/5
7. Shilin Night Market, Taipei – 3.25/5
8. Tong Hua Night Market, Taipei – 3/5
9. Shi Da Night Market, Taipei – 2.75/5
1. DS Music Restaurant – 4.5/5
2. Modern Toilet – 3.75/5
Points for creativity.
Pearl Milk Tea, since I am a half shot wonder
1. Hot Star Chicken Fry Japanese Roasted Milk Tea 豪大大雞排淡水店 5/5
How can you say no to a large milk tea with an ACTUAL tea bag in it? I was mind blown when we peered into the cup after gleefully gulping down the drink in all of 10 seconds. Only negative is it is a bit on the relatively pricey size, 70 NT since it only comes in a large cup.
2. Come Buy 現泡の茶公館店 5/5
Although not as amazingly fresh as the Hao Da Ji Pai tea (no teabag, sad face), Come Buy holds it own with its trademark 絕代雙Q (fancy schmancy name for Boba + QQ Ramen Milk Tea). The price is cheap too – 25 for a small cup and 35 NT for a large cup. Apparently they offer a roast milk tea option as well, but I didn’t have time to try it. For those who are wondering, QQ Ramen is this clear jello/vermicelli-like goodness that adds amazing texture to the milk tea. Its a must try! If you are stuck in America, Verde Cafe in Cupertino offers a second rate version of QQ Ramen to appease the QQ-Ramen lover’s cravings. Thats why you will see me there everyday after I return to the Bay Area.
3. Georg Peck 喬治派克台中一中街店 5/5
Back to basics, but done oh so well. We ordered the classic tapioca milk tea, and it was delivered with absolute freshness and attention to detail. There was a fresh after taste after each sip that was simply divine. We ordered it to go since we were stuffed from the night market goodies, but it was still fresh and delicious by the time we enjoyed it back at hotel more than 30 minutes later. Tip: Order your drink as 少糖（80％ Sugar) and 少冰 (less ice) for optimal taste.
4. Random Airport Boba (Near Eva Airline’s Hello Kitty Terminal) 4.5/5
Perhaps I am extra generous since this was my last authentic Taiwanese boba prior to takeoff, but this pearl milk tea experience was one to remember. The tea itself had a great balance in sweetness, but the real star of the show were the pearls. OH MAN – those pearls were perfect. The texture, the chewiness..I was in heaven (almost) as I stared out sullenly at the adorable but evil Hello Kitty aircraft that was going to lift me out and away form heaven.
5. 50 Arashi (50嵐) 台灣各地分店 3.5/5
Hmm..this was one of the pearl milk tea names that stuck to me since my 2009 boba-gobbling summer abroad at NTU. I had it quite often since there always happened to be one near me whenever I was craving boba. While its still super yummy, it doesn’t have that same oomph that I remember. The pearls were good, the milk tea was yummy, the service was nice, and my tummy was happy. So yay.
6. Gong Cha 貢茶高雄中區店 3.5/5
So Gong Cha is also hot here in Hong Kong, so I’ve had quite a few Gong Cha’s in my tummy since plopping down in Hong Kong back in January. However, I learned from my sweet friend Karen that I’ve been ordering the wrong thing the entire time. Gong Cha is all about the Nai Gai Tea, and – gasp! – not about the milk tea. Its a cool concept, although plenty of the millions of other boba stands and tea chains have caught on quickly. There is a thick layer of sweety foaming goodness floating at the top of the drink, with your choice of drink at the bottom. The proper way to consume this funky little beverage is have the cashier cut a small slit into the laminated “cap” of the cup. Then you sip from this slit so the milky foam & the tea have an orgasmic union in your mouth. And then you go ahhh.
1. Powa Hotel 寶華商旅 台中市中區綠川西街123號(第一廣場) 4.75/5
5 Stars for the price. 5 Stars for the accommodation. ($1,200 NT a night for a deluxe luxury suite with huge bed, jacuzzi, and an entire wall devoted to a funky nightlight waterfall painting). 5 Stars for the location (right next to Taichung Train Station & Bus Stations at First Plaza, with taxis always waiting right outside the door). -.5 stars for unstable wifi. +.25 stars for lobby computer with decently fast internet, although guarded by evil mosquitos. Note: we stayed there 2 nights for the same low price, but both nights were weeknights. Prices may be considerably higher during weekends or peak season, so make sure you do research beforehand. Here is their website: http://www.powahotel.com.tw/
2. Kind Business Hotel 凱得來大飯店 4/5
My sweet friend found this hotel for us. Definitely 5 stars for location and price! It was within 5 minutes walking distance from the Kaohsiung main station MRT, Train Station, and 5 different long-distance bus centers including Guo Guang & Aloha. If you walk the other way, its only a block or two down from the famous Liu He Tourist Night Market, as well as the Formosa Boulevard MRT exit. It was also only 980 NT/night for a private double bed ensuite. The room was decently nice, but I took off points for the bathroom (no shower curtain so water got everywhere, toilet was a little funky) as well as the unstable internet/lighting system. Also, the AC is controlled centrally, so you need to call them to adjust it. Breakfast is complimentary, where a nice old lady makes you decent toast with egg and tomatos, soup, and some juice/tea.
1. JV Hostel 4.75/5
2. Sunny House Taipei 4.25/5
3. Fun Taipei Backpackers 3.75/5
4. Taiwan Happy Family 2/5