Dan Shui (淡水)

Or Tamsui?

Yesterday, my family and various relatives went to visit Danshui, which is right near the ocean. It’s a popular tourist attraction in Taipei because it has beautiful scenery (mountains and ocean), and as a result it has a lot of street-side vendors, gift shops, and other attractions. There’s also a boat which takes one across the river to a restaurant on the other side. The name means “fresh water.”

From the moment I stepped off the subway, I think I did not stop eating until we boarded the subway train on the way back. Danshui is well known for its street food. You can get all sorts of things from special plum drinks to a variety of fried foods and ice creams. Let’s not forget the actual restaurants, which also sell all sorts of good things for good prices.

The first thing I had was this crunchy roll thing on a stick that you see on the right. The crunchy outside is a bit like the same one that we have in the USA on crab rangoon. It’s a deep fried food that consists of a wrapper rolled around meat and vegetables, sort of like an egg roll. It’s very tasty.

The next thing we had were quail eggs that were fried and put on a stick (picture to the left). This treat was my favorite. The vendor took each egg and cracked them into a mold (sort of like a metal frying pan, but with lots of holes in it)  to achieve the round shape. Once they were done frying he or she would put them on the stick and drizzle it with some sort of sauce and sprinkled with salt and pepper. I don’t remember what the sauce was, but the eggs were delicious. It’s like eating a tiny version of a fried egg. I could have eaten so many of these…

The next few things we ate were seafood dishes. These were deep fried fish balls and tiny crab legs. No shelling involved — the crab legs could be eaten as they were, and were quite tasty. They were sold by the bowl, garnished with salt and pepper and green onions. We ate these with skewers, shared. I’m not quite sure what was in the fish balls. I was a little nervous about eating the crab legs at first, but the texture wasn’t as unfamiliar and it tasted very good. I did prefer the fish balls. I think one of the bowls we ordered had deep fried shrimp in there. Picture below is of just the crab legs:

Here’s another seafood snack. The outside is this crunchy, deep fried (again!!!) coating, and the inside has oysters and green onions. It tasted good, but was not my favorite. The crunchy coating was a little too much for me and felt a bit too greasy.

At this point, we met up with another uncle and aunt, who took us to a restaurant for lunch. This restaurant was a tiny one which specialized in bao (white dough “dumpling” thing with meat on the inside) and fish ball soup. Both things were delicious, and we ordered only a little because we were all kind of full from the street food.

Here’s a plum drink that we had. I think it’s made out of some kind of dried plum. Not sure how it’s done, but it’s very good and it is kind of difficult to find it in the US except in some Asian grocery stores. The drink is a blend of sweet and tart. As an aside, I really like how their drinks are packaged: the top is sealed with plastic rather than with a lid to prevent spillage. You poke holes through the top with straws. I haven’t seen it that often in Rhode Island, though there is a bubble tea place in Providence that does seal the top. Their drinks are not nearly as good as this.

And here’s dessert. We had soft serve green tea ice cream from a tea shop type of place. I shared a cone with my mother. Loved it.

And… that’s our visit to Danshui!

2 Responses to “Dan Shui (淡水)”
  1. forsarap says:

    Omg it all looks so good!

  2. michael says:

    Gosh… all of those look delicious!

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