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Just a stop away from the popular shopping district of Ximending, Longshan Temple is total different world. As we alighted at Longshan Station, we were greeted by scenes of Taiwanese elderlies playing chess, musical instruments, doing tai chi and singing karaoke. A big contrast to Ximending where the crowd is prodomidantly youngsters and tourists.
Longshan Temple is one of the largest and oldest temples (built in 1738) around in Taiwan. It still retains a lot of its original features and architectural design. Around Longshan Temple, there are traditional eateries, antique shops, Buddhists article shops, and Chinese medicine shops surrounding the temple.
Chow’s Porridge 周记肉粥 is highly recommended by our Taiwanese friends. It is an eating establishment that has been around for ages. We can’t really resist any eateries with long history serving 古早風味，”taste from the olden days”. Menu is in Chinese only; here’s a translated version done by us.
Chow’s Porridge is distinctively different from the usual Teochew or Guangdong porridge. It comes in an unappetizing looking brownish hue, a result of boiling rice with deep fried pork bits and home made crispy fried shallots. It was really tasty; as the porridge has been infused with the wonderful aroma of shallots.
We ordered a few side dishes to be shared amongst the two of us. The single serving of poached squid was slightly chewy.
Pork’s cheek is known as the most tender part chunk of meat. True enough, the pork cheek was braised until meltingly tender and requires little chewing actions.
The piece de resistance here is the deep fried pork. We think that the slightly reddish skin comes from the addition of Chinese red wine yeast. The crispy batter was light and thin while the meat still retained its juiciness, even after deep frying. Highly recommended!
Add: No. 104號, Guǎngzhōu Street, Wanhua District Taipei City, Taiwan 108
Alight at Longshan Temple Station (Banqiao Line), turn right to Guangzhou Street as you see Longshan Temple right in front of you. Walk for 5 minutes.
Just across the road from Chow’s Porridge, one can visit Bo Pi Liao 剝皮寮, which includes the filming location of the movie “Monga“. It is a Taiwanese gangster film set in 1980s Taipei. Wanhua district where Longshan Temple is located used to be a gangster area, just like Hong Kong’s Yaumatei.
At the Bopiliao Historic District, visitors can see well-preserved streets and traditional shop homes from the Qing period, as well as buildings from the Japanese occupation and early post-war periods. These buildings have witnessed the development of the Monga area (Wanhua District) over the years and form an important part of Taipei’s historic urban landscape.
Entrance is free, so it is worthy for visitors to discover the historic value of the streets and culture here.
剝皮寮 Bo Pi Liao
Opens from 9am to 6pm, every Tuesday to Saturday.
Directly opposite 周記肉粥店 Chow’s Porridge
Next Up: Yong Fu Ice Cream & Niu Dian Beef Noodles @ Wanhua Districts