Chinese love eating. For the best Chinese cuisine, there is nowhere else in the world to match Taiwan. Eating adventure can be complimented by Chinese tea, Taiwan beer, Chinese rice wine, Shaohging V.O. or Hua Tiau. Virtually all those in the famous restaurants have bilingual menus with pictures. Some of the most popular styles are as follows:
Peking style, encompassing most northern provinces, is mild and based on wheat rather than rice. Noodles steamed fried breads, pancakes and dumplings are the staples of any meal. Vinegar and garlic are common ingredients. Peking duck is the best-known dish of this style. Other favorite dishes include sauteed beef with scallions in soy sauce and hot sour soup with sweetish plum sauce, etc.
Cantonese food preserves the texture and brings out the natural flavors. Canton province provides remarkable seafood from its extensive coast, and the beef, port, vegetables and mushrooms are all extraordinary. Therefore, favorite dishes include dim sum, whole steamed fish, roast duck, roast pigeon, poached chicken, Chinese broccoli with oyster sauce, and a wide range of crispy green vegetables sauteed to perfection.
Shanghai style is renowned for superb preparation of both fresh and saltwater fish and mollusks. Shang-hai food is slightly spicy and greasy, and its sauces tend to be rich and sweet. Popular choice includes fried prawns, drunken chicken, steamed crab, west lake vinegar fish and steamed dumplings.
Taiwanese food is light, simple, easy to prepare, often liberally spices with ginger; fried dishes are frequently cooked in pork fat. Like Shanghai cuisine, Taiwanese cuisine features excellent seafood. Good choices are poached shrimp or squid, grilled eel, fried shrimp rolls and grilled clams.
Vegetarian has become a vogue in recent years. At a bigger restaurant, many dishes are shaped like meats with romantic titles on the menus. The typical mixed vegetable dishes may consist of bean curd, peas, corn, bamboo shoot, beans and mushrooms. Lo-han mixed vegetable dish is always the best.
Mongolian barbecue originated among the normads of Mongolia, and has been refined to a new level of excellence in Taiwan. Mongolian barbecue consists of meat poultry and vegetables for patrons to fill their bowls with to be broiled on a big grill.
As a tourist destination and international commercial center, Taiwan also offers variety of cuisines. American, Italian, Japanese, Indian, German, French and Swiss style are easily found in the big cities. All major hotels have at least two dining rooms, one serving Western and the other serving Chinese cuisine. Major restaurants offer Western foods, along with countless snack centers (generally in department stores) and fast food outlets.
Chinese food contains more than 200 different appetizers and snacks with foods ranging from the imperial palace to small villages. Snacks usually consist of dumplings, and pastries stuffed with prawns, beef, pork, and vegetables.
A living cultural legacy which thrives in Taiwan is the culinary tradition of hsiao chif, loosely translated as "snacks". The best place to sample a variety of Taiwan snacks is the night market - a large covered area with hundreds of stalls offering food and serving dishes.
Taiwan, having a warm and lush subtropical climate, is renowned for "A Paradise of Fruits." People in Taiwan or visitors can choose from a wide variety of fresh, succulent fruit all year found, such as banana, grape, watermelon, lychee, pineapple, mango, orange, strawberry, pomelo, starfruit, etc.