There are many specialty dishes across Taiwan, which vary depending on where you are on the island. Famous dishes can be found all over the island. Seafood, at least fresh seafood, can only be found closer to the water.
Kaohsiung City 高雄, Taiwan 台灣 is well-suited geographically in terms of fresh seafood. Luke and I asked the question, can we find incredible seafood anywhere in Taiwan? We traveled to Kaohsiung and took a ferry to Cijin Island 旗津區, a small island off the coast of the city to find out.
Where we come from in Eastern Canada, seafood is world renown. Our standard’s were high. However, the seafood on Cijin Island exceeded our expectations.
The restaurant is called 旗津海產店, which roughly translates to Cijin Seafood Shop.
It has mixed reviews when searched online: high ratings from tourists and lower ratings from locals. I believe this has two explanations. First, Cijin Island is full of tourists, and tourists get hungry. This place seemed pretty busy with lots of seafood craving visitors, which may deter locals as prices can be higher.
However, in comparison to seafood in Eastern Canada, or say, Japan where the prices are luxury, the quality, freshness with the price of seafood on Cijin cannot be matched! Cheap and delicious.
Upon walking to their entrance, you will see lots of different seafood options to choose from. They will walk around with you to answer any questions and put your choices in a basket. They’re menu is in Chinese and English, but I read in a review that they have helped Japanese speakers order with ease.
On the other side of the entrance you will notice large, clean tanks of live seafood. These include giant lobsters, prawns and crabs!
Regardless of the online reviews, we decided to try it out and have an open mind.
We ordered two medium sized crabs (the larger ones were expensive and out of our budget), stir fry squid with lots of vegetables and chilis, clam and ginger soup (a Taiwan classic) and stir fry water spinach with garlic.
Water Spinach stir fried with garlic. One of my favorite ways to eat greens!
Clam and ginger soup. You can get this soup all over Taiwan. It’s light and full of flavor. The perfect comfort food!
Squid dish stir fried with fresh vegetables and chilis. The sauce used was light and sweet!
The piece de resistence! Two delectable crabs steamed to perfection served with a sweet sauce with minced ginger and garlic!
I should mention that Luke and I didn’t ask the chefs to cook the food in a certain way. We just chose the raw seafood and they cooked it in their own special way. Now, I’m a huge garlic lover, so of course I thought it was a great touch to the seafood flavors which were fresh and light.
The verdict? The vegetables, squid and clam soup were of course delicious. They had all contrasting flavors, but a perfect balance between salty, sweet, oily, light and… garlicky (is that even a real word?). But the crabs…
The crabs we ate deserve a moment of silence. The meat was tender and slipped right out of the shell. For a smaller crab, there was a significant amount of meat on them.
One of our crabs even had roe inside. It added a new texture and flavor to the mix. The roe was crumbly, thick and bitter. It almost looked, felt and tasted like cheddar cheese!
If you looked closely at the crab bodies, you’ll see a few chunks of the roe. The roe are the orange chunks.
If you decide to try seafood here, I can assure you that you will not be disappointed. The freshness of the seafood, the methods the chefs use to cook the seafood, and the additional ingredients truly bring out the marvelous, natural essence of the seafood.
Luke even claimed that this was the best crab he’s ever eaten, and he’s tried many different kinds of crab!
We were very satisfied with our order, the service and of course, the price! We paid $950 NTD, which is equivalent to $42 CAD. This may be a higher price for Taiwanese standards, but in terms of seafood prices on a global scale, this is an incredible deal!
Want to try it yourself? Here is how to find it:
Address: No. 35 Miaoqian Rd., Cijin District
- In Kaohsiung City, hop on the MRT.
- You will need to get on the Orange Line and go to stop O1 Sizihwan.
- Leave from exit 2 and walk about 500 meters to Gushan Ferry Pier
The ferry costs $25 NTD for one way per person. It takes about 6-7 minutes to cross the water to Cijin Island.
Once you arrive on Cijin Island:
- Walk towards the market (which is slightly off to the right)
- This will bring you onto Miaoqian Rd, which you should follow almost all the way to the beach
- Before the beach, you will see 旗津海產店 on your right.
Here is the exact location on a map:
After that large meal, head over to Cijin Beach to relax, watch the waves and surfers and grab a bubble milk tea at one of the many market stalls along the beach! What a great way to enjoy Cijin Island!
Add this place to your Kaohsiung itinerary and you will not regret it! If you want more information, check out our video about our delicious seafood feast here or below! For any additional questions, leave us a comment below, send us a message on Facebook or tweet us @ChopstickTravel. We would be happy to answer any further questions the best we can!
Have a delicious seafood feast!!!
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