Friday, April 03, 2015

revisited/street food: KO FU SHUI JIAN BAO at XINYI/GUANGFU

No. 355 XinYi Rd, Sec. 4 (XinYi/GuangFu intersection)

MRT: XinYi/AnHe

$ (NT$14/bao)

Kid friendliness: kids probably prefer all pork fillings. scallion pancakes also available

Visit reviewed: 2/3/2015

Recently an anonymous reader asked on an old post from 2008 about an address for the shui jian bao shacks on the corner of Xinyi and Guangfu, and since I had revisited it recently I thought I'd throw up photos of that corner's new look. The baos look (and taste) the same, but the shops got a facelift in the past few years with brighter red and orange signage. 

If you've never had a shui jian bao, it's basically a bun typically filled with pork or veggies and is steamed and pan fried at the same time, so that it has a nice golden crispy bottom.  Shui jian baos can work as a breakfast, lunch, dinner, afternoon snack, post meal snack, midnight snack... you get the idea!

2008 Xinyi/Guangfu baos
2015 Xinyi/Guangfu Baos
The English signage at Ko Fu Shui Jian Bao helps identify the different fillings for the baos, but there's still a little that got lost in translation. Fillings include black pork, radish, squash (not cucumber), mustard greens (not green mustard), leek, cabbage and bamboo shoots. Hey, five out of seven isn't too bad! I admit I'm human too... back in 2008 I said the shop was at the corner of Xinyi and Yanji, which isn't completely wrong since Yanji ends when it hits Xinyi, but is easier to find if you go to the intersection of Xinyi and Guangfu.

There's two different bao shops on the corner, the one on the front has the fancier sign and there's another one next to it. Which one is better? 

Ko Fu also has scallion pancakes, radish pancakes and soy milk. Once a long time ago, I think I also got a huge, fried crispy red bean pancake there for a snack. It was one of those things you wolf down because it's so good when it's hot and then regret eating the entire thing by yourself when it's over. It's probably still available somewhere on that corner- I've been scared to go back and look for it!

There's also a Yong He Dou Jiang right next door (which I have yet to try!) and then further down GuangFu, there's a Mango Cha Cha for those looking for mango shaved ice.  

The baos are NT$14 now and larger than the ones you'd find at Tonghua or Shilin night market and I prefer the juicier, crispier baos at the night market, where the pork juice is going to be dripping down your chin and you usually get it hot out of the pan, but when you're having those cravings during the day, this isn't a bad option. 

If you're looking for steamed baos instead, you can also try Chao Zhou Bao Zi on Lane 216, or worst case scenario, any 7-11 in Taipei! Man, now that I'm looking at that old post, I realized their signage got bigger and fancier too!!!! I'm going to have to do an update post for them too!


Nick said...

Do they open late? There is a great bar right around that corner called: The Speakeasy.

joanh said...

nick: i think they do open late. I've never been to the Speakeasy.. How is it?

Nick said...

The bar is fantastic. It's cheap, they do simple cocktails, and their food is fantastic.

It's an irish bar.

Anonymous said...

Jus tried this place today. Really good!

A few years back, I found a spot with some of the most epic baos. I believe it is just east of Yongchun Station, between Zhongxiao Dong Lu, section 5 and Linkou Lu, somewhere on Songshan Lu. I know that is a bit vague but totally worth it if you can find it.


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