Before I begin with this post, let me thank Mr. Jacky Yen, the owner of Taipei 101 Snacks for inviting us having some real Taiwanese street snacks in Jakarta. As he told me that night, people in Indonesia (or let’s say: Jakarta) probably recognize Taiwanese food in only 3 big categories: crispy chicken, bubble teas, and desserts. Well, as a real Taiwanese himself, he wants to introduce that there are so much more about Taiwanese food that Indonesians can enjoy, therefore he opens his first outlet of Taipei 101 Snacks since 1 month ago.
Taipei 101 Snacks is not just another addition to the 3 categories above. Selling 2 main street snacks that have been popular in Taiwan for more than 50 years, it is certainly something that we thought we SHOULD try. You won’t find fancy and nicely decorated spacious restaurant, in contrary, it is just a simple stand inside the Food Plaza PIK, and honestly although it usually takes me around 45 minutes to go to PIK from home through freeway (excluding the traffic jam), but I was excited and very eager to give this a try, that’s why I didn’t mind going through all the traffic problem to visit this place.
Bomber Pie IDR 22K
The first snack is called 炸蛋蔥油餅 (Zha Dan Cong You Bing), which is literally translated as fried egg, scallion, oil, cake; and more popularly known as Bomber Pie. Why? According to Mr. Jacky, when it’s put into the oil, the eggs make it seems like the cake explodes, hence the name. Here, the bomber pie is served with crispy chicken as the filling, and a certain original sauce is added into the chicken. Actually, in Taiwan, people eat the bomber pie without any filling, and it’s already tasty and delicious eaten like that. And also, the eggs are not fried until like how we find here, the egg yolk is kept raw so it breaks and spread away nicely when we take a bite.
The bomber pie is best eaten directly from the paper wrap just like the picture below. Since it’s mostly sold in street stalls or food market, they are usually served right from the pan so the hot temperature of the pie inside the wrap gives the certain wetness and keeps the pie moist. In contrary, if served on a plate, it will contact with the air and the pie will become dry and hard sooner.
|Served with chili sauce is also another option to enjoy Bomber Pie!|
|Another way to enjoy Bomber Pie, but not recommended, because it will get dry and hard faster this way.|
Personally, I and the rest of Food Escape crews were so THRILLED when we had our first bites! The bomber pies are seriously DELICIOUS (with capslock and bold font, yes) and as we had never tried the original ones in Taiwan, we had no standard to compare them to. We just tried it as first-timers, and we simply LOVED these pies. The pies have the crispy outer layer and the taste is dominated by fried egg, while the inside we have the crispy chicken with the original sauce that tastes heavenly good. The sauce has this complex combinations of Worcestershire sauce, oyster sauce, and most probably loads of herbs and spices as well. It’s not too strong, but very nice to accompany the chicken and egg in one whole taste. As the icing on the cake, the size is quite big and fulfilling too!
Che Len Pie IDR 9K
The other snack that they sell is the 車輪餅 or Che Len Pie, literally translated as Wheel Cake. According to Mr. Jacky, this snack is also very popular in Taiwan, and originally inspired from Japanese dorayaki, but modified by Taiwanese people afterwards. (In another note, I found out that in Japan, this kind of snack is also known in Japan as imagawayaki, and was first started sold there during Edo period in 18th century). Taipei 101 Snacks‘ Che Len Pie is available with 5 fillings: red bean, cheese, chocolate cream, vanilla cream, chocolate cheese. The red bean and vanilla cream, along with the machine are directly imported from Taiwan to assure the flavors and qualities.
The cakes are very soft but also surprisingly solid. Our first try was the red bean one, and we were simply astonished by how moist the cake was, not to mention the overloaded red bean inside!! I don’t know, this is probably only for food tasting that the red bean was THAT much, but still. It hit me that I had ever tried this cake in Asian street market in Sydney, Australia, and the stall is also owned by Taiwanese, but I remember the fillings were sooo little that time. The red bean texture was very nice, soft but still had the bean texture in it, exactly the kind that I like. Oh yes, despite the softness, the outer part was very crispy and I just couldn’t get this out of my head! YUM!!
After the red bean, we also tried the chocolate cheese and vanilla cream ones. The chocolate cheese taste just like martabak mini, and is not really my favorite. The vanilla cream though, was SUPERB. Actually, I am not really a cream, cheese, or milk person as most of the time I just can’t stand the smell and the weird taste in my mouth, but well, this one certainly hit the bullet. I really, really had certain connection with the vanilla cream because it clicked right away with my taste buds, LOL! It was fragrant, soft and smooth, not too milky like usual cream. In a word? LOVE!
Mr. Jacky told us that some fillings are available to satisfy local people’s taste, well, you get the idea. And also, in Taiwan, the fillings are not made as sweet as the ones in Indonesia, some things are modified to adjust what people like here without losing the originality.
Fried Chili (Cabai Goreng) IDR 99K/box
This is actually still an experimental product, because I personally think people either love it or hate it. A spice lover like me was hooked right away and totally purchased this for myself after I tried it. I think they are quite brave to sell something like this (and the price is not cheap, too) because it’s simply a yes or no, nothing in between. The ingredients are stuffed chili, peanuts, and green peas that are fried and mixed with another spicy powders, making it super hot and spicy! It comes in 3 flavors: Seaweed, Cheese, and Hot & Mumbling. When I had my first bite of the chili, I didn’t feel the hotness immediately. After I ate 3-4 of them, I felt some kind of burning and tingling on my tongue followed by loss of sensation for a while afterwards. Told ya it was super hot and spicy! Although those 3 flavors are similarly delicious, my favorite is the Hot & Mumbling, using Chinese spices added with corianders making it simply unforgettable. Well, to be honest, I am munching on that right now as I am typing because I bought one box for myself back home! XD
It was my first time going to Food Plaza PIK and although I was horrified by how it looks (ugly building, scary basement parking, hot environment, I can go thousand years just to badmouth this place, seriously!), but it was totally worth it. I really had so much fun learning about Taiwanese street snacks in general, and how to eat bomber pie properly (LOL!) and meeting such a humble, fun and informative host like Mr. Jacky. I know this won’t be my first and only visit and I will definitely come back soon to get my dosages of the pies and cakes! ^____^
BTW, there are currently some promotions going on:
- Buy 5 Che Len Pie, Get 1 Free
- Like the Facebook Page, check in and upload photos to the FB/Twitter/Instagram, get Buy 1 Get 1 Free, available until May 31st, 2014 to commemorate Mother’s Day.
Anyway, thanks for having us and I can’t wait for the upcoming menu! Good luck!
Taipei 101 Snacks
Food Plaza PIK
Jl. Pantai Indah Kapuk Boulevard
Pantai Indah Kapuk (PIK)
Ph. +62 812 9425 7812
Opening Hours: Mon-Sun 17.00 – 22.00