Shi Lin (士林夜市) is Taipei’s largest and most famous night market. Night markets are big outdoor marketplaces that have tons of street food, games, shopping and other small stores. They are a lot of fun and happen to have some wonderful food. This night market is massive and has a huge amount of food vendors.
The main area for food vendors is an indoor area away from the main night market that has rows and rows of food vendors. I always look to see who’s busy as local Taiwanese will really flock to a place if it’s very good. We saw a huge line at Hao Da Da Ji Pai (豪大大雞排), which has no English name. We decided that is where we were going to eat (we had eaten a lot earlier so that is why I don’t have more pictures).
Hao Da Da Ji Pai serves a big fried chicken chop (雞排) that is similar to a pork chop except chicken. Taiwanese fried chicken tastes much different than American fried chicken because the batter is different; I believe it uses corn starch and sweet potato starch. It’s very crispy, not as oily as American fried chicken and the batter has a lot of five spice powder (wu xiang fen / 五香粉) and white pepper in it, so it’s quite flavorful. They dust it with a red pepper powder. It’s awesome and the version here is probably one of the best I’ve ever had. The outside is so crispy and flavorful, but the inside remains perfectly juicy. Really amazing fried chicken. It also happens to be massive, one piece is about as big as your face. 8.75/10
I highly recommend this if you are at Shi Lin although I’d recommend sharing it as it’s a lot of fried chicken for one person (I wasn’t really hungry after I ate it!).