I wandered Longshan Temple, home to burning incense and gold Buddhas, before descending into Huaxi Street Night Market. The cross-shaped market devotes stalls to sugar cane juice, number running, eel noodles, and egg cakes in the shape of Hello Kitty and farm animals. I even saw a booth specializing in snake. They kill it on the spot and turn it into soup, but not before mixing the blood with a shot of alcohol. They also had a cage of suckling mice, which my guide – a mysterious online TV journalist – also called “food”…for the snake. I opted for Wu Di Mango Shaving Ice (無敵芒果冰), famous for shaved ice since 1920.
Wu Di Mango Shaving Ice features a fast moving line with an inscrutable overhead menu (at least to me). That led to pointing and picking, which is a reliable ordering method.
Raw materials included fresh fruits and beans. My bowl of shaved ice touted earthy taro, mung bean, sweet mango and ladled sugar syrup. In retrospect, sweetened condensed milk would have been a good idea (isn’t it always?), but I still enjoyed this Taiwanese classic.