Small eats, and a lot of them, are the big thing in Taiwan.
The culinary philosophy here is eat often and eat well.
Sure, there's the internationally accepted three-meals-a-day dining format, but why be so limited when you can make like the Taiwanese and indulge in gourmet snacking at any time of the day?
The Taiwanese capital, Taipei, has around 20 streets dedicated to snacking.
Every time you think you've found the best streetside bao, the most incredible stinky tofu or mind-blowing beef noodle soup, there's always another Taiwanese food shop that surpasses it.
Taiwan. Home to the first Hello Kitty-themed café, Hello Kitty-themed airplanes and now - taking cute perhaps one step too far - the world's first Barbie-themed restaurant.
Licensed by U.S. toymaker Mattel, Taiwan restaurant company Sinlaku on Wednesday opened the Barbie Café on Zhongxiao road, one of the busiest shopping districts in the capital, Taipei.
The café's decoration, costing TW$50 million (US$1.7 million), is mostly in suitably Barbie-style magenta and pink.
The furniture couldn't be more princess-y - bar tables look like the heel of a stiletto, chair backs resemble bustiers (some with a tutu) and chandeliers are shaped like elegant teapots and teacups with saucers. Barbie dolls and logos adorn walls and tabletops.
Read the full story - Tutus, tiaras and tiramisu: World's first Barbie restaurant opens
Wong Ching Tuen, the 49-year-old proprietor of Under Bridge Spicy Crab, can recall the days when the restaurant was just a dai pai dong under the Jaffe Road bypass.
"It is right at this corner 21 years ago," said Wong. "We had more than 20 big tables. You can imagine how massive and crowded it was."
In the past, foodies flocked to Causeway Bay for the delectable seafood that is caught, cooked and served in the neighborhood’s typhoon shelters and dai pai dongs. But as the government clamped down on street eateries, Wong moved his business to a small store in the area.
Fifteen years later, the humble greasy spoon has expanded to four branches in Hong Kong. Wong's restaurant, Under Bridge Spicy Crab, is one of our highly recommended picks for Hong Kong's best seafood in the CNNGo Best Eats 2010 selection.
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