Enjoy authentic Taiwanese cuisine at Bifu Tainan in a traditional Kyoto machiya townhouse
Close to the Kyoto Imperial Palace, by the intersection of Kawaramachi and Marutamachi streets, you’ll find a Taiwanese restaurant run by a Japanese couple, offering authentic cuisine from the island also known as Formosa. The restaurateur started running a Taiwanese restaurant because he wanted to offer the Taiwanese people living in Kyoto a chance to enjoy authentic Taiwanese food in Kyoto. This is why almost everything in the restaurant is Taiwanese, from the vintage posters, books, and figurines all the way to the tablecloths, which are in the style of the Hakka people of Taiwan.
At Bifu Tainan you can enjoy such Taiwanese classics as lu rou fan (braised pork belly rice bowl), Taiwanese fried pork cutlet bento boxes, and the Taiwanese dessert douhua, also known as tofu pudding. This restaurant is not only popular among Taiwanese people who want to have something that reminds them of home, but it has also become popular among the locals too. For dinner, they also offer Taiwanese popcorn chicken, so if you want to try this famed taste of Taiwan’s night markets, be sure to visit Bifu Tainan!
Fried pork cutlet bento box
/ ￥800 (+tax)
The fried pork cutlet in this bento box is made in Taiwanese style, meaning that it’s first deep fried, and then cooked in a Taiwanese sauce, making it both juicy and crisp. Plus it goes perfectly with rice! This day we got half a tea egg, deep-fried tofu, pickles, and Taiwanese sausage in the bento box. You can have this bento box to go or eat it at the restaurant, in which case you can also have it served to you not in a box, but on a plate.
*Note that the ingredients of the bento box change often.
Ta-a noodles Tainan-style
/ Small: ￥400 (+tax) Medium: ￥600 (+tax) Big: ￥800 (+tax)
One of the most famous dishes hailing from Tainan in Taiwan is ta-a noodles, a dish made with a broth taken from shrimp heads. The soup is as delicious as its clear, and besides the shrimp on the soup you also have great greasy bits of pork in it too. The noodles themselves have a nice bit of chewiness to them, and the soup has a bit of garlic in its taste, which combined with the cilantro makes this dish taste like Taiwan. In the picture you can see a small portion of ta-a noodles.
Ba bao bing shaved ice
/ ￥600 (+tax)
Ba bao bing is a Taiwanese shaved ice dish made with many ingredients. In this case it contains peanuts, tapioca, red and green beans, and other ingredients. The crunchy ice is then topped with condensed milk, making this a refreshing dessert to have on a hot summer day.
*The ingredients are subject to change.
Butterfly pea flower tea
/ At the restaurant: ￥600 (+tax) To go: ￥500 (+tax)
The butterfly pea flower tea is a kind of herbal tea which is said to be good for your skin. When you add some lemon to it, the color turns to a purplish blue. And as long as you don’t mix it, you’ll get a beautiful graduated color. There are no artificial colorings used in this tea, so you can drink it with a good conscience. This is a great refreshing summer tea!