Fifty Year Almond Tea 50年杏仁茶 – 雄好呷 #079 (khh)

An unassuming storefront in an unhappening alley… until the sun starts to set and night owls flock over.

Taiwanese people tend to eat dinner rather early, around 18h30 (which is insanely early by French standards where dinner service starts only around 19h30-20h), which explains that a few hours later, they start feeling peckish and have a late-night snack 宵夜(or ) ㄒ|ㄠ |ㄝˋ. For some, it’s a daily evening ritual, one that I’ve embraced as well. 😀

What is considered as a 宵夜? Well, it can be as simple as some fruits, a mug cake, a small bowl of noodles, a scallion pancake, as long as it’s edible, you’re doing it right. Venture out in the streets at night and you will inevitably stumble upon one of the 永和豆漿/四海豆漿/[fill-in the blank]豆漿 corner shops, open from the late evening ’til early morning, serving a variety of snack, mantou 饅頭 and traditional beverages like soy milk 豆漿, rice milk 米漿, etc… Other options can include the island’s beloved convenience stores like 7-11 or Family Mart, among others.

Coming from a country where these kind of nocturnal eateries would be unable to operate, I’m still not used to those odd opening hours, but hey, I’m not complaining!

10am, almost closing time, meaning all the good stuff is already sold out, no more hot almond tea, nor salad bun. :/
10 am on a Sunday, almost closing time, some of my favorite items are sold out, no more hot almond tea, nor salad bun. :/

If you’re not yet an adept of the 宵夜, then I suggest you give a try at Fifty Year (“Year” without the ‘s’ because that’s how they spell it). The business is actually well over 60 years old, but unlike other places celebrating each passing year, Fifty Year appears content enough to have reached the half decade mark and decided to be fifty forever.

Another peculiarity of Fifty Year is how it’s sharing the premises with a noodle shop, two businesses sharing a place used to be a common setup in the past to save up on rent, 「相逗市」is how the author names this kind configuration.

Just like A-Main Mochi, part of the fun about Fifty Year is actually going there. The Yancheng district tends to be deserted at night and with the dim-lighting, it creates a pleasant atmosphere to roam through the roads and alleys. At times, the shop is calm and there’s space to sit down, but at others, it’s assailed by packs of students from the nearby Sun Yat-Sen University.

No seats left means take-out and an improvised picnic at the Pier-2 Art Center 駁二藝術特區, in company of a few mosquitoes friends, of course.
Pictured from left to right: salad bun, (overly salted) egg bun, almond tofu, a small hot almond tea.

At Fifty Year, the star is the almond tea 杏仁茶 (tea in the sense of beverage, not from actual tea leaves) or almond milk (however you translate it), made in-house and without any artificial flavoring, which yields a delicate and subtle almond flavor. During cold times, I prefer to order it hot, the smooth and silky texture hits the spot, making me all warm and fuzzy inside. And who wouldn’t want to feel all warm and fuzzy inside?!

This is how I do it.
This is how I do eat. 😉

To go along with the almond tea, there’s a variety of sandwiches and breakfast fare. I usually stick to the cheese danbing 起司蛋餅 and (potato) salad bun 沙拉堡. If you want to go traditional, then a fried bread stick 油條 to dunk in the almond tea will suffice. On one occasion, I also got the almond tofu 杏仁豆腐 which the author had raved about during his book signing event, but the tofu turned out to be actually more of an agar-agar jelly, with a bit too firm texture for my liking, but that is up for each to judge.

As I looked up other blog reviews, I found out that Fifty Year has opened a small outpost near the Shinkuchan shopping district 新堀江 (Kaohsiung’s mini-Ximending), more about it here.

Next time a desire for hot almond tea arises, I’ll be glad to have this new place, but for the full 宵夜 treatment, a trip to the historical haunt will still be in order!

Additional Reviews+Photos: here, here, here and here.
Business hours: 18:30-noon, closed Sunday and Monday nights.
Price: 50NT+

Advertisements

10 thoughts on “Fifty Year Almond Tea 50年杏仁茶 – 雄好呷 #079 (khh)

  1. In Germany and in Finland I am used to eat latest 18.00 dinner which is usually only some bread. Guess how my word changed after I got together with my wife. Now its always eating earliest at 8pm 🙂

    Like

        1. I checked the guidebook, and if I understand it right, they also grind rice along with almond, I guess they do it for the texture. Anyway, I just don’t want to set expectations too high, lol.

          Like

  2. If you’re a fan of almond milk/almond tea/whatever its called, I recommend Yu’s Almond Tofu in Taipei. If you’re ever up north, give it a go. In the summer they have an almond shaved ice which is a sight to behold, and which I intend to try (I’ve only tried their almond drinks and ‘tofu’).

    Amusing comment by the way, about ‘reaching the half century mark and deciding to be fifty forever.’ Haha. I couldn’t agree more about the rather early dinner times here in the ‘wan. While I was working in a cram school in Changhua County (my initial residence in Formosa, I’m now in Taipei) some of my co-workers had their evening meal at 4:30. “Are you out of your mind?” I used to think.

    However, I also enjoy the late-night snacking culture that such early dinner times facilitate. So I’m not going to complain. Strange schedules, indeed, but isn’t it comforting to know that so many things are available here 24/7, just in case?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. 4:30pm is crazy early!!
      And thanks for the recommendation. I think I’ve actually been to Yu’s Almond Tofu, a good alternative to the many ice places in Taipei! 🙂

      Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s