Seven dishes adventurous diners can’t miss. Warning: the dishes are not for the queasy (動盪).
You don’t need to drive to Sandimen to try exotic indigenous dishes. They are available right here in Kaohsiung City at the Urban Aboriginal Tribe Restaurant (城市部落原住民餐廳). To add to a memorable dining experience, the restaurant features live performances. In addition to live music, customers are encouraged to participate and dance traditional dances with the performers. It’s also a popular place to celebrate birthdays.
Indigenous cuisine consists of wild game and vegetables. The people lived off the land. Tribes near the coast and on islands lived off the ocean and seafood. Tribes living in the mountains hunted game. While the list is exotic to many foreigners, they are traditional dishes for indigenous people. Taiwanese indigenous cooking method is rather simple. They either grill or stone cook their meat.
#7: Drunken Hog (豬肉) Salad
Chinese and indigenous dishes have some rather colorful and fanciful names, like “Lover’s Tear” and “Black Night Shade” vegetables. We venture to say that this salad may have a dash of rice wine as it is common in indigenous cuisine, hence the name.
#6: Sizzled Ostrich (鴕鳥) Meat
Originating from Africa, Ostrich meat has gained popularity in Asia. They are not only bred for their meat and eggs, but also the leather. They are considered some of the finest leathers in the world. Locally, there is an Ostrich farm in Pingtung. They offer meals, eggs, and leather goods.
#5: Venison (鹿肉) Fillet
Venison is the name of the meat from deer (鹿). Taiwan has two indigenous species of deers, Formosan Sika Deer and the Formosan Sambar Deer. While venison is a source of food for the indigenous people, it (the velvet antler) has more value in Chinese medicine. In the neighboring Neipu Town is Taiwan’s only deer research institute.
#4: Boar (公豬) Skin Salad
Boar is the wild version of the hog or pig. The Formosan Wild Boar is native to Taiwan. There’s a preservation program to maintain the pure strain of the species because biologists have noted some cross-breeding with domestic pigs in the mountains.
#3: Hare (野兔) Meat
Hares are rabbits on steroids, so to say. They are larger and have longer legs and ears. Consider them the wild version of the rabbits.
#2: Crocodile Meat
Crocodile was first introduced in Taiwan, not as a source of meat, but as a way to dispose of dead fish in fisheries. The government requires dead fish to be disposed of properly. Since crocodile’s diet include decaying fish, it was an economical way to meet this regulation. Only later did crocodile meat become a delicacy and a source of skincare products. Nearby Chaozhou Town is home to Taiwan’s largest crocodile zoological farm. They care for five species of crocodiles and have other animals.
#1…Wait for it…
#1: Crocodile Penis
Want to try it?
*Ask for the price before ordering since it’s market pricing.
Recommended Dishes for the Rest of Us
My Kaohsiung Tips
- There’s seating both inside and outside the restaurant.
- Parking is free as there’s a large parking lot attached to the restaurant.
- Pre-order the roast chicken (A1) as it is very popular and takes a long time to cook.
- Make a reservation, especially on the weekends.
- Best tables for “front row” seating are 11, 13, and 16.
- First show starts at 18:30.
Address: No. 551-1號, Ziyou 3rd Road, Zuoying District
Hours | 營業時間
Weekday | 平日: 17:30~00:00
Weekend | 假日: 11:30~14:30、17:30~00:00
Holiday | 國定連假: 11:30~14:30、17:30~00:00
Chongli Road Intersection (重立路口)
38A, 38B, 38C, 38D, 92, R50