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Yum Cha Chats: ​Pre-gaming in Taipei with KAKU

Late night Taipei: from a space-themed speakeasy to cold sesame noodles

  • KAKU
  • 28 June 2020

Sunday’s are hard but can be made easier with unexpected delights — so here’s some fluff to get you through it. Inspired by a recent jaunt for dim sum with Miss Yellow in Hong Kong, allow us to deliver a new edition of Yum Cha Chats — which means let’s go eat dim sum and drink tea in Cantonese. The series will dig into the obscure and tasty 'fillings' you never knew about your favourite DJs and have nothing to do with music — every Sunday. Best enjoyed from bed…

KAKU has been living in Taipei for over a decade. Originally growing up in Tokyo and San Francisco, his exposure to different cultures around the world allowed KAKU to develop a unique sound of his own. His main goal has always been to bridge cultures from the East and the West through music.

The trap titan has numerous successful releases on notable labels such as Barong Family, Liquid State and Insomniac Records. Anticipation continues to grow for his debut EP in 2020 with support from artists such as Diplo, GTA, Dillon Francis, Alison Wonderland, 4B, Wuki and more.

He tells Mixmag Asia: “Taipei is a hidden gem of Asia because many foreigners are only recently discovering the small island to this day.”

Kaku shares with us his five pre-clubbing hotspots that are equally wholesome after a night out...

1. Raohe Night Market

"A visit to Taipei wouldn’t be complete without a visit to one of the many amazing night markets that are spread throughout the city. My personal favourite is Raohe Night Market and it’s one of the oldest ones in the city. Start from the eastern side of the market where you will see Cioyu Temple right next to the market entrance. It is really beautiful especially at night when it is all lit up. I don’t have specific recommendations because I try new stalls every time - it’s part of the experience! Make sure to look out for classic Taiwanese street food like black pepper bun, stinky tofu, Taiwanese fried chicken, oyster vermicelli noodles, braised pork rice, and obviously wash it all down with an ice cold boba milk tea."

2. Sakanakun / Eside Bond

"Anyone who has visited Taipei will tell you that outside of Japan, Taipei has some of the best and freshest sushi in Asia. There are plenty of expensive sushi omakase restaurants but if you’re looking for something more affordable and fun, I recommend Sakanakun. My favourite is their signature sashimi donburis stacked with fresh sashimi and a mountain of uni/ikura. What’s even better about this place is that right downstairs is Eside Bond, a hip hop themed speakeasy with graffiti walls, it’s a vibe, trust me."

3. Longtail

"Longtail is definitely on the pricier end, but it does have a Michelin star and lives up to it's name with its amazing food, fun cocktails, and great ambience. My personal favourites are the shrimp sliders, fried chicken, char siu bao, daily pasta but honestly try whatever looks good on the menu because I guarantee it tastes good as well. What’s great about Longtail is that you can celebrate birthdays with your family there but it’s also open late so it’s the perfect spot to grab a bite and drinks before a night out, if you’re feeling classy."

4. To Infinity & Beyond

"The popularity of speakeasies have been on the rise in Taipei over the past few years, which I love, and there is plenty to recommend. One of my favourites is a new bar called To Infinity and Beyond. Though it’s a speakeasy, the entrance is hard to miss as it looks like a door to a spaceship, and that’s exactly how the entrance hallway looks like - pure white, futuristic walls leading to a computer screen. Then you press a red button next to the screen to open the real entrance revealing the space-themed bar. It looks like a scene out of Star Wars. Their signature drinks are all named and designed to fit the theme. My personal recommendation is Interstellar, and the way they present the drink is unique to say the least. You might also want to try the KAKTAIL, a signature cocktail the owner and I recently made. Do make a reservation if you want to visit though, they fill up very quickly! "

Liu Mama Cold Noodle

"If you’re looking for a quick bite after hitting the club, I highly recommend this place. Believe me when I say it gets jam-packed with people at 4 am. They serve the traditional sesame sauce cold noodles and I always add a bit of their signature chilli oil for a little kick to wake me up. You can also order the combo that comes with the cold noodles and Taiwanese style miso soup with eggs and meatballs, which is honestly everything you need after a night out. This place is an old school Taiwanese joint so it doesn’t really have an online presence, but tell any taxi driver you’re going to Liu Mama Cold Noodles and they’ll know where to bring you. In case you get lost: No. 37號, Section 5, Civic Blvd, Songshan District, Taipei City, 105"

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