Located in the trendy and always fun Xiementing District 西門町 of Taipei City is one of the most famous soy sauce marinated snack shops called Lao Tien Lu 老天祿.
This is a must visit and if you are willing, a must try. They have quite an interesting background, as the company was originally located in Shanghai. The establishment of the Taipei location was the doing of then 12 year old Mr Chai, who apprenticed with his elder siblings when LTL was based in Shanghai and at the time offered tea cakes and snacks, as well as their signature product line of marinated eats (lou wei 滷味), where all items are first marinated in soy sauce and herbs of upwards of 14+ kinds then steamed/simmered, and served hot or in the case of LTL, cold). Around the time of WWII (1949) he fled to Taiwan and built the business there from scratch, with the knowledge of his apprenticeship. The business moved a few times, and Mr Chai's most devasting loss was the great fire of 1966 that burnt down literally all of Xiementing, destroying everything he built. Fortunately with the help of investors the business returned 5 years later and has settled down ever since.
While you can find packaged snacks and Chinese style sweets, everyone comes here for the marinated animal parts. Everything is marinated to sell the same day, so you won't get yesterday's today.
14 spices and Chinese herbs, soy sauce goes into the marination, then simmered, and refrigerated to seal in the juices.
-duck tongue (best seller)
-pork trotter tendon
-several tofu variants
-a vegan (tofu) version of chicken gizzard
-marinated duck egg
-rice cake with blood (of either pork or bird, not sure)
Probably not as many Japanese tourists at this place, but an overwhelming number of Hong Kong visitors flock here.
It turns out that LTL's soy sauce marinated small bites are the darlings of mondo Hong Kong pop and movie stars, including megastar Andy Lau (who in the legendary Infernal Affairs movie dranks quite a few Hong Kong Milk Teas) Caveat, the pictures of Andy Lau inside LTL (posted around the store) were arguably taken during the 1980s or early 1990s.
Gotta give LTL credit for still using the imagery of pop stars via old photos as endorsement.
When it rains, it pours inside
Pig trotter tendons
Dried marinated tofu
Duck tongues (including the connector parts!) signature bestseller
老天祿滷味 (Lao Tien Lu Marinated Eats)
台北市萬華區武昌街二段55號 (Taipei City, Wanhua District, Muchang St 2nd portion, #55)