Internet celebrity Lucifer Chu (朱學恆) has criticized the food stalls at a popular night market in Taipei, saying that the quality of food is poor and lacks variety.
Chu, who rose to prominence years ago after making a fortune by translating The Lord of the Rings series, said in a recent magazine article that the oyster omelet he ordered during a recent visit to the Shilin night market was “very dry and flat.”
He also criticized the quality of other popular dishes on offer at the night market in Taipei’s Shilin District (士林).
“The stinky tofu lacked the full flavor it is supposed to have,” the 36-year-old said.
Furthermore, a mutton soup made with Chinese herbal medicine has no taste and the meat was as chewy as “rubber bands,” he said.
Chu, who lives near the night market, said most of its food stalls serve the same food.
They do this in an effort to survive in the competitive market and to cater to the influx of Chinese tourists, he said.
However, given its lack of distinctive features, the night market will not be able to entice visitors to return, he added.
In response, Kuo Feng-shih, head of the association that manages the night market, said consumer preference had prompted vendors to offer only certain dishes.
However, the question of whether to expand the variety food on offer will be discussed during a meeting at the end of this year, he said.
A food vendor at the market surnamed Kuo (郭) was quoted by local media as saying that while there may be more than 10 stands that sell oyster omelets, each has its own filling and sauce.
“Chu can only speak for himself,” another food vendor was quoted in a newspaper as saying.