Taipei City’s Ningxia Night Market will present a 21-course feast for foreign guests in celebration of Double Ten National Day on Wednesday, featuring traditional Taiwanese food, including stinky tofu and braised pork rice, the market’s tourism association said yesterday.
The Mainland Affairs Council will host a state banquet on Tuesday night in the night market, blocking off the streets and inviting about 500 foreign guests to enjoy local traditional fish in the market, one of the oldest night markets in Taipei.
Sampling some of the dishes that will be served at the banquet, Taipei Mayor Hau Lung-bin (郝龍斌) touted the night market as preserving the original taste of traditional Taiwanese dishes and introducing the food to the international community.
“The night market has been selected by the central government to prepare the state banquet for foreign guests, and this shows the quality of local night markets in Taipei City. Hopefully more foreign guests will enjoy our night market culture and delicious Taiwanese food,” he said.
According to Ningxia Night Market Tourism Association director Tim Lin (林定國), the 21 dishes were traditional Taiwanese foods selected from local vendors in the market.
The feast will also be available for local residents and foreign visitors at the Ningxia Millennium Feast Restaurant at a price of NT$3,000 via online reservation on the night market’s Web site at www.wretch.cc/blog/nx582.
Hau also took time yesterday to meet with Chang Yung-chang (張永昌), chairman of well-known Formosa Chang’s Braised Pork Rice, a braised pork rice chain that sparked concerns recently over its decision to raise its prices because Chang had promised to keep the prices in a reasonable range while joining the city government’s efforts to promote local food.
“Ningxia Night Market is where we started our business, and we will never be absent from activities that help promote traditional Taiwanese food,” Chang said.
The braised pork rice chain drew criticism after it announced on Sept. 16 it was raising the price of its large pork rice dish from NT$64 to NT$68 per bowl.
The city government had called on the chain to reconsider the price policy, prompting Chang to announce on Wednesday that the store decided to cancel its earlier price hike plan.
Hau said the chain’s decision to retract price increases reflected public opinion and showed that the city government’s decision to terminate cooperation had put Formosa Chang under a certain amount of pressure.
“Given the turn of events, the city government will resume its collaboration with Formosa Chang in boosting [Taiwanese] delicacies,” he said.
Additional reporting by staff writer