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Taipei Kao Chi Famous Shen Chien Bao 台北永康街高記 ⭐⭐⭐⭐


Legend has it that CNN originally wanted to feature 高記 Kao Chi as the leading Shanghainese restaurant in Taipei but 高記's owners declined as they were uncomfortable with speaking English. So, the CNN crew went around the corner to Ding Tai Fung instead, and the rest as they say, is history. And now, since you already know the story, it will be a waste if you come to Taipei and did not try Kao Chi 😜


The long line of tourists on xiao long bao pilgrimage at the parent Ding Tai Fung 鼎泰豐 restaurant at Yong Kang Street 永康街.


For this trip, we chose Kao Chi which is just 50 paces down south from Din Tai Fung at Yong Kang Street. The queue outside Kao Chi wasn't as long as Din Tai Fung's but it was still a respectable following.

(Thanks to Geno Ong who tipped me off to Kao Chi.)


高四妹 (right) founded 高記 in 1949, the same year he came over from 浙江 Zhejiang province in China together with the retreating rag tag Kuomintang army. 高記 started as a street side shen chien bao stall at the exact spot where the restaurant stands today. 高記 is now managed by 高四妹's grand daughter.


There are three dining halls in Kao Chi 高記 on 3 separate storeys. The decor is classical Chinese, comfortable. The clientele looked mostly local, many three generation families. There were some rather noisy children when we were there. It didn't bother us as we are used to such atmosphere in Chinese family style restaurants 😄


The obligatory xiao long bao 小籠湯包. 

Nice tender juicy ball of savoury sweet minced Berkshire pork 黑毛豬 tucked into a thin dough purse. Together with the pork ball, there's sweet chicken broth inside the dough purse. Little, if any, seasoning or soy sauce is used, so we can taste more of the natural porky, chicky sweetness. The tender dough skin has an interesting slightly chewy bite. If you find Din Tai Fung's XLB skin too soft and too thin, Kao Chi's version would be right for you.


Kao Chi's shen chien bao 生煎包, the bigger less pretty sister of the dainty xiao long bao and Kao Chi's original claim to fame.

Kao Chi's SCB is smaller than the average shen chien bao over in Shanghai. The thick springy chewy dough skin wrapped a small ball of tightly packed sweet savoury minced Berkshire pork 黑毛豬. The bottom of the bao is pan seared to a golden brown crisp while the spongy top is cooked by steaming. There is, however, little broth inside Kao Chi's SCB - broth is something I look forward to when enjoying SCB.

At Kao Chi, the shen chien bao is always cooked to order and comes in a set of 10.

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My favourite dish of the evening was Kao Chi's Dong Po Rou 東坡肉 or braised pork belly.


The skin and fat were so silky soft, I hardly noticed they were there had it not been for their savoury sweet juices. The meat was also tender, juicy sweet and soft. The chewiest part of this mouthful was the snowy white bun! which was actually spongy soft. 

Must, Must order this 😋 Don't worry. You won't even notice that the fat is there hehe 😁


椒汁白肉 Blanched pork belly with peppery sauce.

Tender chewy blanched thin pork belly slices on a bed of enoki mushrooms soaked in a pool of peppery savoury sweet sauce. The aromatic pepperiness came from raw green peppercorns.


香辣陳皮雞 This messy looking chicken dish is really quite tasty. Cubes of chicken with bone in and onions were stir fried in a blended sauce of dried red peppercorn and dried orange peel. Unique spicy sweet savoury flavours wrapped the tender juicy chicken cubes.


高式酸辣湯 The customary sourish spicy Sichuan style soup.


4-Star (out of 5). If you are into Shanghainese food in Taiwan, check out both Kao Chi and Ding Tai Fung in Taipei. If you have had enough of the ubiquitous DTF, Kao Chi 高記 is a worthy alternative with a less touristy feel.


Restaurant name: Kao Chi 高記
AddressNo. 1, Yongkang Street, Da’an District, Taipei City, Taiwan 106
GPS25°02'00.0"N 121°31'47.7"E | 25.033342, 121.529926
Tel+886 2 2341 9984
Hours: 9:30am to 10:30pm

Non Halal

Date: 21 Oct 2017

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