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Home of Woah Kueh in Taipei (Traditional Tainan Rice Bowl Cakes) 吳碗粿之家

Over half century old traditional Woah Kueh 吳碗粿 or literally bowl cakes. Shop owners are fastidious in ensuring that their woah kueh today tastes exactly the same as when they started in 1959 - the way their regulars like it.

Restaurant name: 吳碗粿之家 Home of Woah Kueh
Address: No. 1, Lane 177, Chang'an West Road, Datong District, Taipei City, Taiwan 103
GPS: 25°03'08.3"N 121°30'49.4"E 🌐 25.052307, 121.513707
Nearest MRT: None. Shop is between Zhongshan and Beimen stations
Tel+886 2 2550 0901
Hours: 7:00am - 5:00pm (Mon off)

Founded over 50 years ago (in 1959), family business Home of Woah Kueh (literally bowl cakes) is now run by third generation owner Wu Yi-chou.

It's Tainan style steamed rice cake with braised pork belly, stir fried minced pork, stewed mushroom and salted duck eggs embedded inside. Besides the traditional bowl cake, Home of Woah Kueh have 伯爵奶茶 popular fragrant milk tea brewed with local mountain tea. They also serve hand made fish balls and pork balls in clear pork bone soup as a side dish.

Home of Woah Kueh starts business at 7am and the owners start making the cakes at 4am. Woah Kueh is made by putting ingredients, braised pork belly, fried minced pork with shallot, stewed mushroom and salted eggs in a rice bowl and filling it up to the brim with rice gruel.

Home of Woah Kueh uses 100% rice in their gruel and only "在来米 old rice grains" i.e. rice that is more mature. Old rice is less starchy and have a more springy bite than "young rice". The rice grains are ground in house at the shop and there are no bulk fillers like corn starch.

The bowl cakes are cooked in a steaming tower. The steamed rice cakes are allowed to rest and cool to room temperature. They are eaten with a splash of gooey starch thickened sweet savoury brown sauce - the "soul" of bowl cake made with braising stock used to cook the ingredients. If you like, you can also add in ground garlic sauce.

吳碗粿之家 is very generous with their signature brown sauce. Customers are allowed to bag the brown sauce to enjoy at home, free of charge. Free sauce is a 吳碗粿之家 tradition which no one has abused so far, so we can still enjoy the privilege today.

Fans of Home of Woah Kueh like their freshly made rice cakes because the complementary savoury sweet flavours are moderate and well balanced. The rice cakes have natural rice sweetness 饭香. The tender smooth rice cakes also have a spongy springy bounce to the bite. 吳碗粿之家 regulars are also glad that Home of Woah Kueh bowl cakes still taste the same through three generations.

Pro-tip: At the shop, if you are eating only woah kueh, just take the woah kueh from the shelf and go to your own table to enjoy it. When you are done, they just look at the number of empty blue bowls to calculate your bill. Don't sit and wait to be served oh... 😄

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