Taipei kong mahal 180829 (Rapsa Edition): Opium Fen-Yuan (天母鴉片粉圓) | Travel in Asia

Tuesday, August 28, 2018

Taipei kong mahal 180829 (Rapsa Edition): Opium Fen-Yuan (天母鴉片粉圓)


Get high with a shaved ice dessert overloaded with tapioca balls in Opium Fen-Yuan.  The name of the store already tells what you can expect.  It all depends on you if you'll get lost in looking for this dessert shop. It's quite far away from the MRT Zhishan Station but I was able to find it and gave myself a try of its best-sellers.   Locals come here to beat the summer heat and I was so curious if their food will pass my taste test.
Dayeh Takashimaya Department Store

Opium Fen-yuan store in Tianmu

Located in Tianmu in Shilin District,  Opium Fen-yuan's is hard to find for first-time visitors in Taipei.    So I have doubts if foreign tourists in Taiwan would make a stop at this restaurant.  Now being slowly covered by towering buildings, its unusual spot still attracts those people who are always craving for sweet foods.  Opium Fen-yuan has other branches in Taipei and the suburbs but if you are planning to visit the Shilin Night Market then why not check this branch in Tianmu.  You can get here by boarding the MRT to Zhishan Station, walk to Zhongcheng Park and then board a bus going Tianmu Baseball Stadium.

The menu

To order, I just pointed my finger at the topmost and bottommost picture.  Tell also the staff that you want to eat inside the restaurant. 

“Yi ge, yi ge”, I said as I pointed at the giant menu in front of the store.  I ordered the basic tapioca balls dessert and the version with the banana-like slices.  There are only five variants of the shaved iced desserts.  The others have tofu pudding, jelly, and lemon jelly.  The pearl and ice dessert will serve as my basis in evaluating the one with the banana-like slices.  I've heard that a lot of Taiwanese prefer to eat the latter and I was so intrigued if they were fruits or not.  Haha!

tapioca balls

the banana-like slices

Sweeter than the usual Taiwanese shaved ice desserts.  The cup of tapioca balls was like a bubble tea without the tea component.  Haha!  Just imagine pearls as the main ingredient with a layer of ice underneath.  I believe there must be something on the syrup that gives it a unique taste, like the “arnibal” of the Filipino's taho (soy pudding drink).  It could be just brown sugar.  I'm not sure but I really like it.

Underneath this banana-like slices is the layer of tapioca balls.  Visitors are supposed to see two colors of the slices but only one color can be seen in this photo.

when the ice melted

After getting bloated with the original flavor, I focused my attention on my second order.  The ice beneath had already melted while I was eating my first cup.   One scoop of the toppings and into my mouth revealed the true nature of mysterious banana-slices. They weren't really the fruits that I was expecting!  They tasted like the tapioca balls but chewy and tastier.  Now, I know the reason why this variant is also popular among locals.

For a price of NTD 50 per cup, international tourists in Taiwan deserve to taste this shaved ice desserts.  Aside from the summer coolers, customers can also order lunch or dinner like any typical restaurant.  Their branches near MRT Guting and MRT Gongguan stations also offer their best-seller tapioca balls but with a surprising twist.  Don't miss the chance to eat them at this dessert shop. Come and enjoy the sweet life in Taipei with Opium Fen-Yuan.

Opium Fen-Yuan (天母鴉片粉圓)
Address: No. 2, Lane 89, Shidong Road, Shilin District, Taipei City, 111
Open: every day from 12:00 noon to 9:30 pm
[Google Map]

How to get here:
1.  by MRT then bus
MRT Zhishan Station (Red Line)-> walk to Zhongcheng Park bus stop [Google Map] ->  board Bus 203, 279, 606 -> get off the bus at Tianmu Baseball Stadium stop [Google Map] -> walk to Opium Fen-Yuan [Google Map]

2.  by tripool taxi (
Destination: Opium Fen-yuan (Shilin branch); Origin: Taipei Main Station
Taipei Main Station -> board tripool taxi -> Opium Fen-yuan

My orders:
 Tapioca balls dessert (鴉片粉圓): NTD 50
(4.5 out of 5 luomujie stars)

Three round ice (三圓冰): NTD 50
(4.5 out of 5 luomujie stars)

Rapsa is a slang for the Filipino word "sarap" which means delicious. Delicious -> sarap -> "rapsa" (inverted syllable order). The Rapsa Edition of the "My Beloved Taipei" Travel Series will take readers to the tastiest and yummiest foods in Taipei. Get to know the best desserts and local delicacies that Taiwan's capital has to offer, through this subprogram of the luomujie blog.



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