There is a litany of places around Taiwan that claim to be “authentic” cuisine. I’ve had everything from “authentic” French to Brazilian food in Taiwan and not a lot of it ever met my expectations. It isn’t a case that the food was too localized that it didn’t meet my taste buds halfway, but rather the food was an imitation without substance.
Now, before you go ahead and call me a snob – and I won’t blame you – let me introduce you to a Taiwanese guy making some of the most delicious souvlakis I’ve ever had; both inside and outside of Taiwan.
“For somebody that taught themselves how to make Greek food from YouTube and quit their nine to five to do it, this guy deserves some praise because he did something a lot of us are too afraid to do.”
Taipei Souvlaki / 我愛希臘捲餅
Just like the Blues Brothers said, everybody needs somebody. But who needs anybody when you got souvlaki with homemade pita bread and tzatziki sauce. Sure, I am totally exaggerating my love for this souvlaki, but it is damn good eating.
Located at Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hall Station exit 2 down by the Wendells (I’ll put the exact location at the end of the post), it is centrally located and is a 15-minute walk from Songshan Cultural Park.
Some people are a bit hesitant about having fries in their souvlaki but it works very well with the tzatziki sauce, tomato, lettuce, onion, and whatever meat you decide to go with (vegetarian options are available).
Interviewing the Owner
I made it a point to have a chat with the owner because he is a really friendly guy and has always sat down with me after I finish for a chat. We talk shop about how his business is doing and how his souvlaki is definitely filling a gap in the kind of food you can get in Taipei.
He told me he use to work in China Trust for five years before opening up his greek food stand. He found working was unfulfilling and he wondered what kind of future he would have. He decided to open his own stand to serve sandwiches, but changed his mind after chatting with his wife.
Here is the short interview about why he decided to make Greek food and how he learned to make it.
He has been in business for six months and he is happier now than he ever was working in the corporate world. He says he likes the idea of not having any bosses and just doing what he loves to do. When I pointed out he was the boss, he just laughed.
The stand used to be in front of Sun Yat-sen Memorial Station Exit 2, but he moved a few months ago. His new location is far better though. He has nice jazz music, indoor seating (well, still outside, but you’re covered from the rain), and most importantly, Greek beer.
He told me that if he got a lease for something that was more like a restaurant, he wouldn’t be able to move around as he can now and that at the moment he is very happy with his stand and having seating. I agree with him, his food is delicious, cheap, and goes down really well with a beer and the stand makes it feel more casual. To me, souvlaki is like a kebab, meaning, it is rustic food that you can just enjoy casually. There is no need for bells and whistles.
And for $90-$110 NTD for a Souvlaki that actually tastes as good as what I can get back home, it is a really good deal. He has been invited to a few events as well like the Triple Social B, and has made take-out orders of nealy 100 Souvlakis in the past!
I eat at this guys place once or twice a week and it is the rustic food that I miss so much from home. To me, this is as close to a kebab as you are going to get in Taipei and if you know anywhere else, please shoot me a message and let me know where else to try.
But for now, just get me to the Taiwanese-Greek!
“You might be wondering, how authentic could a Taiwanese guy’s souvlaki be? The answer, very authentic, but most importantly, it is just super tasty. Why mess with a good thing?”
If you want to follow him on Facebook, or message him about anything, make sure to check out his Facebook page and drop his hard-working ass a like.