JiaBa, Spitalfields, London
“Have you eaten”. That’s what JiaBa refers to in Taiwanese. JiaBa the Spitalfields market stall, is one of the newer additions, providing Taiwanese street food. It’s flavour packed food that satisfies if you don’t mind the minimised portion size.
Pop up in town
I’ve had two visits to JiaBa in Spitalfields. There’s two reasons I like this place – one, it’s a bit of a contrast to the other choices you have in the market. And two, via the CityMunch app I was getting 20% off or something like that by dining at specified times. London has a shamefully low amount of Taiwanese eating options, so it’s great that a place like JiaBa has joined the crowd.
So here’s a few things that I’ve tried from JiaBa. There’s the Yansuji (£5) which is the popcorn chicken equivalent. That’s chicken coated in starch seasoned with soy sauce, spices and red wine. It’s crispy and fried to order and without any salty aftertaste. A bit on the pricey side for the portion size, so one that’s better shared.
Braise the roof
My favourite thing from JiaBa is the braised beef noodle (£8.50). The noodles taste lovely and homemade with a lightly seasoned broth. I did most of the meat here, not fatty or too boney. Both times I’ve ordered it it’s had slightly different preparations. But it’s all about these thick noodles for me.
I’ve also tried the minced pork dish. Good flavours but again, it’s such a tiny portion for the price, especially since more than half is rice. I suppose the cost of the market does mean all the serving sizes shrink universally across all the stalls. It’s something to keep in mind when there are so many other lunch and dinner options around too.
Taiwanese sausage – I didn’t care for so much and I think £2.50 for only one is crazy overpriced. It does come in a ‘combo’ with the noodle though. Not sure if they still offer the chicken wings, this was okay – although it’s one of the items that is already cooked. So overall there’s some awesome stuff at JiaBa but make sure to bring your wallet unless you don’t bring your appetite.