Do you love the bustling nightlife and distinctive culture of Taiwan? Or Taiwanese music with a Jay Chou flair? What about the well-known and scrumptious Taiwanese street snacks?
If you’re looking for all of those above, 8 Degrees Taiwanese Bistro (八度空间) is the absolute food haven for you. Situated along the roads of Yio Chu Kang, it’ll be hard to miss this tall and eye-catching eatery among the rows of terrace houses.
Officially launched on July 30, this bistro offers an intimate space for you and your friends to enjoy a diverse variety of authentic Taiwanese delicacies, as well as other western cuisine.
The first thing that would probably catch your eyes once you enter this eatery would be the black and red photo frames mounted on the walls. If you look closer, each photo frame displays a picture that represents a unique aspect of Taiwan. Asia’s famous rock star Wu Bai, late Taiwanese pop icon Teresa Teng and the once tallest building in the world, Taipei 101, are just some of the distinctive personalities and landmarks you’ll find in the photographs there.
And that’s not all to it. Red mailboxes and old radio sets (and if you have a sharp eye, you’ll spot the vintage electric guitar hanging on the ceiling) add on to the timeless atmosphere in this eatery, evoking a sense of nostalgia. As you approach the counter, don’t be surprised to see Jay Chou welcoming you – in a form of a curtain drape.
Besides these popular celebrities and features, the most acknowledged and sought-after aspect of Taiwan would be their street food.
Forget chicken wings from the typical fast food restaurants; the Taiwanese salted crispy chicken (鹽酥雞) is a must-try at 8 Degrees Taiwanese Bistro. Cooked to perfection, it’s crispy on the outside and tender on the inside. Once you take a bite, it leaves a lingering spice taste in your mouth that you hope will never go away. In all, it is the perfect snack for you and your friends to enjoy.
A well-loved dish in Taiwan, the Taiwanese stew meat rice (滷肉飯), at $6.80, is an excellent choice to start off the meal. You may think that it looks just another common fare with meat and egg, but the taste will prove you wrong. Served with the options of minced meat or pork belly, the texture of the meat is succulent, easily chewable with a sweet taste to it.
A good dish to go with the Taiwanese stew meat rice would be the Taiwanese egg roll (肉鬆蛋餅), for $5.80. Don’t mistake it for a local popiah roll though; while this Taiwanese egg roll uses a thin paper-like eggroll skin as a wrapper, similar to the typical popiah, it consists of a flavourful combination of pork floss, egg and sweet garlic sauce.
Seafood and veggie lovers may wish to try the Taiwanese oyster omelette (蚝仔煎) at $7.80, which is made up of oysters, Chinese cabbage and bean sprouts. The dish is then completed with a final splotch of sweet chili sauce, giving the fare a savor of pasty and sticky feel.
25-year-old chef of this Taiwanese eatery, Andy Lau, commented, “We fill this dish with lots of vegetables because that is the authentic way of how the Taiwanese eat oyster omelettes. You don’t find much vegetables in the Singapore variations of the dish, so here at 8 Degrees, we offer a much more healthier and authentic version of this dish.”
A personal favourite would be the bistro’s very own specialty recipe, the 8 Degrees cold noodles (八度冷麵) at $5.80. As the name suggests, it is a cold course, mixed with carrot and cucumber julienne. Sesame sauce and seeds are then sprinkled over the dish, a relish that compliments well with the cold noodles,
But what’s a Taiwanese fare without bubble tea? Try the 8 Degree Yuan Yang (八度鸳鸯). This special brew is a combination of milk tea and coffee. With such rich taste and perfectly chewy pearls, why spend time queuing for bubble tea when you can have the real and authentic one here within 5 minutes?
If you’re a drinker, a must-have is the Taiwan imported fruit beer that comes in lychee and honeydew melon flavours. Don’t be fooled by the kiddies’ appearances of the bottles as these Taiwanese brews, at $8.80 each, offer a refreshing change from the usual beers found in Singapore. Created in Taiwan in 2003, this brand of brewery only found its way to Singapore in 2010. 8 Degrees Taiwanese Bistro is the 5th local restaurant to offer this aromatic alcoholic drink, with some of the others being the dim sum bar, Stacked and the Western-Asian fusion restaurant, Wild Rocket.
As a customer who had her first visit to this eatery, 31-year-old June Teo shares her views on 8 Degrees Taiwanese Bistro, “I find the atmosphere and ambience here really good,” said June, who came with 3 other family members. “I will come back again if I have the chance.”
After a delicious meal at 8 Degrees, one may then ask, “Why the name?” Andy tells Urbanwire the entire concept behind this unique name.
“There are 8 musical notes on every scale. In 8 Degrees, it’s all about the food, music and people. These three points are the main focuses of our restaurant. The name is also partly inspired by Jay Chou’s 3rd studio album, titled Eight Dimensions (八度空間),” explained Andy, who’s a fan of Jay Chou’s music.
Speaking of music, while you’re there, don’t let your taste buds do all the work. Treat yourself to some aural experience as you immerse yourself in the music, ranging from old Taiwanese classics from singers such as Zheng Zhi Hua to modern tunes like Jay Chou.
Isn’t that some lovely music and food for your soul?
8 Degrees Taiwanese Bistro is located at 164 Yio Chu Kang Road. Opened daily from 6pm to 12am. Last order at 11:30pm.
Valet parking costs $4 per vehicle. Valet parking fee will be absorbed if total spending at 8 Degrees Taiwanese Bistro exceeds $48.