Taipei Thing #9: Get a shawarma from Mohammed in Gongguan

26 May

Time to make the shawarmas!

This was another suggestion from Jesse, with whom I used to work at a cram school in Gongguan, way back when I first arrived in Taiwan 5 years ago. That’s also how long I’ve had the pleasure of knowing Mohammed and his wife, who run this shawarma stand near the corner of Xinsheng and Roosevelt.

There are a few places to get shawarmas (沙威瑪) in Taipei, including in my own neighborhood, Ximending, but I still go back to Gongguan for my shawarma and a bit of conversation. For me, it’s like having a food that was my favorite in childhood, since I probably had a shawarma at least twice a week in my first year in Taipei. Very nostalgic.

For the uninitiated, here’s the menu:

The offerings.

Your choices are:

大沙威瑪 – large shawarma – $60NT
加起司 – large with cheese – $70NT
小沙威瑪 – small shawarma – $50NT
加起司 – small with cheese – $60NT

Although the menu is only in Chinese, Muhammed speaks English, and he’ll make sure you get what you want. You can also adjust the ingredients a bit, adding or leaving out the shredded cabbage, diced tomatoes, chopped onions, a mildly sweet – salad dressing, and spicy sauce. I always get the small, no cheese, no spicy, and feel pretty full for awhile. Here it is:

Photo doesn't do it justice!

Unfortunately, the angle of my photo makes it seem like this shawarma is all bread, which it’s not. How do you even photograph a shawarma and make it look good? All the good stuff is on the inside! Muhammed’s shawarmas are really juicy, so if you get one, it’s best to keep it in the wrapper, and avoid wearing your favorite shirt.

By the way, while you’re waiting, if you want some Chinese practice, you can check out the articles about Mohammed’s stand that have been published. I used to look at these every time I came, hoping to recognize new characters. It’s fun to think how far I’ve come, since I started out knowing nothing at all, and these days I can read almost 100% of the articles. Another piece of the nostalgia for me.

And to Jesse, who is probably quite jealous, reading this thousands of miles away in Canada, Muhammed still remembers you, and he said to tell you hello! This one’s for you:

All smiles.

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6 Responses to “Taipei Thing #9: Get a shawarma from Mohammed in Gongguan”

  1. Jesse May 26, 2010 at 12:01 pm #

    Jealous.

    Thanks 🙂

    • ktvxiaojie May 28, 2010 at 10:25 am #

      Glad you enjoyed it. I’ve got some more of your “things” coming up, too. 🙂

  2. Jonas May 27, 2010 at 6:02 pm #

    isn’t a shawarma suppose to come in a wrap? at least that’s how it is in the states.

    • ktvxiaojie May 28, 2010 at 11:23 am #

      Yeah, but that kind of bread isn’t really found in Taiwan. The shawarma guys would have to make their own (like Sababa makes its own pita, in-house). People don’t seem to care much, though.

  3. kaifu May 27, 2010 at 8:55 pm #

    Yeah, I was surprised when they came on rolls. Also, I couldn’t for the life of me relating 起士 to cheese. Hmph.

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Taipei Thing #15: Eat 甜不辣 « 5 Days in Taipei - May 31, 2010

    […] and I had been eating all day already: vegetarian food at 新卡莎, a sharwarma from Mohammed, and red bean & mochi ice from Tai Yi Milk King, not to mention the strawberry iced tea I […]

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