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Xi District, Taiwan

Gulu Gulu

Paiwanese restaurant run by native aboriginal Taiwanese singer songwriter, and home to a DIY arts-and-crafts folk garden. 

190 miles south of Taipei, in central Taiwan, is the enchanting city of Taichung.

Not only is the region the birthplace of boba tea; with wider spaces and cheaper rent, there’s more freedom for native aboriginal tribes like the Paiwan to run places like Gulu Gulu. Discreetly tucked inside Taichung’s West District, the restaurant’s name is meant to mimic the sound a hungry stomach, and should your belly “growl,” Gulu Gulu is the place to satiate it.

Beyond a fascinating DIY arts-and-crafts folk garden, the small restaurant is decorated with colorful paper flags, painted rocks, and vibrant handmade table settings. There’s also a dog roaming around. His master is the one-man staff who serves up a clever mix of flavorful vegetarian-friendly fare with dishes that feature the ubiquitous Taiwanese meat-dish: pork.

Don’t be surprised when that same server busts out his guitar to sing a few traditional aboriginal songs live, too. He’s a one-man show, but he’s good.