Jin Hai An (Golden Beach), Taipei
When I asked a local colleague of mine for a tip on something that was unique to Taiwan, he recommended this place (103 Jilong Road Section 1, 2768-6622). Specifically, he suggested the pepper prawns, which were sitting in that big metal pot there. The white pepper seasoning was right up my alley, but for some reason the prawns were a bit on the tough and dry side, even though the shop claimed that these were live. Maybe it was just the way it was prepared.
That's when we moved on to the so-called three-cup prawns, the name of which was in reference to the rice wine, sesame oil, and soy sauce used. These were much more moist (was it because they used male prawns instead of females?). The oil these sat in also made them rich and fragrant enough that I gobbled these guys right up, even if the sauce was mildly sweet. They had plenty of other cooking styles available, but of course we only had the chance to try two of them.
Well, as with most shellfish, don't eat this when you're hungry, as it takes too long to shell these things (especially when they are so hot that they burn your fingers). But if you've got the time to kick back, then it's great to wash it all down with beer. The brand I grabbed tonight was called Mine, which appeared to be from the Taiwan Beer people.