Often compared with the taste of blue cheese, stinky tofu is a popular snack found commonly in Taiwan, Hong Kong and China. With a smell on par with durian and rotten socks, the fermented tofu is served deep-fried with sweet or spicy dipping sauces. It has a crispy exterior and soft crumbly texture on the inside, but definitely not for the faint of heart.
According to hearsay, the historical origins of stinky tofu can be traced back to the Qing Dynasty, when a scholar turned to the tofu business after failing the Imperial exams. He had a batch of tofu that was unsold and decided to extend the preservation period. This tofu became one of the favourite foods of Empress Cixi and has remained a popular snack ever since.
You can find stinky tofu in Sydney at the Dumpling King stall at the Sussex Centre Food Court. If you are ever in Taiwan, there is a town called Shen Keng which is dedicated to all things related to tofu, from tofu ice cream to fermented stinky tofu in all forms. Due to the stench of stinky tofu, many street vendors of stinky tofu do not offer this snack anymore in Hong Kong. If you look hard enough you may still be able to find some in Mongkok, but I would recommend the Wu Kong Shanghai Restaurant located in the Lee Theatre Building in Causeway Bay.
I love stinky tofu/cho dofu - my partner is Taiwanese - she says she believes this is not the real thing as she was told by wholesalers that the genuine article is not allowed to be sold in Australia.
Perhaps similar to durian - the real thing smells like the toilet - so I am not surprised if it not allowed in a shared space.
I believe I have tried this restaurant and been underwhelmed by the product - speaking as one who loves it and seeks it out every time I go to Taiwan - e.g. Si Da / Si Lin / most night markets in Taipei.