Wednesday, October 31, 2007

taipei: street eats

here's a long post for all the street eats. i'm not being lazy, i'm being efficient ;p


here we have curry fish balls on a stick, at danshui. as fish balls come and go, its closer to the consistency of a sotong ball but what made the difference was dunking in fragrant japanese curry. the rather chatty uncle who sold it was still doing his market testing i think. he asked us how it was and whether it was nice. he also told us of how it was slightly different from those that are in hongkong - assuming that there are of course, i wouldn't know. i havent been back in years. but it was good enough for me to get a stick of my own after guinea-pig rae went for it.


cute. lol.


we also tried their local takopachi at danshui. kind of like the 'bomb' thing at shihlin but it tastes a lot better, although different from the one we have here. very hearty and they come in boxes of 6. we also waited quite a bit for this one, but i think it was pretty worthwhile. it came piping hot which was very nice for that day. it'd been a bit nippy earlier at fisherman's wharf cos of the rain.


fresh tie dan (铁蛋) along with pre-packaged ones in the background. i think i'm a proponent of eating food fresh, because the difference is quite something. i love the fresh ones but really don't care for the packaged ones. its not quite like ru dan or cha ye dan but its not that different either.

oh btw, those foot high soft-serve ice-creams at danshui? just like any other soft-serve. still a fun seaside-town eat though.

and then there is xiang xiang ji (香 香 鸡). now this is possibly the best i've ever eaten. period.

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i think i had a pack nearly every day i was there. found near the main station exit into hsimending, it had a longish queue at almost all times of the day. and the queue doesnt move very fast cos of wok constrictions. one big wok-full of chicken's probably only good for up to 6-8 small bags. so most people wait between 5-10 minutes, depending how many wok-fulls behind you are. well worth the wait, i assure you.

actually there are a lot of other street eats we had, but didnt have photos of. i had this mochi red bean shao bing at danshui which was not too bad, but was rich enough to really stuff me even though i only had one. we also had a lot at shihlin but the two nights we were there, we were either too bogged down with shopping or too frazzled from the crowd to take photos. aside from this:

mango bing

mango ice. slurp. actually this is a picture from the last visit with june and char cos i was too busy eating this visit. hehhehheh. and i had the strawberry-mango mix instead too. still good. oh incidentally, if you haven't heard, there's an Ice Monster in PS now. its the taiwanese franchise come to singapore but seriously, something always goes wrong along the way. if you're looking for that soft, almost cotton-y mian bing they have there? well it got lost in transit. cos the ice here is like all ice-kachang here. course. its rather sad really. but the toppings were pretty good so as local ice-kachangs come and go, it was pretty good... if you discount the price. at $4.50-8.50 a plate, i guarantee you its not going to be that hot with the locals.

anyway, that's all the street eats i have for you. but just for good measure, here's a couple of pictures of the gems you find in the little alleys near fu xing. i love that place.





this last picture's particularly sad. read the sign and then try spot the live little pig in the tiny pen by the door. it was so agitated cos it could smells of its brethren on the tables wafting through the main door. poor thing!

Sunday, October 28, 2007

donut factory

we interrupt our taipei programming with this local news update.


at least their double chocolate donut does. its amazingly soft, not too sweet and the dark chocolate inside oozes its way out into your mouth with each bite. the hazelnut was pretty good too. next on my list of donuts to try: everything else.

i'm sorry Mister Donut (although i have a lot of pictures of you) and Krispy Kreme (since i don't get to eat you), Donut Factory's the way to go.

Picture credits to Donut Factory -

Thursday, October 25, 2007

taipei: shan xi dao xiao mian


although the shan xi dao xiao mian that was recommended was actually some place else, we also happened to stumble across a branch in the fu xing area. just like we did with berry berry cobo, and earlier the same afternoon too.

for such thick slices of noodle with varying degrees of thickness, it was done very nicely just a little past al dente. the beef soup was not bad and it went quite well with the dao xiao mian. seen above here is the beef soup dao xiao mian - a hilarious mistake we made when ordering. it didnt come with any beef, so we can't tell you how it tastes like.

i had the beef tendon soup version. i know not many people eat tendon but this was done quite well too. i liked it.


poor lijun had to have something non-beef in a beefy place (sorry!) and so she settled for something that sounded sze chuany. think it was only all right. we also had guo tie, which was okay, and fried veg which was great! better than din tai fung's - more on DTF another day.

Shan Xi Dao Xiao Mian
No. 2, Lane 118, He Ping Road

Monday, October 22, 2007

taipei: berry berry cobo

berry berry cobo's one of those little gems that we'd heard about from jun (from her friend) before we went but forgot to take down the address. nonetheless, on the way to finding another restaurant - this korean place that had gotten rave reviews from a blogger - we accidentally stumbled upon it along the same street!

this is definitely a girl's place. for about NT250 or so, you could sit there and have a dessert/tea buffet. and they had all sorts of desserts and cakes on offer - just bring your plate! the beauty of the food here is that the cakes aren't the overly rich variety but were light enough that you wouldn't tire of it quickly. in fact, we were there for less than an hour till the buffet ended at 540pm, but between us four, we had nearly 20 plates! - of which nearly half was polished off by rae alone, well done babe!

they also had some savoury food on hand and their macaroni bake was pretty good, as were their fries, despite the inconsistency in servings. one serving came with pepper but no salt, one with both pepper and salt, and one without anything! tomato sauce saves the day though.

and the decor! its so bright and cheery, all done up in white, cream and various bright candy colors. really definitely a girl's hangout although there were the occasional few guys.

all in all, quite a worthwhile try.

Berry Berry Cobo (草 莓工房)
Fuxing S. Rd Section 1
160 Alley No 62

Saturday, October 20, 2007

taipei: romankan yokohama katsu sandwich

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it is with a sad and heavy heart (unsatisfied tummy?) that i report that the romankan yokohama in the basement of takashimaya is a pale shade of its taipei counterpart in the basement of Breeze Centre down at Fu Xing. shown here is the one from taipei in all its juicy, tender glory.

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there they had choices of katsu sandwiches as well. the original pork katsu, chicken katsu, katsu with teriyaki sauce, croquette etc. i had the chicken katsu, pictured above, which looks almost exactly like the pork katsu sandwich.

the local one looks nearly the same, but somehow the local version's meat was just that bit tougher and drier - granted that i was having the pork katsu this time. even the bread they used tasted not as fresh for some reason. i am sad. actually like rae pointed out, if we had this here without ever tasting the one in taipei, we'd actually find it pretty all right. but because we've had (almost) the best..........

i'm sorry, i just had the local version in an effort to stem this bout of withdrawal symptoms from taipei food. i'm just that little bit devastated that it didnt work. :(

Romankan Yokohama
B1 Food Court Breeze Centre
39, Fu Hsing South Rd, Sec. 2

Friday, October 19, 2007

taipei: lu rou fan (stewed meat rice)

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this one is for everyone who's gone to taiwan with me: 365 lu rou fan!!!

and yeah, that's their papaya milk milk tea behind there. :D

(post note: jun pointed out that this was the third morning not the first day we were there - yes someone had it twice in as many days i think - and so it was milk tea and not papaya milk. that's sad cos that means i don't have a picture of the papaya milk!)

oh joy, i am suffering from insane cravings for this right about now. the minced meat is, as you can see, somewhat on the slightly fatty side, stewed for so long with its salty, fabulous sauce until it almost melts in your mouth. coupled with fluffy taiwanese short grain rice, it is savoury heaven in your mouth.


also seen here from the last trip is the carrot cake, fried rice (which strangely tasted a lot better that last trip than it did this time) and the fried oyster, or ah jian - which was, to my somewhat very unprejudiced tastes when it comes to or ah jian, not bad.

they really should bring some of these taipei food here.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

taipei: Ay-Chung Flour Rice Noodles


aka ah chung mian xian. you have no idea how many bowls we downed while there and i'm still left with a bit of a craving for it.

granted its pigs insides that make up the really tasty broth, but that hasnt stopped people who don't eat them insides from digging into the mian xian - multiple times in fact, hor? helps that we stayed in the (in?)famous Rainbow Hotel, just down the next short street in Ximending.

the standard must-try while in taipei, its a must-try for a reason. if not for the taste, then its for the experience of standing around in the street, bowl in hand, slurping down the mian xian with 20 odd other people doing exactly the same thing at the same time.

so yeah, this is the first post of quite a few to come. i'm going to take this slow because i get insane cravings every time i bring up the photos. aside from the usual standard recommended stuff to eat, we also wandered off track and found other gems of eateries. i basically ate my way through taipei again.


Friday, October 5, 2007

yakiniku don


i rarely eat yakiniku because of the tendency of most places which aren't japanese restaurants tend to overcook the thin slices of beef. but that said, i don't really eat yakiniku in japanese restaurants either. if i'm in one, i'm usually there for sushi, sashimi or the like. and in many cases, the onions that come with the meat are also limp and soggy with the sauce. not this yakiniku don i had at the food court in Velocity however.

although the taste is probably a bit subtler than most yakiniku dons out there, it was exactly what i was looking for at lunch today.

yuan yang at Ah Mei afterwards was pretty good because it was on the bitter side. aside from certain desserts, i seem to have gone off overly sweet things these few days. odd.

Monday, October 1, 2007

Miss Clarity Cafe


i'd been hearing about this place for a while now. its bright, happy and has pretty good food at very affordable prices. see above the Roasted Chicken Leg, a Miss Clarity Recommendation, which came with roasted potatos and a mushroom ragout. very tasty. the chicken was moist and tender and the sides were fab.

also recommended by Rae is the blueberry pie. her Seafood Stew was not bad too, although a little different. the stew itself was a little drier than i expected, but the pastry it was served with was very light and good.

someone at the next table was having what looked like the steak or lamb chop. but since there was no steak on the lunch set menu (which comes with soup/salad + drink + dessert) i think it was the latter. looked good. maybe i'll have that next time.

i also spied on their set lunch menu a selection of asian dishes e.g. noodles etc. hmm.

Miss Clarity Cafe
5 Purvis Street #01-04