Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Taipei: 鳥家燒烤 NiaoJia Yakitori & 通化街夜市 TongHua Nightmarket [Day 1]

After walking all day at the tradeshow and at 101, I met up with Joyce R. for some good ol' izakaya in 東區, around Luxy. There's this one section that seriously has 3-4 izakaya/yakitori all in one location, and after waiting for a bit for them to start dinner service at 6, we finally got seated.

Zhongxiao Dong Lu, Section 4, Alley 223, #46,
Da-An Disctrict, Taipei

So apparently they hired this yakitori master from Japan to teach them how to do yakitori the right way. They even had a plaque signed and stuff. Don't know how legit it is... but damn they do have good yakitori.

Of course gotta start off with a beer after a long day. Free advertisement for Asahi right here hahaha.

Miso-marinated tuna with cucumber. At least.. I think it was tuna. Not bad at all, a little salty from the miso but definitely refreshing with the cucumber.

Curry Korroke with katsu sauce. Slight hint of curry, not overpowering. Awesomeness.

This has gotta be my favorite: handmade chicken meatballs. So tender, and the sauce or glaze they put on it makes it amazing.

Stir fry pork & kimchi. Pretty much a standard now at izakayas everywhere. Perfect companion to beer.

Broiled shio fish collar. Not any sort of fancy fish, so it had a real fishy taste to it. Definitely cheaper than hamachi or salmon haha.

Chicken yakitori. Soft, tender, flavorful.

Oden. It had all sorts of things in it: turnip, konjac, 3 different kinds of fishcake, tempura etc. The soup base was amazing. Joyce said it's the perfect cure to a hangover haha.

Decided to end the meal with a Grilled salmon onigiri. Another one of my favorite things. There's just something about a riceball that gets to me since I ate that a lot as a kid so there's a nostalgic feel to it. And when you glaze sauce and add a little bit of salmon to it then grill it? Game overs.

I had to get a drink to wash everything down so after walking around for a bit, went to TenRen and got a fresh milk green tea. A lot of people from the states don't like TenRen in Taiwan since the flavor of the tea really comes through and it's not as sweet. Perfect for me though. Kinda expensive ($50NT) but still cheaper than anything in the states haha.

I was crazy full after eating at 101 and at the izakaya but since the night was young, Joyce and I decided to make one more stop... at 通化街夜市 TongHua Nightmarket.

Few of the vendors at TongHua. They actually renamed it to 臨江街夜市 LinJiang Nightmarket but to me it'll always be TongHua.

We couldn't really eat anything else so we decided to get the famous 剪刀式雞蛋糕 egg cake. It has franchised to the point where almost every big nightmarket has one now but TongHua's is the most well-known.

Big, crunchy on the outside, and soft on the inside. The different shapes definitely make it kid's favorites. $35NT for 4. Kinda expensive for Taiwan's standards but they're bigger than normal egg cakes.

Joyce waiting for our order and watching the guy make our egg cake.

蔥抓餅 loosen scallion cake. This placed had like over 10 flavors. I was too full to eat it though.

I did decide to get this. Used to eat it as a kid all the time too.

Lady at work frying up my order. Pretty much they kneed sweet potato into the dough they fry it up. This stand also has the purple sweet potato balls also.

地瓜球 fried sweet potato ball. You can't really tell thanks to my horrible picture but there it is :]. Very "Q." Taiwanese people love that chewy texture.

Was thirsty after all that so Joyce was nice enough to treat me to a passion fruit juice tea with boba. Apparently fresh fruit juices are all the craze now in Taiwan. Drink shops selling fresh juices are popping up everywhere.

End of day 1 in Taipei! Definitely... a good day's worth of food hahah. Thanks to Joyce for being my partner-in-cime that day!