Thursday, March 31, 2011

Taipei: Old Favorites with a Little Bit of New - Sun 3/20

Since it was still the month of the "Qing Ming Day" according to the Lunar calendar, I went with the family to go "掃墓," which is when Chinese heritage go to visit the deceased and pay their respects. After visiting my grandpa at the National Memorial Hall for Military and baibai-ing on Sunday morning, my aunt suggested the family go out and eat at the family's favorite, Ding Tai Fung.

soy milk (top)
Before we got to the memorial hall, had to get breakfast and went back to 永和 Yong He for some fresh soy milk. None of that stuff that can be kept on shelf for over 3+ years :P

soy milk
I love how almost all drinks in Taiwan are sealed like that. Never have to worry about the cap loosening or popping up.

Remember how I ate the egg crepe wrapped egg roll, well, I had it again haha. Inside is pork sung, pickled vegetable, and you tiao 油條 (fried donut).

Got to Ding Tai Fung around 12pm and still had to wait about 40min even though my aunt went early to get a table. Their mascot is a xiao long bao! Coooool haha.

Since I post so much on Ding Tai Fung every time I go back, decided to just post some of the new stuff that I tried.

Seaweed sidedish. My aunt is one of those people scared by the radiation scare in Japan so whenever there's seaweed, she always order :P

wheat gluten sidedish
滷麵筋 Braised wheat gluten. You know those veggie dogs or fake meats you see at the market? Well... this is 100x better than that. Has more of the texture of an oil tofu.

shrimp gyoza
This is one of the new items: 蝦煎餃 shrimp potstickers. A potsticker with pieces of shrimp inside. The reason it looks like that is because as you pan fry the potsticker, you add water to create this steam effect, and some of the water mixes with some flour that ran off the postickers and solidifies. As soon as the water is evaporated, the solidify part becomes part of the dumpling skin.

After a satisfying meal at Din Tai Fung (I think we ordered almost at least one of everything :P) I headed off to the convention, walked for another few hours, and then went to Taipei 101's foodcourt again to grab a drink.

auntie anne taiwan
Auntie Anne's under 101.

coco milk tea
Ahh perfect, found what I was looking for, CoCo Milk Tea.

royal milk tea
Didn't see oolong milk tea on the menu so I went for the Royal Milk Tea. It's "royal" since it is made with English black tea. Sorta pricey at $50 NTD but meh, gotta pay the price under Taipei 101.

I received a free voucher for the Taipei 101 observatory so I was gonna check it out but when I got there was a line FULL of Chinese tourist from mainland, along with a Japanese tour group, and some Westerners sprinkled throughout. So rather than going up, just chilled on the 5th floor overlooking the indoor plaza of Taipei 101.

Took the bus to 統一板急百貨 Uni-Hankyu Department Store. Saison du Soleil is one of my favorite bakeries with some amazing and creative baked goods. I was hungry and wanted real food so I didn't get anything.

crepe cart
Crepe cart. Last time I saw this place the line was looped around 3 times like at Disney.

free waffle sample
Free waffle samples. There's a layer of sweet butter between the waffle pieces.

katsu shop
Wanted to eat here at 九州杏子 Anzu Katsu, which is a shop specializing in tonkatsu as its name implies. It is known for its thick cut pork medallions and there's actually several locations throughout. Unfortunately there was way too many people since it was around dinner time so I had to skip it. Didn't want to wait in line by myself :P

Right when I turn around, I saw 翰林 Hanlin Milk Tea. They call themselves the true originator of milk tea. I had it last time, so decided... why not get another milk tea haha.

hanlin milk tea
This time I got to try the boba milk tea. Last time I went they sold out and I was devastated. The boba's not bad: made with brown sugar, got a good chew to it ("QQ") and not overly sweet. The milk tea is the star though. Taste exactly like how a good milk tea should be!

combo meal
Since I had a milk tea in my hand, decided to eat something that's more Taiwanese at the food court and went for a Taiwanese food stand. (7:30pm)

minced pork rice
魯肉飯 minced pork rice. Every time I come back I have to have minced pork rice at least once.

pork belly
Ah man look at that beautiful fatty pieces of braised pork belly :D

meatball soup
肉丸湯 meatball soup. Yes, the meatball is not round. Who said it has to be round?

boiled veggie with sauce
燙青菜 boiled vegetable with garlic soy paste. They serve cabbage here. Simple but delicious.

fried tofu
炸豆腐 fried tofu. Sauce was bomb. Wish it was stinky tofu but still tasty regardless!

After dinner, shopped around a bit at Uniqlo. Didn't really see anything unique or cool but had to get something.

On my way back to my aunt's, I suddenly realized that I haven't had 鹽酥雞 popcorn chicken yet, so after I got off the MRT, headed straight for 饒河街夜市 RaoHe Street Nightmarket and found my fried food stand! Of courseeeee gotta get a drink with the chicken! Decided to take it easy and just got 烏龍綠 oolong tea + green tea drink. (9:10pm)

popcorn chicken
You have no idea how fast I walked home just so I can take this stupid picture and eat it hahah.

basil & garlic
The perfect bite: chicken, a piece of fried basil, and some fried garlic.

lian wu
If you ask me what my favorite fruit is, I would have to say it is guava but 蓮霧 wax apple comes pretty damn close, and it is exactly what I capped off the day with :] It's actually in season around this time so it was a huge one and super sweet. It's expensive now though, with one running around $50-60NTD (~$1.60-2 USD).

As I was drifting off to sleep I was saddened that this was my last night in Taipei for this trip, so I was determined to make the next day count!


Protocol Snow said...

Is it typical to wait that long for Taipei Din Tai Fung? Those are Arcadia Din Tai Fung caliber waits ;) Luckily the times I've visited, the waits were negligible. Maybe I missed all the Japanese tourists.

oolong said...

there's several locations now in taipei so the line has gotten comparably shorter than before! weekend is still ridiculous though lol