Friday, April 9, 2010

Taiwan Trip (Part 2) - FOOD!

The thing I loved about Taiwan the most is obviously the FOOD!  I did not have one thing that tasted bad, and when I came back to Hong Kong things actually tasted worse/not amazing anymore.  So sad... now I only have pictures to remind my stomach of the awesomeness and countdown until the next time I go back (who knows when...).

Anyway, just want to share with you guys what we ate... I'm getting hungry thinking about it already!  (FYI, conversion rate is 100TWD = about $3.33CAD, just divide TWD by 30)

Breakfast at a local place

Was walking around before the hostel opened so we found this small restaurant with tons of Chinese breakfast items - Yao tiu (fried dough sticks), Xiao Long Baos (Steamed Shanghai dumplings/bread), and tons of other stuff.  Love asian breakfast :)  Each item about 20-40TWD

Seafood Noodles @ Yeliu

Had these amazing seafood noodles with TONS of seafood in it - mussels, shrimp, abalone and other stuff that I couldn't identify, and the sauce was so good.  We were right by the ocean and there were lots of fishing boats (and lots of seafood restaurants), so yes, the seafood was super fresh.  I don't think I've ever tasted mussels sooo good and flavourful.  Each plate was about 75TWD, pretty much the most expensive thing we ate all trip.

Tea @ Jiufen Teahouse

I guess this isn't really food, but had some genuine Taiwanese tea.  Fruit tea (with real pieces of fruit) and Jasmine milk tea.  Fruit tea was a little too sweet for my taste but the Jasmine milk tea was perfect!  Decently priced, we got a "deal" - 100TWD for each person (2 teapots)

Wheel Cakes @ Night Market

So yummy, I think I had 3 of these during the whole trip.  It's a light cake with some kind of filling and a crispy outside, fillings include and not limited to red bean, peanut, sesame and condensed milk. 8TWD each.  Yes 8... as in $0.25CAD. hahaha... I should have ate more!

Iron Plate Spaghetti @ Night Market

 (In order, beef steak, pork, lamb, yum!)

Choose your type of meat/steak and cook it yourself!  Well the meat is mostly cooked or that would be unsanitary, but I think my steak was slightly underdone, the way I like it. haha.  You can choose from beef, lamb, pork chop, and more.  Comes with spaghetti and an egg, only for 40TWD.  RIDICULOUS!  And so delicious!

Huge Ice Cream Crepes @ Night Market

Ridiculously sized crepes but so good.  I was so full at that point I just had a crepe with ice cream (mint chocolate!), but my friend Wendy got a crepe sundae which had ice cream, cookies, chocolate roll wafers and chocolate sauce.  Sundae was 60TWD and ice cream only was about 40TWD.

Mochi Bun @ Poker House Bakery in the MRT

Grabbed some breakfast in the subway station before heading out, I got a mochi strawberry bun which was a bun with strawberry jam filling wrapped with a layer of mochi.  Looked sooo cute so I had to buy it!  About 30TWD?

Gua Gua Bao @ Ding Gua Gua (Fried chicken chain)

There were seriously fried chicken chains EVERYWHERE in Taipei.  We went to this one to try there Gua Gua Bao, which we found out to be glutinous rice wrapped in fried chicken skin.  Sooo good!  They also have sweet potato fries which were quite good =)  Gua Gua bao was 45TWD.

Popcorn Chicken @ Night Market

I always loved popcorn chicken at the Toronto bubble tea houses so I definitely had to try the real thing in Taiwan.  Honestly, this was probably the BEST THING I ate in Taiwan.  Perfectly spiced, chicken was sooo juicy and tender.  Crying right now... 55TWD for a large portion

Corn Dogs @ Night Market

We saw these quite alot at the night markets.  My Korean roomate Soyeon ate alot of these, apparently it's a Korean childhood thing. hahaha.  Each ranged from 20 - 50TWD.

Stinky Tofu @ Night Market

My first time trying stinky tofu!  I was always scared of the smell in Toronto but after coming to Hong Kong and staying in the Mong Kok area I got so used to the stinky tofu smell and now it kinda smells good, hahaha.  In Taiwan they cut up the tofu into small cubes, and serve it in a bag with sauce and some kinda sour coleslaw type veggie.  The sauce was so good and the sour veggies matched perfectly!  In HK I noticed that they just serve you the smelly tofu in a big block with no sauce, so haven't really had motivation to try it... I think it was 30TWD for a couple of blocks cut up.

"Taipei 101" Chips @ Night Market

A really tall swirl of chips on a really long skewer.  You can choose the type of seasoning you want on your chips, I got a mix of something like seaweed, pepper salt, cheese or something like that.  Yum!  I got one that was freshly deep fried too, haha.  Maybe 20TWD per stick, can't remember.

Green onions wrapped in meat @ Night Market

No idea what these are called but that's what it is.  Pretty good but the onion taste was too overpowering.  Huge line up for this one though!  10TWD for one.

Huge Ice Cream Cones @ Night Market

...with really cool flavours!  Swirl of green tea and mango, taro and strawberry or chocolate and vanilla.  Only 10TWD for a regular cone and 20TWD for a huge one!

Beef Brisket Noodle (and Bubble Tea) @ Taipei 101 Food Court

BEST BEEF BRISKET NOODLE EVER.  The brisket was so so soft it was melt in your mouth, it's not sticky/chewy and doesn't get stuck in your teeth like normal brisket does.  Soup and noodles were also amazing, noodles were bouncy and gooood.  I can't even recall the taste properly because it was just too mindblowing.  I'm depressed now..... haha.  It was expensive though, probably because we ate in Taipei 101.  You can get this in the night market for 30TWD or something but we were just too full!  It was 138TWD for a bowl.

Also had a bubble tea with it and it was so so good, so creamy and flavourful!  We actually saw BBT for 10TWD in the night market but we paid 30TWD for this one.

Pig Blood Cake @ Sansia Old Street

From Wikipedia:  In Taiwan, pig blood cake (traditional Chinese: 豬血糕; pinyin: zhū xiě gāo) is made of pork blood and sticky rice. It is fried or steamed as a snack or cooked in a hot pot.  This one was interesting... I guess I wasn't used to the taste, it tasted a bit like glutinous (sticky) rice and yeah, not sure about this one. This local that was standing near us kept telling us that it's good and seemed a little offended that we weren't enjoying it very much. hahaha.  20TWD for one.

 Oyster Vermicelli @ Ximending

Huge lineup but really delicious noodles!  The people there are EXTREMELY efficient at filling up bowls with vermicelli, I should have caught a video if it.  They scoop almost 1 bowl a second.  We tried to blend in with the locals while we were eating =)  Small bowl 40TWD, big bowl 55TWD.

Onion Pancake @ Night Market

(Left - original onion pancake; right - with egg)

I can't believe I only ate this on the last day. So fluffy and savoury... ahh!  They also have an option to add egg in it so we tried both, have to say that we liked the original better though.  I should have eaten way more than 1 during this trip.  My stomach was sad and now I'm craving it again. Sad sad sad sad. One for 20TWD, with egg 25TWD.

Please don't count how many times I said delicious in this post... lol.  I can't wait to go back to Taiwan in the future, but for now I guess I have to "settle" for Hong Kong food!