Sunday, January 30, 2011

Hui Sushi - Taipei

The Best Japanese Outside of Japan
Dodo's Taiwanese colleague didn't offer the thought as a conversation starter.  She stated as fact that the "best Japanese outside Japan is to be found in Taiwan."  I was skeptical until chef Weng from Hui Sushi started placing dishes in front of me.  The Japanese were in Taiwan for about 50 years starting in 1895 so it makes sense.  However, since I tend to stay away from superlatives, let's just say that Hui Sushi was the best Japanese food I've ever tasted in Taiwan!  It was damned good and I offer up the photos and words to prove it.  Take a peek at the miso soup with prawn and hidden chunks of succulent fish.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Golden Cake Vendor - Taipei

Pay Dirt, PB-Style!!
After just one bite I fantasized about hiring her to setup her stall outside my apartment.  I dreamt of opening my front door and yelling "two more peanut butter, please."  Moments later I'd bite into this freshly cooked cake with a vein of molten chunky peanut butter.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Yong He Soy Milk King - Taipei

Is it Called Breakfast at 11pm?
I don't know, but I had an immediate affinity for Yong He - they serve freshly made breafkast food deep into the night.  It didn't hurt that I was fighting jetlag and losing - breakfast at night was making perfect sense.  What you see below is an amazing concoction - it's a thin egg and scallion crepe wrapped around two deep-fried dough sticks.  If I'm not mistaken (and I easily could be) that would be a dan bing wrapped around two you tiao.  Someone from Taiwan, help me out with my probably poor interpretation, please.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Le Cantine de Quentin - Paris

Grocery Store Dining
One of the growing Paris trends is eating inside the grocery store.  It's called "epicerie-a-manger" and the handful I've tried have been long on looks and short on quality food.  I'd say this about Le Cantine de Quentin, Au Duc de Montmorency as well as newcomer Jeanne A, where I recently suffered through a rubbery chicken. They all stock consumables on tidy shelves and create a grocery store illusion, though I've never been the least tempted to buy anything.  I do enjoy the look, it's comforting to me in some strange way.  Of those I've tried, Le Cantine de Quentin was the best experience food-wise.  The hits outshone the misses, like the remoulade, below.  A friend explained that it was made with celery but I later learned that he meant celeriac, which is a root vegetable from the celery family.  It was combined with peppers and tossed with mustard and was very nice.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Khong Guan - Singapore

Nasi Padang in Queenstown
This is the full circle post - the one that takes me back to the beginning.  Khong Guan is one of the first places I tried in Singapore and the one from which my girlfriend's nickname sprang.  See the "greedy shot" photo on the right, the one with the sparkling curry puff?  That was taken here a few years back and sent to me long-distance.  I started calling her Puff almost immediately and the name stuck for quite a while.  My mom still calls her that, resisting the more recently concocted "Dodo" as being too insulting.  Puffin grew up eating at this coffee shop and she gets all misty-eyed when she talks about their mee rebus.  I was more than happy to gnaw on a fat curry puff, which was deliciously tasty, sentimentality aside.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Tong Ah - Singapore

Now We're Talking...
All you fake toast spots, stand aside.  All you wannabe toast joints, get outta the way.  We're talking old school, throw back, analog, original toast, Chinatown-style.  I'd been spending too much time at lame, wan, watered down mall toast places and Ah Tong was the antidote.  There, sitting amongst the shophouses I downed stacks of perfectly made butter-sugared and kaya toasts and chased them with cups of dark, satisfying kopi.