Friday, February 25, 2011

Tong Hua Jie Night Market - Taipei

Closing it Out in Style
Mom, I apologize in advance for the double negative because in Taipei you cannot not go to a night market.  We opted for the less touristy Tong Hua Jie rather than Shihlin.  Special thanks to Nicholas of My Inner Fatty for giving me a heads up on this - a pork sausage sitting in a small rice canoe.  How they fashioned a bun from rice, I can't figure out, I just know the combo works. 

Monday, February 21, 2011

Sit-Fun Shih Tang - Taipei

This is the Healthier Side of the Street?
I fancy myself the pork fat king - it's only a matter of time before I'm fitted with my coffin-shaped crown.  However, even I sat blinking, dumbfounded at the inch-thick layer of fat on the pork at Sit-Fun.  When later research suggested they offer "lighter versions of Taiwanese delicacies" I broke out in laughter.  Surely they must be joking.  The first bite was delicious but I soon felt like I was eating all icing and no cake.  The King admits to leaving a lot of the fat in the bottom of the bowl.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Cafe Ole - Taipei

The Coffee-Crazed are My Kinda People
I immediately noticed all the cafes in Taipei.  They're everywhere and that warms a man's heart.  There's nothing better than lazing in a cafe, drinking coffee, surfing the net, flipping through magazines, wasting time.  It's the template for my retirement.  I don't think I could live in a city where it isn't possible.  NY excels at it, Paris fails - not enough free wifi.  Singapore is coming along - though they need more free wifi.  Taipei, it turns out, does pretty well, Cafe Ole being a good example.  We went a few times, surrounded by hip Taipei-ers (Taipanese?) and enjoyed it to the fullest.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Maroco - Taipei

Thick Toast Wake-Up Call
Before I arrived in Taipei, Dodo had already scouted a breakfast spot near our hotel.  She described it as a "thick toast spot" and I knew exactly what she meant.  Maroco makes their own bread, slices it thicker than your head, toasts it and loads it with butter.  They do much more - feast your eyes on the tarts.  Though our Taipei trip wasn't a long one and repeating visits to a single place makes little sense, we came to Maroco many times - because of the toast.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Shin Liu Farm - Hualien, Taiwan

Healthiest Meal in the History of the Puff List?
I rarely do the things I should. Back in my youth I used to exercise, smile, make new friends and eat vegetables.  I've grown up to be an old, lazy, scowl-faced carnivore.  I like to think of myself as a work in regress.  That's not to say I don't enjoy a plate or two of veggies from time to time, I just don't go searching for them.  Our Taiwan guide, a colleague of Dodo's, was something of a health nut.  She drove us south of Hualien, into the east rift valley to Shin Liu Farm for some greenery, both the viewing and eating kind.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Yi Wan Xiao - Hualien, Taiwan

Perfect Post-National Park Meal
Hualien is a city on the Eastern coast of Taiwan near the spectacular Taroko National Park.  We'd spent the day at Taroko, gawking at seascape, rivers and mountains through sun, clouds and cold drizzle.  By dinner time we were famished and looking for restoration.  Luckily our B&B owner gave us an insider's inside scoop and sent us to Yi Wan Xiao for noodles.  The name could be translated as "A Small Bowl" and indeed that's all it took for me to be totally satisfied and ready for a night of unconsciousness.