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Stagiaire, Taipei Taiwan April 20, 2019

Posted by hslu in 美食, Life in Taiwan, Restaurants, Taipei, Taiwan, Travel, 台灣, 台北.
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This small restaurant in Taipei East (台北東區) gave me a cold feeling when we went there a few weeks before.

I didn’t know whether it was the bright lights from the ceiling, the mirror on the wall, the empty dining room, the open spaces in the restaurant, the bland sandwiches or the much too sweet desserts we were served that afternoon.

The service was not inspiring and we got too many sweets.

I won’t go again.

No wonder it is called Stagiaire.

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板橋火車站地下美食街 April 13, 2019

Posted by hslu in China, Chinese Food, 美食, Life in Taiwan, Restaurants, Taipei, Taiwan, Travel, 台灣, 台北.
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今天是禮拜六,天陰陰的。本來我們打算去鶯歌陶瓷老街逛逛,坐公車去板橋火車站時開始下大雨。氣象預報說這雨一直要下到六點多。我們決定不去鶯歌,就在板橋火車站逛逛吧。

板橋是新北市最大的行政區,人口差不多有六十幾萬人。新北市政府也設在板橋,市政府的大樓就在火車站的後面。板橋最大的購物中心,大遠百,Mega City,就在市政府的邊上。

板橋火車站非常熱鬧。這裏的交通實在是四通八達:高鐵,捷運板南線,五十路的公車站,遠程汽車站。九月份台北新北的環狀捷運又要通車。你看這裏有多熱鬧。天天在這裏進進出出的人不知道有多少。週末來這裏吃飯的,逛街的和聊天的更是數不勝數。

新北市政府在火車站的對面

火車站月臺檢票口。

鐵路便當很便宜,味道不錯,偶爾吃吃也不錯。最便宜的只要$60,差不多$2美金。

好吃吧?

這個長廊可以去新北市政府和大遠百。後面那一段邊上有很多男男女女的學生在這裏練舞。

火車站底下的長廊有好多家餐館,食堂,麪包店和咖啡廳。

其實,我們來這裏已經很多次了。不過,樓下一樓的美食街是最近才開的。我們上次來是在賣江浙菜的麻膳堂吃的。麻膳堂的名字有點怪,聽起來不像是一個賣江浙菜的餐館。他們的東西不算好。馬馬虎虎而已。

麻膳堂的邊上有一家賣丼飯的餐館:開丼,看起來不錯。我們當時就決定下次來。

開丼只賣丼飯和一些小菜。菜單裏的丼飯相片實在漂亮。我們選了:

太太點的是這個。

這就是極上翼板牛排丼。邊上小碗是紅豆湯。可能是 flank steak。肉很嫰。包在 Lettuce 裏吃也很好吃。

這是我點的:

炙燒舒肥櫻桃鴨叉燒。附帶的三種沾汁是給鴨肉的。分別是紫紫蘇鹽,Balsamic vinegar 和金桔胡椒。

把肉拿開了以後就是這個樣子。

我們還點了兩個小菜:胡麻秋葵和,XO醬炒水蓮和一罐啤酒。

秋葵。Miso soup 自己去拿。還有紅茶和檸檬汁。Lettuce 是用來包肉和飯的。不夠可以再要。

丼飯很好吃,肉香,味重,很甜,有一股淡淡的烤肉的獨特焦味。米是臺灣米。我特別問了,不過沒問出是那裏生產的。我猜是越光米。每粒米的個子很大,粒粒分開,不黏嘴,不粘牙,圓圓寶滿,白白胖胖的,非常好吃。那些要我們吃糙米的人,一定沒吃過這種白米。不過,我一面吃,一面有人在耳朵邊上嘮叨:多吃糙米。少吃白米。別忘了,好吃的一定不健康。

吃了再說吧。下次在家吃糙米好了。

澆在飯上的醬汁也都有甜味,油光光的。要是有一點半酸半甜的酸菜就更好了。梅子不是那種軟趴趴的,吃在嘴裏沒味道的那種。梅子的肉很結實,不甜,也不酸。最後我還是沒把飯吃完。叫的東西太多,別忘了,啤酒還有好幾百百個卡路里呢。

秋葵是水煮以後冷凍的,好像是芝麻醬的配料。水蓮還可以,還算嫰。雖然是用XO醬炒出來的,可是味道不重,鹽放的也不多。

火車站地下街還有很多好吃的東西。餐館,食攤子差不多有五十幾家。

廣東點心

把這麽多好吃的東西擺在你前面真是要命。你難道不知道我只有一個肚子,二高,肚子還不怎麽好嗎?真缺德啊!吃個胃藥吧。

如果這不能吃,那個也不能吃,這日子過的還有什麼意思呢?

韓國的炸醬麪,沒想到在這裏還看的到。這讓我想起 FAIRFAX和 Centerville VA 那幾家韓國店的炸醬麪了。

臺灣小吃。

豆花好吃,就是太甜了。

這些是 sushi。

素食堂有七八十種素菜。

這像是粽子。

這是廣告。九份老街是可以一去再去的地方。

麻膳堂的廣告。

我們去過吃到飽。不是太好的那種。以後不會去。

廣告。還沒去過。

怎麽樣?流口水了沒有?

哦,二樓還有好多店子呢。

Naughty Nuri’s Warung, 刁廚,紐利,Taipei March 17, 2019

Posted by hslu in Food, Life in Taiwan, Restaurants, Taipei, Taiwan, 台灣, 台北.
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A cozy little restaurant offering an eclectic menu including salad. burgers, BBQ ribs, prime steaks, grilled chickens, lamb chops, roasted beef on a stick, deep fried oysters, BBQchicken wings, Balinese fried rices, Italian pasta, sauteed spinach and broccoli with cheese. For drinks, Naughty Nuri’s has a variety of its own brand of bottled beers, including lagers, pale ale and fraise.

The owners of the restaurant came from Bali who opened the original Nuri’s in Bali in 1995 and have enjoyed huge success with its finger-licking good BBQ ribs and other authentic Balinese cuisines.

T

hey came to Taipei in 2018 and opened Naughty Nuri’s in Eastern District of Taipei. We found Nuri’s while browsing a Taiwanese APP called 愛食記. We were particularly attracted by the pictures of BBQ ribs uploaded by many members of the APP.

We had dinner for 2 which included:

A half order of BBQ ribs,

A Balinese pan fried noodles with chicken,

Chicken satay and garlic bread.

We also ordered a bottle of Nuri’s pale al and a bottle of Nuri’s lager.

All dishes were great and the BBQ ribs was the best even though it was a bit on the sweet side. Satay should be grilled for a few minutes more so that it could be caramelized.

Nuri’s beers were great with the ribs and we both like the fried noodles as well.

Next time we’ll try lamb chops and fried rice.

One of these days we will come back to order a full slab of ribs. Maybe an order of salad too.

Nanmeng Market 台北南門市場: Great place, good stuff March 17, 2019

Posted by hslu in China, Chinese Food, Life in Taiwan, Taipei, Taiwan, Travel, 台灣, 台北, 中國.
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Even though we’ve been in Taiwan for 2 years and have been to Taipei many times, I didn’t know Nanmeng Market (南門市場) until a friend told us about it. She said that we can get all kind of good stuff that is necessary to prepare for a good and authentic New Year’s eve dinner.

I took my wife with me and visit the Nanmeng Market the next day. I wanted to see it with my own eyes and buy some stuff which our parents used to buy for New Year’s eve dinner when we were kids.

The moment I stepped into the old market and saw those strips of salted bacons and dried sausages hanging on bamboo sticks, I knew that Nanmeng Market is my kind of market.

Front door.

The market is in the basement.

Food stalls on the second floor.

Dried beef, dried pork.

More vacuum packed dried meats, sausages and salted ducks.

Sausages with different flavors. Mom used to make these dried sausages two months before Chinese New Year.

元宵節 at winter solstice. Hand made sticky rice or glutinous rice balls. They may or may not have fillings. Typical fillings are red bean paste, finely minced and sweetened peanuts, grounded and sweetened sesame. Some have minced meat and they can be deep fried too.

Workers are making sticky rice balls the way it has been done hundreds or even thousands of years in China.

Ready to serve items.

Pig feet, salted chicken and roasted ducks.

Stewed sticky dofu. Very sticky. I prefer deep fried sticky tofu because it is less pungent.

Blocks and slabs of Jinhua dried ham, 金華火腿. It’s the most famous dried ham Chinese style in China.

This is exactly the kind of market I like to go to buy various Chinese delicacies, dried meats, assorted pre-made items, ready to serve goodies, and hard to find gourmet food for special occasions.

There is a food court on the second floor but many food stalls close in early afternoon probably because most people finish their grocery shopping shortly after lunch.

I will come back later and definitely around Chinese New Year next year.

Brasserie, Regent Galleria, 晶華,Taipei November 14, 2018

Posted by hslu in Chinese Food, 美食, Life in Taiwan, Restaurants, Taipei, Taiwan, Travel, 台灣, 台北.
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I’ve heard of this restaurant for a while and knew that it’s been a favorite of Taiwan’s buffet goers. It is highly recommend by food bloggers too. On weekends, if you don’t have a reservation, you have no chance of getting a seat. It’s also one of a more expensive and high-end buffets in Taipei.

台北晶華酒店。前門看起來怪怪的。一邊的斜坡往上顯得不平衡。不知道這個旅館的風水好不好。Brasserie 在一(底)樓。從旅館右邊去就可以了。不用上樓。電梯很慢。

We came here with our friends for the first time on a Thursday afternoon for the mid-afternoon buffet. We got a deal online for four at 15% discount and received the voucher via registered mail a day before our mid-afternoon buffet.

The line started way before 2:30 pm, the time we were supposed to be there, and everyone was expected to wait in line. Once our reservation was confirmed, we were led to our table and were told that we had 2 hours for our meals.

The dining room was huge. I estimated that it had 250 seats or more. Our section wasn’t full but the main sections was filled with hungry customers.

This is one of the four dining rooms. We were seated at behind the sushi station probably because I made my reservation too late but I didn’t request a better table either.

One of the main dining rooms.

The busiest food section was the seafood and sushi bar. Cold dishes were here too. Salads bar had fresh fruits and there were countless desserts to choose from. Hot food items were spreaded out on the opposite side of the sushi bar. Too bad that we had to pay more for beer and wine. A glass of the house wine was NTD $200, or USD $6.50.

Looking from the entrance of the food section. The far end was the sushi bar.

Salad bar.

Desserts. 20+ items. There were six flavors of icecreams too.

Hot food section.

Noodles bar. Didn’t try.

Seafood, sashimi and sushi bar.

Roasted ham and dim sum to his right.

Pasta station.

There was a 10% service fee and it was collected at the time of my purchase of the discount voucher.

A

That was onion soup. Just okay.

Two pieces of roasted chicken and more veggies.

I had more desserts than these. My recent blood test showed that my blood sugar level became normal probably because helped by our daily walk of 10,000 steps for the past two years.

Cocktail sauce was too watery. Shrimps were fresh. I didn’t eat much seafood even though I don’t need to take cholesterol drug anymore.

I ate more veggies than meat even at a buffet.

t around 4:15, a staff member walked around the tables and reminded everyone that the dining room will be closed soon. By 4:30, everyone was asked to leave and even the restroom was about to close too.

The quality of the food was very high. I didn’t eat any sashimi so I couldn’t comment on that. The presentation was excellent. The staff was courteous and dirty plates were taken away rather quickly. Kitchen staff was diligent to keep hot food hot and cold food cold. They also did their best to keep the food stations clean and tidy.

The dining rooms were clean and there were plentyof spaces for all customers to not feel squeezed. Our section was nice but the main dining sections were much nicer with plenty of sunshine, glass walls , high ceiling, outdoor scenery and big and open spaces.

All in all, it was a nice experience. I hoped that beer and wines were free.

Coffee Lover’s Planet, Taipei October 20, 2018

Posted by hslu in Life in Taiwan, Taipei, Taiwan, Travel.
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We skipped lunch at home, came to Taipei for some personal business and then stopped by here for a mid-afternoon light lunch.

By the time we got here, it was 3 pm already.

The Coffee Lover’s Planet is located at the basement of the SOGO Dunhua, located at the interaction of Zhongxiao East Road and Dunhua South Road. SOGO Dunhua is one of three shopping centers operated under the SOGO name brand. All three SOGO’s are within walking distance in the East District of the Taipei.

The coffee shop enjoys high ceiling, bright interior lighting and plenty of sunlight.

Some of the coffees sold at the shop.

More coffees for sale.

Not sure what these machines are for.

Wonderful desserts and sandwiches.

Another view of the coffee shop.

.

The coffee shop offers a variety of coffees, pastries and soothing atmosphere. It has high ceiling, plenty of space and a casual vibe.

We had two cups of latte and shared a sliced chicken breast sandwich. We then had two lovely pastries for dessert.

It was quick and quite filling. We got our lattes shortly after we placed our order at the counter. Desserts came next followed by our sandwich.

Fast and courteous service. Good food. Good company. The coffee shop was pretty busy with business professionals and workers from nearby businesses.

Not bad for meeting friends for lunch either.

Kind like feeding cows September 25, 2018

Posted by hslu in Food, Restaurants, Taipei, Taiwan, Travel.
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We’ve heard of Ichiran Ramen (一蘭拉麪) and knew the restaurant has been a favourite among

I was stunned when we were shown to our seats in section 5 of the famous Ichiran Ramen (一蘭拉麪) in Taipei not dissimilar to the ones in the picture below.

Ichiran Ramen is quite famous, I was told, because customers in Japan have to wait for hours just to have a bowl of noodles at any of its stores.

Ichiran’s noodles weren’t exactly cheap: $288 NTD for a bowl of ramen, about 20% more than comparable ramen noodles sold in Taipei. Anything extra would cost you more money. What seemed extremely outrageous to me was the listing price for extra green onion: $30 NTD, about $1 USD, for a handful of finely chopped green onions.

Minced garlic: $38 NTD. Vinegar: $38. 坑人。

After I walked up to my seat, no. 45, it further confirmed my fear: all of us were just cows waiting for our daily rations at a fancy feedlot in one of the most expensive sections in Taiwan: the Xinyi District of Taipei. Taipei 101 is in the Xinyi District.

This was my slot #46.. The slot isn’t much wider than my shoulders

 

My slot had a ~15″ x ~20″ opening but the top half of the hole was covered by a cheap rolling bamboo screen. All slots were separated by 15″ tall, about 1″ thick dividers made of composite wood and covered with cheap veneer. The tight space gave me the uneasy feeling that I was being treated like a cow and all customers were boxed in our slots just like these cows in the picture here.

Cows are having their lunch just like Ichiran’s customers eating their noodles.

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This is where our waiters and waitresses work between two rows of seats. They took our orders, control the position of the wood screens and deliver bowls of noodles to customers. Kitchen was about 8′ to his left. I saw two servers working in a space not much wider than 4′.

We came at a little before 2 PM. That’s why there isn’t a line waiting outside of the frpont door.

 

After a customer’s noodles was served, the rolling bamboo screen was lowered down. Interaction between the customer and the server was then terminated.

Our waiter gave us a plastic cup for water, an order sheet to tell the kitchen how we wanted our bowl of noodles made. Ichiran only sells one kind of noodle. You get to choose how spicy and how salty you want the broth to be; how firm for your noodles and whether you want more noodles, eggs, broth or green onions.

Imaging a line of 20 people lowering their heads and eat their noodles away There isn’t a place for your bag or backpack. Keep your baseball cap on because we don’t have room for it

It seemed to me that all customers were encouraged to eat their noodles alone. Once you got your noodles, interaction between you and your server was no longer necessary. Conversation with your friends weren’t encouraged. Ichiran wanted you ate your noodles, paid on your way out and yielded your slot to the next cow, sorry, customer as soon as possible.

Ichiran’s ramen broth was made from many hours of slow cooking of pork leg bones, rich in taste and quite thick in consistency.
broth, seasoning, noodles, and toppings — with respect to our obsession but with a bit of grace and ease.meat and eggs help make the bowl a meal, but they’re not where we’ll put our efforts in this recipe. Here, we’re concentrating on a richly flavored chicken broth and selecting the best noodles.

rich soup broth, in that it uses bones and aromatics to make a base for noodles and toppings. The most significant difference between ramen broth and plain stock is the two-part flavoring system. Kombu and dried shiitake mushrooms enhance the broth while it cooks, giving the broth an earthy taste unlike other broths.

The second addition to ramen broth is a system of flavoring known as tare. Tare is a mixture of intensely flavorful liquids or pastes that are added to the ramen broth just before serving. The most basic is a 50/50 mixture of soy sauce and mirin. Some are made with miso or include chili pastes.

For a restaurant-quality bowl of ramen anytime, keep kombu and dried shiitakes on hand for enhancing even homemade broth. Ditto for soy sauce and mirin. You may also want to keep pickled bamboo shoots and nori on hand for ramen enhancements.

Beer with green tea powder. $148 NTD, about $5 USD. Terrible. Yucky.

So little noodles: you’ll definitely go away hungry. Extra noodles: $48 NTD.

Bland。 Lack of sugar。Don‘t waste your money。

I will never go back to Ichiran. Ever. You shouldn’t either.

Cute November 6, 2017

Posted by hslu in Culture, Life in Taiwan, Taipei, Taiwan, Travel, 台灣, 台北.
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Saw this on my way to Taipei from Linkou on a Taipei/Taoyuan airport subway train.

前座男友:My boy friend in the front seat:

I use him to shield wind, rain and foreign objects. I tease him whenever I feel like it.

關於女友:About girl friend:

In her own mind: fat and sloppy,

In the eyes of her admirers: a sexy and easy pray,,

In the eyes of  her boy friend’s mother: a slave,slave,

In the eyes of her father: precious,

In the eyes of her friends: great company,

In the eyes of her boy friend: a perfect 10.

上引水產,台北 August 12, 2017

Posted by hslu in Food, Life in Taiwan, Restaurants, Taipei, Taiwan, Travel, 台灣.
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兒子跟我們說這是一個好地方;各式各樣的海鮮,水產,新鮮,好吃。如果海鮮不夠,這裏有湯,有飯 有肉,有牛肉,還有西班牙的火腿。不同的餐館供應不同的美食,還有啤酒,清酒,白酒,紅酒,啤酒和其他果汁。我們拖了一陣子纔去因為它離地鐵站有一點距離。

我們去過了以後,非常喜歡。這裏熱鬧非凡,不過看起來台北人來的不多,倒是觀光客不少。這裏可以大宴,可以小酌,可以自助,可以立食,也可以坐下來給別人侍候。你也可以在好大的一個超市裏選你喜歡的東西,在那裏吃站著吃,也可以在外面找板凳跟別人拼桌,坐在太陽下吃,當然你也可以帶回家慢慢的享受。

東西不見得便宜,不過也不是很貴。我們去了兩次,第一次就在壽司櫃檯,站在廚師的另外一邊吃。第二次在超市挑了自己喜歡的海鮮跟朋友在外面木桌上吃。很有意思,也很好玩。

上引水產在台北魚市裏面。這可以算是它的大門。大門下面亮晶晶的地方好像有四家餐館。

我不知道是不是真的,魚市場裏面有很多家餐館,好像都是上引水產的。這幾家餐館供應的美食都不一樣。這是五個餐館的基本介紹。

名字也好玩:站到呑。

壽司師傅忙著做菜。他們照菜單出菜。你也可以點你喜歡的海鮮要師傅幫你做。

服務員忙著送菜,倒酒。光是立呑區就有五,六個服務小姐。壽司師傅也有五,六個,排一長排。做壽司,sashimi,烤魚蝦,燉湯等等。個個都好忙。

第二杯半價。買一送一更好。

這是我們叫的菜。日本酒減價,小姐介紹的,買一送一。不過酒沒勁。酒杯也小的很。

生魚片看起來不錯。鐵酒杯,只有半滿。小氣。

味道和魚肉的 texture 都好。簡單,好看,等不及了。

這是別人叫的。師傅烤,我們一面吃,一面看他忙。

超市平面圖。

更多螃蟹。

砂鍋魚頭。白菜,粉絲,凍豆腐,雞湯,香菇。一定很好吃。

三個生蠔要美金十一塊。相當貴。

還有好的好吃的菜等著我們下次去。

在裏面大部分都是熟食區。

這是超市裏可以買到的。看起來不錯,種類也不少。我們第二次來的時候,就是在超市裏買的。當然比在餐館裏吃要便宜多了。不過這一盤也要$14美金。

各式各樣的螃蟹你要不要來一隻。第二次跟朋友來,太太就叫了一隻 king crab legs。他們大吃,我看。螃蟹我看看就好。不會吃,也懶得剝殼。麻煩。

不同種類的烤肉看起來很好吃。下酒一定很棒。盒子裏的牛肉看起來正正好。

烤鰻魚。在台灣算是非常貴的菜。我吃幾口就可以了。在台北,一碗不是很大的鰻魚飯要美金 $10 到 $20。邊上的羊排也相當精彩。100公克要美金$4.25,差不多美金$16/lb。

又是螃蟹。很多毛。

不同的啤酒和米酒。

烤豬肉。

這家不便宜。Cheese 也是比較貴的菜。這一家也有西班牙有名的黑豬火腿肉。

外面的板凳和木桌。

自助站立區。

站到大門口了。擠滿了人。

台北魚市的對面是台北的水果批發市場。裏面的東西琳瑯滿目,新鮮水果,種類繁多。

蓮霧。清脆,可口,微甜,汁多,去暑,好吃。

一眼看去都是賣水果和蔬菜的。

這個水果在國外不常見。這是枇杷。

地上一包一包的是青梅子。可以做酒。

好漂亮的香瓜。遠遠的就可以聞到它的香味。

這是綠皮的香瓜。一樣好吃。

你猜這是什麼?猜不到吧!這是白皮的蓮霧。不知道是什麼味道。朋友說,台灣在這方面很進步。不知道這些人在實驗室裏做了些什麼。

一部分賣水果 一部分賣菜。

這是我們第二次跟朋友來。在超市買了東西,在我們板凳上吃的。後來一家香港來的遊客跟我們坐在一起,他們叫的東西看起來也很好吃。蝦子,魚卵,象鼻蚌,三高的先兆。

下次再去。

Very busy March 25, 2017

Posted by hslu in Chinese Food, Taipei, Travel.
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One hour wait for a party of 4 at 3:15 pm on a Saturday afternoon at Zhong Xiao Fuxing (忠孝復興)Din Tai Fung(鼎泰豐), the xiaolongbao (小籠包)place.

It takes four people to make a xiaolongbao: one person makes wrapper, one person takes the wrapper, fills it with chopped vegetable and places it on a scale to check its weight, one person picks up the vegetable-filled wrapper, adds shrimp or crab meat to it and then places it on the wooden work table. The last person fold the wrapper up and makes sure the end product has 18 folds.

Well, folks, that’s the way it is.

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