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Sheep+Pony November 24, 2019

Posted by hslu in Life in Taiwan, Restaurants, Taipei, Taiwan, Travel, 台灣, 台北.
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I am not sure why this small and cozy burger joint calls itself sheep+pony but you can definitely enjoy a juicy and tender burger if a seat is available at lunch or dinner time.

Sheep +Pony had exactly one chef and one waitress. It’s pretty dark inside and the interior was showing signs of aging though.

Entrance to the small dining room.

Draft beer dispenser. Not working though.

Once you placed your order, you needed to wait patiently for your burger because each order was prepared separately from the scratch and it took 10 to 15 minutes to cook the 2″ thick burger to perfection.

The boiler is at the bottom of the range.

Chips weren’t that great and they didn’t have draft beer either. We had to settle for a bottle of corona instead. The small kitchen was on the other side of the 5-seat counter. Three or four more tables were on the outside of the kitchen in an enclosed area on the sidewalk.

The other half of the dining room is on the other side of the kitchen.

Very simple menu: burgers and deep fried drumsticks.

We ordered a slider, 2 pieces of drumsticks and a bottle of corona. The burger is topped with sauteed onion and seasoned with salt and pepper. The buns are grilled but chips weren’t very good.

The slightly breaded drumsticks were juicy in the inside and crispy on the outside. However, I wouldn’t say they were extraordinary.

Will China invade Taiwan? October 26, 2019

Posted by hslu in China, 美國, 習近平, 蘇俄, Military, Taiwan, 台灣, 中國.
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Could China Really Invade and Take Over Taiwan by Force?

Imagining this:
Some time after the unlikely event of a DPP’s win of the upcoming presidential election in early 2020, be it one month, one year or two years, China announces that it has taken over the islands of Jinmeng (金門) and Mazhu (馬祖) after a bloodless invasion overnight. Penghu (澎湖) is the next target. Plans for a full-scale invasion of the island of Taiwan have long been drawn up but the invasion isn’t on the table just yet.
China also announces that “Operation Cutting the Head of;斬首行動” has begun. In the same announcement, China says that this is an internal affair and it warns other country to staying clear of seas surrounding the island. In other words, an areal and a sea blockades are in effect immediately.
What will the U.S. do?More sanctions against China? Propose to sell more defensive weapons to Taiwan? Send in an additional aircraft carriers to the Eastern Pacific Ocean? In other words, possibly not much different from Obama’s responses against Russia after invasion of Crimea.
What will Taiwan’s official response be? Declare independence and activate military reserves? Ask the U.S.to send in more marines to Taipei?
What willTsai Yingwen and DPP top officers’ next move be?Fly to Japan, hide in Japan’s official office in Taipei or send Mayingjiu to Beijing to negotiate a surrender to PLA in secret?
Will Taiwan’s stock market drop 65% overnight? Maybe it is 75% instead.
This will definitely qualify as a “black swan” for the stock markets around the world.
Are you prepared for it?

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.


有模有樣,不簡單 April 20, 2019

Posted by hslu in Life in Taiwan, Taipei, Taiwan, 林口.
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託夢 April 18, 2019

Posted by hslu in Democracy, Election, Life in Taiwan, Taipei, Taiwan, 台灣, 台北, 民主.
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這年頭,連任 is job no 1。










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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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。












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。


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。



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。









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。



這些是 sushi。









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.


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.


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.

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.


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.

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