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Together Cafe, Taipei Taiwan May 10, 2020

Posted by hslu in 美食, Life in Taiwan, Restaurants, Taipei, Taiwan, 台灣, 台北.
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The coronavirus crisis in Taiwan has mostly been under controlled by government’s early and decisive actions. Social distancing, proper personal protection, strict quarantine measures and tireless tracking through personal contacts and other means have kept the virus case count at 440 with 366 releases and 6 deaths. As of today, 05/10/2020, it has been 28 days in a row without an indigenous case in Taiwan.

With that reassuring backdrop, we have come out of our semi quarantine and on this mother’s day travelled to Taipei to enjoy a quiet afternoon at Together Cafe at Dong Meng Market (東門商圈) in the Daan District (大安區)。

This is our second time here and we really liked it. Together serves great coffee, tasty bites, wonderful teas, top quality desserts and various Italian meals and sandwiches. The interior is clean and cozy with very clean bathroom in the back. It offers baskets to keep your bags by your side. The young girl who helps us to decide what to order is patient, personal and friendly.

We choose an order of afternoon tea which includes a cup of coffee or your selection of tea and a dessert. It isn’t cheap but it is nice and very relaxing.

Afternoon tea combo: Coffee and lemon tart.

The Diner, Xinyi BD, Taipei, Taiwan February 20, 2020

Posted by hslu in 美食, Life in Taiwan, Restaurants, Taipei, Taiwan, 台灣, 台北.
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After my doctor’s appt., we went for a cup of coffee at Bigtwon. However, for some reasons unbeknown to us, The Bigtwon Coffee Shop was completely full with absolutely no table available at 3 pm on a Wednesday afternoon. This was a first for us. We went to Louisa Cafe across the street instead.

By the dinner time, we decided to have dinner at The Diner 樂天。in the Xinyi District(信義區)of Taipei.

We actually shouldn’t eat dinner at all because we didn’t finish our lunch at Jiuru (九如) on Ren-ai Road in east Taipei at around 3 pm. But my wife wanted one so that we can skip a light snack before going to bed.

The Diner is a casual restaurant serving typical America food like sandwiches, breakfast meals, omelets, pizza and hambergers.

This 2nd-floor, 50-seat restaurant was busy with young people except us. From their apperance, I didn’t think they were office workers getting a bite before taking the subway home. They weren’t tourists either because I didn’t hear any foreign language being spoken here.

Our meal was simple: an order of onion rings, an omelet, a bowl of Jambalaya and a bottle of a local beer with a buy-two-get-one-free offer.


I ordered a local beer, 小雪, because I wanted to see how good this Taiwanese craft beer compared to other beers we have tried before. Its 6.9% alcohol content by volume also raised some interest because the popular Taiwan Beer (gold label) was too bland to me. Well, I like the amber color and the light banana flavor of 小雪 but it certainly didn’t taste like it had 6.9% alcohol in the bottle.

Onion rings were crispy and good. The Jambalaya was the best, way better than others we have had in Taipei. However, the omelet was no where close to the ones we could have at any truck stop along the interstate highway in the U.S.

The staff was young, polite, energetic and eager to answer questions we had. The service was quick and professional.

It will be a while before we go back to the The Diner because there are simply too many restaurants which directly compete with it even in the Xinyi District of Taipei.

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?

https://nationalinterest.org/blog/buzz/could-china-really-invade-and-take-over-taiwan-force-90646
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.

bb

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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比我厲害。

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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一般來說,海內外的政客都是用空頭支票來騙選民的。反正開出去的空頭支票不用他/她出錢,不管它的結果對人民有多壞,也是以後政客和選民的問題。

這年頭,連任 is job no 1。

這一招在全世界都行得通。無可厚非,大家依樣畫葫蘆。你會,我也會。不稀奇。

臺灣的政客除了要會開空頭支票以外,拿一把刷子那就只有被別人當豬拱的份。

君不見,臺灣國民黨的政客真厲害。他們功力之高可謂前無古人,後一定還有來者。

要選又有一點不好意思。不選又不甘心。於是乎,每個人的身段之柔軟,態度之曖昧,臉皮之厚實,武藝之高強,實在是不同凡響。如此高人一等的絕學,一定有良師指點。

臺灣的政客除了開空頭支票以外,不拿出一點花招跟別人比劃比劃那是罩不住的。

託夢這種事,反正是我說了算,你能把我怎麽樣?玉皇大帝,觀世音,媽祖,土地公,關公,財神爺,送子觀音,耶穌,彌勒佛,紅孩兒,海龍王,托塔天王都可以參加。如果你能夠指名道姓,講得出那一宮,那一廟,那一山,那一澗的話,真實性比較高,分數比較多。

到時候,看我的厲害,還是你的厲害。誰怕誰呀?

你大白天下午打盹時做的白日夢也算數。我們白天的收,晚上的也收。大家一視同仁,不分彼此,多多益善,廣結良緣。

還有半年多。其他的幾個可以登場了。晚了一步就只有跑龍套的角色當當,那就後悔莫及了。

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.

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