Eating Out in Taipei

As street food is so abundant in Taiwan, we didn’t walk in to many restaurants to try their offerings, not even the spicy steamboat (麻辣火锅) they are so famous for. 😦 But lucky the friend I was bunking at did insist on going out for dinner a couple times with me so all is not lost.

One of the restaurants we went to was Yi Ping (一品花雕雞) for their “Fa Tiew Kai” or Chinese Wine Chicken. They have quite a few house specialties but what they really emphasized on is service. From the moment you are seated, the table’s assigned waiter will introduce himself and also their menu, even explaining and teaching you how to cook (for those hotpot dishes) or the best way to eat the ordered items.

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We started off with the Clam Hotpot (沙蜆鍋), where fresh clams are cooked right in front of your eyes. the waiter tells you how long to count as soon as the clams start opening to fish it out so that you taste the freshest, just cooked clam flesh. the stock was very fresh tasting after the quick boil through.

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My friend was most excited to let me try the Ribs Hotpot (澳門骨煲), where the bone marrow is the highlight of the dish. The waiter once again explained the steps on eating the dish, starting with sipping the soup after it boils a little. A tad oily, in my opinion. But plays an essential part in sipping the bone marrow where we have to pour in into the bone to soften the bone marrow. Then, insert a straw in and have a little fun poking around to mix the marrow and soup well before slurping it all up! Imagine this creamy, rich paste gliding down your throat… Mhmm. But must admit it’s all a bit too rich for me… still it was quite an interesting way to eat marrow.

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The house special, Chinese Wine Chicken (花雕雞) is also served in a hot pot to keep it continuously hot. Fresh greens are only added once the hotpot has been served to make sure they are not overcooked. We also ordered Stir Fried Angled Gourd (金银絲瓜). Cooked with salted egg, just the way I like it. Yum.

Overall, it was an enjoyable dinner… good company, and an attentive waiter with a great sense of humour… This is really quite a popular restaurant as I keep seeing people streaming in, a true testament to its good food and excellent service. They also have a hall of fame featuring asian artistes that have eaten there.

*****

Another place my friend was excited about showing me was this particular dish called Ginger Duck (姜母鸭), which I thought was just duck cooked with ginger… certainly wasn’t expecting this hotpot soup of ginger, duck and other medicinal herbs. most widely consumed during the cooler days, esp. during winter as it warms up the body and expels any wind etc.

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The place we went to, 现辛炭烧姜母鸭 had seats ala Vietnamese style, i.e. sitting low on stools. The ceramic hotpot is placed on charcoal stoves, burning slowly but steadily. In addition to the duck, one can add other ingredients into the soup such as leafy greens, meatballs etc etc. I am not the biggest fan of ginger, hence I depended very much on the fermented tofu (豆腐乳) dip for flavour. the soup got more intense the more it boiled and ginger lovers will totally enjoy this meal.

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also ordered a side serving of dry tossed mee sua (面線). this was so good! didn’t need any other accompaniments in order for me to slurp it all down.

*****
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breakfast eateries like these are common in taipei. they serve all kinds of burgers, toast, crepes, sandwiches etc with your usual breakfast drinks such as soya milk, tea, coffee and such. the menu is really quite extensive to the point of being impressive.

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a cheese & ham crepe foldover, with a slice of toast in it and a thai style chicken burger, with egg. the chicken patty had a hint of sweet & sour, which is as thai as it gets in taipei apparently.

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another crepe and french toast wrap thingy. and a beef crepe sandwich. both tasted delectable. simple but satisfying.

*****
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our last proper meal in taipei was eaten at this place. serving mostly japanese fusion sets, we ended up choosing rather similar stuff. for every set, they give a bowl of sesame topped rice, two side dishes, salad and miso soup.

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one of the recommended sets is the Le Cordon Blue stuffed Pork Strip (篮带猪排). Instead of using only cheese & ham, they also added in creamy corn and some nori seaweed. Doesn’t do much for the taste, in my opinion.

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Deep fried tofu, topped with bonito flakes and Loin Roll with pork & cheese. I thought the latter tasted better than the cordon blue pork strip. for the pork strips, a special dipping bowl and sauce is given. one had to pound the sesame in the bowl into powder first before adding the sauce and dipping the meat in.

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According to the menu, this is the “Well-Chosen Beef Chaffing Pot” (严选牛肉火锅). Weird name for a mini hotpot. But basically, it’s just a mini steamboat with the meat of your choice, fish balls etc, tofu, mushrooms and vegetables etc. there are 3 soup bases available but I only remember two – clear or miso soup.

overall, the food here is served fast and tastes ok, with no surprises. but rice, side dishes & miso soup for the sets are unlimited and can be refilled. so quite value for money.

*****
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this was from 行运茶水滩, somewhere near Taipei 101. we were attracted by the mutton hotpot they featured in the posters but it was the stir-fried beef flat noodles that tasted better. the hotpot was frankly, disappointing and bland. my friend was a little turned off by the hairy skin on the meat (Lol!) but I was more concerned over the fact that we fished out an winged insect and a ladybug from the soup. Hmm.. hygiene in question.

Next up, other food adventures around Taiwan…

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3 Comments »

  1. Simon Seow said

    OMG, the bone marrow is so inviting. Slurp, slurp.

  2. @ Simon – yup it sure looked inviting. and tasted very rich too!

  3. […] Next up, eating out in Taipei… […]

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