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taipei night market eats

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I’ve been saving the best for last.

The Night Market was my first meal in Taipei. After the giddiness of seeing my MV buds simmered down we MRTed it to Shilin in the drizzle to partake in one of Taipei’s best traditions. There’s also a story here of Jeff forgetting his Blackberry and harassing an unsuspecting security guard to check his email but that’s less interesting.

There are heaps and heaps of good food at the Night Market. Come hungry. This is NOT snacktime.

Our first victim: oyster pancake.

Egg with crispy edges = good, bits of green onion = good, oysters = good, gelatinous clumps of unknown origin = weird but palatable. I *think* it’s some concoction of rice flour. But why?

Follow the crowd. Hop into the long line in front of “Large Fried Chicken” (real name) and be rewarded with obvs genetically enhanced fried chicken.

Too bad there’s no size context on this because it is HUGE. I had to hold the thing with both hands. It has a familiar five spicy taste (reminds me of the pork chop at DTF). We asked for it spicy so there’s a bit of a bite thanks to that sprinkling of red stuff. Julia and I shared this and couldn’t finish. I lovingly refer to this as 8 chickens since it’s about the size of 8 chickens. The crowd does not lie.

Jeff disappeared while me, Julia, Ellen, and Kim lined up for big chicken. He returned with two servings of dumplings swimming in peanut sauce. This was an unlikely favorite of mine. It’s the peanut sauce that’s the winner here. It’s more salty than sweet with a bit of heat at the end. Reminds me of good satay sauce.

We strolled down several streets with Jess and Jeff leading the charge and stopping periodically when they came across their faves. This stall served baos with meatballs.

This was just alright for me. Tastes how it looks. Meatball with bao dough all around. Bonus points for being piping hot.

Turn the corner into another line of street stalls. They are big on sausage in Taiwan. Lots of street stalls with an astounding variety of sausage. Impressive.

The bestest stall of them all – scallion pancakes. I could probably eat these nonstop for several days. In Taiwan they are made even more delicious by a plethora of sauces – bbq, curry, etc and the option of adding eggs and/or bacon. The cakes come out flaky, buttery, and piping hot. My mouth is watering just thinking about them. After Julia and I were left hangin’ by the toilet restaurant we stuffed ourselves with scallion pancakes. OMNOMNOMNOM.

This vendor makes itty bitty mochi balls filled with red bean and rolled in ground peanuts. Pretty cool to see her doing her thing. Also pretty cool how easy it is to procure mochi desserts in Asia.

Alright. What we’ve all been waiting for. Stinky tofu. You can smell it from a mile away. My nose wrinkles just looking at this next picture.

So. I tried it. I didn’t spit it out. The verdict? It tastes like it smells.

So concludes our jaunt through Taipei. Not bad for 4 days, right? I’m ashamed to say I did not have boba (tapioca balls in the milk ice dessert kinda counts though) or thick toast. Who’s up for Taipei Round 2?

Written by joann

October 28, 2008 at 9:45 pm

eat and run: taipei edition

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Homestretch now. Here’s quick rundown of other eats that are not quite full-post worthy but certainly not to be ignored.

Number 1: Korean Cartoon Horse Candy

If you go to Korea please get me some of this grape flavored, horse cartoon-stamped candy. I jacked this tube from Jlin. She didn’t seem to mind so much. They’re like Sweettarts except not chalky or tart. Lots of good artificial grape flavor.

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Written by joann

October 27, 2008 at 8:27 pm

shanghai shanghai, taipei

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Odd title.

After an afternoon at the hot springs to help us recoup from our fun evening out (see: taiwanese breakfast post for non-details), Jessica’s aunt was nice enough to take us to one of her favorite restaurants. As is the common theme of this trip, no clue where in the city this is. The only landmark I have for you – this is near the first McDonald’s in Taipei.

Most of the dishes they ordered were vegetarian but she also got 2 meat dishes for me and Julia. This was interesting. They came out with a bowl of what appeared to be rice krispies. Then came a bowl of sweet and sour sauce with veggies and shrimp. They poured that entire shebang onto the rice krispies (yes, it snapped, crackled and popped). The result is oddly good. It tastes like your average sweet and sour dish but the krispies give it an interesting texture since they retain a bit of their crunch.

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Written by joann

October 26, 2008 at 11:59 pm

Posted in chinese, taiwan, travels

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orange shabu shabu, taipei

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I’m behind a few days on the TPE-week. Let’s do some catching up.

Jess had planned to take us to hotpot on Friday after our trip to the Palace Museum. Which, ps, we did in a record 1.5 hours. Some say that’s not enough time to see the crazy huge treasure trove of Chinese artifacts. For 3 ADD tourists, it was a smidge rushed but acceptable. If you visit, give yourself 3+ hours to enjoy.

But, I digress.

When Simon heard of our plans he mocked us for our choice in hotpot venue and told us to swing by and join his friends at Orange Shabu Shabu. Since Simon is probably the most useful person we know in the whole universe, we easily agreed.

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Written by joann

October 26, 2008 at 8:53 pm

mango love in tpe

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I have emoted at length about the mango sago of Hong Kong so when the homies said that we had to leave some stomach real estate post-lunch together for mango dessert, I was all about it. Full stomach be damned! After these two bowls made their way to our table, I suddently had all sorts of appetite left.

Mango ice cream atop a generous portion of sweet, fresh mango and mango jelly nestled nicely on shaved ice and drizzled with sweet condensed milk. Why have I spent 27 (ok, nearly 28) years on this earth without indulging in such goodness?

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Written by joann

October 23, 2008 at 11:45 pm

more themes! hello kitty cafe!

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Ladies, want to know how to torture your guy friends?

Take them to Hello Kitty Cafe.

As with most of the places I visited in Taipei, I have no idea where this is so you’re on your own should you need to hunt the location down. You might get lucky if Jess stops by and adds a comment with the address to some of these places. What I do remember is that this is near the really big Sogo at the MRT station that sells deliciously smelling Baker Boy buns.

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Written by joann

October 22, 2008 at 11:31 pm

modern toilet, taipei

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Woot woot! It’s Taipei week here at ze food blog. I’m fighting some major sleepies to bring you a post tonight. Without further ado, let’s explain the rather not-food-friendly title, shall we?

Everyone loves a good theme restaurant right?

I had heard of the toilet themed restaurant before but didn’t think there’d be enough time to hit it up during my short jaunt to Taiwan. Plus, it’s kind of weird to want to go to this kind of restaurant. Luckily, Jess and Julia were both down to give it a shot (or should I say flush?).

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Written by joann

October 21, 2008 at 9:32 pm