Tag Archives: Taipei

Almond Tofu Dessert

26 Oct
almond dessertlocationdesRight Next to Jingmei Station Exit 1 (map)
Information: It seems all I can write about are desserts nowadays, but you can’t blame me, they’re so freakin’ delicious! Here’s one I tried at the Jingmei night market. Tofu in Taiwan comes in all kinds of flavors, textures and sizes; both savory and sweet. Just recently I bought a package of cold oatmeal tofu and the night before I had a lovely hot pot dinner with dried white tofu, cold white tofu and ”tofu skin”,which tasted a little meaty. You can also find it steamed with eggs and seafood; anyway, there’s loads. I am definitely into the dessert versions (check out the traditional dessert 豆花 here). The tofu of this dessert was mixed with almond milk and almond extract; it created a very creamy nutty flavor. Other ingredients were Azuki beans, chewy fruit jelly and milk. The flavors are always so interesting; like for example the fruit jelly and creamy tofu tasted somewhat like fruit with whipped cream; lovely. What I like about desserts here is that they’re not overly sweet, but always have a very rich flavor and you always taste ingredients to the fullest. Anyway; Almond Tofu; try it. You can also find plain almond tofu in your regular supermarket 🙂
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Categories:    Desserts!

Prince Ramen Restaurant

21 Sep
photo (1)locationdesNearest MRT station is Xindian. Walk towards the river and look for the boulevard.

Information: There is this perfect spot around Xindian MRT station where you can relax along the river, rent a paddle boat while watching the turtles in the water, and have a refreshing beverage. On the boulevard there are lots of small restaurants with all sorts of different food. Prices are generally a little higher, because of the lovely view and location. A ramen restaurant caught my eye, while strolling along all the eateries, and after some thinking we decided to take a seat there. There is a minimum order of NTD 220 per person, but we wanted to order less than that. After consulting with the manager it was okay to just eat a single bowl of ramen. The ramen being sold here is tonkotsu ramen (ramen with a broth made of pig bones). I decided to go for the original bowl of tonkotsu ramen. The slices of pork seemed a little burnt to me and after a taste test it did not really impress me; it was tough, a little burnt, and the flavor was off. The egg was hard-boiled (we seem to get that a lot here) and not soft-boiled, which I prefer. The broth and the noodles were good though. The broth was fatty and very tasteful and complimented the noodles very well. The rest of the garnish was so-so: a little scallion and konjac. It left me with mixed feelings of how to rate this ramen shop.

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Rating: Overall the ramen here isn’t bad at all. The broth and noodles are good, but the meat and egg were disappointing. If I would be nearby I would like to test out a different bowl of ramen here. Besides, the scenery and the atmosphere definitely make up for its flaws.

Categories: photo (5)

Night Market Snacks: Pig’s Blood Cake & Pork Gelatinous Dumplings(BaWan)

13 Sep

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The much bigger than expected Jingmei 景美 night market can be found behind Jingmei Station, exit 1

Note: These dumplings aren’t actually dumplings; it’s just a term I used to describe their appearance; read more to find out

Pig’s Blood Cake (豬血糕 , zhu xue gao)

Information: Finally, I get to introduce my favorite snack in Taiwan (Pig’s Blood Cake). This pitch black snack only has a few ingredients, but the consistency and texture are to die for. Pig’s blood cake is made of exactly that: Pork Blood. You can find it in plenty of dishes, but the night market version is the best. The blood is combined with sticky rice which is then steamed and put on a popsicle stick. When you order one, you can choose whether you want chili paste on it or not. The savory popsicle is then dipped in soy broth (not always) and rolled around in peanut powder. Sometimes cilantro is added. Texture is sticky, chewy, like a spoonful of savory-sweet thick rice pudding; but better. Imagine eating peanut butter chewing gum that falls apart into your mouth. I’m not sure if this description makes you want to eat it; but it is really good; I never skip this snack when going to a night market and neither should you! Note: Jingmei is the only market so far where I found a cake shaped like the picture below

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“Pork Gelatinous Dumpling” (BaWan)

Information: When walking further down the market, we stumbled upon a dish called 肉圓 (rouyuan), another traditional Taiwanese snack which in Taiwanese (local language) is called Bawan. It’s some sort of big dumpling made of rice flour, starches and water, which gives it a somewhat gelatinous appearance. The stuffing apparently varies ( I read this.. on the internet), but ours was stuffed with some pork, cilantro and bamboo shoots). It was topped off with savory and sweet sauce (there were different kinds). The texture was very soft and gooey and even a little creamy when biting on it. Taste of the stuffing was a little bland, but the sauces added to the flavor; not bad! I came home only to find out later that this is quite a special and traditional dish; so there must be better versions out there. Excited!  More to come!bawan

Categories: Street Food

Steamed Bread Dumplings (蒸包)

28 Aug

 location dum+lingsNearest MRT Station: Zhongshan Elementary School Station (See Map).

Information:  When I first heard people were going to take me to eat steamed dumplings, I just thought I was going to eat the regular kind (like this one), but steamed. I was in for a surprise. Located around a small temple, breakfast/brunch restaurant 圓山老崔蒸包 serves up some delicious steamed dumplings made of a chewy kind of bread. These were just like filled Chinese buns (包子), in the size of a regular dumpling, but the texture was very different, probably because of its smaller size. The dumplings came with many kinds of homemade dipping sauces. You could choose between a pork or beef filling;  the taste was wonderful. Steaming food is a great way to preserve flavor and you could really tell that none of the juices and flavors had left the dumplings after taking a bite; full flavor, really nice. Sauce created that little extra ‘oomph’.   As a starter you can order some hot and sour soup (酸辣湯) with stinky tofu; very thick, rich and tasty soup; give it a try! It tastes different every time.dumpling breaed restaurantdumpling bread

Rating: Prices: 10 dumplings for 80 NTD; I couldn’t stop eating! Fresh, handmade, delicious. A power breakfast! I was told this restaurant had great quality food. I was also told people often go here because it’s close to a temple and people believe buying food around a temple will give them good fortune. (A little contradictory; nevertheless, great food!) The restaurant opens around 5:00 and closes around 13:00, so better go there early! (Although I’m sure you can find other places. I also wonder if this could also be served for late lunch or dinner; any ideas?)

Categories: image

Ning Xia Night Market

26 Jul

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Information: Night markets are considered typically Taiwanese,  and they’re always overly crowded (which is fun, trust me). You don’t see night markets like this anywhere else (Hong Kong has some for example, but they look totally different). A bigger Taiwanese night market could be over a 1000 meters in length and consists out of 40 % products, clothing and games and 60% food & drink. The Ning Xia night market is a very small one; about 200 meters in length. It primarily sells food. Intestines, fried seafood, fried milk products, fruit drinks, noodle dishes, desserts and anything you can think of on a stick are among the street food sold. These are usually small snacks; so you could for example skip dinner and spend an evening munching on snacks sold here. (We will definitely review nightmarket food in the future, don’t you worry).  The Ning Xia market is a great introduction to what a night market looks like and it’s very close to the Zhongshan MRT station (about a 500 meter walk). Plus, if you do hate crowds (why go to Taipei), this one is probably the least crowded of them all .

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More nightmarkets to come!

Categories:                       Street Food, Taiwan

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