Sunday, April 27, 2014

Taiwan Day 5 and 6: Round up and Yong Kang street

Seeing as mum and sis are visiting the infamous Taroka Gorge somewhere in Taiwan, I decided to utilize this free day for some much deserved me time. Staying alone in Barossa made me appreciate what little time I had to reflect and ponder on life (and also gives me time to experiment in the kitchen or do some crazy photo shooting session!). I did exactly the same thing in Hong Kong last December and strangely enough, allowed me to understand the locals' lifestyle better.

Immediately after a porridge breakfast and hot green tea drink (miss not having breakfast here), I took the train to Taipei 101 for another quick browse of the city. I then realized that most of the shops only open at 10.30am or 11am. Woops. But that's alright, walking around was a healthy option and seeing that Taipei is bigger in size than Hong Kong, I did not wander far for fear of getting lost, knowing my luck haha.

I then headed to Ximending, thinking that I could possibly do some shopping but sadly, nothing attracted my attention and so, I rewarded myself with a bowl of shaved mango ice. Can't get enough of these bowls of ice despite a majority of the mango pieces are frozen. One bowl of this was enough to last me until dinner time..although..I did a bit of snacking along the way. Double woops.

With plenty of time on hand, I walked from Fu Hau hotel to Yong Kang street, which is about 20 minutes? A breezy walk with my trusty Adidas sneakers that never disappoints me:) Yong Kang street is best known as one of the more popular food streets in Taiwan where rumour has it that the best beef noodle soup is somewhere around the corner! But I still could not find it because it seemed to be located a little further from where I was. And I had the responsibility of doing takeaways for my mum and sis.

I have seen so many bloggers rave about La Douceur patisserie. Was not on my food list but seeing as I was lucky enough to stumble upon it, why not head in for some sweets. In terms of atmosphere, it reminded me of Full House in Malaysia aka white furniture and decor with a touch of elegance to it.

I ordered myself a glass of milk tea which was frothed milk in a glass of sweetened tea. From the picture, you can tell that the milk is slowly seeping into the tea layer, no stirring necessary. I have also ordered a slice of cassis cake with hazelnut crumb topping and it looked swanky, tasted yummy. Overall, was not disappointed, just too bad I couldn't have tried other items:)

How could I have passed on the opportunity to try their macarons. Ordered the mint, marshmallow, passionfruit and lavender flavoured pieces which were pretty good. Costs less than the ones we had from Taipei 101 but still good:) Could not leave without keeping the macaron box as a souvenir (being used as a jewellery box now haha).

On the way to Yong Kang street, I grabbed a couple of pancake buns, one with taro and the other with red bean. These little things were cooked fresh upon order and exudes some much needed warmth in my hands. Happy days indeed!

At 4pm, I was already exploring Shilin night market once more but this time, I am on the hunt for takeaways as well as munching on other authentically Taiwanese goods. The market's not too packed for a Thursday night but probably best to get here before the dinner crowd arrives.

I had the infamous coffin bread which is a thick slice of bread, deep fried before being sliced open and stuffed with a dollop of sticky concoction and your choice of meat. Anything deep fried tastes good, in my humble opinion and one of these pieces kept me full.

I arrived back in the hotel on time (thankfully did not get lost with the various transit lines..happened in the morning and I must have spent at least 30 minutes hopping off and on trains). I brought home oyster omelette, oyster mee sua and a couple of fried chicken steaks to which, both the sister and mum were happy to nom down. Would have liked to surprise them with healthier options but it is very tricky considering I could be pushed around in the public areas :S

After the sister had rested for a bit in the hotel, we walked around our hotel to the nearby rows of shops. And then...we were in front of a Hello Kitty shop and without any hesitation, went in. Non-hello kitty fans but we would do anything out of curiosity haha.

Admittedly, there is nothing fancy in this place that appeals to me. We ordered a tiramisu cake, strawberry kitty cake and a pot of tea to share. Not extremely expensive but not somewhere I would drop by again. As mentioned, was not bad but not to my personal liking:)

So the next day aka last day in Taiwan, we took the taxi for a quick trip to Yong Kang street. I reckon the sister must be pretty jelly after seeing my food pictures hehe. Most shops, minus the coffee shops, open at about 10.30am to 11am, just in time for brunch.

Also ordered yet another bowl of shaved mango ice to share among the three of us at the Sandwich smoothie ice magic shop. The shop was newly opened and this shop has another branch located 3 minutes away. Talk about insane popularity.

To round things up, we had brunch at Kao Chi restaurant, a Shanghai inspired restaurant that rivals with Din Tai Fung. Service is friendly, efficient and attentive. Always nice to see a menu written in English for tourists that can't read Chinese letters. Ordered a plate of pork pastries, siew mai, xiaolongbao and meat buns for lunch. Look at the size of the bamboo steamer and how many delicate pieces are in it?! Share worthy I reckon;) Although the texture of the individual pastries may not be as fine as the ones from Din Tai Fung, we were happy with the yummy lunch items in front of us.

And so, that wraps up the blog posts on Taiwan. Am I missing this place? Yes indeed. I would prefer Hong Kong but for a peaceful and carefree place to relax, Taiwan is a good option and if you're into Taiwanese drama or celebrities, this is the place for you:)

Up next on the blog would be on restaurants in Kuala Lumpur!! :)

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