Taipei: Marlin rice noodles

Dihua street. Oldest street in Taipei. Old money. Lots of it. Crouching tiger hidden dragon – meaning you would not know it if you weren’t told about it. Multi-millionaires, billionaires, and multi-billionaires walking amongst their employee hundred-thousand-aires, and the common, pedestrian ten-thousand-aires milling about grocery shopping or Chinese medicine seeking. Old money I am not and old I was not when I was growing up in Taipei. I knew nothing and only now know but a little of the secrets of the street. What I know I learned and I absorbed from my father-in-law and mother-in-law, both of whom grew … Continue reading Taipei: Marlin rice noodles

Taipei: Advanced (Sien Jing) Seafood

They must have had an advanced cloaking device or something, because I’ve been hearing about this place from my father for two years and for two years he hasn’t been able to find the place. And it wasn’t for lack of trying either. I’ve witnessed with my own eyes my parents leaving their apartment so that they could try and find the place. More than once. Then, all of a sudden, they found it. Then it was an ordeal to get into the place. If the place wasn’t full when my parents tried to walk in, the reservations were full … Continue reading Taipei: Advanced (Sien Jing) Seafood

Lost In Translation (in the age of fictional zombies): Corner 23

Somewhere along the way, the food lost its way. Like so many Taiwanese restaurants outside of Taiwan, Corner 23 could not capture the essence of what Taiwanese food is. It came closer than some by virtue of its (Chinese) namesake signature dish: the “wan ran” pork feet/knuckle. Wan Ran pork feet is to Taiwanese cuisine as Philly cheesesteak is to American cuisine. It is part of the Taiwanese food vernacular. Everybody has heard of it; a lot of people know what it is; some people like it. I’m not one of them. I like my pork knuckle either more melty, … Continue reading Lost In Translation (in the age of fictional zombies): Corner 23

Yea, I’m back…courtesy of my daughter’s homework assignment and Tony’s Beef Noodles.

A funny thing happened as I was reviewing my daughter’s way too detailed literary arts homework assignment: I remembered my own way-too-detailed reviews in my long forgotten non-blog. Maybe I should take my own advice and condense everything down to the bare essentials so that I don’t potentially bog down the reader with descriptive, memorable, but ultimately superfluous details that would certainly not register in the limited neural connections of the human brain. OK. Back to the real world… Tony’s beef noodle – a.k.a brother Wang’s beef noodle a.k.a Wango’s…more phonetically accurate not to mention more personable – has been … Continue reading Yea, I’m back…courtesy of my daughter’s homework assignment and Tony’s Beef Noodles.

Stinky Hot Pot: Boiling Point

Depending on whether or not you’re a fan of stinky tofu, the prospects eating a hot pot whose broth features its ‘stinky’ juices will either excite or horrify you. I like stinky tofu quite a lot, but I’m not sure if I like every other component of a hot pot infected and ‘dirtied’ by the rancid tofu (it’s similar to how the moldiest and stinkiest varieties of cheese are best enjoyed on their own). As a result, I have – thus far in my life – avoided trying the pan-stinky aromas of stinky hot pot. Boiling Point, being a restaurant … Continue reading Stinky Hot Pot: Boiling Point

Taipei: Shin Yeh Taiwanese Cuisine

I’ll make it real simple: If you visit only one Taiwanese restaurant in your lifetime, it absolutely has to be Shin Yeh Taiwanese Cuisine. No, it is not regarded as the best restaurant in Taiwan. And no, it does not have a celebrity chef manning its kitchen. Shin Yeh is actually not one single restaurant. It is a chain of (mid-to-up-market) Taiwanese restaurants in Taipei that is as popular with the locals as it is with tourists. On weekdays, you’re likely to see more Japanese tourists than locals at any of its locations. On weekends, you’re likely to see more … Continue reading Taipei: Shin Yeh Taiwanese Cuisine

Taipei: Ding Wang Hotpot

Ding Wang has been one of the hottest (in terms of popularity) hot pot restaurants in Taiwan for the past few years. The restaurant originated in Taichung, became extremely popular, and subsequently expanded to the culinary big leagues of Taipei. Because of Ding Wang’s stellar reputation, it took relatively short time for the restaurant to ascend to the upper echelons of Taipei’s hot pot scene. As great as everyone thinks the hot pot at Ding Wang was, my wife and I were not fans of their food when we made our only visit there around two years ago. We thought … Continue reading Taipei: Ding Wang Hotpot