CNY trip around Taiwan

We enjoyed 2 days in Tainan. Feasting on some favorites and sampling some new delights.

Dinner last night was a first for me, Ginger and Duck Hot Pot. A very traditional large format meal best shared with family and/or friends.

Gigantic signage left no doubt as to the restaurant’s specialty. Every table had a bubbling pot of ducky goodness. Rich Duck and Ginger broth with all the fixings, our friend poured in a full bottle of Chinese Wine. Yikes!

Didn’t deter us from the Taiwan Beer and another full bottle of Baijiu, of course.

Cuttlefish Paste, for DIY fish balls. Snappy Cuttlefish texture and squidly flavor made for a nice seafood component.

Duck intestines. A quick parboil, and light swish thru the yummy Fu Yee (fermented tofu) sauce. Almost as good as goose.

Some veggies, wood ear and tofu.

Duck Blood and Rice Cake, Duck Blood Cube, Noodles with Duck Oil. Done.

Waiter, Bill please. :wink:

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Kaohsiung. 72*f at 6pm. All the folks bundled in their warm jackets and hats give this barbarian the incredulous side eye when I walk by in shorts and polo. :slight_smile:

Nice repeat dinner at this very vegetable forward restaurant. Greatest variety of greens I’ve ever seen at any venue, even at the most prolific farmer’s markets. Each variety sport a name tag designation, albeit in Chinese only.

For us omnivores, choice of animal and fish proteins, but that’s definitely a side. It’s all about the veggies.

Dining here is like a field trip to a botanical garden.

For dessert, a nice selections of gelee, fruits, bean soups, etc… I only had room for my favorite Dou Fa (Tofu Pudding), two servings.

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Love those vegetables, so many choices! Looks more like a salad bar! How do you like them when cooked?

And the proteins, did you like them?

72ºF = 22ºC warm jackets?! A light jacket is enough!

The pot was split between Chinese herb on one side, and Cumin on the other. The greens were tasty just barely blanched in either. Most of the greens were described to me as “mountain vegetables”. I thought dw had made up the term, but apparently that’s a legit Taiwanese descriptor for these indigenous greens.

The visual is splendid, the different textures and nuances made for a fun tasty experience. All good, especially the taro, pumpkin, bitter melon and the faux meats.

The proteins were good, not outstanding. Two of our friends are Buddhist vegetarians, so we got their allotment of proteins. Stupid me. Wasn’t til the end that I made a dipping sauce of vinegar/soy/Thai chile. Took to another level.

Gonna hit Cijin Island tonight for great seafood. Can’t wait!!!

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Great!! Have fun!

If you have time, can you describe more the soup base in both hot pot places. Inspired and would like to have some hot pot at home too, but need ideas on broth! TIA.

Yes, absolutely amazing! :heart_eyes:

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Ha! On my 2nd visit (last year), I finished my meal with a heaping healthy plate of the pristine greens. Drizzled a bit of dressing from the salad bar (there is an actual salad bar) for a very unique salad. The lovely servers were totally flabbergasted by my creation, as were my dining companions.

Would love to further experiment different green/dressing combos. Good eats!

The salad bar (pics from last year).

6+ types of dried noodles. As well as lots of strange (to me) vegetarian creations.

Even got ice cream.

Gratuitous shots from the plantation we visited earlier in the day. Really lovely and serene.

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The base was very light last night. More a tincture than a soup, or even a broth or consommé. Detected a slight cumin finish in one, and herb flavor was imperceptible in the other. Using a dipping sauce at the end really helped in the flavor department.

The broth at the duck place was almost a soup, rich and delicious from the get go. I’m used to a lighter liquid medium, but this duck base was spot on.

We buy cooked poultry (mostly roast duck) every so often. The carcass, especially the neck and backbone always end up as a base for soup or congee. Will use our homemade duck base for hot pot soon.

Do you do hot pot much? We saw lots of potentially great hot pot ingredients browsing the Paris markets.

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None these days, did that more in the past, when friends were visiting.

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Sailed to Cijin Island on the local ferry for seafood. All of 6 minutes and NT30 (USD$1.00) later, feeding time!

Dragged our boring selves to our oft visited favorite Cijin restaurant (address and directions on previous posts). Robust seafood quality and unimpeachable freshness, despite this being the off season and the ebb of mainland Chinese tourists.

Deep Fried Oysters, Clams sautéed w/basil and Prawns plucked from the live tanks.

We specified our Squid simply quick stir fried with only Green Onions. The Snow Peas were a bit of an annoyance, but turned out to be quite tasty with snap. Side note: squid in Taiwan is sometimes/mostly served au naturale, ie, with the beak/spine in place.

Fish Milt (sperm). A bit of an extravagance @ NT380 (USD$13). Creamy and delicious as usual.

Crave Fiddleheads. Only able to consistently scratch the itch in Taiwan. Cute tiny fried fish for umami and crunch.

Pumpkin Mei Fun (rice noodles). A common seafood accompaniment in Taiwan.

Dessert back in Kaohsiung proper at the “most famous Shaved Ice place” in the area. Perfect.

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Street Food in hotel room = Comfort Food in comfy setting. With adult beverages.

Chinese Okonomiyaki?

Don’t laugh. Burrito was good. Fresh tortilla cooked on inverted wok. Flat top grilled beef with onions. Beans, potato and even jalapeño.

Quintessential Taiwanese street fare. Fried Chicken (gee pai). Glutinous rice and Peanuts Sausage. Assorted Tidbits, flash warmed in broth.


The slab of Fried Chicken was almost the size of a dinner plate. Paired well with the Green Onion Egg Pancake.

There was wine.

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The Starting our last day in Kaohsiung with a dbl espresso and an Island classic, Pineapple Cake.

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Revisited a canteen style local joint for yesterday’s lunch. Delicious self serve small plates with favorite local goodies. A check off menu slip to order fresh housemade Baos, Noodles, Dumplings, etc… we opted for XLB’s (soup dumplings). 1x Pork. 1x Loofah.

The Taiwanese Gnocchis type dish was good as ever. Toothsome with a delightful chew and slight wok hei.

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I think we over ordered a bit. No surprise.

No, we didn’t eat all the items above. Just the dishes on the red background. :):stuck_out_tongue:

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On the red table, it was still a lot! :wink:

AND you can still eat at least 3 meals a day!

It only SEEMS like we eat alot. Some days (not often), we only eat one big meal and just graze the rest of the day.

And, we average 15,000+ steps a day when we travel. Kinda justifies our over indulgence.

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Walk or run? :rofl:

When travelling, usually it will be one big meal, one smaller meal and no breakfast for our day.

We rarely eat breakfast (foods) per se, with one exception. The Kindness Hotel is a homegrown Taiwanese chain that we really like in central and southern Taiwan.

Breakfast and Dinner included in the very reasonable rack rate. I could go on and on. Let the pics do the promo.

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And, complimentary bike rentals to help the calories burn. :slight_smile:

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What? No Din tai fung? :smiley:

Though everything looks good, but no soy milk or fan tuan? Loved that stuff.

And how’s Taiwan and the whole Wuhan Coronavirus thing (WARS?)? Masks everywhere?

More and more folks are wearing masks in Taiwan now, especially in the service sector. If this precaution helps to contain the potential spread, I’m all for it.

Seriously thinking of canceling our Shanghai trip in May. Would suck if the town is put on quarantine during our visit.

My wife loves Salty Soy Milk, me not so much. We used to have drive to the east bay or down the peninsula to satisfy her craving. You can bet she gets it Asia.

Part of our recent hotel breakfast buffet.

Last breakfast in Kaohsiung yesterday.

Some picks from the morning market. Soy Milk and Baos from our favorite Taiwanese breakfast outlet. Enjoyed back in the comfort of our room.

Sure we will have Fan Tuan at least once w/i the next 10 days. :slight_smile:

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May is pretty far in advance but … kinda scary that three cities are in lockdown so far. Also the number reported seems suspiciously low from the Wuhan area if other countries and cities are already reporting an increased tic already. Anywho, stay safe and eat plenty!

And yeah, I never cared for salty soy milk. In the brief time I was in Taipei I opted for the sugar one haha.

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I agree that the trip should postpone, or you want some Train to Busan adventures.

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