HS Grad Trip. Taipei, Taiwan July 2023

Graduation trip for our niece. We generally avoid summer travel, tourist overload, inhospitable temperatures and all. She only has a limited travel window, so here we are.

We landed one week ago, and now somewhat acclimated to the daytime 90°+ temps.

Took a day trip to the Wula Scenic area, a mountain area offering a glimpse into the aboriginal culture and foods. Beautiful twisty windy bus ride along river gorges with homes and temples dotting the verdant mountainside.

Display of roasted wild boar, mountain vegetable and other goodies lured us in.

The food was very well prepared. All the items cooked with a light hand, as I prefer. The vegetables were especially delicious, lightly seasoned and tasting of the essence of the plant.

Fiddlehead, Bitter Melon, Snowflake and Betelnut Blossom.

Glutinous Rice steamed in Bamboo. Loved the presentation, didn’t particularly add much to the flavor.

Refried Roasted Wild Boar Belly. Tasty, woulda been great with a bowl of white rice.

Fried whole Shrimp and Fish. Fun.

Tofu, Mushroom and Greens. Good rendition.

All in all a very satisfying meal. Niece could not resist a Grilled Mochi Popsicle from a nearby cart. She deemed it delicious.


A new grad deserves a Mochi Pop.

Congrats to her!

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She’s planning to be an anesthesiologist. We expect good returns on our investment. :slight_smile:


Dinner at a 100$NT restaurant to give our ABC guest that authentic Formosa experience.

Joint was hopping. This was not my first 100NT rodeo, but the din was just uncomfortably deafening. We ordered a few favorites, dined and dashed (no, we didn’t screw the resto on the cheque).

Bitter Melon w/dip.

Thai Shrimp Cakes. The tangy spicy sauce complemented other items well also.

Floured and deep fried Frog chunks. My favorite of the evening.

I’d raved about how great Taiwanese Clams are. This soup made me a liar. Emaciated and mealy, likely frozen. Will be sure to confirm live clams are available in the displays in the future.

Salt & Pepper Soft Shelled Crab. Not bad, just not the quality one expects in Taiwan.

Salted Egg Tofu. Wife liked it. My taste buds were likely tainted by the disappointment of the other dishes. One bite and done.

Ong Choy (Water Spinach) came too late to save the meal. Quite serviceable. By now, the cacophony had become unbearable. We each had a couple of bites and voted to retreat to the relative calm of the Taipei street.

This meal the only blip in an otherwise fun and delicious week thus far. We have another week here, more goodness to come.


Friends had made reservations at a Sichuan restaurant for party of five. At almost the last hour, wife remembered our niece’s lack of appreciation for spicy foods. Easily changed to a favorite Izakaya that we’d enjoyed before.

Our friends brought the Glenfiddich 12yo, we the Balvenie Doublewood 12yo.

Cherry Tomato and Lime, Peanuts and Dried Fish to prep the appetite for drink.

Platter of Skewers. Fish Cake Lollipops, Bean Curd (Yuba), Pee Goo (chicken Butt) and Chicken Cartilage.

King Mushroom, grilled. Winter Bamboo with Mayo.

Chicken Knees deep fried. A crowd favorite.

Deep fried Pork Intestine. Gamey funk, in the right way.

Grilled Sausage, Pork? Fried Yuen (Glutinous Rice Balls) wit condensed milk and powdered peanuts to dip.

Fried Rice, Snowflake.


Wife’s favorite fish Aji. Treasured for its delicious Roe. Baby Corn and Baby Bamboo Shoots. Might be my first try of Bamboo this way, two thumbs up.

All the food well cooked and presented. A fairly new restaurant, wishing them the best of luck for a long run.


Nice seeing you back in Asia! Gets me through cloudy Northern European summer weather… :slight_smile:

How is it that whiskey and Asian food go so well together?? That Balvenie was quite popular I see… Been a while since I last brought a bottle to a restaurant… Is cork expensive?

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Ha. Currently thundering and 87°f. Chillin’ in hotel room riding out the storm.

Any plans to come back to Asia?? We want to come back to your side, but air and hotels are so darn expensive now. Keeping watch and try to visit early next year.

From my limited understanding, most higher end establishments do charge corkage. Our friends always bring a bottle of whiskey and often vino as well. His regular spots don’t usually charge corkage.

The bill for 5 at the Izakaya above was around USD$100. Heck, back home in the US, our bar bill alone would easily be more than that !!!


Loving you report. I can practically feel the textures.

In terms of timing your trip and the weather, sometimes you have to do what your supposed to do when you’re supposed to do it. If that is July in Taiwan, so be it.

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bwaahaahaaa - sorry I could not help myself on that. Pee Goo for chicken butt. ROTFLMAO

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Would love to be back in Asia asap! I’ll probably do another 2 weeks later this year - a similar trip as my last one, so just visiting well known (to me) places. Maybe I’ll visit Bangkok and then Hong Kong again.

You still planning on going to HK?

I hear you on Europe. Costs for hotels and car rentals have increased quite a bit. Plus the heat makes it unbearable to be in the mediterranean, not only this year but also previous years. I see more and more people here just traveling to the UK and Scandinavia instead. But then I won’t eat as well as in Italy/Spain/Portugal… So, not really an option for me…

I really like your travel reports, as we have similar tastes in foods and style of restaurants, but you’re sampling a cuisine I don’t know that well, so great learning for me.

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[quote=“damiano, post:10, topic:35184”]
You still planning on going to HK?

Set for 4 nights in Singapore, then 2 weeks in HKG in September. Kept booking and rolling passage and hotels before the region fully opened, thus scored some great rates. Hong Kong is crowded, pushy and can be brusque, but part of my heart will always be there.

Agree we have similar taste in foods. My food fancy is all over the spectrum. Last night was KFC (Korean Fried chicken), because……18yo girl’s choice.

Lunch a few days ago was KFC (The Colonel). Wife picked up a couple of Sheng Jian Baos (pan-fried soup dumplings) and a Scallion Pancake from a roadside cart for herself.

I wanted some mashed potatoes/gravy and some coleslaw. The counter person had no clue what a “side” was??? NP, Dan Tat (egg tart) worked out just fine. I’m told the Colonel is renowned for egg tarts on this island.


I’ve always like saying Pee Goo myself. Note that Pee Goo is not limited to only chickens. When we see a particularly well endowed posterior, one may hear “PeeGoo-licious” from one of us. :slight_smile:

You know what the sign of a true OG Taiwan restaurant?

Seats with no backs.

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As opposed to “da pee goo”?


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I don’t know if you use instagram, but I am following a few HK people who I really love. Might be of interest to you as well.



Hitting Pizza Hut soon? Check out this monstrosity :thinking:


@damiano I had signed up instagram years ago, but have maybe spent only a few minutes checking it out. I’ll check out your links when I get back on my pc, thanks.

@Presunto yikes! Calamari and popcorn chicken may be doable, but Oreos? Just no!

IKEA. I must confess, I’m wuz one of those kids that actually liked school cafeteria food. These days, IKEA may not be a destination dining spot, but I do tuck into a plate of Swedish Meatballs w/mashed and Ligonberry jam now and again.

IKEA food in California is rather standard fare, with a pretension of Swedish influence. Did a double take when I spied what seemed to be a plate of Lobster. In an IKEA!! Yep, on the signboard.

Maine Loster with Claw and all. With Salted Egg Yolk sauce, I’d hit that.

Or, crispy pork knuckle or ribeye steak.

IKEA Taiwan even offers their food thru UBER EATS. Apparently the food is not just a loss leader to trap shoppers in their stores.

Would love to know what interesting foods have you seen or tried in IKEA in other regions or countries?


Half a Lobster for USD14? How was it?

Too stuffed from our Korean lunch to research. Will definitely give it a go when in the vicinity next.

From what I saw on the tables, I’d guess the serving was half a 1# lobster. Not nearly enuff for heartier appetites, but hey, usd$14. Also the novelty of lobster at IKEA!