Taipei Taiwan. Eight more days to go.

Back in Taipei. Brrr….it’s a rainy nippy 68*f. Might have to break out the long pants.

Chilly weather (haha) calling out for Oden & Yuan Tong (Chinese Mochi Ball) soup.

Oden. Various delectables in a Dashi Broth. The definition of comfort food for cooler temps.

Another comfort food I grew up with is Yuan. Mochi Balls in a Pork, Daikon and Napa soup. Most Taiwanese versions I’ve tried are filled with either sweet or savory innards. Tonight’s were stuffed with mostly Pork and Mushroom.

My body had been craving some warm soup and comfort food. These filled the need.

Made it back to our hotel for the last of the complimentary happy hour for some wine and apps.


Thanks for these reports. Taipei should be more widely known, It rocks. Are you a Tea drinker as well?

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Looks yum! We have “yuan” here where I am in Penang, too, but we never have ones with savoury filling - how I wish we do!

Majority of Penangites are of Hokkien/Fujian descent, and our local Hokkien term for the little mochi balls is “ee”.

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Never cared for yuan growing up, too bland. Don’t get to eat them much now, as I know of only one restaurant in SF that offers it.

Gonna have to try my hand at making some. I prefer the plain unfilled ones that mom made. Like biting into a savory pillowy cloud.

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Taiwan rocks. We’ve been exploring the smaller burgs in addition to Taipei and Kaohsiung. Really enjoy the smaller towns. Most areas have some specialties that are available elsewhere, but somehow more special at the original source.

Like goat, Milkfish in Tainan. Turkey Rice in Chiayi.

Not a big tea drinker. Just visited a friend of a friend at his home in a small village, surrounded by rice fields and fish ponds. He went through the whole elaborate tea making process, which for him is just “making tea”. A ceremony that gives the tea its due respect.


I love Taiwanese oolongs and the fact the yams are streetfood. There’s so much to explore and the Taiwanese are friendly,


Oh yes - in Singapore and Penang, like elsewhere where the Chinese diaspora settled, the Tang Chek (冬至) or Winter Solstice Festival which usually falls on 21 or 22 Dec each year is celebrated. During that time, families get together and make glutinous rice balls/ “tang yuan” (湯圓).

The unfilled rice balls are then cooked in a syrupy soup

In Singapore and Penang, this ritual is called “soh ee”, i.e. “to form spheres”. Singaporean-Hokkiens speak the Quanzhou dialect whereas Penang-Hokkiens speak the Zhangzhou dialect, but they are mutually intelligible.


Wow, colorful!!! You have such a great variety of foods. Somewhat familiar, but with your unique take.

Need to visit soon.

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Happy Thanksgiving!!!

Had reservations at Xiang Duck restaurant in Da’an for our Thanksgiving Peking Duck dinner. At the last minute, couldn’t resist the Call of the Goose. So, hit up our favorite goose place instead for a most satisfying perfect meal. Peking Duck for sure coming Tuesday.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

(I’ll be so ready for turkey smothered with gravy and fixings when we get back home! Looking forward!)


Tasty Steak Restaurant. Part of the Taiwan Wang’s Steak empire, Tasty is the more approachable (affordable) steak option. Prix Fixe starts at nt$648 = usd$20.82 pp for a complete multi course meal.

Amuse. A welcoming palate cleanser of Gelee with bits of fruit, paired with a petite shrimp in a somewhat blandish mustard sauce.

Choice of soups and salads. Fruit salad and a potato/apple/celery salad in a crisp mushu skin bowl. Pumpkin purée (delicious) and mushroom bisque.

A creamy cheesy mushroom gratin (think Campbell’s cream of mushroom w/cheese) with toasty bread. Must exercise restraint on bread refills, lots more food coming.

A slushy citrusy shot perked up the buds between courses. Akin to a virgin Margarita.

A well grilled pork Duck Breast for she. Medium rare Flank for me.

Couple of chilled Cappuccino with dessert.

Barely room for my Apple pie. Bagged her cheesecake for later.

An enjoyable meal at a won’t break the bank price point. Gonna suffer serious sticker shock back in good o’ San Francisco.

Oh yeah, service charges inclusive, no added line items like health surcharge, miscellaneous BS……….


$20 for all that? Amazing.

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Great value, even by Asian metrics. The bottle of wine cost about as much as the dinner set.

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Another day, another exciting day market. We’re like kids in a candy store, only better. Vibrant vegetables, rainbow colored fruits, the bounty from land, sea and air.

These two lovely grandma types were doing a thriving business from their overloaded pushcart, set up in the midst of the prime intersection. One offered me the most beautiful asparagus, about a foot long that just screamed “just harvested”. Fiddlehead ferns, gai choy, gai lan….a dazzling array. Her partner had the protein, chunks of pork blood, intestines and clams.

Fishies. Raw or freshly cooked and ready for the plate.

We bagged our lunch from a few venders and jumped into a taxi for some fine in-room dining.

  • we’d taken a cab from a night market the other night, loaded with bags of food. Driver was flabbergasted. You’re staying at The xxxx Hotel, and bringing back street food?!?!? Told him, we LIKE street food.

Lol @ cab driver… Also remember staying at fancy hotels in Singapore and then taking a taxi for street food, have lunch, and go back straight to the pool! :slight_smile:

Anyway, I don’t see any live fish at the markets? Like in Hong Kong? All fish is sold dead?


Live fish finning in tanks don’t seem to be as prevalent as in Hong Kong, especially in town. We saw some beautiful Groupa and other fish in some of the harbor town wet markets. Regular day and night markets are not operational thruout the day, so I guess running live tanks not practical.


When in Taipei, Hot Pot!!

Four of us hit the hot pot restaurant (no English name) on the sixth floor of the Mitsukoshi department store. Very comfortable venue with well trained service. No corkage!

Per usual, our friend brought a bottle of nice scotch. Kavalan triple sherry cask single malt. We supplied the Moutai, a bit of overkill. Killed the bottle of scotch and seriously damaged the Moutai.

Mala and Pork Rib/Taro soup bases. A tray of aromatics and frozen mala base provided for the diner to fine tune the flavor profile to personal preference.


Condiment sauce bar, labeled in Chinese. Little of this, a dash of that.

Pork Neck (toro). Love toro every which way. Used to have a standing order with our local butcher, he calls us when he’s collected enough for us.

Beef Flap. Flavorful and well marbled. Four seconds, done.

Perennial favorite, Pork Belly. Shabu Shabu!!

Pork and Taro balls, love taro. These were so good!

Dessert was a sweet White Fungus soup. Very Chinese, very good.

Growing up, Da Bin Lo (hot pot) was always a wintertime meal, to warm the body and soul. When I first visited Taiwan some 30+ years ago, I was mildly shocked to see hot pot restaurants packed during the heat of day. I was told the advent of air conditioning made hot pot dining cool anytime. Works for me.


Dinner at another representative Taiwanese restaurant. This spot originated as a street stand under a banyan tree decades ago across the street. The Banyan restaurant is now housed in a two floor building, the namesake tree still standing tall outside.

A Taiwanese dinner, lubricated with Taiwan beer and baiiju.

Some snappy squid with bird’s eye peppers, basil and what may be celery leaves.

Enjoyed the oyster omelette, all the better without the de rigueur gloopy brown sauce.

Fried shisho leaves with a fish paste stuffing. Love shisho with sashimi, very tasty prepped this way.

Sausage platter with garlic slices and some pickles to balance.

Simple grilled fish.

Braised goose intestines.

And of course, the always wonderful Taiwan clam soup. With fish balls with a pork stuffing.

Funny thing happened on the walk back to our hotel. Had to stop and browse at Breeze, a high end department store with a supermarket in the lower level.

Back to the room with a light late night snack.


This is literally one of my favorite dishes. I could eat these like M&M’s. (and actually do :yum:)


Spanish in Taiwan? Why not?

Even had a white, a not too often choice.

Truffle Fries con ketsup. Thankfully, the “truffles” were not evident.

Some nice breads with pate and salad.

Good garlicky Gamberi, great vehicle for the table bread.

Duck Confit, always good.

Tortilla, Spanish egg prep.

A well prepared Iberico Pork dish.


Another couple of dishes followed. The wine and fellowship flowed, the food kept coming.

A fun convivial evening catching up with old friends and making a new one.


Lunch at a local dumpling spot. Founded by a former DTF chef, a much less touristy venue at a fraction of the price.

A rich tasty rendition of a @ipsedixit DTF favorite.

Self serve side dishes from the display case. Dragon’s whiskers and lotus root.

Basket of Loofah/shrimp and one of vegetable dumplings. Noodles. Of course clam with loofah soup.

Need to practice more self control when ordering. Oh well, next time.

Couldn’t finish all we ordered, but still had room for some tofu fa and macha ice.