Taipei Taiwan. Eight more days to go.

Too much oil.

Its what makes DTF’s rendition so great; it’s crystal clear like Lake Louise.

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Isn’t loofah a cooling vegetable, reserved for the summer months? :thinking:

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Feels like summer to me. :slight_smile:


Belated Thanksgiving Peking Duck dinner at Xiang Duck in Da’an district, Taipei last night. Had been looking forward to a nice duck fest, finally able to squeezed one in while still in Taiwan.

Set dinner for two, usd$50 all in. A half duck, carved tableside, steaming hot from the oven. A couple of nibbles to start, a sautéed mushrooms combo and a dish of assorted braised duck parts.

Complimentary beverages, iced Oolong Tea and a sour Plum Juice drink.

Fried Tofu cubes with more mushrooms in a bubbling clay pot.

White Water Snowflake. A generous well prepped version.

Thin Crepes and condiment tray. Hoisin, dried Red Pepper and Passionfruit sauce.

The star of the show. The carver teased with a bit of skin with granulated sugar to whet our appetite as he meticulously sliced and dressed the service plate.

For a nominal up charge, five options for the duck carcass. Bones chopped up and deep fried, Taiwanese three cup, in a Sauerkraut soup or Cabbage and Tofu soup. We went with the homey version, Congee with Youtiou.

Took home a ducky bag for some wine and snack later.

We’d dined on duck almost every day on a Beijing trip. Duck at the namesake source was transformative and we became avid duck enthusiasts. Did not expect and did not get the same level of flavor and texture outside of Beijing. However, the presentation and service made the meal an enjoyable evening. Will do again next time around.


Why not? Indeed.

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Spent the day outside Taipei City, mostly in the Zhongli district in Taoyuan county. Drove by some pleasant countryside en route. Rice paddies, corn fields, fish ponds…the rural life.

Late 11am start at their bustling day market. Some of the more popular venders were already sold out of their in demand items and calling it a successful day. There were still stalls upon stalls to peruse with their not so shy proprietors vying for your attention.

Produce!!! Always gaga at the variety, freshness and strange stuff on hand.

The tiniest Bitter Melon I’ve ever seen. Vender proclaims very good, very bitter!! Yay!

The most beautiful Young Sweet Ginger.

Spied a never before seen spiny sphere that none of us had ever seen. Vender says for soup. Google Image says Gac Fruit. Anyone?

Couldn’t say no to these perfect red Strawberry.

These were not yams or sweet potato. Told they taste like pear. Waiting for confirmation from our friend after she samples hers.

Already had our fill of Wax Apples this trip. These looked very good, albeit on the small side.

Had bought some Kumquats at Breeze that did not compare to off my uncle’s tree in Californiia. Pass. These did look very pretty tho.

Some weird looking ginger. Oh, it’s Tumeric. In the wild.

My favorite FAVORITE vegetable that’s eluded me thus far this trip. I have one last full day to find on a restaurant menu, pressure on.

Plans for lunch at a Yunnan restaurant, looking forward to a welcome respite from the mid-80’s sauna. But first, a refreshing CHILLED PASSIONFRUIT beverage.


We call it 陰陽果.

Not sure I’ve ever used the fruit for soup (as it is kind of sour, so I am sure it is probably used on some SE Asian soups), but I really enjoy their leaves (much like I like Yam Leaves).


Interesting. Didn’t see (recognize) any edible leaves available for sale.

From Google: “In addition to the fruits, the young shoots and leaves of the Gac vine are eaten as a vegetable in Southeast Asia , often served with chili-based condiments for enhanced flavor.”

They resemble spinach.

Winding down our three week Return to Taiwan visit. Tonight’s final in country dinner will be Japanese at our favorite Taipei Sushi restaurant.

Dinner the night before was at a comfortable Taiwan restaurant in the Xinzhuang district, just outside Taipei.

No ground breaking nouvelle cuisine here, just good fresh ingredients simply prepared.

Bivalves: oysters with a bit of fermented black beans and green onion. Clams with basil and garlic.

Sweet sour pork, In the correct in-Asia style.

Fried squid with salted egg yolk. Delicious, love egg yolk flavored dishes.

Taiwanese soy sauce chicken. Almost like roast chicken, unlike the poached version I’m familiar with.

Steamed Baramundi.

Starches: braised pork rice. I could totally devour a meal of just this and the cabbage in the background.

Seafood congee.

We try to replicate many of these dishes at home, with various degrees of success. Our recent meals will be a definite inspiration going forward.


How time flies! I wished your trip didn’t have to come to an end just yet!


I bet @Google_Gourmet feels the same way.


I also feel the same way - I will miss these beautiful pics of wonderful foods! Taiwan is now high on my wishlist for new travel destinations.

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Already? Time flies when you are having fun eating (well).

Thanks, man.

Hey, we looked like fools in an Okinawan supermarket trying to pay for our shopping. An employee gestured to us to put the whole bag down on this check out machine. Every item in the bag showed up on the screen and the amount we owned. The electronic tag system is so efficient. Love Japan. Now if they would just ban smoking all together and strictly enforce it and Japan will claim its number one position on my favourite travel destination/country list!


Thanks all for joining me on this trip. It’s been good to report and keep the synapses firing in my semi-retirement. I’d filled my passports many times over traveling overseas for business. Feel very fortunate to have experienced foreign cultures and local foods thru the gracious hospitality of overseas customers (a few who became true friends).

That said, traveling for fun these past few years has been a different and even more enjoyable special time. Especially with my Mandarin speaking/reading travel companion and life partner. 30 years ago, who would have divined that Chinese would become an international conduit of communication?!?!

A tad sad for trip to end, but also looking forward to kicking back and slipping in between our own sheets. Ain’t too sad tho, comfort in knowing we already have flights/hotels booked for another three weeks in Taiwan coming march.

Before I get too maudlin, on to our farewell Japanese dinner. Wife had been a regular at this restaurant years even before she met me. QPR thru the roof, freshness and deliciousness unimpeachable. About usd$200 for four, friend byob’d the 1.75L gold flake sake.

The obligatory biru, Kirin Ichiban.

Sashimi. BIG pieces of sashimi. Only quibble may be the size, seems to be Taiwanese way.

Baby Abalone. Very tender and toothsome.

Some great Unagi.

Kama, Yellowtail collar.

Clam soup?!? :slight_smile:

A second seafood soup.

Deep fried Oysters in a roll presentation. Really good, no surprise.

Coupla Lobster dishes.

The hits kept coming. By now, I started to lose track of the flow. Food, sake and beer overdose.

Last Wax Apple of the trip and Red Bean soup to finish.

We can go back home satisfied and complete now. Just one last bite back at the lodge.


I am amazed at how the four of you could put away so much food in one meal.

Left a few tidbits on the table, not much. Thankfully, portion sizes in most Asian countries are small (relative to USA). May have put on one or two kilos this trip, :thinking:


I’m really really going to miss your reviews… I used to go back to Taiwan every couple years. But with kids in high school now + COVID the past few years, not sure when I’ll make it back. I miss the food and especially the fresh fruits and seafood so much, your posts brought back so many fond memories.

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Taiwan is such a wonderful place to visit. The people are great, love the energy at the markets and in general.

My Kaoshiung born partner prefers Japan just a bit more than Taiwan. Myself, I’ve become very comfortable and enjoy Taiwan, although I love Japan as well. Hope you can get back to the island soon !!


Reminds me of one of my earlier food buys in Naha City on Kokusai Dori. I wistfully walked by this grandma’s street display a few times before I resolutely walked up to buy what turned out to be her fresh made mochi cakes.

I pointed at and she bagged a few colorful little cakes for me. She was visibly amused when I dug all the change from my pockets and extended the coins in both palms to pay for the goodies.

Btw, the mochi were great and sparked a love affair with these tasty treats ever since.