Movenpick Cafe – Savouries

I have never heard of Movenpick Cafe until coming across the name in Taiwan, but apparently it’s a well-known ice-cream brand here. Last summer I went for afternoon tea and had their ice-dripped coffee (so good!) and honey toast box. This summer I wanted to try their savoury dishes so decided to go for lunch with MilkTea and JT. We went to the one inside MingYao department store, near Zhongxiao Dunhua MRT station.

Entrance to Movenpick Cafe

Entrance to Movenpick Cafe

Ice-cream bar off to the side

Ice-cream bar off to the side

Inside the cafe, there are comfortable seatings by the large windows, and also a small room for larger parties too.

Interior of Movenpick Cafe

Interior of Movenpick Cafe

A separate room at the end for larger parties

A separate room at the end for larger parties

Norway Smoked Salmon Salad (~$230NTD) 2/5

Norwegian Smoked Salmon Salad (~$230NTD) 3/5

MilkTea ordered a Norwegian smoked salmon salad. The dressing came on the side rather than drizzled on top, which is rather nice since everyone has different preferences for the amount of dressing that they like in a salad. The amount of smoked salmon was a bit disappointing though. There were only about 4 small pieces, and the rest was just lettuce, cucumber, and a bit of tomatoes and olives. I guess that’s to be expected, since it was a salad after all. This salad would be a healthy choice for those who want something light and nutritious!

Fruit tea - 4/5

Mixed Fruit Tea ($110NTD) – 4/5

Chicken and mushroom pasta in a bread box - 4/5

Chicken and mushroom pasta in a bread box – 5/5

JT ordered a mixed fruit tea and a chicken and mushroom pasta in a bread box. The fruit tea had fresh apples, kiwi, and passionfruit and it was fruity and not too sweet. I thought the bread box was a creative way to serve pasta! The bread soaked up the creamy pasta sauce, making this a very flavourful dish.

Gratin Penne with Chicken and Pumpkin Sauce ($220NTD) - 4/5

Gratin Penne with Chicken and Pumpkin Sauce ($220NTD) – 4/5

Last but not least, my gratin penne with chicken in a pumpkin sauce. MilkTea really enjoyed this dish (she loves pumpkin), and I’m not a pumpkin fan, but I thought this dish was very delicious as well! The sauce was not too heavy and the pasta was not overcooked, which is what sometimes happens in gratin dishes. I believe they used chicken breast meat in this dish, but the meat wasn’t too dry as it was soaked in pumpkin sauce. Yum!

Overall, Movenpick Cafe is a nice and ambiant cafe, and it doesn’t get too crowded (except for weekends!). I think their sweets are better than their savouries, but their pasta bread boxes are definitely worth a try!

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Tenya (Ten屋) – Okonomiyaki

Today I finally got to try Tenya, a famous restaurant in Taiwan that specializes in okonomiyaki, monjayaki, and modanyaki. I have been eyeing this place since last summer, but there was always a long line-up whenever I wanted to go, and the Taipei Main Station location does not take reservations. I thought that going on a Thursday at noon would make a difference, but I still had to wait 20 minutes for a table.

Entrance to Tenya

Entrance to Tenya

For those who didn’t want to wait, Tenya also offers a takeout counter, but they only do takoyaki and taiyaki takeouts. Takoyaki flavours are all savory and range from the original octopus flavour to fish roe with mayo. Taiyaki flavours are all sweet and include interesting flavours such as red bean mochi and banana custard.

Tenya Takeout Counter - Takoyaki's and Taiyaki's sold here

Tenya Takeout Counter – Takoyaki’s and Taiyaki’s sold here

The menu was a bit overwhelming at first because there are so many options to choose from. I didn’t really understand the difference between an okonomiyaki and a modanyaki, but the server was nice enough to explain the difference to me. She explained that the modanyaki has noodles and has 2 eggs, whereas the okonomiyaki has no noodles and only has 1 egg. In the end I went for the pork and cheese modanyaki, MilkTea went for a “rice-yaki” (rice version of okonomiyaki), and SC ordered a corn/kelp salad and a banana crepe.

The corn and kelp salad was the first to arrive:

Corn and Kelp Salad - 2/5

Corn and Kelp Salad – 1/5 ($120NTD)

This salad consisted of shredded cabbage, kelp, canned corn, and some mayo. It wasn’t too exciting and I would definitely not recommend it to those who are thinking to visiting tenya. There are much better things here than this salad.

Next up, my pork and cheese modanyaki. Now I know why this place always has a line-up; they make almost all of their hot orders on the spot, right in front of your eyes. Here’s how they made my modanyaki:

Ingredients for the pork and cheese modanyaki

Ingredients for the pork and cheese modanyaki

The pork and batter (containing an egg, shredded cabbage, and flour) get placed onto the grill.

The pork and batter (containing an egg, shredded cabbage, and flour) get placed onto the grill.

The batter gets shaped into a pancake and the pork is placed on top.

The batter gets shaped into a pancake and the pork is placed on top.

Next, yakisoba gets cooked with yakisoba sauce and placed onto the pancake.

Next, yakisoba gets cooked with yakisoba sauce and placed onto the pancake.

After some waiting, the modanyaki gets flipped...

After some waiting, the modanyaki gets flipped…

... Mozzarella cheese and egg gets cooked underneath, then the modanyaki gets flipped again. Finally, it's drizzled with okonomiyaki sauce, 2 kinds of mayo (I picked original and wasabi mayo), seaweed, and bonito flakes. Ta-da! A pork and cheese modanyaki!

… Mozzarella cheese and egg gets cooked underneath, then the modanyaki gets flipped again. Finally, it’s drizzled with okonomiyaki sauce, 2 kinds of mayo (I picked original and wasabi mayo), seaweed, and bonito flakes. Ta-da! A pork and cheese modanyaki! 5/5 ($250NTD)

The size of this modanyaki can serve one if that person wasn’t ordering anything else. The noodles and the cheese were what made me really love this modanyaki. It was crispy on the outside, soft on the inside, and extremely flavourful. I couldn’t really taste the pork because there wasn’t much to begin with, and the okonomiyaki sauce and mayo tasted really strong, so it may not be a good choice for you if you need your meat. However, it was a delightful experience watching them make this modanyaki and I thoroughly enjoyed it.

Ingredients for the Kimchi and Beef "Rice-yaki"

Ingredients for the Kimchi and Beef “Rice-yaki”

Kimchi and Beef Rice Okonomiyaki - 4/5 ($210)

Kimchi and Beef Rice Okonomiyaki – 4/5 ($210)

MilkTea’s Okonomiyaki was made with rice instead of the traditional shredded cabbage, and after being heated on the grill, it was nice and crispy. This rice okonomiyaki tasted kind of like the Korean Bibimbap. Just don’t forget to remove it from the heat shortly after it’s made – otherwise the rice at the bottom will get burned!

Last but not least is the banana crepe:

Ingredients for banana crepe

Ingredients for banana crepe

Banana Crepe ($180NTD)

Banana Crepe ($180NTD)

The banana crepe was also made fresh! I’m not sure how this one tasted but SC enjoyed it, and the table next to us also ordered this.

At first I thought Tenya was DIY okonomiyaki, but I’m glad they made it for us in the end because it saved time and it was very professionally done. I would definitely go back for more, maybe try the monjayaki?

The Great Gatsby – Wonderful Soundtrack

Lana Del Ray’s “Young and Beautiful” is such a beautiful song, and it fits perfectly with the movie. I really like Lana’s voice; it gives me the chills every time.

Youth is so fleeting, and once it’s gone it will never come back.

“Will you still love me when I’m no longer young and beautiful
Will you still love me when I got nothing but my aching soul”

Remedies for Regulars – Home Remedies

Do any of you have home remedies that you use to treat regular problems? I’ve heard of the one where you put toothpaste on your pimples to make them go away, as well as the one involving cucumbers and under-eye bags. However, there are many more home remedies that I’ve never heard of! Curing bad breath with yogurt? Strawberry teeth whitening?

Check out Remedies for Regulars for many more interesting home remedies!

http://remediesforregulars.com/

Whiten your teeth with strawberries?

Not much to do

I haven’t been doing much these days. To be honest, it’s actually a bit boring here in Taipei. I mostly just sit in front of the fan all day long since it’s too hot to go outside. My favourite time of the day is in the evening after I shower, when I get to turn on the a/c in my bedroom. That’s when I can relax in comfort and do whatever I want without feeling like a sticky puddle. Mom says that sweating is good for detox, but it’s so unbearable!! T-T

 

Missing Beautiful British Columbia

Missing Beautiful British Columbia

Taipei – Day 1

I have officially moved from Vancouver, Canada to Taipei, Taiwan. After flying 12 hours across the Pacific Ocean, I finally arrived at the island where I was born. However, having spent the majority of my life in Vancouver (13 years!), I don’t know where “home” is anymore. I guess I’ll see this as an adventure and a new chapter in my life.

First of all, I want to say a big “Thank You” to everyone who helped me with the move. I had so much packing and cleaning to do, as well as a ton of things to get rid of. Giving myself only two and a half days to do all that would’ve been impossible if it wasn’t for some very special friends. So thanks!!

Also, I really miss my friends in Vancouver. Hopefully we’ll keep in touch and see each other again in the future. Feel free to contact me if you ever decide to visit Taiwan. Like someone told me once: “It’s not good bye, it’s see you later”.

It seems like I came to Taiwan at a bad time, because one of the things I looked forward to the most was the food here. However, many popular food products such as egg pudding and bubble tea have recently been recalled because they were suspected of containing maleic anhydride. (http://newsinfo.inquirer.net/418623/taiwan-passes-tougher-food-safety-law). So there won’t be any delicious snack pictures to share with all of you until such foods are deemed safe for consumption. :( Taiwan really needs to work on passing stricter food laws and regulate what gets put into the foods! Taiwan is famous for its food, so it’s such a shame to see that reputation get tarnished through this tainted food scandal.

YoyoBaby says "good night"!

Greetings from YoyoBaby