Pancakes @ Paddington Garden

Today I went out for afternoon tea with some local friends that I met through my internship program. We wanted to go for pancakes at Uzna Omom, but it was packed. In the end, we settled for Paddington Garden. The good thing about where I live is that it is close to many good dessert places and restaurants. Even though the price can get a bit steep, if you know where to look, you’ll find some great eats!

Paddington Garden has many locations; we went to the one that’s right behind MRT Zhongxiao Dunhua station. It was a short wait compared to all the other cafes that we tried going to after Uzna Omom… Coffee Alley, Dazzling Cafe.. They all had insanely long wait times. That’s what happens when you don’t make a reservation on a weekend afternoon in one of the most popular places to eat in Taipei. What can I say? Taiwanese people just love to eat.

Paddington Garden is well-known for their pancakes, even though they do offer other items on their menu such as sandwiches and tonkatsu (deep-fried pork cutlet). For their pancakes, they offer both sweet and savoury options, so there’s something for all moods.

What’s our flavours today?

Mont Blanc pancakes (2/5):

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Berry pancakes (3/5):

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Strawberry and Cream Cheese pancakes (5/5):

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The strawberry one was hands-down the best choice out of all three flavours. The cream cheese topping had vanilla ice cream beneath, and together with the 3-layered pancakes and strawberry sauce created a sweet and salty fusion that worked together perfectly.

The Mont Blanc was disappointing. It was dry, and in my opinion, isn’t that appealing to the eye. The chestnut paste tasted mediocre at best, and I would not recommend this to anyone.

As for the berry pancakes, it was topped with sweet and creamy vanilla ice cream to balance out the sour berries. There wasn’t anything too special about this one, but it wasn’t horrible. Just quite simply as the name suggests: Berries + Pancakes.

CF said he wants to take Milktea and me to the Paddington Garden in Banqiao (in New Taipei City) next time. I can’t wait to try some other menu items! Apparently their savoury cheese pancakes are supposed to be amazing!

Another weekend has come to an end, and even though I’m sad to see it go, I’ll look forward to next weekend, and the next, and the one after that. That’s the beauty of work: it makes you appreciate weekends so much more!

Good night, world. :)

Snail Mail: Happiness in an envelope!

I came home today to find two envelopes sitting on my desk! It was rather unexpected, and I immediately felt less tired from my long day of work after seeing them. I held them, weighed them in my hands, and wondered what surprises they contained. Snail mail is simply happiness in an envelope!

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I have been feeling quite nostalgic these days. I even dreamed about Canada yesterday… I dreamed that I was at a barbeque, and I was messaging my friends in Canada asking them to come. But it was only just a dream.

I saved the envelopes to open them during my favourite time of the day: Right now, which is at night right after I shower and before I go to sleep.

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Inside there was a “postcard” of the Rockies from Eye. It’s actually a photo that she took on her way to Alberta! It’s so postcard-perfect, and reminds me of home. I’m going to take it to work and decorate my desk space. Eye, thank you for showing me the Rockies from your eyes. I know more adventures await you there, and I can’t wait to hear all about them!

JTran sent me a cellphone charm from her trip to Hawaii (Thank you, it’s adorable! I know just the place to put it!), Starbucks gift cards (because I used to collect them in Canada, but I can’t collect them here because they cost money here in Taiwan), and a sweet letter (I’m so happy to hear your updates. And thanks for being such a sweet friend).

Hearing all about their trips makes me want to travel as well!

I thought I would miss Canada less as time goes on, but now that my internship at NMNBA has ended and I’ve been brought back from Heaven down to Earth, I’m really starting to feel it, and everyday is hard. It’s hard to make friends once you leave school, and things really aren’t the same when you no longer have friends to keep you company. Like Eye mentioned in her postcard, thank goodness for technology like Line and FB… but still… I miss everyone so much.

Power Nap

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I never used to nap, but ever since I started working, I noticed that everyone always took a short 15 or 20 minute nap after having lunch. For the first week or so, I spent time after lunch on the phone or on the computer, and I ended up feeling extremely tired and burned out by the time 3pm came around. Then I tried taking a nap… And wow! What a life changer! I’ve heard that naps help to re-energize you, but I didn’t think 15 or 20 minutes could do much for you.

CF further confirmed this by sending me an article today. Click the link below to read on if you’re interested:

http://favmy.com/2013/09/21/photos/1379777616/

But in a nutshell:

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(Source: from the link above)

Moon Festival BBQ

Yesterday I attended my first moon festival BBQ as is, of course, Taiwan tradition. First, we went to a supermarket to get ingredients and supplies. I picked my favourite: bacon! We got a bunch of other things too, including sausages, pork, mushrooms, baby corn, and sweet potato… and also a piece of salmon. Nobody’s ever BBQ’d salmon in our group, but we thought it’d be fun to give it a shot!

We ended up getting a LOT of food. I find that’s always the case with BBQs.. There’s always leftovers.

There is a typhoon near Taiwan this weekend, so it was pouring buckets half the time. Thank goodness we had the BBQ on Cola’s rooftop, where there was a covered roof. Otherwise we would’ve been drenched and the BBQ would have to be cancelled.

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Not only was there food, there was also entertainment: a projector set up, with a nice sound system. Cola played his US top 40 hits playlist, Milktea and I got to share pictures from our Hokkaido trip, and later on we used the projector to play pictionary. There were many epic drawings (ex. Anne Hathaway, SK II…) and it was overall hilarious fun. The team that lost was filmed doing 3 minutes to a Korean exercise video, complete with bootie shakes! To end off the night, we watched a Hong Kong horror movie that wasn’t too scary (thank goodness!), which disappointed the guys.

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And of course I couldn’t resist bringing out my Polaroid camera for the occasion. First Moon Festival BBQ in Taiwan, good food and good fun! I had so much food this weekend but because of the typhoon, not enough exercise! Time to start looking into gym memberships…

Rainy Saturday Creation

My sister and I baked scones this morning because it was raining too hard to go outside (typhoon is ruining all the fun). I think that scones and cupcakes are two things that are easy and almost fail-proof to bake. Even though today’s scones ended up looking more like biscuits, they still tasted really yummy! We made two kinds: raisin and cranberry.

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Now all I need to find is some Devonshire cream and jam, and I’ll be ready for afternoon tea… It’s already hard enough to find Devonshire cream in Canada. I think the only place that has them here is the supermarket in Taipei 101. Too bad it’s so hard to make your own Devonshire cream. I’ll just eat it plain with butter.

Did you know?

The “high tea” that we have in hotels and tea shops with the three-tiered stands is actually not how it was enjoyed back in the days. For the British upper class, “afternoon tea” is the kind we see today, and “high tea” is actually the dinner of the working class. The “high” does not refer to “high class”, but rather “high noon”, signifying that it was taken later in the day.

Eslite Spectrum Songyan Store

A couple nights ago, CF, Milktea, and I decided to go for a walk at Eslite Spectrum Songyan Store after dinner. Eslite started out as just a bookstore, then recently they expanded to sell more than just books: they started to sell and promote local creative, handmade items that they refer to as “文創” (cultural innovations). Recently they opened a mall called Eslite Spectrum Songyan to promote cultural innovations, with stores from first to third floor, a food court in B1, and an economical center (business hotel) from floor 4 all the way to the top.

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The view of the building from the back:

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A courtyard at the front, with a clear view of 101:

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Front entrance:

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And the inside:

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There really are some nice things inside, and we stayed until closing. We didn’t get to check out B1 nor 3rd floor, so we plan to visit again another day.

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Those are little plants in clay pots, with magnets in the back stuck onto a blackboard. Super cute, and it would be so cute inside a little cafe, with the menu written on the board.

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In the future when I get a home, I want to have a wall like this.

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This store offers Sterling silver ring workshops. It’s a smart way to get people involved while promoting their jewelry.

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^ Look!! They look like four leaf clovers! All of them have 4 heart shaped leaves. How cute. :)