Skating in Taiwan

It’s finally Friday today, and I spent my favourite evening of the week skating for the first time in Taiwan and having beef noodles with MM, her coworkers, a coworker’s husband, and his friend from work. I was so disappointed by the size of Taiwan’s rink! However, since it was an indoor rink located on the 8th floor of Eslite 116 in Ximending, I shouldn’t have expected so much in the first place. I’m sure the rink in the Taipei Sports Arena is probably much better. We didn’t skate for long as the rink was tiny (maybe half the size I’m used to seeing in Canada), and the skates really hurt my feet (they kept squishing my ankles).

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Afterwards, we had delicious beef noodles from a hole in the wall called 建宏 at the outskirts of Ximending. It’s open 24 hours and have unlimited refills for noodles and soup. MM and I shared a medium bowl (only NTD90) and it was plenty. We didn’t even have to get refills! Next time we’ll just go for a small.

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Last night QB was such a sleepyhead. He fell asleep on my bed and I just couldn’t bear to wake him up. Zzz…

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Panos

Today I went to Panos near Dongmen station for lunch with CF and MM. Panos is a coffee chain store in Belgium (according to MM, there are over 400 stores in Belgium!), and they have brunch items, sandwiches, pasta, salad, and smoothies. It’s interesting to point out that the smoothie flavours at this particular restaurant were created by the lady who opened up the famous mango ice on Yong Kang St. She’s also a major shareholder of Panos Taipei! Another fact pointed out by MM during our visit. She sure knows a lot of random but interesting facts. :)

Overall I found the food and place to be alright, but the service was horrible. It took them 40 minutes to make MM and my Paninis. Even the group that came after us got their order first! I won’t be back.

CF’s tuna brunch:

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My cheese panini:

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MM’s smoked chicken panini:

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It was nice to see CF after not seeing him for over a month! Even though the meal was disappointing, the conversations we had were certainly far from that.

The end of another relaxing and fun weekend; I’m now ready to face another week of work!

I love brunch!

Brunch = Breakfast + Lunch. It’s probably my favourite meal because you can get both sweet and savory combined into one meal! Otherwise, I usually do sweet for breakfast and savory for lunch; therefore brunch offers the best of both worlds.

V recently introduced me to “What Cafe”, this cheap brunch place near MRT Ximen station. I had brunch with Grandma and mom today so Grandma didn’t have to cook. She deserves a break.

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:) There’s grandma with her new iPhone and the case that I got her from online!

I really should get some sleep now.. It’s 2:22am, and I just watched the ending for the movie “Children of Men” on HBO. The movie makes me appreciate living in a peaceful and war-free place so much more! Sometimes, it’s nice to be satisfied and grateful with the simple things in life. Like being able to enjoy brunch time with the family. :)

G’night.

Curry: easy to make, takes a long time to prepare

I made curry today because there’s a pack of expired curry cubes in the fridge (expired 3 months ago so it’s probably still edible). Curry is super easy to make, but the prep work takes awhile. Lots of washing and peeling and cutting… The result is worth it though! :) I made a huge gigantic pot!

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Off for cheap brunch with grandma now. There’s a cheap and yummy brunch place at Ximen MRT station. I’ll post pictures later!

聚 – A Gathering

I went out for lunch with my uncle and aunt-in-law today because they’ll be flying back to Beijing on Tuesday. We had hot pot at 聚, another company owned by 王品集團. So far I have been to 4 of 王品集團’s restaurants (王品, 原燒, 陶板屋, 聚), and they have all been great! My favourite part is that it’s one price for the meal and you get the whole set: appetizer, main, drink, side dish, dessert, another drink at the end…

聚is a hot pot restaurant that uses Japanese kelp soup base. I chose the milky kelp broth and it was so good!

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It was really nice to hang out so much with uncle this time, because in previous years, I hardly ever got to see him seeing that he was always working in Beijing and I was studying in Vancouver. Having family feels awesome. :)

On a side note, I have to attend an awkward lunch tomorrow. Dad thought that it’d be hilarious to play matchmaker, and arranged for our family to go have lunch with a family that he met through a lady that sells sweet potatoes downstairs. Anyway, they have a son who’s not married. Dad likes him because he has a PhD. It’s going to be an interesting lunch… I can’t wait.

Bo Duo (博多) Ramen

It’s chilly in Taiwan these days, and what better food to have on a cold day than a bowl of delicious Japanese ramen? So for dinner yesterday, I tried Bo Duo Ramen, and it was delicious! I still like Santouka ramen the best, but this place serves ramen at half the price, and the server was even considerate enough to offer me a hair band to tie up my hair so it won’t get singed by the flames (they keep the ramen heated on top of a small flame at this restaurant… also quite different from other places!).

Get ready for lots of food photos… *Warning: Not recommended for viewing at 2 in the morning.

Egg (with half-cooked yolk! Yum):

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Agedashi tofu (small order):

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Curry croquette:

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Deep-fried chicken pieces:

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Original Bo Duo ramen with cha siu:

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Their broth is really rich and creamy, and the serving size was perfect (with lots of delicious cha siu), but because we ordered all those side dishes, I barely finished my noodles!

Now that it’s winter, it’s cold outside so I don’t get to move around as much, and feeling cold leads to more eating… I have to take care to watch my weight!

Yongkang (永康) Street – great eats

A famous mango ice store that tourists always visit when they’re in Taipei is “Ice Monster”. The original store used to be located on Yongkang street, just off of MRT Dongmen station, until the owners (then husband and wife, now divorced) got into a dispute and the husband ended up leaving Yongkang street and starting Ice Monster.

After hearing from quite a few people that Yongkang street has good food and good shopping, I visited the street on Monday evening because I wanted a change from the usual places I shop at. We ended up eating street food, with 0 clothes shopping because there was so much to see and eat in terms of good food! Yongkong street is located at Exit 5, and on a weekend is crowded with people. We still had to wait a bit on Monday evening, but it’s definitely not as bad, so if possible: come on a weekday!!

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My favourite food of the evening was green onion pancake stuffed with ham, basil, cheese, and egg:

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A stand selling Taiwanese chicken nuggets, as well as other fried goods (The eggplant was good!):

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Tainan (a city in Southern Taiwan) eats:

Rice cake:

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Steamed shrimp rice dumpling:

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Soft-serve at IOU (I thought their soft serve was alright; they were having a BOGO promotion, but at the original price of 95NTD per cone, it’s not really worth it IMO):

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Milk:

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Milk/matcha (the matcha tasted a bit icy):

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There is a small community park nearby as well (Yongkang park), so it gives people the option of having somewhere to sit down and eat.

Taiwan, you never cease to amaze me with your street foods.