Konayuki – Round 2

Sunday afternoon was beautiful and sunny, so I decided it would be a good day to go shopping. It was a bit chilly outdoors, and after wandering around Shinkong Mitsukoshi square (there are always interesting street performers there and things to look at), and taking photos of a cute golden retriever all decked out in his Christmas attire:

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I decided to head over to Zhongshan station street mall, where it would be warmer because it would be indoors. Plus, there are a lot of book stores there. By that time it was already 5pm, and I was getting hungry. I ended up taking V to Konayuki for afternoon tea.

Latte:

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I originally ordered the macchiato without realizing that it was an espresso shot, but the server was kind enough to inform me of this, and I switched to a latte. I don’t drink coffee often, so when I do, I have trouble falling asleep. The latte at 5pm that evening kept me awake until 1 in the morning..

Sandwiches (smoked salmon and shrimp croquette):

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I really enjoyed the smoked salmon last time, that’s why I wanted to get it again. And I like the shrimp croquette sandwich better than the cheese croquette one, but the shrimp pattie inside was so tiny! The rest was all shredded cabbage.

Double fromage cheesecake (original and chocolate) with Hokkaido milk soft serve:

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As I had expected, the original cheesecake was better than the chocolate. The milk soft serve was good, but the one served at 711 was better.

Our total came to ~800NTD. V ordered a peach earl grey tea (cold) as well, but it wasn’t great, so I didn’t bother taking a picture of it. Surprisingly, the tea didn’t come sweetened. That’s quite interesting as most cold teas are usually sweetened before being served.

Their matcha drinks (both hot and cold) seem really popular as I saw a lot of people ordering them.

A cool and sunny Sunday afternoon strolling in Shinkong Mitsukoshi square, doing some light reading at a bookstore, and ending off the afternoon with afternoon tea at Konayuki. I enjoy Taiwan winters.

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Konayuki – Taipei

When I visited Hokkaido this summer, I passed by the cake store LeTao, and mentioned that there’s a place selling their famous double fromage cheesecake right here in Taipei. (For the post, see here: Day 4 afternoon: Otaru Canal)

The cafe in Taipei is called “Konayuki”, and it’s located close to MRT Zhongshan station, in one of the little alleys that’s packed full of cute cafes and restaurants, including Coffee Alley and Melange Cafe.

That day, CF had invited Meimei and me to listen to the Danjiang University alumni orchestra’s performance (their theme this year was “Love, present tense”, and in the middle of the performance, love letters were read and flowers were given; it was very sweet. <3). The plan was to go for double fromage cheesecake after, but when the performance ended, it was already dinner time. I think Konayuki is better to go for dessert than for dinner because of their minimum order rule. The rule there is that everyone must order either a drink or a parfait, so if you’re hungry and expecting to get full from eating Konayuki’s sandwiches, it can be a bit pricey.

Meimei’s cappuccino:

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We ordered a sandwich to share, and decided on the cheese croquette/smoked salmon combo (2 cheese croquette sandwiches, and 2 smoked salmon sandwiches):

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The cheese croquette sandwich is Konayuki’s most well-known sandwich. I thought the sandwiches were very simple and quite tasty, but to be honest, the price was a bit steep since they were tiny and we finished them in about 2 minutes. You’ll find a much better deal for sandwiches at “Shark Bites Toast”.

Lastly, CF and I each ordered a parfait (fresh fruit parfait, with a piece of double fromage cheesecake on top):

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Their cheesecake was amazing, as expected. It’s actually flown in from Hokkaido, and Konayuki is the only place that you can get the double fromage cheesecake in Taiwan.

There are so many options for good eats in Taipei, and because I have a budget, Konayuki is unfortunately not a place I can visit often. However, with that being said, I’m glad that the option exists in Taipei for those who love LeTao’s double fromage cheesecake; if you’re craving it, it’s conveniently just a few MRT stations (instead of a plane ride) away!

Wolves and Sheep

There are many types of people in this world, and the ones to watch out for are the “wolves” and “sheep”, because they’re the ones who can be deceiving at first sight.

What do I mean by wolves and sheep? I am referring to wolves in sheep’s clothing and sheep in wolves’ clothing.

I am fortunate enough (or unfortunate enough) to become acquainted with both types. The wolf in sheep’s clothing is pretty self-explanatory; they’re the ones who appear to be genuinely sincere and will have you and the whole world fooled until they show their true colours. However, we cannot wear rose-coloured glasses forever, and in those cases, we must accept the truth and move on. We cannot expect others to change just because we want them to; for a change to happen, it must come from oneself.

As for the sheep in wolf’s clothing, I would say my dad is one of those, as well as a couple of my friends. Outside they appear to be cold and mean, not the type of people you’ll want to become friends with unless you’re also cold and mean, but on the inside, they are actually warm and extremely friendly. I think for these sheep, how they appear is a result of their environment; they might not have grown up coddled and protected from the harsh realities of the real world, thus leading to their strong and cold exterior. This is in contrast to the wolf where the opposite might be true; they might grow up educated on how to act like a sociable being, but that still doesn’t change who they truly are inside. I think those people who knowingly hurt others for their own selfish needs are despicable.

So, what does this all mean?

1. Don’t forget those who have hurt you before. You can forgive, but never forget.

2. Don’t judge a book by its cover; try to give everyone a chance, and don’t disregard them through stereotyping.

3. We cannot change the past, but we can choose to change the future. If you have done things in the past that you’re not proud of, make it a goal to change for the better. You’ll be happy, and those around you will be even happier!

4. Not everything in life can go the way we want them to. Nothing is perfect, and the same goes for relationships (whether it’s friendship, romantic relationships… a relationship goes both ways). So, after trying our best and things still feel wrong, let go and move on. It’s for the best.

5. Lastly, as mentioned above: We cannot expect others to change just because we want them to; for a change to happen, it must come from oneself. So don’t try to force change. You can mention it, and let them decide if they want to change. Respect their decision, but it doesn’t mean that you need to stick around.

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Even if it’s already winter, that doesn’t mean I can’t have ice cream when I’m feeling a bit blue. Something sweet for my bitter mood.

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7-11 milk soft serve, made from Hokkaido’s Tokachi Province milk. It’s a new product and currently only available at a handful of 7-11’s around Taiwan. It’s delicious, and tastes just like the soft serves that I had when I was in Japan! Now, if only they can come out with lavender flavour…

Happy, just because.

V shared a quote with me today that was exactly what I needed to hear:

Don’t let what one person says take away your happiness today.

So I will be happy. :) Because there’s no reason for me to dwell on something I cannot change, as long as I have put in the effort and tried my best. Some things cannot work out the way we want them to just because we want to solve the problem to make ourselves feel better.

Tonight’s dinner: Shark Bites Toast. The french toast with meat loaf and a sunny side up egg is the perfect comfort food on a rainy day.

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Weekends always fly by.

Melange Cafe – Shinkong Mitsukoshi A11

This past Saturday I attended the ‘Family Day’ event hosted by Meimei’s company with mom and grandma. The event itself was aight. It was supposed to be a carnival, so there were stalls selling food (like dorayaki and stir-fried noodles), as well as bouncy castles. Some company employees also performed on stage, but because the place was so big, there was a lot of echoing going on, which hurt our ears.

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It was held at Nangang Exhibition Centre (the very last stop on the Bannan Line), and it was my first time there. The place was huge, and there was free food, but in terms of entertainment, there were none of interest, so while Meimei had to stay there since it counted as a work day for her, mom, grandma, and I went off to have afternoon tea instead. We decided on Melange Cafe in Shinkong Mitsukoshi’s A11 building (B1), which is located right by MRT City Hall station.

We didn’t make a reservation beforehand, and Melange Cafe was packed. However, the turnover rate was pretty fast and we only ended up waiting for ~20 minutes. Not bad for a Saturday afternoon that was prime time for afternoon tea.

Melange Cafe also has the ‘one drink per customer’ minimum order rule, so we had to oblige, which meant I didn’t end up ordering a waffle like I had originally wanted to.

Some interesting facts about Melange Cafe: The owner of Melange Cafe actually used to work for Coffee Alley (another well-known cafe in Taipei), and decided to leave and start a new cafe. The first Melange Cafe is located at MRT Zhongshan station, and that one is only a few metres away from a Coffee Alley cafe. Talk about competition!

None of our drinks came with added sugar, and sugar came in a separate jar, to be added as desired.

Mommy ordered a cafe ou lait (3.5/5):

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I’ve never seen coffee served this way before! It came in 2 pots: 1 pot contained coffee, the other contained milk. You can choose to pour it in the ratio that you like. How neat!

Milk:

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Coffee:

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The way that the pots are designed, you can even pour both at once!

Grandma’s osmanthus citrus tea:

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She said that it tasted light and floral, with a hint of citrus. She enjoyed her hot tea quite a lot.

My royal milk tea, original flavour (3.5/5):

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I added a bit of sugar to my tea because I like my milk tea on the slightly sweet side. It was good, but I would have enjoyed it that much more if the tea flavour was stronger. I felt like the tea wasn’t brewed long enough so the flavour wasn’t completely infused into the drink.

Club sandwich (3.5/5):

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Melange’s club sandwich with egg, tomato, lettuce, cucumber, and chicken. Tastewise, it was very normal, but made for good finger food as an afternoon tea snack. It was a fun afternoon catching up with Mommy and Grandma. It’s rare to take Grandma out because she doesn’t normally venture so far into Taipei, so I’m glad that I got to have afternoon tea with her that day. We’re planning on a lunch date for this upcoming Saturday at 三本味 (I had previously blogged about that place). Thank goodness I do exercise on a regular basis. Eating is what I do the most in Taiwan!

Addicted to Dazzling – Dazzling Pink

Meimei once told me that a food blogger visited Dazzling Cafe more than 20 times, and counting. How can anyone visit a cafe that many times, even though there are now 8 locations throughout Taiwan? Is it that good? My first experience at Dazzling Mint was good, but my second time at Dazzling Pink (their first store) was even better. Dazzling Pink is also conveniently located near MRT Zhongxiao Dunhua station, and about a 3 minute walk from Dazzling Mint.

There’s a deal going on at all the Dazzling Cafe locations until the end of November, which is buy one honey toast or pasta and get the second one half off. How can I pass on a yummy deal like that?

We went for dinner that evening, and even though we didn’t make a reservation, we reserved on the wait list at 4:30pm for 6pm, and that’s how we got a table on a Saturday night. The service was really good, and the servers were all very attentive. The waiter who took our order had a very good memory too; we must have changed our order at least 10 times (changed mains, changed our mind about drinks, adjusted ice and sugar levels, and requested that our honey toast be on the crispier side), and he still got it spot on. Bravo!

The interior of Dazzling Pink is very pretty, with white and pink as their main colours: a girl’s paradise! They came out with a jewelry line as well, but I’m not too interested in their jewelry. I like food more.

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Peach fruit tea (3/5):

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This tea was sweet and peachy, and quite refreshing. All pastas come with a drink (from a small menu, and this was one of them. Not bad for a complimentary drink!).

Meimei’s hot black tea, also came with a pasta order:

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It’s just black tea, so it’s nothing new. However, it came with a side of fruit slices that can be added to the tea for a fruity twist to black tea.

I ordered the rose latte again, just like last time at Dazzling Mint. I thought this drink was so good that I didn’t mind ordering it a second time. Actually, that’s what usually happens when I like something. I end up ordering it again instead of trying something new. I’m trying to slowly change that though, because trying out new things can be really fun!

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Rose. Coffee. Lots of milk. It’s my perfect winter drink.

Scallop and shrimp pasta tossed in olive oil (4/5):

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Chicken pesto pasta (4.5/5):

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Smoked salmon fettuccini (4/5):

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Dazzling cafe serves good pasta. All of their pasta is cooked al dante, but there wasn’t much shrimp or scallop in the seafood pasta, nor a lot of salmon in the smoke salmon one. The portions were not large either, but it’s perfect for girls who want to save room for dessert: honey toast!

Hazelnut honey toast (4.5/5):

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Yum! We requested the toast to be on the crispier side. It was so divine, even our guy friends enjoyed it, and I thought honey toast was a girl’s thing!

I am addicted to Dazzling; now I know why it’s always full and reservations must be made weeks in advance. Taiwanese people are seriously good at decorating their cafes and restaurants! They are all so pretty and exquisite, and I think it’s something that North American restaurants still have a lot to learn from. But then again, it could be that North Americans don’t like the cute style that Asians prefer. So, each to their own.