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Category Archives: Taiwanese Style

大家素食 – Everybody Vegetarian

Tina Says:

O gosh, it’s been so long since i wrote my last review here, it’s not that we stop doing the culinary, we do still, but we are just trapped in 9 courses that we take for this semester that sometimes make us so so lazy writing any review, and to be honest, everyday GongGuan is kinda a bit boring, so sometimes we just escape to have trip or find other places to eat. But..anyway here we are come back with the new review, and we choose to review about the vegetarian restaurant called 大家素食, which means Everybody Vegetarian

I never tried the vegetarian foods in Taiwan before this, well..surely i am not a vegetarian, and before, i had like doubt to try for some reasons like, well…to be honest i still think that  the original, i mean the common foods here are kinda tasteless, i just really couldn’t imagine how the vegetarian would taste like, but Leo said if we will have to finish all restaurants in Gongguan, somehow we will have to eat in vegetarian restaurant, so better for us to start soon than we have to leave all the vegetarian at the last and eat that every single day in our last days :S, so then..here we are

The restaurant in located in the small alley, the first alley behind the main road in GongGuan night market, in front of the only fruit shop in GongGuan (let me check the address later)

We went there during the peak hour for lunch, and we couldn’t get the space inside, that’s why if you really take a look on the picture i was sitting outside :p, yea..the restaurant, even it’s just a small restaurant, seems like has some loyal customers. The menu they have are all written on the board which is easy for the customers to choose or just take a look when they pass by, before really deciding to eat there.

The price are around 30 to 45 for the small dishes and 60 to 80 for the main dishes. Since none of us had idea about vegetarian menu, we just tried and chose the menu randomly, I chose the Angelica soup, it was a bit funny conversation between us, because the name of the soup just sounds like my baptism name Angela, and eating the soup is just like eating me :p, that soup costed me like 65 NT (2.17 USD or 19.000 IDR)

I also ordered the side dish called vegetarian stomach , since i just wanted to know how they imitate the meat of the stomach and cook it in vegetarian version. this costed 30 NT (1 USD, 9000 IDR)

Leo ordered a tomato soup, that we couldn’t recall the name, it costed 60 NT

When my food came, i just knew even before i sipped it that the taste will be ginger, well..i don’t like ginger..and Leo knew that, so he just changed our foods, since the one he ordered had no ginger inside..And now, let’s talk about how those food taste, well..i have to say, i don;t like it..what can i say, i’m not vegetarian, and the taste there is too..too plain for me, the way they imitate the meat, is of course totally fail! the texture of tofu meat wanna be, is somehow just looked and tasted like tofu still, and the ginger aroma and taste even worse for me. and we couldn’t finish our foods, we tried, but we just couldn’t pretend to like it, and we’re sorry for that.

And instead of finishing the food, we had some conversation about why the vegetarian have to imitate meat if they really want to be the vegetarian which in my opinion maybe that now the vegetarian is not exclusively for the some religion only, but it now become the life style for people having healthy life, thus sometimes they do still want to re call how the meats taste by having those imitation meat, but apparently, Leo had his own thought bout it -let him tell you by himself anyway-

So..i don’t want to give any point for this because i realize i’m not vegetarian, i’m not fans of it, will be so un fair if i give my rank for this

Happy eating and see you in the next restaurant

Kisses

Tina

 
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Posted by on November 10, 2011 in Taiwanese Style

 

龍涎居 Lóng xián jū (Chinese Herbal Soup)

Autumn in Taipe, and winter is coming soon, you probably think, what is the best -good and healthy- to eat during those cold days. Let’s see what we’ve found!

Two days ago, was a bit cold and Leo got a bit unwell, he said he wanted to eat something healthy and warm , and he chose this place, well..we came to this restaurant before, but i didn’t like it, since the soup he ordered before was like kind of real medicine for me: bitter and weird, but anyway i just wanted to be fair; many times he lets me to choose which restaurant i like to go, so only when he’s ill, why not i let him to choose, and in the end, i didn’t regret my decision since apparently i fell in like to this restaurant, yeah..a restaurant specialized in herbal soup called 龍涎居 Lóng Xián Jū.

龍涎居 Lóng xián jū - in front

The restaurant is located at  No. 3, Alley 8, Lane 316, Section 3, Roosevelt  Rd, Jhongjheng District, in the middle area of Gong Guan Night Market, the same alley with 金雞園 – Jīn jī yuán. Since the first time i came there, somehow i found kind of Japanese aura there, lampion on each table, bamboo decoration, everything neat and simple, so Japanese! and Leo said, during the winter this restaurant is always full with customers and most of them are girls! because the want to get 3 in1 package: healthy (not to disturb the diet), hot to warm and the body and delicious!

The menu are in Chinese and English, completed with the pictures, and as mentioned, this restaurant is specialized in herbal soup, they have various of herbal soups, and each of the soup has special function depends on what symptom you have, for the example; if you have flu symptom, the suggested soup would be different with if you have stomach ache symptom, but anyway it doesn’t necessary for you to have that symptom to eat these delicious foods :). The price are from 120 to 180 for the soup, depend on the kind of meat and soup you want.

Not only soups, they also have some other side dishes like stir-fried vegetable (sweet potato leafs), mian sien (the rice noddle), steamed fish, pork rice and some other else that i don’t remember, and the price is around 30 to 60 for the side dishes.

The thing that you have to put attention if you want to eat here is they have the minimum order which is 100 NT for each, and here are what we ordered:

Soup with chicken and pineapple (buhayisi, i forgot the real name, since it’s kind of in Chinese) which costed 120 NT (35.000 IDR or 4 USD) – it’s Leo’s order

Soup with chicken and pineapple - 120 NT

Soup with chicken, ginger, and some herbal that i don’t know, which costed the same 120 NT -it’s Lenyo’s ordered

Soup with chicken, ginger - 120 NT

Me? i didn’t ordered any soup for my self, i just took share from them, since i told you, i didn’t like it before, because the first time i came here, Leo ordered kind of herbal soup with ginseng, and gosh..it was so bitter, and made me don’t want to order any kind of soup anymore, but this time when i ate these soups i fell in like to it, for it was not bitter, soft flavor but good, no oily taste -like what other foods have here-, and the chicken is good (well..i don;t know what is that kind of chicken called in English, but we Indonesian used to call it ‘ayam kampung’) simply, it was taste ‘healthy and good’, and personally i like the one that Leo ordered than Lenyo, because Lenyo’s was with ginger, and somehow still had a bit bitter flavor.

Since i didn’t order the soup, i ordered the side dishes: Mian Sien that i always like, which costed me 30 NT (8700 IDR or 1 USD) and Pork Rice which was suggested by Leo and costed me 30 NT

Mian Sien - 30 NT

Pork Rice - 30 NT

It’s not like any other mian sien, the mian sien here is kind of dried mian sien…not really dried but almost with no soup, and no intestine like any other have..and i have to tell you, that for me, this is one of the best mian sien i’ve ever eaten here! tasty!, and the same with the pork rice, it was so good!

We also ordered 2 other side dishes: steamed fish (60 NT) and stirred vegetable (30NT)

The side dishes

It was good, but not so special for me, the fish is good, but too much bone anyway 😀

The service in this restaurant is good, the foods came in 4 mins for the side dishes and 10 mins for the soup.

Overall i have 8.5 for this restaurant, and i would like to recommend this restaurant for you, especially if you will spend the winter here: good, healthy and hot..so, why not?

Okay guys, happy eating and see you in the next restaurant!

kisses

Tina

 
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Posted by on October 8, 2011 in Taiwanese Style

 

佳興魚丸店 – Jiā Xìng Fish Meat Ball Shop

Tina Says

Wanna grab something fast, hot, in small portion, cheap and of course delicious? I think this one could be the good alternative choice for you guys. 佳興魚丸店 – Jiā Xìng Fish Meat Ball Shop

Before, there were several times when we just passed by that restaurant and felt curious what they sell, as they have a shark caricature on the banner, but anyway we just passed it like that, since all the menu, and everything..everything is in Chinese character, and Leo, as always, was so lazy to think, translate and explain me one by one, so we decided to go only if we are with a local friend who can understand and talk with the seller.

So, couple weeks ago, finally we tried to eat in that restaurant which is located in No 243, Section 3, TingZhou Rd, at the back of Gong Guan Night Market. Even it’s just a small restaurant, typically traditional Taiwanese restaurant, but it is easy to find, for it has a shark caricature on its banner, the caricature that made me curious.

The restaurant with shark logo in front

The menu (which is all in Chinese)is listed on the banner so everyone passes by can just take a look on it and decide whether they want to go inside or not. They provide fish ball in some variation; with mushroom inside, fish or meat inside, just solid fish ball, and some other else that i don’t remember, they also have variation with noddle; dried noddle with sauce and meat over it, noddle with soup and fish ball, white noddle, yellow noddle, whatever..i don’t really remember, basically they provide the fish ball and noddle! and that is why they have that shark logo 😀

Not only everything is written in Chinese, the sellers also speak Chinese only, so..better to go with the one who speaks Chinese!

As any other typically Traditional Taiwanese restaurant, This restaurant also has the kitchen in front, they even make the ball in front of its shop, so everyone can see and take a look. Entered to the restaurant you will find 5 tables (well..i think it’s 4 :p) with 4 chairs each, so roughly the capacity is no more than 20 persons.

We were 4 and we ordered differently; the fish balls with the rice noddle  (60 NT: 18.000 IDR, 2USD),fish balls with meat inside (50 NT: 15.000 IDR) Fish balls with yellow noddle (60 NT), the dried noddle (60 NT), -take a look pictures bellow anyway-

Fish Ball with meat inside (50 NT - 4pcs)

Dried Noddle with sauce and meat - 60 NT

Fish Balls with yellow noddle - 60 NT

Fish Balls with rice noddle

I did try all of those, and all were delicious, really!!

The fish ball with the meat inside tasted so yummy, it’s salty enough, the texture of the fish and meat are just indicated that it’s fresh, the dried noddle had good sauce, and the ingredient were just so..well..delicious

The portion is small, but anyway was okay for me, i don’t need big portion as i always eat little but often :p, but for boys, surely the portion is not enough for you,  you may need to order the noddle and the fish ball, but anyway you might not be full yet, like Olvin was :p..But let’s compare it in price, i think that’s a good price!

Simply..I love the foods here, and would like to come back again someday..Point? 8.5 from 1 to 10 scale

Okay Guys, happy eating and see you in the next restaurant

Kisses

Tina

 

金雞園 – Jīn jī yuán

It’s Taifoon today in Taipe..rainy, drizzly, windy..such a bad time to go out, i even broke my umbrella today on my way back from church since it couldn’t stand for the wind, and finally here I am, canceled all the plan to go out, writing in front of my netbook instead, and imagine how perfect it would be if i had plates of hot and good foods in front of me :D, anyway seems that’s just impossible, so, here we are coming with our new review about the typically Taiwanese Foods.

Couple days ago, we went to dinner and i said; no matter what, i wanted good foods after the failure we had for lunch in 大福利 排骨大王 – Dà fúlì Ribs King, Deciding for sharing meals-for we were 4 persons- we chose a typically traditional Taiwanese foods restaurant called 金雞園 – Jīn jī yuán, which is located at No. 3, Alley 8, Lane 316, Section 3, Roosevelt  Rd, Jhongjheng District, in the middle area of Gong Guan Night Market. Leo said that the restaurant has some other branches, but i don’t know, i tried this one only

金雞園 - Jīn jī yuán

As i said this restaurant is typically Taiwan restaurant and it has the kitchen in front to attract the costumers to come with the smell and the display food , like they have here; some traditional pastries and bakeries -that anyway they call it cake! :|-

The Pastries Bakeries - Display in front

The restaurant as i observed so far -every time i came there or just passed bye- is always almost full with customers no matter lunch or dinner time, the capacity maybe around 60 persons , and the menu they have for me is like what i always imagine about Taiwanese or generally traditional Chinese foods

The Restaurant - Inside look

The menu are in Chinese and English (but you got to ask for that), no picture and the price is averagely cheap and very affordable

This restaurant is famous of one of its menus: Xiao Long Bao, and of course we ordered what the restaurant is best at :). Costed for  60 NT ( 17.300 IDR or 1.98 USD) we got 5 Xiao Long Bao. For me it looks like dumpling, but it has soup inside, so you have to eat it carefully: take it with the chopstick with the spoon ready underneath, bite a little in the corner, and slowly sip the soup. It is steamed inside a bamboo plate and brought to you  just like that; hot from the steamer! and served with ginger sliced and soy sauce. It taste good for me, but anyway every time, i can only finish no more than 4 pcs..i don’t know why, this dish makes me full easily.

Xiao Long Bao - 60NT (5 pcs)

Similar with the Xiao Long Bao, we also ordered another “dumpling family” that i don’t know the name, but unlike Xiao Long Bao which is covered all the shape to keep the soup inside, this one is more like dimsum or we Indonesian call it Siomay, The cost is 10 NT more expensive than Xiao Long Bao, 70 NT (20.200 IDR or 2.3 USD)

Dimsum (Siomay) - 70 NT

But personally, i prefer this dimsum than the Xiao Long Bao, the taste is more salty, has more meat inside, has shrimp to cover it, and unlikely Xiao Long Bao, you don’t need to be that careful to eat this 😀

As mentioned, that they have some various traditional pastries and bakeries, we also ordered two of them; the beef pastry that costed 20 NT each ( 5.800 IDR or 0.68 USD) and the bread that costed 35 NT (10.100 IDR or 1.2 USD). Me? i love the beef pastry one, more tasty. Leo said that the bread is good, but for me is just so..so..it’s even sweet…you know i don’t like to have sweet flavor in my foods

Beef Pastry - 20 NT each

The Bread - 35 NT

We also ordered noddle with sesame sauce, which costed for 50 NT (15.000 IDR or 1.65 USD), the noddle is not bad, tasty, i just don’t really like sesame sauce, taste like peanuts, and again..i don’t like sweet flavor for my foods

Sesame Sauce Noddle - 50NT

And among all the menu we ordered i love the chicken fried for the most, it’s so crunchy, nice texture, tasty, salty well fried…well simply, it’s delicious. It costed 70 NT  (20.200 IDR or 2.3 USD), a worth price for it was big, and we shared for 4 persons for that

Chicken Leg Fried - 70 NT

For the dessert i ordered the kind of drink, i don’t know the name but it’s sweet, a bit thick -like it had gel inside- and it had the lotus seed which costed 45 NT (13.000 IDR or 1.5 USD) for a small cup, well..i don’t really like it, weird for me..i just wanted to try..

Sweet Soup with Lotus Seed - 45 NT

They also have the set menu, like what Lenyo’s brother ordered, which costed 100 NT, but i can’t tell you how it is since i didn’t try it, but next time if i come back again, and we don’t order for the sharing menu, i would like to try it, look nice

Chicken, rice in set 100 NT

Overall, i’m satisfied with the restaurant, just some tips from me: don’t buy the drink, for me it’s expensive and just not worth. and don’t expect any spicy here, even the spicy sauce they provide on table is not good at all, weird and sour..so if you like spicy, bring your own and the drink, find it outside like this orange juice that you can find it near the restaurant

Point? i have 8 from 1 to 10

Happy eating guys and see you in the next restaurant, Wan An

Kisses

Tina

 
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Posted by on October 2, 2011 in Taiwanese Style

 

興隆手工涼麵 – Xīng Lóng

What is the most popular food that makes all the new comer foreigners curious to try it here? i believe most of them will say that it is stinky tofu or chòu dòufu.

People do name it like that for yes, it is really really stinky since it is formed from fermentation process. The degree of the stinky itself has some various degrees, from ‘not so stinky’ to ‘very very stinky, that even will make you want to vomit because of its strength odor. And there are several ways in serving, like the boiled with the soup, the fried – barbecued, and the fried one. Me? i prefer the fried one, because the boiled one is just too..too strong odor, and the soup is even more stinky and weird for me.

The very first time i tried it was horrible, i didn’t even know how it can be famous and favorite, but then i didn’t even know how it started i become like it and even hunt for it, and apparently the same thing happened to Leo :D, and now everytime we want to eat chòu dòufu is just easy by simply following the garbage odor, and there we are, we find our chòu dòufu. We used to hunt the good chòu dòufu every where we hang around for foods, indeed there are some stupid funny experiences, like once we had chòu dòufu for the breakfast, and it was really strong chòu dòufu and even worse i added some spicy on it, and sure hell yeah i got diarrhea all day long afterwards.

We have some favorite of chòu dòufu, and one of them is this small restaurant called 興隆手工涼麵 – Xīng Lóng which is located in No.2-1, Ln. 333, Sec. 3, Roosevelt Rd., Da’an Dist, across Gong Guan Night market

興隆手工涼麵 - Xīng Lóng - Chou Doufu Seller

It's cooked and served right in front of you

The restaurant is so typically Taiwanese traditional foods restaurant, well..we just call it so Chinese; small, they cook and serve the meals right in front of you, and the owner greet you and welcome you happily. Menu they provide are of course chòu dòufu, various kind of noddles that i don’t know what were that, since all the menu are in Chinese Characters, no English, and the sellers don’t speak English. But i did know they had since Olvin and lenyo ordered some kind of noddles, and those were in pictures, yes they do have pictures only for some special menus, but anyway was difficult for me to understand :D, so i just ordered the chòu dòufu, the fried one, and i don’t know whether they have the other kinds of the chòu dòufu of not. It costed 40 (or 30??? well..i don’t remember it since Leo paid for that)

The Crunchy and Yummy Chou Doufu

One description for this is: Delicious, and i may say that this is the best Chou Doufu in Gong Guan Area, or even one of the best i ever tried, and apparently Leo and Olvin agreed with me. It was crunchy, not too stinky, tasty with good mixed ingredient and the pickles. I used not to eat the pickles that’s served together with chòu dòufu, because it’s just used to be too sour for me, but pickles in this retaurant is different, not sour and so delicious. The portion? is enough..at least for me

My Point for this? 8.5 from 1 to 10 chòu dòufu scale, hehe..if you are chòu dòufu lover, or you are the new comer who want to try chòu dòufu, i recommend you to come here since the new comer should pick the correct one to make them not to stop eating :p

Okay guys, happy eating and see you in the next restaurants

Kisses

Tina

 
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Posted by on September 30, 2011 in Snacks and Side Dishes, Taiwanese Style

 

大福利 排骨大王 – Dà fúlì Ribs King

Tina Says:

Have you ever been manipulated by the smell? we have! I tell you why later.Couple days ago, we..well..i was starving and planned to grab the first food caught our attention, so we were just biking around until we smelled something so delicious and we stopped. The restaurant called 大福利 排骨大王 – Dà fúlì Ribs King and it is located in No 12, Alley 286, Section 3, Roosevelt Rd, near the small park in Gong Guan.

The Restaurant with the cooking area in front

Taiwanese restaurant style, the restaurant has the kitchen in front, that makes the smell spreads around and catches costumers to come, like what happened to us, so we came and the restaurant looked full, but then the waiter told us that there’s another floor up stair, so we were asked to order. Well the menu are Taiwanese food, and all are written in Chinese, no picture, so no way to understand if you don’t come with local friend, since the people there don’t understand English either.

The menu is in Chinese only

So good, i was with Leo, Ta de Zhong Wen hen hao…so he translated and explained all the menu they have, well..basically the main menu are only rice and noddle, and the meat are chicken (leg, streak..all fried) and fried fish. The price as shown in picture are from 80 to 110 NT for main dishes and 45 to 65 NT for the side dishes such as vegetable stir fried.

I ordered for rice with chicken steak which costed me for 80 NT ( 24.000 IDR or 2.6 USD). And i paid at the cashier, and waited only for less than 5 mins to get my food and carried it up by myself, the service was very fast!

Rice with chicken steak - 80NT

And okay..now let’s talk about how it tasted, and why i said we were manipulated by the smell..yeaaahh..com’on it was smelled so good, so i think it’s normal if i expected it would taste good as well..but then i found it so disappointing, because for me the taste was so horrible. Okay, it is tasteless, i need to put the chili powder to give it some..well any taste,-and i preferred it spicy- the chicken was too…tooooo oily, a lot of fat, a lot of bones, and the stirred vegetable was not good either. They also have free soup for the costumers, tofu and seaweed soup, and i did try it, and it was the same tasteless as my meal, the soup was like only water with a little ginger, little onion and oil..no salt at all. so i put down my chopsticks and my spoon and didn’t finish my lunch. It was awful!

And apparently Leo’s meal was not better than me, but anyway let him give his own opinion later, so we both were disappointed and we discussed a bit about what the score for this restaurant. We tried to consider some good points like the fast service even you have to carry your own meal, the spacious enough restaurant, the free water and soup, but then I am so sorry for i will not give more than 4 from 1 to 10 scale. It was a failure for me, even afterwards i heard from local friend that the restaurant is kind of famous and they often order the pian dang (meal box) there, but anyway it doesn’t mean anything for me.. tasteless is tasteless, and i don’t wanna come back there

Anyway, still happy eating and see you in the next restaurant

Kisses

Tina

Leo Says: FAILURE!

Have you ever written “Fail” in your Google image search? Well, if you look further enough maybe you will find our faces after trying this food.

It had happened to me many times to receive warnings from Asians. If I want to add some soy sauce to my steamed rice: be careful! it will be too salty. If I ask for very spicy food: be careful! it will be too hot. If I ask to add two small sugar packets to my cafe: But it will be too sweet!. Finally, they will ask you if the food has bad taste, or even worst, they wont add any sugar in your coffee… MOFO! If I ask for it, just give it to me. I like my drink sweet, my food tasty and my health, well, I still can afford to buy my own drugs.

Now we went to the Ribs King (translated by us), it smells good, it is famous, many people ordering all the time, and, come on, they are the kings! Bullshit. This is ground zero, this is where everything started, the lack of flavor, the lack of salt on restaurants tables, the complains when you add spice by your own, and don’t fool yourselves, if you add salt to a deep fried chicken IT WONT BE MUCH HEALTHIER AT ALL!

And the cultural scam doesn’t finish here. I live in Taipei since 2009 and I still have the same problems at ordering food. If you order a beef noodle soup (牛肉麵湯) you wont get any beef, but if you order the beef noodles (牛肉麵) then you get the soup with the beef and the noodles, when if you order the dry beef noodles (牛肉乾麵) you wont get it dry at all, it comes with a beef sauce, but no soup. Well, I still keep falling in the foreigner-loosing-the-battle-against-mandarin trap. I wanted a fried fish with noodles, it sounds fantastic that way, and I ordered codfish with noodles (鱈魚麵), and what I got is this:

FAILURE

 A tasteless soup made by water and a layer of oil, whit tasteless noodles, and a pappy oil-sweating deep fried fish. How can you eat this things together? really, there is no concordance between them. And I pay 90NT for it? I would stay at school, where I get the same shitty food but at half the price.

Food: 2/30. I add 1 point for the smell and 1 point for the dried onion in the soup.
Service: 3/30. It is very fast (not for the fish, but for the chicken that is already half cocked), but you have to serve yourself, and no body cleaned any table during our stay, they are lucky they have a lot of space in the second floor.
Ambient: 19/30. Aircon, no need to wait, TV in both floors, but smelly. They have a great big window in the second floor, so you can sit next to it and watch the building in front, lets say… about 4 meters away from you.

Still thinking why Taiwanese love this place so much.

Leo

 
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Posted by on September 29, 2011 in Taiwanese Style