Sunday, January 20, 2013

Taipei November 2012 Part 4 - Food in Taipei

A few months before my trip, I started researching on food in Taipei. To me, a trip is incomplete if it's not carbonated with fabulous food. My first night in Taipei, I had one of the worst Chinese food ever. I visited Shinyeh, a Chinese restaurant located on the 85th floor of Taipei 101. The restaurant offered a spectacular city view along with expensive food with horrible tastes. That's it for me to ever dine at an overpriced restaurant on a top of building.

Fortunately, my food experience got better and better day after day. I had the best Cantonese food at a restaurant called J-Garden. It was so good that I went back three times. Here are some pictures I took. Didn't take one for ever single dish that I had.

Appetitizer - cherry tomatoes: the cherry tomatoes were refrigerated beforehand. They were cold but not too cold with a mixed sweet and sour taste. One of the must order dishes
Stir fried green beans with minced pork - nothing special
Pumpkin egg soup - a creamy soup with a mix of sweetness and saltines. Absolutely delicious!
Steamed fish. The fish was very expensive. This little bowl cost about $20CAD. I can't remember the name of the fish. It was probably leopard coral grouper. The fish tasted pretty bland. People pay for the nutritional value of the dish not much  for the taste.
Scrambled eggs with cilantro, green onions and the juice from the steamed fish
Steamed egg tofu with pork, cilantro and green onions - not a big fan of this dish. It was bland to me.

Sweet orange flavored spareribs - very tasty! 
Egg custard steamed bun, a signature dim sum dish - I didn't know good custard tasted like this. Best custard sweets I have ever had.
Baked sesame seed coated cake stuffed with ham and green onions - another signature dim sum dish

I also visited a popular hot pot restaurant called Wu Lao Guo. Guo means pot. It's a Japanese style hot pot. I guess the major difference between a Chines one and a Japanese one is the soup base. One of their signature dish is ice cream tofu. I never had or even heard of ice cream tofu. It was invented by the Japanese a few hundred years ago. Apparently it's mashed tofu mixed with cream and sugar and then being refrigerated.


Soup to pour into the hot pot

The hot pot base - one side is hot, one side is mild
The famous ice cream tofu - didn't taste that special to me
Veggies and meat I ordered 
Top row, left to right - sauce dish for dipping cooked food, fish dumplings, fish ball and Chinese donuts
Some special cooked pork - you can eat it just as it is or cook it in the hot pot. This dish was highly recommend by the server saying the pork was braised for long hours with some special sauce. Personally I think it's a rip-off. Overpriced, mediocre taste with a great presentation. But we are talking about food here, not some decoration to buy for home.
A close shot of the pork. See, nothing special.
Liquid nitrogen coming out of the glass container

I still like Chinese hot pot better. I also checked out a few night markets. Nigh markets are very popular in Taiwan as they offer cheap and quick street food for the locals. I didn't take any pictures at these markets. Here's a great link to cheap eats in Taiwan:

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