Saturday, February 09, 2008

Taiwan Pt. 1: 阿宗麵線 Ay-Chung Flour-Rice Noodle, 度小月 Tu Hsiao Yueh Noodle Shop
I don't even know where to begin. First though, I should apologize for my absence in blogging. Let's just say that senioritis really affects all facets of one's life. The past winter break, the last one of my college career, was certainly one of the most fulfilling. It was a trip back home to San Francisco, where I haven't been since early 2007. Then it was a semi-spontaneous trip to Taipei (my first time) and Hong Kong, where literally the street was my buffet and I ate to my heart's content, to the chagrin of my arteries.

The next few posts will be about Taipei, until I return to restaurant review posts.

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Day 1: Arrived in Taipei at around 10:30pm, unpacked and went for dessert with V, T, and C. A very popular chain in Taipei, featuring "gui ling go" shaved ice, with sweet milk and other chewy goodies. GLG is bitter and herby (made from turtle shell), and one of the most interesting flavors in Asian cuisine. I think I officially decided that this was absolutely one of my favorite things in life.

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3:00a.m.: The bookstore. After dessert, V and I decided we were not going to sleep and proceeded to the 24-hour 敦南誠品 Eslite Bookstore. And as you can see, we were not the only ones there by any means. I immersed myself in the magazine section, chock full of Japanese beauty magazines and design mags.

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Day 2: 8 a.m. Breakfast at the local street vendor

Since we are young, we do not sleep. Somehow we manage to wake up at 7 and go downstairs for some breakfast at a street vendor. V and I share a turnip cake, "chee faun" - sticky rice wrapped around fried dough, picked vegetables, and shredded pork, and fresh soy milk. Delicious, and around $2 US. Mind you, we were staying near the 101; we were shocked to find food this cheap.

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Taipei 101

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1:00p.m.: Lunch inside Mall 7 of Taipei 101: marinated pork and cucumber inside flaky savory dough

Great flavors and textural contrast.

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Marinated, juicy pork belly

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What Momofuku aspires to be:
Juicy, melt-in-your-mouth pork shreds layered in 2 cm thick layers of fat, sandwiched inside a fluffy bun. Delicious!

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3:30 p.m. The very famous 阿宗麵線 Ay-Chung Flour-Rice Noodle

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Really, really thin strands of noodles, boiled with intestines and other nether regions for hours. Extremely smoky and aggressively salted; I was beyond satiated after a few bites. Everyone eats these bowls standing up.

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Mister donut: Japan's own Krispy Kreme, with flavors like curry and red bean

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Leaving the Ximengdi area, land of brazen youths

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7:30 p.m.: 度小月 Tu Hsiao Yueh Noodle Shop

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Drunken chicken

I just love poultry in Asia - the meat is more slender, slightly gamier and tougher, and just overall more flavorful than typical American poultry. I think we can all tell the drastic difference between free-range dark meat with Tyson's dry and flavorless chicken breast. The drunken chicken shown above was delicate - the meat was smooth and well accented with the taste of cognac.

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Attempting to be healthy

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Minced pork stuffed inside a chewy dough, with a sweet and savory pork sauce

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Delicious popcorn chicken - lightly breaded, crunchy and salt-and-peppered

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Minced beef over dry noodles with a tea egg

This was my initial order - the pork flavor was great, but I was more enamored by V's noodles below:

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Same accompaniments, but hers had this smooth, chewy wide noodles that I decided were going to be my new obsession

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So good. Delicious, juicy beef bits over strands of smooth, chewy goodness.

Part II = more gluttony

阿宗麵線 Ay-Chung Flour-Rice Noodle
8-1 E-Mei Street
Xi men ding, Taipei

度小月 Tu Hsiao Yueh Noodle Shop
12 Lane, 8 Alley, 216 Sec. 4
Chung Hsiao East Road, Taipei

敦南誠品 Eslite Bookstore

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2 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

looks amazing.

2/11/2008 1:43 PM  
Blogger Chef Ben said...

Nice to see you posting again, and thanks for taking us on your travels! Love all the food you tried in Taiwan. You really are adventurous!

2/14/2008 9:46 AM  

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