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Everything posted by Ling

  1. Yes,we were the table that ate for 3 hours straight. I loved the uni spaghetti with breadcrumbs best, though the pasta might have been too al dente for some. Great crudo list. They also have shigoku oysters if you're too lazy to get yourself down to the farmer's market.
  2. It was delicious and I am glad to have tried it, but I am not sure I would go and spend $100 to have it again. The pot of soup was equivalent to about five generous Chinese soup bowls full of soup, so that's $20 per bowl right there. It was similar in terms of richness and flavour to tonkotsu broth, and a bowl of tonkotsu doesn't cost $20. I know that's a roundabout way of describing how much I think that soup is "worth", but I hope you get my meaning.
  3. Dammit, I forgot to get gnau lay so in HK! Delicious pics, keep 'em comin'!
  4. The name of that dish is three-cups chicken (三杯雞) It's made by braising chicken in soy sauce, sesame oil, rice wine, sugar, ginger and/or garlic. Then adding basil near the end. ← Yes, san bei ji! We actually ate it yesterday too, at some mediocre Chinese restaurant in Seattle. prasantrin: I think our wedding may be featured in Seattle Bride (at least, the editor said that the magazine should profile it...we'll see if it happens. I hope so!) So you might get to see pictures of the food if you can get ahold of the magazine. If not, I'll send you a link to our wedding pictures through email or something later on in the year. We have a bunch of awesome Seattle chefs cooking for us. aprilmei: Oh, someone had asked me about wax apple, not custard apple... Thanks for letting me know the English name.
  5. Don't quote me on this, but IIRC, I leaned over to take a closer look at those buns and they had dried dates (the red ones) pressed into them. Those are the dark spots you're seeing.
  6. I was gently reminded by Rona that I had left some of you hanging in this thread so I'm back! Again, I apologize for the long delay. Here is our last home-cooked meal in Taiwan. Henry's mom made 5 spice beef and tea eggs. This is octopus stir-fried with what I remember to be Chinese celery. (I didn't touch the green--I hate celery, both Chinese and the regular kind.) prawns This is a fried pomfret fish. Henry's aunt splurged on this fish--apparently it cost about $40US for this one fish. It was delicious. Very fresh and the meat was firm and sweet. It was simply coated in rice flour and fried. I have no idea what this is, but judging by the way the dish was attacked, it must've been tasty. Henry's mom's egg pockets and Lion's Head meatballs. This is always one of my favourite dishes! So in the evening, Henry's sister really wanted to go to Din Tai Fung because she had not arrived in Taiwan yet when we went there a few nights ago. First, we went to the location in Sodo (on the bottom floor) and the lady said the wait was 1.5 hours. So we decided to walk to the other location, only to find out that it was closed for CNY that day! We trekked back to Sodo tired, wet (from the rain), and hungry, and the wait was now 2 HOURS for a table! I suggested that we put our names in and then go to another food court to have a snack before dinner. Here are some people pleating xiao long bao. Each of those little balls of dough will be rolled out for the wrapper. rice burger, anyone? I bought one of these taro sweet buns while waiting for my takoyaki balls. It was pretty good. I lined up for the takoyaki balls at the food court because it was the stall with the longest line. Henry insisted I just order six of them since we were going to share some of his food too (plus we had dinner coming) but I inhaled the first plate and had to get another one because he didn't get any. I probably had 9 of them total--they were large and absolutely deliciousy gooey in the middle, and covered with lovely dancing bonito and seaweed! takoyaki being made I guess we forgot to take a picture of Henry's food--I remember it being pork chop, egg, and noodles. He also got sorbet, which I didn't care for (too icy). By that time, we were pretty full and decided to order food from Din Tai Fung for take-out, which would save us from waiting another hour and a half in line. We got the red bean ones, the crab dumplings, the pork chop fried rice, and the pork dumplings. We ate that as a late night snack. For breakfast the next morning, we had a version of daikon cake without the sausage/dried shrimp. Gotta say I like the other version better. Henry's mom's friend made this. I put my hand on the package of shrimp to show you how large they are. The head alone on the biggest prawn was almost as big as my hand! The bodies were like small lobster tails. cooked prawns...I had two of these giants! Maybe my hosts were being polite but they insisted I have two since they had to watch their cholesterol... Remember the chicken soup from that famous place I posted about at the beginning of this thread? The chicken soup that starts from around $80US a pot? We got one delivered from Henry's mom's friend with bamboo fungus in it. I think this version is just over $100 a pot. It was very rich and thick--think tonkotsu broth but made with chicken and Chinese ham. It was almost like drinking gravy! Braised pressed bean curd and pork Quite possibly the most delicious fruit in the world! This is called "sika" (sp?). It's very soft and fragrant, kind of like mango. This brings us to the end of our trip in Taiwan. I may have double-posted some pictures since I didn't go back to check to see what I've already posted, but hope you enjoyed this thread nonetheless.
  7. My pick would be Kenny and Zuke's--their pastrami Reuben is something I daydream about regularly. I heard consistency a bit of an issue at the beginning, but they've been open for months now and should have worked everything out. They hired a baker from Pearl Bakery to develop a hearty rye (with caraway) to stand up to the fat-streaked pastrami. I liked it a lot more than my pastrami on rye at Katz's. I would definitely visit Teardrop Lounge in the Pearl district for cocktails. They have an extensive selection of homemade bitters and make the best cocktails I've had outside of NY. I also really enjoyed Toro Bravo (tapas which are more based on what tastes good, than what's "authentic"--you must get the oxtail croquettes with the spicy mayo!) and Apizza Scholls, but they're not walkable distance. Definitely worth the trip though. At Cacao, I think I ate one of each from Oriol Balageur's line, and my favourite was the corn nut praline truffle. I do like the drinking chocolate as well. I also like the salted caramel chocolates from Sagahun. I didn't really care for Sel Gris.
  8. It's been mentioned over on Mouthfulsfood.com Ali Scheff wrote about it here: Mistral to close at the end of this month I wrote about it here: Mistral chef William Belickis hashes over his future And Rebekah wrote a great article about it here: Mistral Sale: here's the good news
  9. Oops, I am actually not finished with this thread! I have more pictures to post tonight, after I finish up some work. Sorry I left you guys hanging...
  10. aprilmei: So glad you liked the beef brisket! We were going to order a second plate of that as well but we were already beginning to suffer from meat overload. Rona: Have a great time in HK! I expect pictures when you come back =) Shelby: it was my pleasure to share our trip! We wouldn't have found some of these places without EG. I will finish my Taiwan picture post tonight...I have been working like crazy and had no free time lately. (Well, actually I did have yesterday off work but I spent it shopping. )
  11. I think H's aunt lives in the hills in Taipei but we didn't get to do much other than visit the night markets and go to Din Tai Fung. Almost every minute was planned out for us as this was more of a trip for me to meet some of H's family friends and relatives since we're getting married soon. And also, H's mom paid for our trip so I felt obligated to be around all the time. I will definitely come back soon and get to all the places I've missed, though!
  12. That is SO true! That's right, my Americano at 85C was really cheap. Can't say I really liked it though...it was quite acidic. My first purchase in Taiwan was actually a Venti Americano from Starbucks, as I was so jet-lagged and couldn't sleep on the plane. I did my conversion AFTER I had already paid for the coffee and almost had a heart attack over how much I paid! I think it was $112 Taiwan dollars or something. aprilmei: You are making me feel like I totally missed out on the specialty items! No I didn't get to try the roe and I didn't get to have iron eggs! I saw the iron eggs in a snack shop and Henry said the idea of eggs packaged in a snack bag sounded gross. I didn't know these were called iron eggs at the time (I just googled it and recognized the image.)
  13. Breakfast the next day were the tea eggs from 7-11 and some various pastries H's mom had around the house. Oh and we sometimes had H's sister's cookies, which were cream cheese, orange zest, chocolate chip ones. It was the only American food I ate on this trip. tea eggs from 7-11 Lunch at H's aunt's house slivered pork with pressed tofu and chilli there are lion's head meatballs under these egg pockets my favourite dish of the meal was the liver sausage, Hunan bacon dish. SUPER SPICY! the ubiquitous 10 veg dish for CNY smoked pomfret and chicken H's aunt: "I woke up at 4am in the morning to get this fish!" Apparently there's a huge line at the store for this smoked fish and people are out there by 5am!
  14. I seem to have forgotten to photograph our lunch on the second day, and I don't remember where we ate. I think we ate at Henry's aunt's house. It was probably a 6 course lunch or something, because I remember I was really full and didn't eat an afternoon snack that day. After lunch, H and I escaped to Shimending, a shopping district for the young and hip. I got a few pairs of $12 US shoes there, and a $12 US sweater! Shimending This is awesome Engrish--"Athletics of Sexy"! Dinner that night was my H's family friend's house. The lady, Auntie King, is a fabulous cook. She taught us how to make black sesame siao bing before and they were delicious. cold meats platter (sorry for the blurry pic, the flash on my camera is broken) pressed tofu, tripe, smoked duck, Chinese sausage, jellyfish on the left is the 10 vegetable dish that's traditional for CNY bok choy, dried scallop fried pomfret homemade spring rolls her lion's head meatballs with the egg pockets filled with pork, and braised cabbage garlic chives, bacon, chilli she even made shark fin soup! 8 treasure rice with red bean inside, and sweetened beans (I think they're broad beans?) on top
  15. After breakfast, we took the 5 minute walk to the market. Henry said this market reminded him of Pike Place on acid. There were a million people pushing and shoving in there, and I got shoved around a lot which means some of my pictures turned out blurry. People just had no patience for the foreigner snapping away and gawking at the unrefrigerated meat. Let me also say this was Chinese New Year Eve, quite possibly the most important food day of the year! prepared foods, like noodles different types of steamed buns pig's head hanging on a hook, complete with hair! pig shanks and feet innards hanging on a hook (seems like out of a horror movie, doesn't it?) Also, some Chinese sausage (lap cheong) yes, the chicken is not refrigerated and is just sold in metal pans seafood fresh noodles Chinese bacon, next to a lobster in a plastic bag (the lobster was still alive) weird image--a skinned frog next to some clams tripe! candies sold on the street At the market, H's mom bought a bunch of things, including pussy willows for the New Year (we tied little red decorations on them at home), Eight Treasure rice, seafood, and some different kinds of fruit. We walked by this bakery on the way home. It's a chain--I forget the name. I went to 7-11 again to get coffee (they actually make it for you fresh there, and the Americanos aren't bad at all! I also like how they give you coffee cream over there instead of half-and-half.) I couldn't get over the asparagus juice so I had to take another picture. Can you spot it?
  16. I've heard of cherimoyas but I've never seen one, and I didn't know I was eating one! That fruit was SO sweet and delicious. Breakfast the next morning was at a place Henry's mom and his aunt love to go for xiao bing you tiao (Chinese donut wrapped in a oil-based, laminated dough. Healthy!) There is a type of green onion bread in the foreground. a closer look at the kitchen The boy's job was to fill those cups with hot, savory soya milk Here's the flat-top with egg and green onion cooked to order. This is wrapped in dough before being eaten. Space was a premium, so this guy is frying the Chinese donuts on the sidewalk. See the dough all neatly lined up on the table? They puff up a lot! fried egg in uhm...pan-fried dough This was my favourite! siao bing you tiao! The Chinese donut was much airier than the ones I ate growing up in Richmond. Henry got the siao bing with egg inside. I had some of Henry's mom's soya milk too. We also got an order of the green onion bread. extra order of the Chinese donut, because it was so good
  17. This man had various things cooking in the pot--common items I saw in these pots were fried tofu pieces, tripe and other innards, and various meats. huge pieces of crab, fresh snails huge prawns glutinous rice stinky tofu stand--I was going to buy some, but our guide made me wait until we got to Yong He I got the red fruit, which is called 'lian wu' because I have never seen or tasted it before. It has a very crisp, moderately sweet taste, similar to a cross between an Asian pear and an apple. The interior (white) is spongy and delicately webby. We also got some fried pork! another picture of the huge prawns (I did get to eat these on my last day in Taiwan) meatballs, fish balls, fried tofu (I ate A LOT of fried tofu in Taiwan! There was probably fried tofu at every single meal, except breakfast.) a delicious assortment of innards, yum yum I think this is squid, chicken hearts, pressed tofu, and some sort of bacon-wrapped product fresh pan-fried dumplings and san jien bao (pan-fried buns filled with meat!) they even have weiners on a stick these look like pig's trotters to me--I'm kind of disappointed I didn't try one marinaded duck wings, duck tongues, chicken feet, etc...all the best stuff! you can also buy a hamster at the night market, if that strikes your fancy a jeweled array of sweetened beans, yams, jellies, and candies fried corn these types of packed carts were just all over the place! And finally, finally...the stinky tofu we got in Yong He. The smell is not unlike blue cheese with a bit of acrid sting, but the taste is not nearly as strong. The exterior was perfectly crisp, and the dish was topped with pickled cabbage, a garlic-heavy chilli sauce, and sweetish soy sauce, and a vinegary sauce. The combination of grease, garlic, spice, salt, and sweet mixed with that funky umami-cheese smell/taste was incredible! We only have one fuzzy picture of the tofu, so apologies for the lack of close-up. I ate it too fast. I was in heaven!
  18. On our first night, we visited two night markets in Taipei. I forget which section the first night market was in, but the second was in Yong He (where we were staying, and where our guide told us was home to the best stinky tofu!) First stop, Mr. BaoZi (translation: "Mr. Bun"!) Notice all the plastic 'buns' displayed under the counter. Our next stop was across the street, at a cookie shop called Kobayashi. The most deliciously buttery smell drew us here. It came from their cookie-baking, cookie-filling machine. I got a quick picture of the molds before they told me "no pictures". These cookies were soft and hot, and filled with a barely sweetened custard filling. There were types of fruits in Taiwan I've never seen. One of them is in the top left hand corner of this picture--the green fruit with the spikes. It's called pronounced "See-ka" though I'm not sure of the correct spelling. stalls sold CNY decorations various snacks on sticks noodle stalls some pretty elaborate street sushi! These were cherry tomatoes on skewers. I think they must have some sort of oil brushed on them because they were really shiny. At many of the stalls, you could just point and choose which items you'd like and the stall owner would cook it for you fresh, right there.
  19. Fengyi: There was definitely nothing fancy about this DTF! The one in SOGO looked a bit more upscale in terms of decor. The food was inexpensive by American standards, but is probably a moderately-priced restaurant when you think about how cheap a lot of the food is in Taiwan. prasantrin: Yes, they are called xiao long bao! The ice-cream in croissant cones sound incredible. Crispy, buttery, creamy, fatty. What's not to love? Japan is probably #2 on my list of places to visit (after France, which we'll be going for our honeymoon.) I can not WAIT to have the food there. I want to eat supremely fresh fish at Tsujiki market, and have takoyaki and tonkotsu ramen until my stomach explodes.
  20. We continued through the food court, where these apples caught my eye. They were larger than a large grapefruit! Expensive too! About $10 US each. Buns with all sorts of creative fillings were sold at one stand, which also sold mochi. My first thought when I saw this was "WEIRD!"...but actually, I don't see why it would be half bad! In the mall food courts, you can get steaming stainless pots filled with broth, meat and noodles! I guess I should show you a picture of the building too, since it's so famous. This made me laugh--Barista Coffee calls themselves a Seattle coffee company, with the tagline: "Friends don't let friends go to the OTHER PLACE!" Their logo looks remarkably similar to Starbuck's. Dinner was at Din Tai Fung that night--easily one of the most famous dumpling restaurants in Asia. They have a few branches in America as well, but apparently the one in Taipei is the best. (They have two--one is in the SOGO mall. It's the one that's not in the mall that's considered best.) Some vegetable dishes, one of them is a lightly pickled cabbage. dumplings with vegetable filling This is what they're known for--soup dumplings! These are pork. I loved this soup--it's fried tofu with vermecelli Crab roe soup dumplings--I actually liked these better than the pork ones. The soup was richer from the roe. The dumplings skin was indeed rolled exceedingly thin, and beautifully hand pleated. We must've asked five people what to order that night before we went to DTF, and everyone responded: "Get the pork fried rice!" Here it is--delicious fried pork chop with a perfect, egg and scallion fried rice underneath. Hot and sour soup...this was neither spicy enough, nor sour enough for me. That's it...we had to save room for night time street food!
  21. Recently, H and I took a short trip to Taiwan to celebrate Chinese New Year with his side of the family. We spent a few days in Taiwan before jetting off to HK alone to restaurant-hop. For our HK pics, click here! Welcome to Taiwan! As soon as Henry's aunt and mom picked us up from the airport, H's mom insisted that we swing by Seasons Restaurant (Ji Ren). This restaurant is renowned for their claypot-cooked chicken soup, which starts at about $80ish US per pot, and ranges well into the hundreds, depending on the add-ins. For example, a pot of chicken soup with shark fin would cost about $300 US, if my conversions are correct. The plan was to get a pot of chicken soup for the dumplings Henry's mom wanted to serve at lunch time, but the restaurant insisted all these pots were reserved well ahead of time. The claypots of soup lined up behind the Plexi, cooking away... More boxes of chicken soup wrapped up, sitting on the street There were hundreds of pots of soup in that tiny store, all stacked up and ready to be picked up for Chinese New Year dinners. Henry's mom went so far as to beg the restaurant owner to sell her one, but it was no use--the owner told us that even people who are dining in the restaurant are unable to order the chicken soup, since they are all reserved for pick-up. We left a bit disappointed, and picked up snacks from one of the tiniest food shops I've ever seen--it was essentially nothing but a doorway you go up to, and the oven was pretty much right there. They roll the pastry dough in the back. This entire store was probably no more than 4" wide. We ordered 'xie ke huang', a little pastry that comes with a savory filling, or a sweet filling (like black sesame). We got a box of twelve. (You can see where H's mom is standing--that's the doorway.) I have never seen such a food-obsessed city. Every other shop seemed to be a restaurant (at least in the part of town where we were staying), and the seats for these tiny restaurants were right next to the sidewalk. I even liked their 7-11s, which sold unusual items like "asparagus juice". I bought a ton of Chinese and Japanese fashion magazines. After lunch (dumplings, which I neglected to take a photo of), we met H's family friend who took us to Taipei 101, the tallest building in the world. Here's a shot of one of the little café offerings. The portions were teeny! One of the cheesecakes (on the top shelf, to the right) looked about 3 bites worth of food. McDonald's sells this fish monstrosity, and other delights such as the "rice burger", which I'll post a photo of later. Oh yeah, I got a snack at the food court and it was sashimi and it was actually OK! It was actually really fresh, the fish was about the same quality as a random, pretty decent Japanese restaurant in Seattle. I would never get mall sashimi here in America but it looked fresh and I decided to give it a try.
  22. Henry also finds a lot of Cantonese food too subtle, as he grew up eating Taiwanese and Hunan food. I think Cantonese food is more refined, but refined doesn't necessarily mean "better". I enjoy eating Shanghainese food best, actually! Taiwanese food is indeed a lot stronger in flavour than Cantonese food, generally.
  23. That's interesting...wow, I can't imagine just having 1 or 2 baskets for yourself. I think Henry and I average 15 or so baskets when we're in Richmond/Vancouver, BC. And that's on a regular day--we are not even stuffing ourselves in the least at that rate.
  24. That made me laugh! I'm looking forward to your joyous experiences in Taiwan, too - an acquaintancewho used to go to Taiwan regularly on business maintained that Chinese food in Taiwan was better than anywhere else she knew. Those "egg-white egg tarts" took me by surprise. I've never seen them before, and now wonder if it's part of some massive egg-tart revoution that's passed me by, or just an aberration. Did you see them anywhere else in HK? ← Helen: No, I only saw the egg white tarts at this one bakery. And we only got them because Henry's friend's (health-conscious, skinny) husband usually gets them while she gets one of the regular egg tarts, so H was curious as to how the egg white ones tasted. It tastes like how you would expect--a not-so-rich, egg custard with the pastry made with wheat flour (or a blend of white flour and wheat.) It was not terrible, but I much rather prefer the real thing.
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