Friday, June 27, 2008

Beautiful and great tasting

Thursday: 15ème

On Wednesday I found I missed out on a snack run. My friends arranged to goto my favorite squid stall to buy snacks. Even though I missed out I was offered some samples and even a drink! How nice! Thanks guys!

Somehow we got into a discussion about a bakery. I was told it is very good. It just so happened that I walked past the very location. What a nice place! They had beautiful cakes and cookies all over the shop. Even the boxes are nice to look at. They offer eat in and take out service. I decided to buy some cakes back for my friends. I did not have my camera so no photos this time. You can have a look at another blog for some photos. Thanks for the suggestion Mike!

The cakes are beautiful and have this fresh and no after taste effect. All my friends loved the cakes. Just note, the cakes cost about as much as a basic Taipei lunch (about NT$100-140 each). But I felt you get what you pay for. Enjoy!

Restaurant: 15ème (15區法式烘焙)

Address (地址):
No.11, Alley 6, Lane 113, Sec. 3, Minsheng East Road, Taipei City
Mínshēng Dōng Lù, sān Duàn, yìbǎishísān Xiàng, liù Lòng, shíyī Hào

Telephone (地址): (02) 2545-6760
URL (網址): n/a
Menu (菜單): Chinese with some English titles
Operation Hours (營業時間): 10:30 am - 8:30 pm

It is just behind Sherwood Hotel (西華大飯店; Xīhuá Fàndiàn).

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Eat together, play together

Last weekend was an interesting mix of food & fun...

Friday: Eatogether (that's how it is spelt in their web site!)

This is a place I saw about a month back. Some of the foodie gang was shopping at RT-Mart (大潤發/Dàrùnfā) in Neihu. The plan was to walk from RT-Mart to Carrefour (家樂福/Jiālèfú). Thanks to the low priced wine at RT-Mart I found myself carrying 2 bottles in a box (bags are not free but used cardboard boxes are). With the bulk of the box and thought of the short walk we barely made it out of RT-Mart when we saw Inbase Mall. It appeared to be an outlet mall with restaurants inside. On that day we saw 2 buffet restaurants, Ponderosa (childhood memories!) and Eatogether. We ended up settling for Ponderosa back then.

Last weekend, we decided to give Eatogether a try. What a wonderful spread of cooked and cook on demand food. They even had various types of BEER! The place is huge so the food is spread over several bars. Check out the classic glass bottles of soda (childhood memories!), chocolate fountain and the ice cream!

The place is clean and decor is more upscale than most buffet places. Even the "clean up" cart was dressed with an apron to hide away the messy dishes that we left behind. Great food, nice setting and lots of food selection!

Look at the jumbo oyster!:

Restaurant: Eatogether (饗食天堂)

Address (地址):
No. 68, Xinhu (or Sinhu) 2nd Road, Neihu District, Taipei City (Inbase Mall, 2nd Floor)
台北市內湖區 新湖二路68號2樓; (inbase2樓)
Xīnhú èr Lù, liùshíbā Háo, èr Lóu, Nèihú Qū, Táiběi Shì

Telephone (地址): (02) 2791-6989
URL (網址):
Operation Hours (營業時間): Refer to URL above.

Note that the web site and dish labels (in the restaurant) are in Chinese only.

Apparently, the prices will increase on July 01, 2008. Only a few days left to enjoy the current pricing.

Saturday: IKEA or Dim sum?

Saturday was a lazy day for me. Thought I was going to stay home the whole day until my foodie friend calls me for "lunch". It was almost 2 pm!

We were supposed to meet at IKEA and then decide what to eat. I ended up meeting at Nanjing East Road MRT instead. While walking from IKEA to the MRT station I noted down a few places for lunch. We ended up on a Hong Kong restaurant on the 2nd floor. The dim sum was not too bad. Hmm....maybe I need to hunt for the best dim sum in Taipei?

(天星港式飲茶/Tiān Xīnggǎng Shì Yǐnchá); 24小時/èrshísì xiǎoshí

Address (地址):
275 Nanjing East Road, Sec. 3, Taipei City (just east of MRT)
Nánjīng Dōnglù, sān Duàn, èrqīwǔ Háo, Táiběi Shì

Telephone (地址): (02) 2713-3877
URL (網址):
Operation Hours (營業時間): Refer to the URL above.

I did not have my camera with me so I did not take any photos.

IKEA AsiaWorld:

IKEA (宜家家居/Yíjiājiājū)

Address (地址):
B1, No. 100, Tun-Hwa N. Road, Song-Shan Dist. 105 Taipei (Asia-World Shopping Mall)
Dūnhuà Běi Lù, yī bǎi Hào, B1, Sōngshān Qū, Táiběi Shì

Telephone (地址): (02)2716-8900

MRT (捷運/Jiéyùn) Directions:
Take the brown MRT line (Muzha line; 木柵站/Mùzhà) to Nanjing E. Rd. Station (南京東路站/Nánjīng Dōnglù Zhàn). Exit and walk east for about 10 minutes towards Dunhua North Road.

There was another place I went to but was too full to eat. It is a shop that I ate at back in February. They have an awesome fried squid. I need to gather some details before I write about it. Look out for an update.

Sunday: Playing & eating together

Super hot Sunday! There was a bike club outing that my friend invited me to join last weekend. I had to take a 1 hour MRT ride up to Guandu MRT Station (關渡站/Guāndù Zhàn) and meet my friend at 8:30 am. It was already hot by this time! While waiting for others to join we applied sun-block everywhere.

My home is too small for a bike so I had to rent one in order to join the group. I bought a helmet (safety first!) last Friday so I was set. We cycled to Bali (there is a Chinese name but I need to post it later), not the island in Indonesia but it was near water. I took tons of photos so I will setup a photo account, post them and then link it later.

At the beginning of the trail:

It was a family event so the trail was pretty easy. I was told it was about 10 km (not sure if it was one way or return). A nice trail with lots to see along the way. We were cycling to a up an appetite to enjoy a great meal together (family event, remember?).

The ride was worth it! View from the
top of the museum at the end of the trail:

I think we were at a place called Bali Wharf. They had a lot of little shops selling food. We had lunch at a restaurant. The signature dish was described as a "peacock". After seeing the food I can only guess that the mussels we had looked like peacock feathers. Need to confirm this.

What a wide selection of food! Peacock or mussels? Bikers need to eat!

With all the excitement I did not take the name card of the restaurant. I only have photos. Same goes for the bread shop where I tried some famous "twin sticks" or what looked like American donuts. I also tried a milk tart and Taiwanese ice cream. Looks like I need to go back another time!

Later that night I continued with a meal at Chili's in NEO19. I was too busy talking and eating I forgot to take photos. My favorite is the Oldtimer® burger with cheese and bacon. Yummy! Soft drinks are bottomless (free refills) so plenty of washing down to do. The burger patty is bigger than those in The Diner but it does cost more as well. Both places are worth a try!

Restaurant: Chili's (饗食天堂)

Address (地址):
22, Sungshou Road, Taipei City (NEO19, 2nd Floor)
台北市松壽路22號2樓 (NEO19, 威秀影城旁)
Songshòu Lù èrshíèr Háo, èr Lóu, Táiběi Shì

Telephone (地址): (02) 2345-8838
URL (網址):
Operation Hours (營業時間): Refer to URL above
Menu (菜單): Chinese (English upon request)

Friday, June 20, 2008

Dumplings for lunch....The Diner for dinner!

I had lunch at a small shop near the office today. They had different types of pork dumplings and soup. I had a hot & sour soup, a cold vegetable dish and a plate of dumplings (10 to a plate). It was not bad but it reminded me about an awesome dumpling place near Zhongxiao Dunhua MRT station. One day I will go down again to get some photos. I have the name card but I will post it another time.

For dinner, it was back to one of my regular burger joints, The Diner. It was a last minute invite but I couldn't resist the idea of chomping on one their super burgers. We ordered 2 starters to share, Buffalo Wings & Fried Mozzarella. We both had the California Burger set meal. I had a Dr. Pepper (my favorite!) to wash it all down. They have 2 outlets in Taipei, Dunhua South Road and Ruian Street. Each seems to cater for a different crowd. Dunhua seems to have a lot of executives and office type crowd. Ruian, being close to a university tends to draw the student crowd. I guess the gang felt like being young again so we ended up at the Ruian Street outlet.

They have lots of choices and a mini menu is on their web site.

Restaurant: The Diner (樂子)

Address (地址):
No. 6, Lane 103, Dunhua S Rd Sec. 2, Taipei City
Dūnhuà Nán Lù, èr Duàn, yìlíngsān Xiàng, liù Hào, Táiběi Shì

Telephone (地址): (02) 2754-1680

Address (地址):
145 Ruian St, Taipei City
Ruì'ān Jiē, 145 Háo, Táiběi Shì

Telephone (地址): (02) 2700-1680
URL (網址):
Operation Hours (營業時間):
星期一 ~ 星期五 10:00AM ~ 11:00PM
星期六 ~ 星期日 9:00AM ~ 11:00PM
最後供餐時間為 10:00PM

Monday ~ Friday 10:00AM ~ 11:00PM
Saturday ~ Sunday 9:00AM ~ 11:00PM
Last call at 10:00PM

Note: Chinese and English menu

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Japanese Style Pork Cutlet

I had a really nice mid-week (Wednesday) lunch at a Japanese Style Port Cutlet place. I met up with some old colleagues from my old office. Great company and food!

The 1st thing I noticed was how juicy the pork looked:

I took a photo of a mini menu that I kept. The pork appears to be very juicy and it was! I did not bring my camera to the restaurant so have a look at these photos.

The 2nd thing I noticed what that the menu had no English at all. Thus, I had to refer to the photos in the menu and my friends to describe what the options were.

The 3rd thing I noticed was my friends trying to explain the differences between the different pork options. They explained it as some have no oil and others more oil. I believe the explanation was lean versus fat meat. I think in the end the group all ordered the lean meat with white carrot. I did not have my camera and did not get the English translation of the menu item so I do not have much else to share.

The 4th thing I saw was a bowl of sesame seeds and a grinder. Apparently, one can grind their sesame seeds to make a powder like dressing for the rice or other dishes. Very interesting...make your own seasoning.

The last thing I found out was that many people in Taiwan want to learn English. Since I want to learn Chinese I think I will try to come up with a win-win training class where we can all benefit. Now, need time to prepare the English lessons!

Restaurant: 勝博殿(さぼてん)炸豬排/Shèngbódiàn zhàzhūpái

Address (地址):
No. 9, Songshou Rd., 6th floor, Shin Kong Mitsukoshi (新光三越) Xinyi New Life Square A9, Xinyi District, Taipei City

Telephone (地址): (02) 2725-5829
URL (網址): n/a
Operation Hours (營業時間): n/a

Business card:

Thanks for lunch guys & gal!

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Agora Garden Hotel

Pretty good food for a hotel...

Today, I had a training class at Agora Garden Hotel. I stayed in the hotel before and knew the food was pretty good. It was nice to hear that others in the class also found the food good!

What is T&T (Tried & Tested) is the Cantonese restaurant in B1. They have wonderful prawn dishes and pretty good dim sum. The prawns are succulent and juicy. When I bite into one the meat just crackles with crispness....wonderful! The foodie gang is planning to make a trip there in the future. Hope to have photos next time!

Restaurant: Jin Garden (錦園/Jǐn Yuán) @ Agora Garden Hotel (亞太會館/Yàtài Huìguǎn)

Address (地址):
B1, No. 68, Sung-Kao Road, Xinyi District, Taipei City
台北市信義區松高路68號 (B1)
Sōnggāo Lù, liùshíbā Háo (B1), Xìnyì Qū, Táiběi Shì

Telephone (地址): (02) 8780-1999 ext.8442
URL (網址):
Operation Hours (營業時間):
Lunch (午餐):11:30~14:30
Dinner (晚餐):17:30~21:30

Old photo of the hotel from a distance:


WWW - Wet, Wild Weekend!

Being a foodie I feel I have to keep a healthy appetite. With all the good food come extra calories. So I set out to do some activities hoping to stay in shape. Last weekend it was hiking Elephant Mountain. This weekend it was supposed to be another hike near Shilin. However, when I woke up it was WET! I thought to myself, oh well go over and check out the hike anyway. Maybe the rain will ease off. Besides, finding information and maps (in English) about the hiking trails was not easy on the internet. So I thought I may learn something by going over to the site. Soon after, my hiking buddy, Felicia, calls to tell me it's raining, so how? Two options sleep in or go anyway. I told her I'm going anyway hoping the rain will end. Shortly after leaving my home I realized the rain was not going to stop anytime soon. So we decided to change the plan.

We went over to Taipei Nangang Sports Centre near Houshanpi MRT station (後山埤站 Hòushānpí Zhàn). It was somewhere I wanted to go since I heard that you can go shooting there. We arrived a bit earlier than the shooting range opened (10 am) so we decided to have coffee. Felicia found a food review showing lamb chops (drool). So our next meal was decided (more later).

The shooting range finally opened. I soon found out that the guns are pellet air types used for competition. I think they are the gas type single shot. I took a rifle and my partner in crime took a pistol. Wasn't really Bonnie and Clyde but we gave it a "shot". It was tougher than I thought but it was fun!

All that training meant a massage was next. We went over to Tonghua night market to get all the shooting muscles relaxed....ah! Next, it was off to lunch....or dinner? Is there a phrase for lunch/dinner like brunch for breakfast and lunch? Anyway, I will call it "dinuch" for now, for lack of an accurate name.

So we decided to goto the place featured in the magazine. The place is called Bistro Le Jardin and they have a cooking school there. They serve French cuisine and I liked the setting. The menu was in both English and Chinese. I went for the set meal which included "scallops" (ended up to be only one...not sure where the others went), soup, prime rib and dessert. The rest of the "foodie gang" was there so we shared some appetizers as well (sorry, I did not take down the actual dish names):

- cheese platter
- stir fried mushrooms

The other foodies had beef stew pasta and the lamb chops. We finished with an apple pie and strawberry cake. Overall, the food was not bad. We did not have any leftovers so that was a good sign. But compared to Chef Show Time I would definite say Chef Show Time was a much better overall experience. The scallop at Chef Show Time literally melted in the mouth. The chef knew how to cook it just right. Same goes for the Chef Show Time pork ribs. The meat was so tender and juicy...what a memory! Anyway, back to Bistro Le Jardin. After enjoying all that food some of us had to leave something behind. To our surprise the washroom was unisex and a guy was standing doing his thing and left the door open! Not sure if that's what it means to have a unisex toilet or not. Just sounded a bit weird. Since it was still raining after our "dinuch" we didn't get to walk around the area much. There is a baseball field opposite the restaurant. There is also a mall nearby with Miramar theatre. Here are the details if you want to give it a try:

Restaurant: Bistro Le Jardin (馨亞歐法美食坊)

Address (地址):
1st Floor, No. 170 Jong Cherng Road, Sec. 2, Tien-Mou, Taipei City
Zhōngchéng Lù, èr Duàn, yīqīlíng Hào, yī Lóu, Tiānmǔ, Táiběi Shì

Telephone (地址): (02) 2877-1178
URL (網址):
Operation Hours (營業時間): n/a




Sun: So I covered the "wet" and the "weekend" so where's the "wild" (it wasn't the air gun shooting as that was serious training!). The "wild" plan was to head out to Zhong Li and race go-karts! To get there we took a TRA train from Taipei Main Station to Zhong Li. I found out you can get different types of tickets that allow you to sit or stand on the train. We opted for sitting. It took about 45 minutes by train followed by a 10 minute taxi ride to get to the race track. After getting our heads wrapped up and protected we had our 1st race. There were a bunch of serious racers in our group. I admit I was not too sure how well I would do. In the end, it turned out to be seriously WILD! I even tried to clip a hairpin turn to overtake Garin. I ended up tearing out the grass and mud leaving a mess on the track. Oh well, better than the guy/girl who left a tire on the track for me to bump (and slow me down...excuse!). Round 2 was a focused race as it was only Felicia and myself. The guys gave her a 10 second head start! They didn't start my engine just so she can take off first! I finally got onto the track and tried to catch up. After one wipe out Felicia broke her car! She drove it so fast it just died on the track....nearly crashed into her too. Luckily she was okay and the people there replaced her car. Too bad, we never did find out who the winner was. We all did win something:

- Garin - won the prize for racing the least
- Felicia - won the prize for breaking her car
- Vincent - won the prize for dirtiest pants (what?...the seat of the car was dirty!)

The train we took:

Go-kart track:

One thing I didn't realize was how much arm strength you need to control the car. We had to stop after 2 races otherwise I'd have no strength to type this blog! After the racing it was back to Taipei for dinner. We decided to go to a T&T (Tried and Tested), VFM (Value For Money) place called Yamme Steak. They have a 7+1 meal where you get 7 dishes and 1 drink. The 1st salad and escargots are standard. You then choose a soup, 2nd salad, main course, dessert and then a drink. There is a NT$480 and a NT$800 menu depending on what you want. I will need to go there again to note down all the English names of the good dishes. Definitely worth a try.

Restaurant: Yamme Steak 亞米日記 (復北店)

Address (地址):
305 Fuxing North Road, Taipei City
Fùxīng Běi Lù, sānlíngwǔ Háo, Táiběi Shì

Telephone (地址): (02) 2718 9393
URL (網址): n/a
Operation Hours (營業時間): n/a

Beef rib with special wine sauce?:

After dinner you can head over to My Other Place for drinks. On Friday nights they give you peanuts to eat and you just throw the shells on the floor...great way to end a work week (if it ends on Friday for you.) I discovered both these places when visitor from USA stayed at the Sherwood Hotel and wanted to eat nearby.

Monday, June 9, 2008


Hello, hey, yo!

Welcome to my new blog.

I am a North American (eh?) working and living in AP. Currently, I am in Taipei, Taiwan. Being new to Taipei and trying a lot of food I thought I would share some of my experiences. Look out for some updates about food and sights around Taipei and Taiwan.


View of Taipei 101 from Elephant mountain:

View of where we started the hike: