Tuesday, June 17, 2008


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): http://www.cookingstudio.com.tw/
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.

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