More shaved ice in Taipei and appetizer food

More shaved ice in Taipei and appetizer food

After eating some lu rou fan, we actually went to see more touristy things before eating again. That’s how we wound up at the Sun Yat Sen Memorial Hall. Here in the states we got founding fathers, but in Taiwan he’s like the one and only OG. So he’s the Founding Father. The one and only (who lost to the commies, just kidding). Big props in that Sun Yet Sen was into Democracy though. Let’s review: Democratic country, awesome food, single-payer national health care (think a UK-like system), and English on the metro. What a place! Mothership for the win. But after the memorial we went to Taipei 101.

The thing about most buildings in Taipei is that they look very gray. So it’s cool that Taipei 101 really stands out. The relevant part of the mall to tourists include the food court which is in the basement, the mall that’s one the first three or four floors, and then then observation deck up high. The mall is actually kind of like malls in Singapore where it’s very high-priced. It’s all your really fancy brands so if that gives you a boner, you know, shop away.

Oh and I also just want to point out how many damn scooters there are in Taipei. They whiz around EVERYWHERE on the street. There are tons of parking spots just devoted for scooters and there’s an area just for scooters at the front for every red light. It looks pretty scary to me but my uncle says you get used to it. It’s not that bad. You should stick with mass transit though… We were going to walk to Taipei 101 but got tired so tried to get a cab. The cabbie was like, I could take you but I can’t get pass this crazy intersection with all the scooters. So we crossed the street looking for another cab but the traffic was too insane. So we just walked even more.

Once at the food court at Taipei 101, we actually didn’t try real food at the food court. We just went for shaved ice because sometimes heat does that to hunger. Unlike the snowy shaved ice we had in the night market, the ice at the food court was more pure water ice. Still awesome though because they topped it with a bunch of sweet, sweet mango chunks. Tropical fruit has this way of being more delicious when you’re closer to the equator. Anyway after that we did the touristy observation deck thing, and then went to dinner.

I don’t remember how I found this restaurant but it’s a mini-chain and they do like breakfast-y food but not completely. We also got super lucky because we got there like fifteen minutes before they closed. Before we found out they had a picture menu, I was utilizing my menu Chinese to order and actually successfully picked out what we wanted. I can’t read but I know just enough words for food sometimes. We basically went with a bunch of appetizers and it ended up being like $10 US for everything. Pretty affordable if you ask anyone.

We got these beef rolls that’s just stewed beef sliced thinly and placed between a scallion pancake-like thing. I wouldn’t say it’s actually a scallion pancake wrapper although that’s theoretically possible. There some crunch in there from the raw cucumber. In New York City, I’ve had this at Nan Xiang Xiao Long Bao.

Repeating what we had with my uncle at the niu rou mein place, we got more wontons in chili oil. This is simply an awesome dish to get all the time.

We finished up the order with some scallion pancakes, a chive pocket, and an order of steamed dumplings. Basically all these were food items that I loved as a child and it was super cool to eat them in Taiwan with Steph. Looking over these pictures of food from Taipei makes me think about how recommendations for things should work. Part of what got me thinking about this was that this past weekend we watched Frances Ha on streaming. It’s got four stars both on Amazon and Netflix. Aaaaaand, I thought it wasn’t good. I think that’s because I mainly like movies like Man of Steel. And the recommendations of those who liked Frances Ha were basically from individuals who normally would like those movies.

What I really want are recommendations from other people who enjoy summer blockbusters like Pacific Rim and still liked Frances Ha. I think that number has to be really low… All this is to say that I think the people who should take a vacation to Taipei and eat all these wonderful food items I loved are probably people who really enjoy Asian food, or people like me who haven’t seen the mothership in a long time. Super awesome, really.

The Asia portion of the vacation travels are coming near an end. There’s maybe a couple of more posts on Taipei with one definitely being about a soy milk and youtiao place that requires a one hour line. And then another about eating dim sum in the Hong Kong airport because you just can’t get that awesome shit in the states. Food at US airports usually just makes me want to cry.

I leave you with a shot of the steamed dumpings and a promise of more posts to come. And then it’ll be pictures of pastries and stuff like that!

Posted by Danny on November 19, 2013 at 4:37 pm

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