"Gourmandism is an act of judgement, by which we prefer things which have a pleasant taste to those which lack this quality." – Jean-Anthelme Brillat-Savarin

Archive for March, 2010

九豐記 牛肉麵 Beef Noodles

Right after reaching Taipei, we had what we always anticipated – Taiwan beef noodles!!! So we went to this place very near to our hotel and very near to Taipei train station. This two-storey eatery was bustling with people and the time was already 2 pm!! Past lunch time! The waiters and waitresses were busy! But luckily we didn’t have to wait for very long to get a table for 10. The customers all ate very fast, and orders were quite fast because the shop is very specialised – beef noodles.

Stall front

You have to place an order at the counter before you get your seats. You will see an order paper like this for you to place your orders. Then you have to pay first too.

It took only a while for our food to come. Firstly we had our cold 小菜.

Then came MH’s chicken noodles because she cannot eat beef. Totally forgot to check on her diet while planning the trip! Next time I’ll take note!

鸡肉丝干拌面套餐 NT$59

Then of course the mains:

紅燒牛肉麵 NT$66

牛肉肉醬乾拌麵 NT$60

牛肉肉醬乾拌麵 搅拌之后

The braised beef noodle (soup one) is the tastier one. The soup was rich but pity it wasn’t too spicy. It also came with big pieces of beef that were braised to softness which melted in our mouths.

The dried one was fragrant too, but look at how shiny the noodles were! Oily! BUT, it doesn’t feel sick after a few mouthfuls of them. In fact, you can’t stop! Really!! The noodles were tangy and chewy. They are the traditional beef noodles – flat but a bit rounded. The portions are also huge, so you can be full definitely!!

However, the time to pay a price will come after that. You will feel super duper thirsty. CAUSE? MSG! Haha, but definitely worth a try!

Stall name: 九豐記
Address: 台北市忠孝西路一段 100 號 (近重慶南路口)
Tel: (02) 2370-5111
Opening Hours: 11:30 am ~ 9:00 pm


李儀餅店 太阳饼 Sunflower biscuits

JH said even before we visited Taiwan, she already had dozens of orders of these from her colleagues. Hence, two days before we left Taipei, we placed our orders with 李儀餅店, a traditional shop that makes 太阳饼. The shop is located at the underground shopping mall at Taipei train station (like our MRT, not the Railway station). JH heard that the main branch at Jiu Fen (九份) taste even better!

The shop makes fresh 太阳饼 everyday. They also sell other pastries such as pineapple tarts (鳳梨酥), red bean biscuit (傳統豆沙餅) and egg tarts (蛋黃酥). They cut up many sample pieces for you to try their products.  However, we only bought 太阳饼 which was very well-known amongst JH’s colleagues.

The 太阳饼 has a very strong butter taste, and it is really fragrant. It is made with milk and butter. It is not very sweet, so you won’t feel sick of it after a few bites. It is like Hong Kong’s 老婆饼 (wife’s biscuit) but this one taste better.

My mum does not like this because she does not like the strong butter taste. She preferred those that have light-butter taste only. So up to your preference to choose!

The shop actually delivers to your hotel which makes things really convenient. They deliver the 太阳饼 that they made on the same day, so that you can bring home the freshest 太阳饼 for your relatives and friends. The biscuits can only be kept for 14 days. But I believe they will be wiped out very fast once you share them!

NT$200 for 10 pieces

九份總店:台北縣瑞芳鎮九份汽車路18號 (舊道口7-11的對面)
Opening hours: Weekdays: 9 am to 630 pm; Weekends: 9 am to 8 pm

台北分店:台北站-站前-地下街11-2B (近國光客運東站.往桃園機場、基隆Z3入口, 懷寧街Z6入口)
E-mail : lwzin@seed.net.tw
Opening hours: 10 am to 830 pm

Website: http://www.lecake.com.tw/

马辣顶级麻辣鸳鸯火锅 Steamboat

This place serves free-flow of 8 Hagen Dazs and 8 Movenpick ice-cream to choose from! EAT ALL you can!!! However you are only given 2 hours. We all left the place with an ice-cream cone in our hands, stuff with as much ice-cream as possible. You have to make reservations in advance because they are very packed during meal times.

There are 4 types of soup base to choose from – 麻辣锅 (ma-la),蔬菜精力锅 (vegetable),东北酸菜锅 (preserved vegetable) and 膠原蛋白锅 (collagen)。We chose the ma-la soup and vegetable soup.

There are 101 types of food to choose from, and meat are freshly cut upon order. Meat include America’s Angus beef! 黑毛猪培根(白肉),黑毛猪梅花,美国小肥牛,澳洲小肥羊,顶级海鲜,手打花枝,各种菇类,etc.

Besides all the fresh food, there are also many choices of tea, fruits and desserts to choose from. PLUS, free-flow of Taiwan beer! Really spoilt for choice!!! Customers can bring in their own beverages or alcohols in. They do not charge for this.

Definitely a MUST-go because it’s really cheap and the food is good! You’re sure gonna have a great time with your friends!

Stall name: 马辣顶级麻辣鸳鸯火锅
Address: 台北市西宁南路62号2楼 (万年大楼对面,好乐迪2楼)[Just need to walk from Ximending station]
Tel:(02) 2314 6528

Opening Hours and Prices:
Lunch NT$399 – 1130 am to 4 pm
Dinner NT$499 – 4 pm to 5 am
Saturday NT$499 – 11 30 am to 5 am
On top of this, additional 10% service charge has to be included.

Website: http://www.mala-1.com.tw

红烧狮子头 Braised Meat Balls

My mum made this today! Huge meat ball served in 王罗波 (chinese cabbage)! Goes very well with rice and the sauce was perfect on hot fragrant rice! The meatballs were tender and moist inside. Not hard and dry at all! Every bite has a crunchy texture due to the water chestnuts. The chinese cabbage were soft and soaked with all the good ingredients of the sauce. However the preparation took a bit long. But no effort, no good food!

1. Mince lean pork till it becomes sticky.
2. Dice water chestnuts into small cubes.
3. Add in parsley, spring onion or corriander.
4. Add1 teaspoon of salt, a little Vesop, 1/2 teaspoon sugar, 2 teaspoons light soya sauce and a little pepper and knead them together until sticky.
5. Add in 2 tablespoon of cornflour and repeat kneading.
6. Divide the whole lump into 5 pieces and roll them into ball form.

1. Add 1 teaspoon of salt, Vesop 1/2 teaspoon, sugar 1 teaspoon, light soya sauce 2 teaspoons, 2 teaspoons oyster sauce, 1 teaspoon sesame oil and pepper into 600 ml of soup stock.
2. Stir well.
3. Mix one and a half tablespoons of cornflour with 1 tablespoon of water for later use as “thickener”.

1.  Heat the wok and add in enough oil for deep-frying.
2. Coat a little cornflour on the surface of the meatballs.
3. Deep-fry them till 80% cooked. Remove and put on plate for later use.
4. Heat 3 tablespoons of oil and fragrant the oil with a few slices of ginger.
5. Fry the chinese cabbage and pour in hua diao wine at the sides of the wok when the cabbage is done.
6. Stir the “SAUCE parts 1 and 2” and pour into the wok.
7. Add in the deep-fried meatballs and simmer till cooked, about half the amount of sauce will be gone.
8. Transfer all onto a small shallow bowl.
9. Steam for one hour.
10. Remove the meatballs and the chinese cabbage. Pour remaining sauce onto heated pan.
11. Thicken the sauce with “part 3 of the SAUCE”.
12. Coat the meatballs and cabbage with this thickened sauce.
13. Garnish and serve!!!

Home-made Fried Chicken

Woohoo! My mum used this new flour for our fried chicken today! It was so crispy!!! I think it was even crispier than KFC’s!! Love this chicken!!!

So this post is to introduce the flour powder to you!

Firstly, the chicken pieces had to be marinated with salt, soya sauce, pepper and five spices powder. Then before deep-frying, you have to mix this XO powder with water before coating them onto your chicken pieces! Instructions at the back of the packet.

Brand of flour: 黄记金钱豹 Jaguar  (酥浆粉 XO Crispy Flour)
Product of Taiwan.
Produced by Yi Chen Foods. Co.
Address: No. 198 Sec. 3 Yung Ping Road, Taiping City, Taichung County
Tel: 886-4-22757538
Website: http://www.jaguarfood.com
Imported by: Central Master Import & Export Pte Ltd (10 Ubi Crescent, UBL Techpark #06-100, Lobby E, Singapore 408564, Tel: 67497800)

The amazing thing is that at the back of the packet, the flour can be used for baking, make green onion pie, donut and cantonese sponge cake!

宜兰 青葱文物馆 Yilan Sunshin Spring Onion Gallery

On Day 3, we reached Yilan. From research on websites while doing up the itinerary, I have read so much on their local produce – spring onions.  Hence, we were determined to get there. However, 田妈妈葱蒜美食馆 wasn’t opened in the afternoon which we planned to have lunch at. So we could only walk around the gallery museum. The most amusing thing is that our driver did not even know about this place!!! We could only give him the address for him to drive us there.

Upon reaching, you will be greeted with a lively spring onion couple riding on a bicycle.

Inside the museum, there will be write-ups on their history of spring onions. Was quite a nice place to rest inside. Then further in will be their shop selling all sorts of spring onion products – noodles, biscuits, crackers, biscuit egg rolls, spring onion sauce, etc. They were all very attractively packed! At the corner is a freezer. Spring onion ice-cream!!!

How would you expect this to taste like? VERY STRONG spring onion taste! It’s like eating spring onion thick paste. I only had one spoon of it, and decided not to eat it again. Then I went around to my relatives telling them it’s very nice so that they will try. HAHA!

Not being able to try the spring onion pancakes was quite disturbing. But so coincidentally, outside the museum was a push-cart lady making hot spring onion pancakes! So my mum went to buy one for all of us to share. It was HEAVENLY!!! The taste of the spring onion was so fragrant, and the pancake was crispy! Analogous to our roti prata! Very nice, but also very oily!

Opening Hours for 田妈妈葱蒜美食馆 :
Normal season: 11 am to 2 pm, 5 pm to 9 pm
Holiday season: 11 am to 9 pm
Tel: 9895179
It was said that the restaurant serves dishes made with spring onions. Eat their spring onion meals蔥的料理there! 蔥蛋捲 NT$120. 友人說非常好吃! Shop’s specialty includes 葱油鸡,蒜段蜗牛腩,清炒葱蒜,茄咬葱拼鸡卷,etc.

Address for 三星蔥博物館 / 三星蔥大餐:
宜蘭縣三星鄉義徳村中山路31號. Spring Onion Museum: No.31 Chungshan Road, Sanshing Township, Yilan, Taiwan.
Tel: 03-9892018 / 03-9895033
Website: http://www.sunshin.org.tw/guan
Opening Hours: Normal – 830 am to 5 pm; Holiday Season – 9 am to 6 pm

Luodong Night Market 羅東夜市

Lotsa good food can be found! My favourite night market in Taiwan. You MUST MUST eat all the ice (雪花) there! The ice shavings are ultra fine!! When you put it into your mouth, it melts instantly and smoothly. You thought you are eating candy floss! On top of the ice is a thick layer of carnation milk that taste very rich. Yummy! The shop name is Summer Snow.

The grilled mochi is also a must eat! The taste of charcoal and seaweed on your mochi. AHH!!

And the deep-fried corn. Wah, the thought of it makes me salivate! There are a few flavours to order. We tried three of them! All of them very heavenly!

Stall name: 甜玉米 Sweet corn
Address: 羅東镇与东路4 号 (羅東夜市口)
Tel: 0958-536999
Opening hours: Mon to Thur: 4 pm to 11 pm; Fri to Sun : 3 pm to 11 pm

Location: Luodong Night Market 羅東夜市
Address: 宜蘭縣羅東鎮中興路三號, Taiwan

3番2次 (原住民 风味餐厅)

The dishes were all special, and I’ve never eaten them before. For example, who would cook a long bean soup? The rice that we ate were not the common rice we eat in Singapore. They are more chewy and rounded. Go there for a try if you are looking for traditional local dishes.

Dinner for 10 of us cost NT$2500.

Restaurant: 3番2次 (原住民 风味餐厅)
Location: Hualian, Taiwan
Tel: 03-846-3131

Food at Taroko National Park 太魯閣峽谷

We engaged in a tour guide to bring us around Taroko. For lunch, we headed to this place near 太魯閣国家公园 天祥游客服务站.

The food was a little expensive. The ever so very popular 台湾鲁肉饭 (Braised pork rice) was a big disappointment. The pork were all fatty, and the sauce wasn’t very tasty. My mum makes better braised pork. The fried noodles had no meat and cost SGD$3. It wasn’t that tasty, and it was very oily.

The smelly toufu were good, especially the ma la (麻辣) flavoured one. But once the two dishes cooled down, it was really quite smelly to put into the mouth. Haha, but they were really very good when they were hot.

Not to be missed is taiwan sausages! They were thick and succulent. But sinful, cos they were tad too oily!

They have their local vegetables that were super crunchy. Don’t know the name of the vegetable, though.

Overall, this is a place for tourists. If you have other choices, go for them.

Food around HuaLian 花莲

After almost 3 hours in the train from Taipei, we finally reached Hualian! Being Singaporeans, how could you resist food? So after we put down our things at the beautiful minsu, we walked out to search for food.

Location for Stir-fry clams and Goose meat:
Stall name: 鹅肉先生 (known to be famous there)
Address: 花莲市中山路259号;No. 259 Jhong Shan Road, Hualian City, Hualien County
Tel: 03-833 1902
Opening Hours: 11 am to 12 30 am
1. Half goose for NT$200
2. Stir-fry clams NT$150

The goose meat are hard, and the most important thing is that they do not smell. Very chewy to bite! The meat was sweet and had the traditional taste. The geese here are fed with 牧草, hence they do not have much fats. In order to preserve the original taste, the geese are cooked with salt and sugar water. Before serving, the meat are topped with their special sauce made from their 高汤,九层塔,酱油膏 and 蒜米. The shop’s specialty also include 招牌热炒,鱼蛋沙律,鹅血糕 and 凉拌脆皮。

Location Dumplings, Gong Wan and Xiao Long Bao:
Streets along 花莲市公园路七之一号二楼.
Stall name: 原周家蒸饺小笼包
1. Xiao Long Bao 小笼包 NT$5 for 1
2. Dumplings 蒸饺 NT$50 for 10
3. Gong Wan 贡丸 soup NT$20

The xiao long bao aren’t the small ones we usually eat in Singapore. Theirs are big! Gong wan is basically big meat balls. Their dumplings are nice though. They make it on the spot and so they are very fresh! They were even making them at night!

Taipei Railway Station

Upon reaching Taipei Railway Station, we were already very hungry. So we went to the “food court” on the second level to have our meals after buying out tickets to Hualian. The food was ok for a start. Here are the food we ate:

There is also a bakery shop called “Milkhouses” that sells many creative bread. No photography was allowed there, so no photos. If you’re a bread lover, you won’t be able to resist them!

Location: Taipei Railway Station, Level 2

Home-made Chicken Rice Set

Whenever it was 初一 or 初十五 and especially during Chinese New Year, these will always appear on the dinner table.

My favourite is the special dip sauce for the chicken. It is a mixture of spring onions, corriander and deep-fried onion shallots.

Method for Special Dip:
1. Clean and wash spring onions and corriander. Ratio is 2:1 respectively. Place them onto bowl.
2. Slice the onion shallots. Deep fry till golden brown. Around 10 onion shallots for 3 big stalks of spring onions.
3. Scoop up and quickly place them over the spring onions and corriander. Pour some of that oil over the whole mixture.
4. Add salt accordingly to season.
5. Mix well before serving.

As for the cabbage soup, use the water that was used to cook the chicken as the soup base. Season accordingly and add in cabbage, carrots or any vegetables that you want. Remove the oil before serving.

I use canned abalone and sliced them up. The sweet peas were stir-fried in the wok. Some of the abalone “sauce” in the can were used in the making of the sauce together with some mushroom powder. No need to add salt as the abalone “sauce” is salty.

For the chicken rice, you can use the instant pack sold at NTUC. The traditional method is to pan-fry the rice in the wok with garlic and salt. Then scoop up into rice cooker. Add in the water that was used to cook the chicken to cook the rice. Put in a few pieces of pandan leaves to cook the rice. Oh well, the instant pack saves all the trouble!

Broccoli with Prawns

1. Boil the broccoli in boiling water to cook it. Add a little bit of oil and a pinch of salt into the boiling water to make the broccoli green and shiny.
2. On the hot wok, fragrant some oil with garlic.
3. Throw in the prawns and pan-fry them till 80% cooked.
4. Add in the broccoli and fry together.
5. Sprinkle the seasonings (water + oyster sauce) and pepper.
6. Add hua diao wine along the sides of the wok before scooping up to serve.

7. Thicken the sauce with corn starch solution if you like.

Food Court @ Tampines 1

Some really good local food can be all eaten at the food court located at the top level of Tampines 1. The portions are big and really value for money. If you buy the top-up card, your food will get a 10% discount.

The Hokkien mee here is stir-fried with pork’s lard, and you can top up with any amount of crispy deep-fried pork lard. The egg omelette is thick, juicy and the oysters are BIG! The mee hoon kuay’s soup and chilli are good. Not the lousy taste. If you are having a light diet, go for the sliced fish soup that comes served with a piece of deep-fried egg. Its soup is thick and fragrant. My dad particular likes the nasi bryani there. The portion is HUGE and their curry mutton is good. Not to be missed is the chendol at this food court. The gula melaka is very very fragrant. That’s what makes the whole chendol good.

Come here for a try!

Location: Tampines 1 (Beside Tampines MRT)
Opening Hours: 10 am to 10 pm

Hello Kitty Sweets Restaurant

Hello Kitty Fans out there!! This is a place you definitely have to visit when you go Taiwan. You’ll be mesmerised by their decorations and food! Even their toilet has Hello Kitty decorations! Their waitresses are dressed in pink laces and they really looked sweet and cute! This two-storey cafe will make your visit worth-while. Make sure to bring your camera there and snap as many pictures as you want!!

Shop Front

A minimum spending of NT$300 is required to dine in. It is easily achieved as the desserts sets are more than NT$300 and they come with your choice of drink and a Hello Kitty jelly. We were there during their “winter” period, so there weren’t mango desserts. We were so full after having the dessert that some of us packed back the Hello Kitty jelly. The pink box was printed with Hello Kitty! SO KAWAII!

The dessert sets are the most photogenic and tasty part of Hello Kitty Sweets’ menu. Most of them are decorated with Hello Kitty-shaped chocolate pieces, Hello Kitty drawn on with icing, or green tea or chocolate-flavored powder sprinkled through a Hello Kitty stencil directly onto the plate.

The pictures say it all!!

The price range:
NT$330 for dessert sets and NT$350 to NT$500 for entrees.

Cointreau black chocolate tart 君度黑巧克力塔, NT$360
“Mad for strawberries” cake 草莓狂想, NT$340
Almond tart with red wine poached pear 杏仁紅酒梨塔, NT$360
Steak topped with goose liver pate 嫩肩牛排佐鵝肝醬, NT$580
Raspberry juice 綜合莓果茶, NT$180
Smoked salmon Caesar salad 鮭魚凱薩沙拉, NT$350

Cafe: Hello Kitty Sweets Restaurant
Address: Number 90, Da-An Road Section 1, Taipei, Taiwan 台北市大安路一段90號
Tel: (02) 2711-1132
Opening Hours: Sun- Thurs 11:30 AM – 10 PM; Fri- Sat 11:30 AM – 11 PM

My Taiwan Itinerary : Click to download

Mid Summer Nite Breeze

First went to this place for Christmas Countdown in 2009. The ambience was great and the sea breeze was soothing. Unfortunately, it rained on Christmas eve. Second time was with 2 friends for birthday dinner. My friends really liked the place, especially with the sea breeze. Definitely a good place for a romantic dinner under the stars, sea breeze, gentle waves and dim lights. Food is average only.

The menu features a good variety of western and local dishes, plus some fusion creations. Zero in on popular dishes like the Summer Breeze Pan-fried Fish ($15). The dory fillet topped with a delicious mayonnaise garlic butter sauce is partnered with a good portion of al dente spaghetti and seasonal greens. You also can’t go wrong with classic fish and chips ($12.50).

For local fare, the sambal fried rice with deep-fried chicken wing and ikan billis ($8.80) is highly recommended by the owners. The dish is spicy so do let the waiters know if you prefer it to be toned down.

On the whole, I don’t find the food fantastic. However, I always return because of the ambience.

Chicken Nuggets

Chicken Nuggets

Crispy Tofu

Crispy Tofu

Honey Glazed Chicken Wings

Honey Glazed Chicken Wings



Ice Cappuccino and Fruli Strawberry

Ice Cappuccino and Fruli Strawberry

Expresso Cheesecake

Expresso Cheesecake

Choco Brownie

Choco Brownie

Crayfish Pasta – $14.80
Black Pepper Chicken Pasta – $12.80
Baked Escargot – $10.80
Wedges – $6.50
Crispy Tofu – $6.30
Chicken Nuggets – $6.50
Chicken Wings (half dozen) – $8.50
Honey Glazed Wings – $10
Choco Brownie – $6.50
Expresso Cheesecake – $5.50
Fruli Strawberry – $8.50
Stella Artois (Bottle) – $7.50
Corona (Bottle) – $8
Grapetizer (Bottle) – $7
Ice Cappuccino – $6
Ice Water – $0.30

No service charges. Prices exclude 7% GST. Service and food may be slow. So just enjoy the sea breeze.

Cafe name: Mid Summer Nite Breeze
Address: 133 Pasir Ris Road, Pasir Ris Park, Singapore 519149
Tel: 6584 6515
Opening Hours:  Sun – Thur: 5 pm – 2 am, Friday, Sat, eve and PH: 5 pm – 3 am.

The Asian Kitchen

The Moonlight Hor Fun is a definte MUST-TRY here. Few places in Singapore serves the wok-hei taste of hor fun. So here, you can have your fill! You can have the option to have the egg raw or cooked. If you order the raw egg, the step is to mix it into the hot hor fun, so that it can get cooked by the heat from the hor fun.

Another special dish is the soft shell crab ramen in “Singapore Chilli Crab” sauce. You have eaten it with man tou, but have you tasted it with ramen? *Caution: It is REALLY filling!!

The best dish I enjoyed is their chilli bean paste brinjal. It is served to you dangerously hot and spicy. Be careful not to scald your tongue while eating!

On the other hand, their dumplings and gyoza are only so-so.

Restaurant: The Asian Kitchen 亚洲小厨
Address: Vivo City #B2-29
Tel: 6376 9623
Website: http://www.theasiankitchen.com.sg/