EVA Hello Kitty from LAX to Taipei!!!!!….

For once I had a plane ride at 6pm instead of 6am….  so off I go…. Boston to LA….

I’m excited for the warmer weather…. so tank top it is

Got a yummy Chicken Marinara with Green Beans over Rice meal… Salad, Roll, Butter, the works… had some nuts too…. MMM, nuts… (I may have already snacked and had a few glasses of free booze at the VIP Airlines Lounge earlier…)

LA!!!!… Beautiful view…

Sat in the VIP lounge and ate tons of food include this self made “Asian Salad” with Champagne….  I took some of the “Asian Salad with Wonton Strips” And added some Teriyaki Chicken to it… why not?!… a lot of the other stuff didn’t look too appealing except for Korean Ramen and Japanese Noodles… all which was consumed (duh)

WAIT “Why is this a Hello Kitty ticket?????”

HOLY CRAP!!! We’re on the EVA HELLO KITTY PLANE!!!!

Life is now… complete!!!!

Scallops

Sea Bass? It was freaking CHILEAN SEA BASS!!!! SOOOOO good… and of course more and more booze…

And los of veg…

Dessert was fruits and a yummy mousse cake, some tea… and more wine :]

Midnight snack while watching FROZEN was a Turkey Sandwich… which, I have to say was greasy and pretty gross….. sorry EVA… I didn’t like it, maybe I would’ve more if there was a Hello Kitty face on it…

Breakfast Time…

Coffee….

Congee…. with 1000 yr egg, fried tofu with fish ball…. shredded dried pork, Fermented Spicy Tofu, pickles… and then some…

And fruits <3

Oh hello…. Taiwan beer… I’m definitely back in Taiwan

WEEEEEEEEE 5am and ready to party


Yes we’re back in Taiwan

First Stop: Din Tai Fung & AoBa & a little modeling

All dressed and ready for my xiao long bao fix.

Soup dumplings soup dumplings yay yay yay!!!!

After a nice brunch…. we decided to shop a bit…

Here’s my modeling some of Isabella’s furs and coats for this season….

And then it was dinner time at AoBa, the usual yum yums….

Bamboo Shoots

Sweet Potato Congee

Egg Omelette with Pickled Radishes

Pig’s Feet [my favorite EVER]

Clams and Loofah

Fresh Fish of the Day, Steamed with Ginger & Scallion

And complimentary Peanut Mochi…. still warm :]

It’s good to be back….

‘Til next time Taiwan… I’ll miss you

I got up at 5:30am

Grand Formosa Regent Taipei Taiwanese Cuisine & Snacks 寶島晶華

Mommy and I split the Chinese Breakfast Set

皮蛋瘦肉粥 / Preserved Egg and Pork Congee


Regular and Black Sugar 饅頭 [Mantou]

麵筋 [Mien Jin aka Seitan/Wheat Gluten], 豆干 [thin shreds of dried preserved tofu], 肉鬆 [Rousong aka Pork Floss]

Bok Choy with Fatty Pork

Shu Mai / 燒賣

Fried  Pan Fried Shrimp Roll in Tofu Wrap/ 腐皮捲

Pingu

rilakkuma bear

Had some Veggie Egg Fried Rice from Taipei to Japan with Pineapple Cake :]

Afterwards I got the Chicken Curry and a breakfast of Spinach Omelet w/ Brekky Sausage and other yummies….  all the way to San Fran… one of the guy flight attendents was super nice and gave me cookies and tons of wine on the way hahahaha… so boozey me ate all of my chocolate waffles, cookies and sour candy on the flight… passed out on some sour belts.. HMMMMM…

At San Fran I got a HUGE Caesar Salad from the Cafe I always eat at there and got tons of snacks on the kid-infested flight. KID INFESTED. YES. I hate traveling on holiday season cuz the 6 hour flight was kids screaming, singing, kicking, running around, and smelled like baby poop. No lie. I turned up the Jay Chou on my ipod and tried to sleep…

Got picked up… with takeout :] Thank YOU :]

Miso Soup

Hamachi Kama

And tons of sushi and sashimi.. MMMMM, Soft Shelled Crab never tasted so good as now.. LOL

Also recieved some awesome packages outside my door…

Eat Write Retreat Goodies they sent me since I didn’t make it to the event….

:D
Deliciousness and COokbook happiness

ANNNNNND… CHAD MICHAEL MURRAY’s Everlast!!!! #swoon

I miss Taiwan. Although my ever-growing waist is glad this trip is over until next time.. #fattie :]

One of Didi’s new outfits from Taiwan :D

The Last Dinner… Back to AoBa

I’m OBSESSED with this new Jay Chou song for the past week. It’s literally been playing nonstop in my head.


LOVE his new cd. GET IT.

Mine Mine <3

Hehe I love the line: 我寫的小說根本是空白黑夜 你說既然已分開 為何還要幫你撐傘

I WANT CURLS!

I’ve been thinking about it for a year or two but I finally grew out ALL of my bad bleached hair, it’s nice and long and HEALTHY, SOOOOO time for a perm. Yep. I said it. PERM

“Only f*ing jerkoffs get perms” LOL ;]

The end result: Natural looking curls/waves.  To enhance I still need to curl it myself with the iron. BUT… so much fuller an more body. Dang. Two big risks this year in Taiwan with my hair. Bangs and a perm, LOL – I might go for more BANG BANG curls next time :] LOVE my salon, Socie :]

After freaking 4-5 hours in the salon getting treatments and getting the hairs curled… LAST DINNER time!!! My choice? AoBa!

涼拌海蜇
クラゲのにんにく和え
Jelly fish salad

I actually haven’t been eating jelly fish salad that much…. strange cuz I love the stuff. In fact… now that I think about it, I may have only had it at Shin Yeh in Taiwan other than here.. HMMM.. This was light and not too garlicky or vinegary… huge chunks of cucumber and slivers of ginger… MMM… my mom thought it was TOO light in flavor but I ADORED it – crispy jellyfish. YO! I need to get on this and learn to make some.

A菜

My favoriiiiite <3 But I still say Ding Tai Fung makes it the bestest :]

Basically:
A – from Arden.
Arden Lettuce. 別名:A菜、窩仔菜 學名:Lactuca sativa L.

地瓜粥 / Sweet Potato Congee

花生豬腳
豚足とピーナツの醤油煮込み
Stewed pork feet with peanuts

My staple dish here. My must have. I crave this constantly!  I get pig’s feet as much as I possibly can whenever I see it on the menu.  But AoBa’s is just BEYOND amazing, I can’t get over how light and juicy.. tender, fall off the bone happiness this is.  The collagen is so creamy and delicious. GREAT for skin.. [that’s why we asians are so young ;] hehe]

The latest anti-aging food? Pigs’ trotters. […]

The reason for this, […] , is that they are rich in collagen, the protein responsible for skin and muscle tone, more recognizable to beauty addicts in the form of face creams and fillers.

“Collagen helps your body retain moisture,” […] “Your hair and skin will look better, but it’s not just for looking beautiful now. If you begin eating collagen in your thirties, you will look younger in your forties.”

– [Source]

蛤蠣絲瓜
はまぐりとへちまの炒め煮
Stir-fried clam with loofah

The last time we were here, my aunt insisted that we NOT get loofah since it’s not in season therefore not as “sweet” and “juicy” hmmmm. I LOOOVE loofah, as does my mom.. but my aunt can get stubborn about what to eat and what not to eat hahaha so we didn’t get it then, but as you can tell from my string of Taiwan posts this year I’ve been eating it A LOT [sans aunt lol] This was SUPER tasty.. the loofah was AMAZING as was the yummy little happy clams… nom nom!

生蒸魚
活き魚(ハタ)の姿蒸し
Steamed fresh fish

We actually ate this fish the other day in Hsinchu with some of my family… I THINK it was a giant Scorpion fish but lately I’m getting all my fishes mixed up :P We had it in a miso Fish soup.. but this was SOOO meaty and delicious steamed.  The head was big and boney [lol] and it was probably the meatiest fish I’ve had so far IN Taiwan.. SOO good!  Steamed, a light soy-based garlic infused sauce.  Hot oil quickly poured over skin to crisp it up and bring out the flavors of the thinly shredded scallions. SO YUM! We didn’t think we could eat the whole thing but the two of us devoured this fish, CLEAN, literally JUST bones remaining, in minutes.

鹹菜肚片湯
からし菜ともつのスープ
Pork tripe and salted vegetables soup

Light flavorful broth, you could totally taste the tripe…. a few snap peas and 榨菜 [basically a pickled mustard green] not salted veggies…  Usually we get clam soups but mommy really wanted this and I wanted a change :] Why not right?!

Mommy and I both had a glass of California Cabernet Sauvignon [红酒]

花生麻糬 – Warm Bite-sized Peanut Mochi
Little balls of warm gooey perfection per usual <3 XO

Want to be more properly fobbified?

Lollipop F – Dance

F(x) ft Shinee – Lollipop
fanmade MV

2NE1 – I Don’t Care

Yeah yeah I know, I go to Taiwan and buy mostly Korean music back home :]

Taiwan* Second & Third Day, Return to AoBa, 劉家小馆, Kaffee Amadeus & a Vegetarian Dinner

Day two of the bangs and I’m not quite sure if I’m super used to it yet.  I slipped on some new shorts and my new Moussy top – yep it’s like 81 degrees here – I curled my hair, brushed my bangs and decided to head out for some solo shopping and coffee before dinner with my mom and her sisters…

Dinner was my choice since I had barely eaten all day… so obviously I chose AoBa at the Breeze Center since I already hit up Din Tai Fung the night before ;D

The Breeze Center is only a few blocks away from where I’m staying in Taipei and I ADORE their pig’s feet dish…. light, not greasy and just amazing… but onwards we go…

Their famous Sweet Potato Congee

CHUNKS of tender super sweet, sweet potato in a bath of steaming hot delicious fresh congee :]  Super simple but amazingly awesome.  Congee is always a great comfort food, so comfort away belly :]

A-Cai

Delicious! And it’s super good for you – can’t find good A-Cai in the states, it’s not as tender and delicate as in asia…. so I eat a TONNNN of this while I’m here. If it’s on the menu/available, I order it!

醃蚋仔 – Baby Clams in Soy Sauce, Basil and Hot Chili Peppers

So good!!! I usually get it with loofah, the veggie not the shower sponge aka 勝瓜, [basically a chinese okra], but my aunt said it’s not in season and is too watery, so we ordered it in the classic style – basil, chili and a light soy sauce! SOOOO GOOOOD!  The clams were cooked to perfection, super tender and succulent. Oh yes, SUCCCCCCK-YOU-LENT ;]  The sauce was light, not too salty, and just a slight touch of heat and basil added to the flavor of the clams without overpowering.

嚕筍絲 – Braised Bamboo

What I miss the most about living in the states is super fresh, bamboo from the garden next door – literally – EVERYWHERE. I eat this stuff like crazy.  These were braised down to supreme tenderness :]

乾煎馬加魚 – Pan Fried “Chinese Perch” of some sort

Super tender, and according to my aunt it’s most delicious when pan fried not steamed or broiled. it’s tiny but expensive and OH-SO good.  Tender flakey flesh with a crisp skin… I ate practically the whole tail!

Sweet Potato Greens

It’s also hard to find good quality sweet potato greens in the states, so it’s a super delicacy to me to have it so fresh and tender here.

菜脯蛋 – Pickled Radish Omelette

When you buy the pickled/dry radish in the states, it’s always not that fresh and oversalted because so.. this made me not really like this.  Here they add a hint of sugar to the egg, the pickled radish is not too salty and they made the eggs so fluffy and  light…… oh sigh* I’m in love.

And of course, last but not least my favorite dish from AoBa:

花生豬腳 – Pig’s Feet with Peanuts

Delicious boiled peanuts in a super light sauce.  The pig’s feet are NOT greasy, not oily and doesn’t taste fatty at all.  The collagen in the skin of the feet are super good for your skin [keeps you looking young] so eat away.  Every had a piece and gave me the rest :] YUM! My fav!

And while they had a pretty decent dessert menu, I was looking forward to their complimentary dessert…

Freshly made Warm Peanut Mochis

<3 So happy.

Me and the aunties :] OH family <3 The night was full of laughter and giggles.. and new sandals [I told you, 81 degrees during the day… end of November, I brought ALL winter wear and boots and uggs… NOT cool when you have sweaty puffy red feet from overheating]

I haven’t been back to Liu Family Small Eats aka 劉家小馆 in like two years…. I remember them having delicious small dishes and the best dumplings ever!!!… yes, EVER!

Dressed and ready to eat!

Still getting used to the bangs…

After hobbling around in my new heeled sandals and getting nice new fresh cuts on my feet.. we got to the place.. also near where I’m staying but we all forgot the exact location – it’s super local and run by a small family so only the people IN the know KNOW about it :]  Here’s where you can pick out what you want for your small dishes!! I’m sure they change to some degree every once in awhile.

We sat there.

Ready to munch

Some small dishes I helped pick out from the front stand

Little anchovies with hot chili peppers and fried tofu strips

Sweetened Bitter White Melon <3

Stewed Pig’s Feet

Vegetarian Dish – Basically Seitan with Mushrooms

Garlicky 豆苗 – Pea Shoots

Garlicky Cabbage

The best dumplings in the world

薺菜水餃 – Jiaozi stuffed with Sheperd’s Purse aka Capsella Bursa=Pastoris

These have wonderful thin skin, tender delicious JUICY JUICY filling – and the taste of the Sheperd’s Purse is sooooo different from any other… It’s hard to find it, I swear, so it’s SUCH a joy when I can find it in a dish – while common in dumplings in asia… it’s still a delicacy for me! I come here, literally FOR these dumplings!

Aren’t they such a cute little weed? And so yummy!!!

“…known by its common name shepherd’s-purse because of its triangular, purse-like pods, is a small (up to 0.5m) annual and ruderal species, and a member of the Brassicaceae or mustard family. It is native to eastern Europe and Asia minor[1] but is naturalized and considered a common weed in many parts of the world, especially in colder climates,[2] including Britain, where it is regarded as an archaeophyte,[3][4] North America[5][6] and China[7] but also in the Mediterraneanand North Africa.[1]

…C. bursa-pastoris is gathered from the wild[10] or grown[11] for food[11][7] to supplement animal feed,[10]for cosmetics,[10] and for medicinal purposes.[7][10] It is commonly used as food in Shanghai and the surrounding Jiangnan region as food, where they are stir-fried with rice cakes and other ingredients or as part of the filling in wontons.[citation needed] It is one of the ingredients of the symbolic dish consumed in the Japanese spring-time festival, Nanakusa-no-sekku. In Korea it is known as naengi and its roots are one of the ingredients of the characteristic Korean dish, namul (fresh greens and wild vegetables).[12]” [Source]

Thinly Sliced Pork Belly with Scallions

This was “light heat” so it was lightly spicy.  I usually like my pork belly nice and thick so this didn’t have the nice chew to it that I usually enjoy BUT it was really really good.  My mom loved it nice and thin but me and one of my aunts like it nice fatty and chewy :] The fattier the better <3

Garlicky  Chinese Water Spinach 空心菜 [kong xin cai]

Fish of the Day: 黄鱼 – literally “Yellow Fish” which is apparently a kind of Croaker Fish…

Simply made with scallions and ginger :] It was DELICIOUS!!!!!! You could tell it was super fresh since it was SO tender and not fishy at ALL!

And in true #fatties fashion we headed straight to Tea Time after lunch :]

Amadeus Cafe at the top of Sogo

My Hot Coffee

I got the Kardinal… it’s light lady fingers over this creamy coffee mousse with chocolate chips… AMAZING!!!

All the desserts, including mine, came with an ice cream bon bon – flavors varied, a brownie, chocolate and of course our choice of pastry/dessert!

Cheesecake

I think there was dried fruits/nuts on the bottom of it :]

Pistachio Mousse Cake

Very pistachio-y, delicious, but a bit sweet – the only one that came with white chocolate and a white chocolate bon bon :D

Cherry Cheesecake

Ice Cream Sundae… Chocolate, Nut Nougat & Red Wine with fruits and chocolate syrup

Afterwards we walked all the way to the bookstore to shop, read/buy books and to eat at one of my favorite vegetarian restaurants in the food court – it’s sort of like a buffet and you pay by the weight of your plate – per usual I piled high and ate the most :]

Vegetarian Dinner at the Bookstore

Oops! I did it again.. I ate all that food….

Delicious Meats at 老友紀 [Lao Yo Ji]

Want a quick delicious meal? Head over to 老友紀 … hidden but still always packed.. they’re known for their delicious meats, congee and noodles… NOM!

Gai Lan, sauce on side

Taiwanese Sausage, Scallion Chicken and Roast Duck

Yummy Lettuce

Delicious huge bowl of Wonton soup

Still hungry so ordered anothe plate of 3 different sausages [including BLACK taiwan sausage, SO good] and “LA RO” NOM! Cured and then Steamed Pork Belly… 

Happy and excited…. satisfied, FULLY….

Check out a post on them from my fav Taiwanese blog: A Hungry Girl’s Guide to Taiwan <3

16, Ln 232, Dunhua S. Rd, Sec 1
Number: (02) 2731-2269

Hours: 11:30am to 9:30pm

AoBa: Creative Taiwan Cuisine

Spent the afternoon with my Aunt at a new tea house cafe in the old Sogo. We got a set for two people which came with tea, coffee, sandwiches, scones, little cookies/cakes and fruits :]

I’m such a sucker for tea parties…  aren’t these tea sets cute??? I saw so many cut tea sets in Taiwan that I wanted to buy *sigh* but so hard to bring back…

Macaron <3

Fruit Tart <3

We talked and talked about everything and anything… Aunt gave me advice on boys and life and health and happiness…  Mom was out with a girlfriend having tea time elsewhere catching up so we planned to meet up before dinner and walking over to the Breeze Center to one of my favorite restaurants there.

Along the way [even tho it’s just a few minutes ago] our mouths got hungry…

I got a black sesame one… I would’ve liked it better if they didn’t fill it with Mochi as well [they call it crystal rice] I wanted more black sesame texture….

AoBa [青葉] One of my fav places in Taiwan.. nom nom nom!!!

They call this branch “creative” Taiwan cuisine and they have a ton of classic and special variations of Taiwan dishes… sooo good..

AoBa是擁有四十年歷史的台灣料理名店「青葉」,為了把台灣飲食文化更精緻化所開設的食尚餐廳。道地的台灣美食,多樣的酒類選擇,一定能讓你對台灣料理有全新的認識。
AoBa, a nouveau version of “Chin yeh”. The renowned Taiwanese restaurant presenting local favor test for 40 years. AoBa has now redefined traditional Taiwanese cuisine set with a flare of modern, trendy Chinese art décor not losing it’s taste of authenticity. Not to be missed are the wide selection of Japanese rice wine completing a spectacular brand new dining experience.
AoBaは、四十年の歴史を誇る本格的な台湾料理レストラン青葉がプロデュースした台湾創作料理レストランです。
新しい台湾料理の美味しさを、ぜひ「AoBa」でお試しください。

 

First up is a big steaming pot of their famous Sweet Potato Congeeeeee [粥] <3 It’s all you can eat so trust me I ate all I could eat, two giant pots of this for the three of us.. namely ME.
Delicious. Simple. Perfect. *loves*

嚕筍絲

しなちく / braised bamboo shoot julienne

Delicious. A little bit on the saucey side but I adore bamboo and in Taiwan you can get SO much fresh bamboo EVERYWHERE!!!!! So I eat it as much as I can :]

花生豬腳

豚足とピーナツの醤油煮込み / Stewed pork feet with peanuts

They have, by far, my favorite piggie feets I’ve ever eaten [aside from my mom] it is the LIGHTEST dish of trotters not too saucey or sweet or salty like most places… they cut up the feet into small pieces [altho I do like gnawing on the whole thing] and it just melts in your mouth. Even tho pig’s feet are a rich dish [it’s all about fat/collagen and skin] you don’t feel heavy after eating this.. in fact you want another plate of it :]

蛤蠣絲瓜

はまぐりとへちまの炒め煮 / Stir-fried clam with loofah

Clams and this green veg [kinda like a fuzzy squash” so freaking good… I always love this combo!!! It’s also really good as a soup :] Just add a little white wine, ginger, NOM!

生蒸魚

活き魚(ハタ)の姿蒸し / Steamed fresh fish

Delicious fresh steamed fish with tons of scallions and some ginger. Absolutely one of my favorite ways to take my fish. And, IMO, one of the best ways…. I think seafood is bestest simple and fresh.  So aside from seared or raw… steamed is the next best thing…. This was delicious and I ended up sucking and picking the bones and head clean…. CLEAN FISH CARCASS #imsoasians

I was still starved right before the fish came out so we ordered another dish…. they recommended their 3 Cup chicken…. it was good but a little too saucey and salty for me :T The rest of their food was amazing. Perfectly seasoned and spiced so this seemed really heavy, compared. Still great flavors tho…

三杯雞

鶏肉の醤油煮込み / Stewed chicken with soy sauce in casserole

Good and flavorful but too salty…. I’m not a 3 cup chicken fan to begin with but they recommended it, I was about to just order more pig’s feet ;D

and of course a couple more bowls of…. which really helped with de-salting the chicken…

NOM! I ended up wobbling back to my hotel [and almost got hit by a damn taxi MOFO] and passing out after a nice hot shower :] HAHA Food Coma FTW!