Best Vegas Trip Ever… the end [Last Day]

Kelly and I woke up to a mess of food, booze, clothes and even ourselves, sprawled around the room – EVERYWHERE.  We ate yesterday’s leftover lunch and drank what we had left…. half a bottle of Johnny Walker Black and mixed it with pepsi.  Breakfast of champions!

I’m sorry mom.

+

=

Drunk 1 & Drunk 2 <3

Part of our messy booze and food filled room…

Somehow Kelly got to eat most of her leftovers.. I, on the otherhand, was weaksauce and just kept ordering more food and booze…. so she basically injected me with the leftover whiskey…

Sorry mom again…

This is probably the most clothes I have EVER worn in Vegas… or even around Kelly hahahaha

And sorry for that clothing comment too hahahahaha, my mom hates me now.

After cleaning up and packing we decided to do stupid stuff like… you know… drinking in the closet that fits both of us… we look so Asian here…

Gambling!!!! I lost money on the slots but ended up buying us drinks and winning it all back and 40$ playing Black Jack for a few minutes. SCORE!!!!!! I should just ALWAYS stick with Black Jack & Craps!!!!

Jack + Coke for her

A beer for me….

[ Sorry again mom for that snapchat AHAHAHAHAHAHA ]

After Kelly left… I grabbed a glass of champagne in the Heart Bar as I waited for J to come get me for a fun day outside of the “normal Vegas”

We went to the mall for a bit and I got spoiled… ring, tiara/crown and other gifts :] TEE HEE.. and then he took me to get some YUMMMMMMS..

It was between this place and a place called “Big Wong’s” hahahah.. I’m like YO you gonna take a Chinese chick to a Chinese place? Beware…. hahahahaha…. besides I wanted seaaaafoooooooood….. NOM NOM NOM

Hot N Juicy Crawfish!!!

And I even got the bib. YAY!!!!!!

“Is it your birthday?”
“Every day is my birthday!”
“Well Happy Birthday!”

 I trusted J with the order I just sat and enjoyed myself. THE SAUCE IS SOOOOO AMAZING.

Suck the head out… the yummy brains…. and de-shell and dip in sauce. SOOOO FREAKING GOOD.

We also got mussels…. SO MUCH FOOD, lickity lickity licked my fingers and lips and arms clean…..  I didn’t realize how full I was until part way thru dessert.. yep he also took me to dessert…

Snowflake Shavery!!! He was super excited to take me here, he said best ice cream ever.. and it WAS…. SOOOOOOOO GOOOOOOOD

His —- I think it was coconut Ice Cream with Bananas, Pineapple and Condensed milk; We also go to try the new Banana flavor which is pretty amazeballs!

MINE!!!!!! The Black Seasame Creation with Black Sesame Ice Cream with mochhi, condensed milk and added rainbow sprinkles <3 DURRRR cuz I’m all aobut the rainbow sprinkles!!!

Thanks babe for a great day!!! I totally felt like a princess :D


SO FLUFFY I’M GONNA DIEEEEEEEEEE

Peace Out Vegas — until next time…. which will be really soon, I promise.

With a full belly of ice cream and burping up that Hot N Juicy sauce the entire night… I’m off back to the land of the cold cold Boston. Oh how I’ve missed you so *rolls eyes* Snow storm after snow storm.. I need the sun and the heat.  Anyone wanna go to Hawaii, Miami, Mexico a Caribbean Island or on a cruise soon?! Cuz I am SO there!

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….

P for Pabu & Perfection [Baltimore, MD]

PABU.

SAll I can say is that I have heard so so so SO much about this place. And I am a HUGE Japanese / Sushi fan. I’ve eaten a LOT of it. EVERYWHERE.

Literally. EVERYWHERE.

Definitely lives up to the hype. I suggest you take a trip to Baltimore specifically to eat here. Make sure you have a big empty tummy ready to fill up.  If needed, walk around the aquarium first.

[Note that it’s day time and bright out… we ended up skipping our original train ticket to eat more and go home later!]

I’m ready to rock and roll… [WOK and roll HAHAHA get it? Yeah I know bad joke, but AT LEAST I’m laughing!!!!]

Look familiar? Apparently they donate 1$ to breast cancer research everytime someone orders this. YAY

It’s called the Maiko Onee and contained hakutake sochu, pamplemousse rose, and yuzu. YUMMMMMM…

And before we knew what we were getting ourselves into, a little plate of small bites arrived. DELISH

Happy Spoons [oysters, caviar, mine had uni and lots of happiness], eel rilette, miso- carrot/burdock, ohitashi [the spinach], lotus root and tiny tiny white fishies.. I forgot what they’re called but so tender and yummy

SUCHHHH a palette opener. SO delicious. I could’ve used another plate. Haha. Sharing is hard when food is this good.

Good thing next course W and I both had our own bowls of sashimi.  AMAAAAAZING.

There was this one fish, seared… you eat with ginger and scallions. OMFG. Amazing. This was the most amazing fresh delicious creamy sashimi EVAAA

And suddenly we got free sake

Next came the most beautiful creamy custard-y soft homemade tofu. SOOO much better than the other day.

Some nori, scallion, mushrooms, japanese yam and OMG the tofu…….

Seeng this guy at work knew… yakitori was in the works

Foie Gras Pops wrapped in Nori.

HOLY FUCKING HELL. SOOO GOOD.  I love my foie. This was amaze balls.

At this point I was about to burst.  So I ordered some hot tea to help wash it down…

But I’m a trooper, so off I go go go

I’m pretty sure there were more nigiri… but.. just relooking at all of these makes me full again hahaha… we ended with this.  “Just one more… just one more…”

And it was simple and delicious.

But of course there is always ALWAYS room for desserts.

Gingerbread amazement. MIND BLOWING.

Dessert

No words just perfection. Go. Now.

만두 at Mandu


W and I finally met up with Brent, aside from seeing him for a brief second at Proof.  After the longest avoidance, laziness and procrastination we FINALLY decided on Mandu [K street one, I didn’t know and suggested we walk there, since we always go to the one closer to W’s apt] for lunch.  So off we went.  We sat down right as it started pouring and B got a beer, W got some iced tea and I got….

Aloe Sojutini

SO. ME.  It was delish with chunks of aloe on the bottom and thru-out, lightly sweetened and – what can I say I MUST be Korean on the inside cuz I love the taste of soju.  Love it more than Sake.

Banchan 반찬

Sweet Potato, Sprouts, Cucumber, Cabbage Kimchi, Spicy Mariniated Fried Tofu and Steamed Broccoli

SO good.  I loved the tofu :]  A nice chew to the skin that gave away to a soft fluffy innard and nice heat to it.

B got the Bar Special, Pint of Beer and Pan Fried Mandu and Shrimp Tacos. YUM.

I forgot what kind of dumplings they were but he loved them.  I duno how a big guy like him ate so little.. but then again I think he had like 3 or 4 beers… hahaha..

Soon Doobu
spicy seafood stew w/ soft tofu and egg
Scallops, Squid and Shrimp with Soft fluffy tofu… a poached egg in a spicy broth. SO good.  But probably a bad idea for me to be eating this on such a hot summer’s day OOPS. SOOO worth the sweat tho.

And of course W got his
Duru Jjigee
marinated and spiced pork belly sauteed w/
kimchi and rice cakes, served with steamed tofu

With dduk, rice cakes, of course. SO GOOD.

One of the owners, Danny, also one of W’s friends, came by and let us try his favorite summer dish…. With Sliced Beef, Egg, Pickled Radish & Cucumber, a few other things and you add vinegar, mustard and chili sauce to your liking/taste.  I think it’s called 물냉면, a Naengmyeon :] YUM

The three of us shared this…

And then I got another Sojutini, since I was between two flavors, I got the other one…

Grape Sojutini

This one had fresh skinless grapes on the bottom, it was sweeter than the aloe one – both were delicious.

For dessert we got mango, strawberry and green tea ice cream mochi.  The strawberry one was my favorite!!! The green tea one’s mochi skin was a bit tough and not soft and chewy like the others… it was more cookie like, weird.. maybe it thawed weird or was old?! YUM nonetheless and we gobbled it up in mere seconds.

I tried to open these.  WHY WON’T THEY OPEN?  I want to climb it as well.. TEEHEE…

You can never go wrong with Korean :]

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 :]

Tea Time at 明森宇治抹茶

Right after lunch, we headed to 明森 for Tea Time.. yep after a 2.5 – 3 hour lunch we then went straight to a 2 hour tea time.. told you us Taiwanese ladies know how to eat ;]

It was slightly hidden in a small straight off of a main road…

We got our own room to fit all… 11? 12? however many of us… doors had to be closed cuz we were super loud and laughing the whole time.. but doors kept opening cuz we kept getting drinks and food ;] HAHAHA

And my favorite cousin met us there!!! <3 My fellow tall Taiwanese fashionista twinnie!!!

We shared two different pots of teas with two other daughters at the table and me and her both got a Matcha Soft Serve Ice Cream over Tofu Pudding [豆花] and covered with Black Beans

SOOOO GOOD! SOOOO GLAD I got this. Slightly salty and barely sweet THICK HUGE Black Beans [good for black hair] over DELICIOUS SUPPPPPPER MATCHA infused soft serve over totally tender freshly made tofu pudding. OH HAPPY DAY!

Us being sillies :]

Black Sugar Jelly w/ Peanut Powder

These were so good. I cut them up and dumped them into my sundae. What I love about Taiwan is that they have so much black sugar stuff now. Black Sugar Mochis are my favorite *hint hint* ;]

Puffy Matcha Macarons

Puffy and filled with a matcha cream, it was soooo good! The first one I had still had a firm creamy filling but the one I had at the end of the day was SOOOO melty and creamy. MMMMMMM… different varieties *LOVE*

Basically a 綠豆椪/綠豆凸 but with Matcha…

Nothing was too special abotu this, they WERE really pretty looking though, but I eat these all the time. Flakey/powdery and kind of melts in your mouth and binds it together like a mouthful of …. powdered sugar almost. But not crazy sweet.

Matcha Ice Cream Sundae with Matcha Jelly, Mochi, Red Beans, etc…

We got a few of each of the hand cakes/cookies/snacks/jellies so we had SOOOO much – we ended up with 11/12 different dessert plates… And YES we ate it ALL. Actually, my cousin and I had to clean up shop at the end since the other two girls were weaksauce and the older ladies were whining about getting fat/being full ;] Hey the more macarons and jellies, the merrier, well for us two :] We ate, we drank, we laughed, we conquered. Great day out with the ladies – minus a snotty bitch or two, HUMF! Won’t complain about it here tho, SEE TWITTER for my anger management issues LOL

Now?… off to dinner :] After heading to the ER first.. my hives were at it’s worst and I was DYYYYYYING and looked like I was freaking sunburnt and stun by bees :[ OK, LOL, not that bad, but pretty bad AND SOOOO UNCOMFORTABLE. SO TOTALLY DYING.

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Rainy Day Lunch at Shin Yeh

What to do on a rainy day when you’re hungry?!… Try to find a place near where you live to eat at.. so where did I end up?  At Shin Yeh in Taipei, really near my hotel.  It’s the sister restuarant of one of my favorite places in Taiwan, AoBa.

Ready to get my super grub on!!!

It was just past lunch time so it wasn’t very busy…

The menu looked delicious and despite some “fun” items we opted for simpler dishes… but for your entertainment…

YAY Chicken Testicles!!

So curious… Shark Fin in Scrambled Egg

Poached Preserved Bamboo Shoots

They actually braised this was pork belly in a soy-based concoction.. it was actually pretty “light” and had some fatty pork in it :] Secretly. WOO!

Poached Savory Goose in Bouillon

I love getting goose in Taiwan. It’s sooo delicious – it came with a preserved radish cold dish, that I usually eat with my congee, on the side and also a slightly spicy red sauce…. YUM!

Jelly Fish Salad

Light, vinegary and crunchy, just the way I like it. Usually people make it way too garlicky but this was perfect and I didn’t have super garlic breath for the rest of the day :D

Sauteed Sweet Potato Greens in Garlic

This and A-Cai were the greens of the day and since I aways get A-Cai we opted for the Sweet Potato Greens… super tender and delicate!

Sea Clam Consumme with Ginger

My favorite soup so I had to get it :] I get to drink this almost every day :] SO HAPPY!

Live-Steamed Fish with Scallion in Soya Sauce

I’ve never had this fish before.. need to find my notes to remember what kind of fish this was again.. the top green shreds is scallions but not very strong tasting… the broth was a bit greasy but oh so good. The fish flaked away to uuber freshness and tenderness… not fishy at all but just not too meaty.

Complimentary Large Warm Mochi rolled in Peanut Powder
Delicious per usual and nice big warm balls! YAY

Small Cheap DELICIOUS Eats All Day Long: 小南門 點心世界 & Agnes b. Cafe Revisited

I got my “cupcake” skirt on and headed out into the, now, chillier weather for a quick bite and shopping and exploring

I’ve been craving somse REAL Taiwanese Potstickers so off to 小南門 – 點心世界 at Breeze Center I went

Difference between what you call a potsticker and a Taiwanese one?! Well first.. the size/shape and the way they’re made…

“…the Taiwanese potsticker is an elongated wrapper that houses a thin strip of filling, most commonly pork with cabbage, but other varieties do exist (curry, kimchi, shrimp/pork, crab/pork are the others I’ve seen), that gets pinched in the middle, but not at the ends. They’re basically like mini burritos that are open at the ends. Unlike traditional wontons which get boiled first, these go straight into a covered wok with a slight amount of water and a fair bit of oil, coming out with charring only on the flat bottom side. As a result, you end up with a string of potstickers that are conjoined in rows of fried dumpling perfection….” [Source]

Seriously.. once you’ve had one of these you’ll forever say no to takeout potstickers.. well, maybe – But I still prefer homemade ones, my mom makes delicious ones BUTTTTTTT…. I love Taiwanese ones the most.


Regular potstickers = Still tasty [Source]

Okay back to the main point… we got a nice seat in the back of the restaurant… it was already 1:30/2ish so it wasn’t as packed… it was the same seat I sat in the last time I was here

Some mini dishes while we wait for our order of potstickers and soup

One of my favorite veg dishes to eat in Taiwan..

龍鬚菜 Gracilaria Lemaneiformis [thanks to MyInnerFatty & Jackson for helping me out on this one]

It’s sort of like an algae?! But then I thought it was a fern.. STILL CONFUSED… and “Zemanta” isn’t helping :P.. and strangely in chinese translation according to google it’s like an asapargus?! But literally translated into long dragon’s beard or whiskers or something like that. Whatevz. DELICIOUS!  The flavor reminds me of fiddleheads in a weird way but I guess it’s an algae?! Awkward… google told me they find red ones grown in ppl’s freaking fish tanks HAHA… they just end up in my belly ;D

Braised Bamboo with Scallions & Chili Peppers

A bit oily but bamboo is really good for soaking up that oil and helping you poop it out :] Yep, I said it here on my food blog. POOP.  Bamboo is great :] I love it and like I’ve said, it’s always made super fresh here in Taiwan.

Bitter Greens & Enoki

My mom makes this bitter green really good with tofu and lots of chili peppers… I think it’s a mustard green but I have to double check with chinese to english translations.. this one was kind of weird tasting to me… it tasted a bit like cleaning solution, maybe it was just super bitter and since it was just blanched and not spicy it was different from what I’m used to.

Mini Anchovies and Fried Tofu Strips with Hot Chilis

Yep! One of my favorite cold side dishes to eat! You’ve seen it many times on this blog already.

Sweetened White Bitter Melon

Another familiar dish that needs no explaining on here!  But white bitter melon needs to be grown or imported into the States now! Same with that….fern/algae veg I love hahahaha…

Pig’s Blood Cakes [豬血糕] with Peanut Powder

Haven’t had this in awhile, I usually just have it at night markets and on a stick.  But it’s my favorite form of pig’s blood.. I prefer my pure blood cakes to be goose or duck… this is mixed with rice and steamed and lots of peanut powder on it makes it even more yummy!

Sauteed A-Cai

A bit too greasy and salty but STILL SOOOO GOOOOOOOD!!!

Their famous Taiwanese Potstickers!!!

I have to admit, while the skin is crispy to perfection and the filling is SOOO good… the filling was lacking.. in amount.  There used to be so much more. Damn recession. I’d rather pay more $$ for the real deal than half assed filled dumplings :[ POUT.

Baby Clam Soup

Lots of ginger, a light sprinkling of scallions and lots of baby clams.  Since clams are already salty you don’t need any seasoning. This is how I make clam soup at home, just water, clams and ginger. YUM!

Can you believe all of that food was only for a few bucks?!?!?! That’s what I love about Taiwan, some of the most delicious foods I’ve eaten here is simple and complex in flavors all at the same time and soooo easy on the wallet – and you wonder why I eat so much of it :] Fourths please!!!

After shopping around Breeze Center we stopped by Agnes b. Cafe for a breather…

Chloe

Hazelnut, Chocolate, Feuilletine, Sponge Cake

Sadly this tasted like it was in the fridge for too long. :[

Marion

Nougatine, Caramel Custard, Puff Pastry

Crispity crunchy sooo good and not too sweet :] LOVE it.. the top was crunchier with a nice sugar coating and a chocolate and the bottom was just plain puff which was fluffy.

Dinner was 3 of us at the food court. Yep, THREE of us, ALL this food only for less than 20$ !!! Just look below and have your jaw drop and drool come out. ALL THIS FOOD FOR ALMOST NOTHING!!! YUM!

三杯鸡 [Literally, 3 Cup Chicken] with Soup and 3 Side Dishes

3 Cup Chicken [三杯鸡)

Why 3 cup chicken? 1 cup of soy sauce, 1 cup of sesame oil and 1 cup chinese rice wine :] YUM!

Vegetarian Mushroom Hot Pot Meal w/ Side Dishes

I ordered the seafood hot pot but they accidentally gave me the vegetarian mushroom one…

Vegetarian Mushroom Hot Pot

Tons of various mushrooms, and mostly nice big and meaty oyster mushrooms.

I realized this after I tasted NO seafood and could only find veg and TONS of mushrooms in it. Not complaining but just wanted a refund since the seafood pot costed more… BUT they apologized and the lady gave me a FREE seafood hot pot. Yeah so I ate both. #fattie

Seafood Hot Pot

Full of shrimp, squid, tofu, veggies and of course, more mushrooms. YUM. Very light broth.. ohh and there were some thin slices of beef sirloin in it as well :]

Oyster pancakes, beef ball soup and veggies

Fried Tofu

You’ve already seen these dishes…

After some shopping at SOGO I ate two bowls of red bean soup with dried longan and lots of mochi black seasame balls [黑芝麻湯圓].

Chanel Tree?!?! My dream come true!!

A Day at the Zoo and a night at 老友紀

After a quick lunch/snack of Red Bean, Mochi and Sesame Ball Soup….. [sorry for the crappy quality photo… it was dark in my room hehe cuz I got it as takeout – see my laptop in the background]

I headed to the Taipei Zoo to see some of my favorite animals… they close at 5pm so I was there til the end, didn’t get to see as much as I did last time I was there but got to see some of my fav highlights!

Fan [mom’s side] and Ding [dad’s side] next to each other – destiny!!!

I iz panda?!


See his dinner/mouse in his claw?

SERIOUSLY??!?!

They started fighting!!

A delicious tea egg as a snack!!!

Afterwards, since they closed and we were swarmed with students – we headed to Taipei 101 for one of my favorite Japanese places in Taipei but it was CLOSED!!!!

This year’s Tiffany’s tree…

They got rid of it cuz of renovations *tears* so we headed back to option #2 which was original option anyways – 老友紀 :D Time to get my meats and soups on! Always a delicious and cheap option!!!

Steamed Gai Lan

Mixed Plate #1 – Duck, Chicken & Sausage

Deicious fatty duck… we actually got the last serving ;]  Delicious chicken and of course a nice soft fluffy sausage.. taiwanese style.

Wonton Soup

SOOOO delicious. I’m SUCH a sucker for wontons!!! These were delicious. Great pork filling with a shrump!

Steamed Cabbage

Mixed Plate #2 – 2 different sausages & smoked Pork Belly

I do I do I do adore, all I wanted was the black sausage and pork belly!!!

Shrimp 腸粉 [Cheung Fun]

Fresh shrimp and a yummy tender rice noodle roll around it! You can’t really fudge these things up! YUM! Just like DIM SUM!

Steamed Lettuce

Beef Ball Soup

& more Steamed Lettuce – this time with no sauce

Round 1 done and in transition to round 2…

Black Bean Spicy Pork Ribs

SOOOO meaty! I’m SO not used to it since in the States you get these at dim sum and you just get only bone and fat and almost NO meat. DELICIOUS!

My favorite Black Taiwanese Sausage

This stuff is AMAZING but they won’t give away their secret to their yumminess. GRR.  The fact that it’s black makes me think that there’s blood in it.. YUM! Once you go black you REALLY don’t wanna go back ;D

More Smoked Pork Belly <3 or 腊肉 [“preserved?”]This stuff is SO delicious! So fatty and smokey and full of flavor. My mom is SO good at making this too.. she used to make it all the time for us and family friends :[ But no more.. need to beg her for some when we go back home – OR eat a ton til I puke while I’m here.. hahaha….

YUM! All of this and it didn’t even cost that much!! Great for cheap quick eats that’s DELICIOUS and totally filling and satisfying! YUM!

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….