度小月 & 點水樓 – Dan Tze Mien 擔仔麵 and more Soup Dumplings 小籠包

Headed over to 度小月 on Zhongxiao Rd….. a street full of restaurants and shops. YUM. But this place is famous for their dan tze mien 擔仔麵,

“Although dantze mian has its origin in Tainan, southern Taiwan, and chiehtze mian is from Taipei, they are essentially the same thing: noodles in pork broth. For a more complex dish, try a bowl of talu mian, which includes stewed pork slices, carrot slices, mushrooms, bamboo shoots, and sliced eggs. 

And then there are the noodles themselves. Noodles come in all kinds of widths and shapes, from thin vermicelli to thick, flat noodles. One of the most common varieties is wheat-flour-based noodles. Although variations featuring eggs, spinach, carrots, and even green tea are not unheard of, traditional hand-made noodles made of flour are most people’s favorite because of their chewy texture. “

Taiwan Embassy

one of my mom’s FAVORITE dishes in Taiwan.. or ever.  So me, mom and auntie headed straight inside.

They make the noodles and cook it right in the front of the shop. Awesome.

Some of our foods…

Deep fried Shrimp Rolls [which they recommended as their STAR dish..]

Auntie got the  擔仔麵 with egg noodles

Mama got the 擔仔麵 with mung bean noodles

擔仔麵 with thick chow foon [but thin] like noodles – mineeeee obviously

We shared everything but I loved my thick tender homemade noodles the most!!!!  I always love big flat noodles —- [papardelle is my favorite italian pasta]

The flavors were so good and pure.. honestly I could just eat giant bowls of these and nothing else… everything else we ordered was just noise.

Stewed Pig’s Intestines

Braised Meatballs

Stir-fried white water snowflake with cummingcordia and cloves

milk-fish stomach with ginger/garlic soup

Afterwards we wandered the streets…… including this famous shaved ice spot…

Engrish

The worst buns ever

My mom bought two of each flavor and they were HORRIBLE….. Altho all I could look at were the giant chicken fried… uh, chicken steaks hahaha…. but they probably sucked too… since everything tasted old and leftover.

And then… a meal at 點水樓

The small eats – Green Beans, Bamboo, Jellyfish and White Bitter Melon <3 YUM

Xiao Long Baos… my favorite, of course.

Pig’s Feet… altho AoBa’s is still the best. These taste like the way my mom makes them, but not as good….

Oh did I tell you that I sprained my ankle?

SUCK ASS.

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….

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….

Plein Sud with Top Chef Ed Cotton

So the night before my trip back to NYC… I planned out the next three nights of dinners… there was Ai Fiori… then LTO.. and Thursday night was going to be Plein Sud [OBVIOUSLY, #topchefwhore].  To my surprise, as soon as I get into the City I get a tweet from the awesome Chef Ed Cotton to stop by his place. Thinking one step ahead chef, already booked!!! This just made me MORE excited for Thursday night to come :]

Now, to be honest, while I knew Chef was super talented, it wasn’t til I re-watched the whole season 7 again the other week that I knew, FO SHO that I had to eat at his place. Pretty EFFING talented dude yo. Not to mention, Boston pride yo! He went to HS in the same time I lived in. Prettttyyy badass.

I mean he STARTED working in HS… with freaking Todd English.. his resume is pretty impressive including working with chefs [aside from the forementioned English] like Barbara Lynch and Danial Boulud.

As soon as we were seated, in this suppppper cosy cute little round corner booth, might I add, we had glasses of prosecco planted in front of us. Bubbly and ice cold – delicious.

Before we even got to read everytime off the menu, we were presented, once again surprised, with some complimentary munchies….

The most delicious Flatbread

Creamy, smokey, crispy…. amazing!!!! This was sooo delicious… and totally helped with choosing another app ;D NOM NOM NOM

We ordered a whole bottle of the prosecco and continued on with our meal.. MMM delicious.

Large Charcuterie Board with Housemade Pickles

They consisted of yummies such as Coppa, this Cured Duck, a Wild Boar and something very similar to Prosciutto but a lot less salty. I completey devoured the housemade pickles.. sweet, slightly tart, mixture of onions, celery, carrots and, of course CUCUMBERS!!!!… MMM.. pickles.

Boudin Blanc
White Sausage, Pomme Purée, Prunes

Mandatory dirty picture of me with phallic food – yep i said it…

This was SO freaking delicous.  Chef Ed even came up while cooking it and said he didn’t want to overcook it. Seriously, most awesome chef ever :D Anyways. To be honest, Boudin Blanc kinda freaks me out.  Large white sausages… I mean.. OK, it’s ridic but I freak out a little bit. BUT THIS IS SOOOOO FREAKING GOOD.  Juicy, tender, a slight POP while you cut into it and chew it… literally melted like buttaaaa… not butter, but BUTTAAAA, in my mouth.  The prunes.. sweet, chewy, buttery, slightly tart – perfect compliment

Steak Tartare
Dijon-Worcestershire Vinaigrette and Grilled Country Bread

Nicely cut, heavy on the mustard but I love mustard so it’s okay :] And thankfully not overly salty.  Very nice and light, yes light, tartare… MMM, very nice and fresh and beefy tasting.. the bread was SO good.. nice, charred on the grilled and super crunchy and delicious. PERFECT with the soft tartare..

And then, to my surprise, another complimentary dish. Oh Chef Ed you spoil me so :] Make me so fat and happy!!!… The most delicious…

Escargot Persillade
Parisan Ham, Almond. Mushroom
I didn’t guess it’d be Parisan ham but this tasted nice, smokey and fatty.  So maybe Parisan ham is? Hold on, let me google it…

… yeah I don’t know…

The herbs in it were amazing and the most delicious fatty crunchy melt-in-your-mouth croutons.  DELICIOUS.  The escargots [yes snails] were cooked SOOOO perfectly tender – like honestly, the BEST escargot I’ve EVER had!!! And I’ve had good AND bad…]  It was rich and buttery but not overly so like a lot of the other times I’ve had escargot so I couldn’t stop eating it.. no seriously, I really couldn’t…. DELICIOUS. I’ve been daydreaming and fantasizing about it ever since. Anyone wanna go and have a garlicky escargot party with me? :D

Let Plat Du Jour:
Pied De Cochon

Yep! Stuffed Piggie’s Feet… A must when you’re here at Plein Sud… methinks anyways ;D  It’s TOTALLY not what I expected, to be honest with you…  Instead of a whole trotter…. it didn’t have the fatty skin collagen-y foot that I usually eat – but all the meat, a lot of meat in big pillows, big fluffy deep fried pillows… very unexpected but very delicious.

Duck Confit

It was atop a delicious sauce and mushrooms… nom nom nom…. the skin was ever so crispy and melt-n-your-mouth.. the meat melted like BUTTTTTAAA [yep again] in my mouth.. so tender.. Crisp Crisp Crisp MMMM, nothing like tasting something so fatty yet so good… good for your soul… and yet still so light. WAIT… light?  My toes are tingling…

Tribeca
Peanut Butter Ganache, Rich Chocolate Cake, Banana Cream

How could I say no?  It’s Peanut Butter, Chocolate and Bananas, NOM NOM NOM NOM NOM!… You can’t really see in this pic, but there’s a huuuuuge sexy smear of a delicious creamy rich peanut butter behind the cake… with a few slices of caramelized banana slices… MMMM…. a delicious chocolate gelato atop crushed peanuts [nonsalty.. wait, I think] and of course the chocolate cake itself.  Creamy, rich, decadent but not overly so in a gross way.  I could eat this for ages… get fat, but love it. Ok, and I also like how it’s called Tribeca, hahaha…

Lemon Tarte with Toasted Fluffy Meringue

This was so yummy, tart and super creamy.  The meringue was a lot more creamy than solid than I’m used to when it comes to a meringue, but very very tasty.. MMM I love burnt foods, it’s a sick sick thing.. and I’ll probably get some sort of weird disease from it — does your mom tell you that you’re gonna get cancer from eating too much burnt food too? — but oh well, YUMMY IN MY TUMMY!!!

The awesome Chef Ed Cotton and I :] EEEE Beantown represent yo!!!!  Thanks for some of the best French food I’ve had in a long time… :] YAYY happy happy pic!!!

Screw Gourmet let’s get down and Dirty @ Kenka’s

We were supposed to go eat at Marc Forgione when we got back from Miami. Chef Forgione even hooked us up by texting the restaurant to “take care” of us when I met him at a SOBE Wine&Food Festival event….

What a cutie, he was a lot smaller than I thought though…

Kind of wanted to touch his fauxhawk cuz I’m creepy like that….

Need to learn to stop talking so much and stuttering over my own words when I meet chefs I love lol

ANYWAYS. Our plane got a two hour delay and we were both exhausted and just wanted to chill. We had been craving chinese food the whole weekend….. and in our weakness [and Z’s excitedness] we had some sushi and then MANCHU WOK at the Miami Airport….


*for shame* The sesame chicken was good tho… hahahaha – everything was just greasy and salty and just plain bad for us. Yea, I made Z walk around the huge airport together instead of skytrain ;D

So we ordered Indian and stayed in for the night and ate Chicken Vindaloo, Saag Panner and Baighan Gharta in front of the teevee with is roomie and DOGGGGIES :D. MAN, I love indian rice.. it’s so bomb!

[no pic, think of it yourself — indian food isn’t really pretty anyways]

We were over it. No more Chinese food. We finally got our Indian fix. It was between Indian or Thai] SO the next night we decided to fulfill our other ultimate craving – KENKA’s!!!

What were we craving? Not sure.. the food isn’t THAT amazing but just the atmosphere and the massive fun menu… OH and the cotton candy machine at the end ;D Yea yea I know they failed their grading last time and right now it’s pending.. yes yes it’s dirty but come ON.. we knew that ALREADY right?!?!?!?….

Z and I were both having stressful days…. so we were thirsty, REALLY thirsty….

Two giant beers and a huge bottle of sake [think wine bottle size]

Z’s Potato Salad

Mountain Yam

Toro Tartare

Chicken Cartiledge

Ok, these were good.. like salt&pepper chicken but light on the seasoning… not really cartilage in there tho.. wish there was more :D Made me think of Yakitori Totto when I had cartiledge/soft bone on a stick :D

And straight up we got two orders of chicken skin…

I LOOOOOOVE Kenka’s Chicken Skin, probably my favorite thing on their menu besides they’re giant mugs of beer and fun russian takoyaki roulette… hahaha… it’s SOOOO crispy and flash fried on the outside but SOO juicy and tender on the inside… mmmmm fat fried in fat = LOVE

Takoyaki Russian Roulette

I always need to do AT LEAST one round of this when I’m at Kenka’s…. Z and I decided to feed each other… BUT OF COURSE I win and he got it, FIRST TRY too :D Althought secretly, I’ve always wanted to try the wasabi filled one… hahahaha :D But my nose is happy I didn’t….

Bull Penis


Excuse my voice, it’s still lost and can’t be found – I sound like a raspy old man…  Sauce was gross with the penis…. still tastes like tendon but………. yickier this time than last.

Pig’s Feet

So tender and collagen-y our lips were sticking together *smack smack* SOOO GOOD!!! I love pig trotters.. all about the skin <3

And this is the first time I sat in the back, so therefore the first time I noticed there was a smoking court… AND GUESS WHAT’s HANGING ABOVE YOU?!?!?!

I want my own hanging blow up doll with giant boobies…… *jello

We traveled next door to find my Banana Beer at the neighborhood friendly grocery store/deli but found none :[ so instead we went to Oh! Taisho to eat more… I only remember parts of eating here…

Wait, why did we get Miso Soup?

Pig’s Ears [my fav dish here]

I think the miso soup must’ve come with this tuna rice dish.. right? I think it was tuna… with rice… and seaweed… OKAY, I admit I don’t remember eating any of this at ALL…

The main thing that stood out at Taisho that night….

Crispy, JUST fried greasy crunchy outside/fluffy inside fries <3

Corn Corn Corn always is <3

We ended up at a Sake Bar but ultimately decided to go home since teh wait was undetermined [and obviously too long for impatient drunken me haha]

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!

Convivio, Best of the Best

Dear Chef Michael White… you have made me fall in love with pasta all over again. For me, Italian food is something I have to be in the mood for, but I can see me coming to Convivio over and over and over again, just for your food… and your amazing perfect pasta. I haven’t had such amazing pasta, maybe ever [aside from the homeland in Rome], since dell’anima…. and I still keep pushing Scarpetta back… but I think my heart now lies here…. in your creations.

Convivio is the new Southern Italian restaurant from Chris Cannon and Chef Michael White. A restaurant rich in conviviality, flavor and passion, this acclaimed restaurant offers a pure translation of soulful dining—the Southern Italian way. Inspired by warm memories of Italian kitchens and the country’s unforgettable flavors—tomatoes, pancetta, sea urchin, and pesto—White’s menu travels through Italy’s Southern towns and creatively interprets revered recipes. Located in Manhattan’s charming Tudor City neighborhood, in the space of their former award-winning L’Impero, Convivio offers guests an irresistible opportunity to dine leisurely, sensuously and with gusto.

My date arrived later than me so I sat down first and ordered some champagne, a nice bubbly glass of Brut Nicolas Feuillatte NV

Delicious whole wheat bread with a burnt crust and the most amazing extra virgin olive oil to dip it in – EVER…. I was in love and ate at least 4 pieces of bread that night… amazing.. I could bath in that oil and lick it off my toes…. oh wait, TMI?

Delicious delicious wine

2006 Etna Rosso ‘A Rina Girolamo Russo

Round One

Barbabietole
beets, mozzarella, almonds

The creamy mozzarella combined with the earthy roasted beets [cooked perfectly might I add] and then the crunch of the almonds – delicious. I am a sucker for fresh mozzarella… everytime I buy a huge ball of it, it never lasts for more than a day… aside from homemade pizzas and homemade caprese salads… I just eat it like there’s no tomorrow…

Insalata di Mare

warm seafood salad, caper berries, lemon

I wouldn’t call it a “salad” perse but it was a nice light combo of seafood… perfectly cooked shellfish with a nice crusty garlic bread on the side. Didn’t really notice the caper berries or lemon too much but it was amazing nonetheless…

Arancini

saffron risotto croquettes

LOVE. LOVE. LOVE. LOVE. LOVE. The first time I had one of these was in Denver at duo… and since then I was hooked. These were even simpler than the duo ones… a light dusting of cheese atop the perfectly fried risotto balls… orgasmic.

TMI ALERT TMI ALERT — A certain someone once suggested me eating a Bahn Mi, drinking bubble tea and getting some loving = Ultimate — tempting but I think these would be even better ;D Hahaha…

Round Two

Zuppa di Ceci

chickpea soup, pig trotters, escarole

Tenderly cooked chickpeas [garbanzos, whichever — you say toe-may-toe I say toe-ma-toe] A delicious thick, but light, blended – super creamy – chickpea soup, almost chowder like, with nice tender veggies, some crunchy buttery garlicky [best word ever] croutons… not sure where the pig trotters were tho… pureed in the soup? irregardless… droool* I licked the bowl clean [obviously]

Polipo

tomato braised octopus, polenta, asiago

I love octopus and while there was more polenta than anything else on the plate, the octopussy was tender… and the polenta was AMAZING… I gobbled it all up!!!

Polpettine en Brodo

pork meatballs, broccoli rabe, ricotta salata

You know I’m obsessed with meatballs….  Obsessed… ;D These were tender, succulent and oh so tasty… love love lovessss… mine are still better tho ;D

Round Pasta [aka Three]

Then came the pasta dishes…. dinner date and I actually ended up ordering TWO more pasta dishes because they were so so tiny…  I’m a growing girl [horizontally] and I need my carbs!!!!…

Malloreddus

sardinian saffron, gnocchetti, crab, sea urchin

MMMM…. love gnocchi, love Sardinia [speaking of which, still need to go to that special restaurant to eat in the wine cellar with that certain someone…… I was stupid not to go last time I was offered to…. sigh*; and then there’s that Sardinia episode of No Reservations when Anthony Bourdain goes to his wifey’s homeland and that SEXY gooey cheesy scene… effing orgasmic…]  and of course, crab + Uni are just……. breathtaking…. the uni was super subtle, whereas if I didn’t know it was already in there, I wouldn’t be looking for it…. but the gnocchi was magnificent and perfectly cooked.

Orecchiette Nero

squid ink pasta, seppia ragu, lardo, broccoli rabe

SOOOO good…. I’m a huge fan of squid ink pasta, maybe it’s just the blackness of it, but I’m convinced the flavor is just as fantastic… and then of course… LARDO.. freaking LARDO… and broccoli rabe…. :D

This is when I ordered another set of pasta dishes.. still hungry for more carbs…..

AHH, this was the special of the day… totally forgot what it was… some squash tortellini – I remember it being a bit too sweet for me….. so I only ate a little bit of it and gave it all to the dinner date….

But then it gave me plenty of time to focus on my gorgeous….

Maccheroni alla Carbonara

pancetta, pecorino, scallion, egg, black pepper

The first time I ever had carbonara was my sophomore year in college… one of my close friends, Dave Choi, made me the most delicious and memorable dinner of my life. This was one one of the first meals that made me really fall in love with cooking… and truly appreciate egg yolk for more than a sunny-side up. This was also the first time I learned about pancetta.. and bacon being the lamer, but still good, substitute… since then, this is my go-to meal when I only have a few simple ingredients to create something wonderful… I even got my dad to fall in love with carbonara… and he hates cheese [except on pizza]

Round Four

My choice, a delicious side of Funghi Arrosto

wild mushrooms, garlic

I could never resist mushrooms.. altho I DO find while getting them in restaurants, they’re often too oily… but nonetheless, while they WERE, they were SO flavorful and there was SO many varieties of ‘shrooms… oh joy <3

Along side it, the “MAIN” course of the night… the duck.. quack quack… I’ve had so much pig that I decided to stick with duck and just duck as the main course [altho now I kinda wish I had gotten the suckling crispy piggie as well ;D hehe… The glutton in me…

Anatra

long island duck breast, grilled sausage, sunchokes, apples

Look at that perfect balance of skin, fat and rare medium rare meat… Delightful… not super memorable, but good

The night ended on a sour note with the date, so I opted to skip dessert… [altho I already had my choices picked out] … I paid the bill and we left in a hussy….

One a side note… when I went to the restroom…

SOOO many rolls of toilet paper to choose from on the wall…. Awesome, yet… why?

i’m a lucky girl….

why? have you eaten the stuff that my boyfriend can whip up in the kitchen?!?! amazing. i’m a bit behind in posts so i’ll start off with bunny foo foo. we’re wandering around fox+obel and the boyfriend suddenly decides he wants to cook a rabbit. a whole rabbit. now i’ve only had rabbit ONCE and it was in sausage form at the green city market chef’s bbq about a month ago (delicious) but since i’m me, how can i refuse?!?!?….


i’m a perv so i took like 10 pics to get a leaky pic

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