Healthy Chinese Herbal Eats at 神農

After lunch, my little get-away, a mid-day nap and getting my hair did…. me and my mom and aunts headed off to another one of my favorite restaurants in Taichung, 神農.

Some beautiful fluffy flowers….

Some complimentary small dishes while we wait for our foods…. with some delicious medicinal tea.

Everything on the menu is medicinal and have “curing” things about them and are cooked and paired correctly to help make us healthier.

甘蔗苗 [Sugar Cane “Seedlings” directly translated] which – if I’m correct, and feel free to correct me if I’m wrong – is the tips of the Sugar Cane plants.  They are not “sweet” like the normal sugar cane or fibrous – they remind me of bamboo shoots, super tender and delicious.

Mixed Asian Mushrooms….  yes, literally those puffs that look like sponges are mushrooms. NOM!  And if you know me, I ADORE mushrooms.

Those puffs are Bear’s Head Mushroom aka Hericium.

 “In China and Japan, species of Hericium are highly valued for their medicinal properties;[11] in particular, H. erinaceus is used intraditional Chinese medicine.[12] In recent decades there has been considerable research interest in the bioactive properties of this species, and several compounds isolated from H. erinaceus have biological activities, including cytotoxic effects on cancer cells, stimulatory effects on nerve growth factor synthesis,[13] antimicrobial and nematicidal activity, and antitumor activity.[14][15]

Hericium species can be purchased in dried form for use in cooking and as medicine.”

Wikipedia

Boiled Shrimp topped with some 木耳 [Wood Ear, a fungus] and 红枣 [Red Dates].

Boiled Dumplings 水餃 – they’re so good,with 薺菜 [Shepherd’s Purse] and pork.  Simple and delicious – just how I like my everything haha.  Yep, even the dumplings are super healthy for you.

Medicinal use for 薺菜 [Shepherd’s Purse]:

“When dried and infused, it yields a tea which is still considered by herbalists one of the best specifics for stopping haemorrhages of all kinds – of the stomach, the lungs, or the uterus, and more especially bleeding from the kidneys.

Its haemostyptic properties have long been known and are said to equal those of ergot and hydrastis. During the Great War, when these were no longer obtainable in German commerce, a liquid extract of Capsella bursapastoris was used as a substitute, the liquidextract being made by exhausting the drug with boiling water. Bomelon found the herb of prompt use to arrest bleedings and flooding, when given in the form of a fluid extract, in doses of 1 to 2 spoonfuls.

Culpepper says it helps bleeding from wounds – inward or outward – and: ‘if bound to the wrists, or the soles of the feet, it helps the jaundice. The herb made into poultices, helps inflammation and St. Anthony’s fire. The juice dropped into ears, heals the pains, noise and matterings thereof. A good ointment may be made of it for all wounds, especially wounds in the head.’

It has been used in English domestic practice from early times as an astringent in diarrhoea; it was much used in decoction with milk to check active purgings in calves.

It has been employed in fresh decoction in haematuria, haemorrhoids, chronic diarrhcea and dysentery, and locally as a vulnerary in nose-bleeding, which is checked by inserting the juice on cotton-wool. It is also used as an application in rheumatic affections, and has been found curative in various uterine haemorrhages, especially those with which uterine cramp and colic are associated, and also in various passive haemorrhages from mucous surfaces.

It is a remedy of the first importance in catarrhal conditions of the bladder and ureters, also in ulcerated conditions and abscess of the bladder. It increases the flow of urine. Its use is specially indicated when there is white mucous matter voided with the urine; relief in these cases following at once.”

Read more about it here.

Delicious Noodles tossed lightly in a 苦茶油 aka Tea Tree Oil, which translated directly into English is Bitter Tea Oil.

Delicious Sweet Potato/Yam Greens 甘薯瓣 with some Goji 枸杞 berries.

Black Chicken [烏骨雞] Herbal Soup

冬蟲夏草烏骨雞

Straight from the words of their website: “如同黃金般珍貴的冬蟲夏草隔水加熱後以水蒸氣慢慢炊熟,加入自釀超過一年的何首烏酒與無抗生素污染的烏骨雞。甘香美味的高湯徹底顛覆你對傳統藥膳苦澀的認知喔!”

The feets are my favorite!!!!! YUMMMMM

Shrimpy shrimp.  Got to eat it the right way.  Rip off the head, suck the innards of it and then eat the rest after you peel off the shell.

A yummy light dessert. MMMMM Black Sugar jelly/custard 黑糖凍.

春水堂 Chun Shui Tang

After our snack at Wu Fu Wontons we took the HSR to Taichung… took less than an hour….. we spent the day shopping and etc… and ended up at one of my favorite place… [I love tea houses]

春水堂 Chun Shui Tang

Chicken Feet 鳳爪 <3 My favorite

Dried Squid Shreds and Chinese Sausage

Sort of a fish paste 魚漿 with some veg in it and then pan-fried.

Blood Cakes… Chicken Wings… etc etc… we even got two bowls of noodles… us ladies can EAT.

Butter Toast

Delicious Free Desserts

And then dancing in the streets of Taichung to burn off all the calories…

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

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.

Father’s Day Dim Sum

Me in Daddy’s shoes!

Daddy’s little girl

In this family we tend to celebrate holidays and birthdays for a whole span of time… so Saturday we headed to Rockport for lobsters and sunshine. It was cold and a bit gray at first but warmed up and the sun came out – we ended the night at CPK for our usual meal of Veg pizza, lettuce wraps and miso shrimp salad – and of course margaritas!!!

Lobsters and Clam Chowdah from Roy Moore Lobster Co

We were supposed to go to church on Sunday but mom and I slept in… haha poor dad was ready at 8am.  We previously planned on getting brunch somewhere but haven’t had Dim Sum in ages so we decided to go to celebrate the best guy in my life!

We got to New China Pearl around 1 and it was a TON of people and a 30 min wait.  #76

As soon as we sat down we got a plethora of braised chicken feets… a few of these, my favorite!!! 鳳爪

Fatty meaty juicy steamed shortribs 豉汁排骨

Ginger Sweetened Tofu Pudding 豆花

Shumai 燒賣

Spicy Black Bean Clams 豉汁炒蜆

Water Chestnut Cake – Ma Ti Gao 马蹄糕

I would have preferred it just steamed and not also panfried but it was slightly sweet and crunchy and good.  Not greasy but still, would’ve liked it better just steamed.

Pan Fried Turnip Cake 煎蘿蔔糕

Spicy Tripe 牛百叶

Egg Tarts 酥皮蛋撻

A Dim Sum must!!!  No dim sum is complete without ending with these :D

Sweet Sesame Balls 芝麻煎堆

We got a lot more food including black sesame and egg custard buns but I didn’t take pictures of everything, just some highlights.

A Beautiful Sunday…. Brunch at @ToroRestaurant

Yesterday was a beautiful and sunny day – I knew I had a great day of good eats and great company ahead of me. I woke up early and drove into town. It’s time for Brunch AND AT Toro!!!! Now you guys know that I eat there all the time but I’ve never been there for brunch… why?!…I have no idea.

LOOK AT ALL THAT BEAUTIFUL LIGHTING!!!!! ahhh food pornologist like me’s dream come true!!!

Why am I drinking my mimosa like a squirrel? Hahaha… I may have had more than one :] Empty stomach loop de loop. I was SOOO hungry…

SO much to choose from, I kept having to ask our waitress to come back – UGH I’m SO indecisive sometime.  And I want it all… Yay!!! W visiting :] And even tho the last time we all came here the last time he was in Boston, yes, the food is THAT good!

Grilled Avocado

SOOOO GOOD! A light salsa verde in the hole, a little queso MMMMM….. pickled red onions *breaths onion breath on you* DELICIOUS! Never had grilled avocado before, I need to try preparing it like this at home.. too bad I’m too lazy.

See in the background? W added Hummus on at the end of what we wanted, last minute and it was SOOOO GOOD :] Argon oil, za’atar and fresh Chickpeas.. sooo creamy and great spices MMM.. loved it!! Fluffy soft bread!

Our eggy breakfasts.. and then some.. NOM NOM NOM.. W was a good boy and just had tea :] Yeah and me squirreling my mimosas.. hahaha…

I got the Huevos con Chorizo

Scrambled Eggs with Housemade Chorizo, Patatas and Sourdough Toast

Soft fluffy eggs.. which I sprinkled with black pepper and sriracha.. and DELICIOUS chorizo that almost sort of reminded me of my favorite chinese sausages.. they popped when you bit into them and were just fluffs of meaty happiness inside. See that butter on the toast. MMM.. butter…

W’s Pork Hash

Eggs over Easy, Patatas and Sourdough Toast

The pork hash was super creamy, not the hash I’m usually used to where you can feel the shredded potato. Maybe it was my bite, but it was CREAMY! Hahaha… great flavors.  And yes more buttery toast!  Maybe that’s why we both got full so fast, so much bread…

Asada de Huesos

Roasted Bone Marrow with Radish Citrus Salad and Oxtail Marmalade

Yep, even after eating pounds of bone marrow the night before…. We got more bone marrow :] Since W is a chef he eats it all the time mwahahaha so I got to eat it allllll :] And as always, LOVE the delicious oxtail on the crostini… MMMM – all together now MUNCH!

And then another last minute order before the kitchen closed…

Maiz Asado con Alioli y Queso Cotija

La Especialidad de la Casa.  Grilled Corn with Alioil, Lime, Espelette Pepper and Aged Cheese

YES! A MUST-HAVE every single time at Toro…amongst other things.  But yes, even for brunch :] JUST LOOK AT IT!!! I can smell it already… taste it.. the creamy outside, the pops of the kernals, crunch crunch, SOOO FREAKING DELICIOUS.

We ended brunch with something sweet :] OF COURSE.. we were gonna get a cheese plate as well but we were stuffed beyond belief. ALWAYS ROOM FOR SWEETS THOUGH!!!!

Churros con ChocolateAiry Crisp Fried Pastry with Orange Infused Chocolate

MMMMMM….. I love churros. They’ll always remind me of Disneyland as a little kid.  The chocolate just ups it up a notch and makes it seem a bit more sophisticated… amazing and fresh! So delicious :] I am a happy little Tiffie…. *bounce

Mövenpick Cafe at 明曜

I woke up with I NEED ICE CREAM FACE

OK I woke up late… I’ve been taking SUPER meds since I’ve got stupid ear infection and then I got a weird skin allergy that gave me super hives :[ I wanted ice cream…. but I needed some grub with it as well…. HRM… but I ended up wandering around til like 330ish before I finally sat down to eat something….

*I dream of Ice Cream*

OOOO LA LA… after getting insulted by a short stout girl saying I needed a size L corset for my wide waist and that I couldn’t fit into her smaller size, I DID and it was LOOSE. BITCH! GRR. So, after getting the TINIEST size corset, telling them HA! I headed over to Mövenpick Cafe for ice cream :] I’ve ALWAYS had their ice creams all over Taiwan but just at restaurants, buffets and stands.. not their Cafe. And OH MY YUM have I been missing out!

Here are some things on my list of things to tryyyyy!!!

VOLCANO!

Strawberry Princess..

Alcoholic Dress Toast

Dutch Waffle Pastry :] MMM Layers

And their DELICIOUS Ice Cream Flavors.. gotta eat them all!

First I needed some real food, there was some Tea involved [with a chocolate muffin]

And a Seafood & Chicken Salad with Rosemary Bread

Cucumbers, Romaine, Tomato, Egg, Shrimp, Crab, Chicken, Olives & Corn… YUM!… with a creamy Caesar dressing on the side [sans anchovies haha]

Then after a quick gobble down I was ready for my DESSERT!!!! Come baby come!!!

Americano [x2]

Fantasy Ferris Wheel

Pistachio, Stracciatella, Maple Walnut, Chocolate, Black Currant, Vanilla, Strawberry

The Maple Walnut, Choc, Vanilla and Strawberry were the ones that came with the wheel and I got to choose 3 more.. BOO! I thought it was 7 of whatever I wanted and I made my whole list and submitted it until they told me LATEAR that I could only pick 3 :[ *pout* I hate rules!

But this plate was licked clean! Maple Walnut & Stracciatella are still my favorites. The vanilla was SOOO creamy tho and the chocolate had chocolate ribbons in it like the Stracciatella :] And each ball was on top of a slice of brownie. NOM!

NOOOOOOOOOOOOOM!!!

Right after, I headed to SOGO to meet up with my cousin, his gf, their adorable baby girl Zoe, my aunt [cous’ mom] and my mommy for dinner at Ding Tai Fung!!!!

She looks so much like when I was a baby :] My mini-me! She was posing with me all nite!!! TEEHEE* And we played peekaboo after dinner until she was ready to fall asleep and started getting a lil fussy hyper. LOL CUUUUTE!!!

I’m an Auntie ;]

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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Tea Time at Brasserie Liz

I woke up early, got a little mini exercise in.. okay, I lied, I got my mouth a little exercise ie FOOD :] Tons of food while I got ready to go out and shop and lunch and tea time and shop and eat and eat and shop ;D Basically…. eat and shop!

Ready to go go!!!

Lol silly :]

FIrst up!!! SOGO Food Court for my favorite Kimichi Seafood HotPot with lots of banchan… can you believe ALL of this for less than 10$?!?!?! DELICIOUS!!!

6 different Banchans of my choice!!!

All together now!! DELICIOUS!!! The HotPot had Shrimp, Squid, Tofus, Noodles, Clams, Kimchi and tons of other deliciousness!!!

My mom and aunt also got a table full of delicious foods… soups, veggies, oyster pancakes, noodles, fried tofus, etc etc :] I ate a lot of their food too HEE HEE

After a short shop around, like at Spiral Girl for some cute skull top and leggings… we headed over to Brasserie Liz which used to be my favorite cafe with delicious macarons and ice cream sundaes – so sad I can’t remember the specific name right noww….. it had something to do with Petit Prince ;] But yes another French cafe replaced it… well, “Brasserie” :]

Beautiful chandeliers now too…

Oh Julia Child

Tea and a cute little strainer…

“Paris Brest”

Pretty sure it was “engrish” mistake :] But it was like a cream puff shaped like a bagel and filled with delicious hazelnut mousse and covered with toasted almonds!  There was ice cream on the side.. since ice cream came with every dessert we got strawberry this round – SOOO GOOD.. the strawberry ice cream wasn’t too sweet and slightly tart – AMAZING! I could eat it forever!

YUM! Innards! SEXY

Next up?! Souffle… with Chocolate & Vanilla Ice Cream

This thing was HUGE, took forever but was WORTH the wait. Not sweet, creamy and just heavenly!! It was SOOOO warm and delicious… so fluffy and amazing.

Mille Feuille of Red Wine Pear w/ Fruit Pates & Macarons
…and surprisingly, MORE ice cream :] YUM!  The chocolate ice cream is SOOO GOOD, with chocolate flakes/shavings and everything!!!

Delicious layers of pastry and cream and the poached pears.. the pears were a little on the sweet side for me… and by this dessert I was ready to burst but I couldn’t stop eating!!!

NOM! Raspberry macarons <3

I had SO much sugar I was hit with a wave of sugar high.. walked it off with loads of shopping :] Next post on that….!!!

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….