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Some Things Are Just Too Cute To Resist...More Food in Taipei!

Friday, 14 May 2010

Din Tai Fung

Din Tai Fung, Taipei 4

Xiao long bau (steamed Shanghainese dumplings) – some people say DTF in Taipei (and this is the original branch) makes the best xiao long bau in the world, so naturally we had to try it… the skin was very thin but seemed virtually unbreakable even with my wobbly chopstick skills. Very juicy, with lots of soup. However, the meat filling could be a bit saltier; my friend from Singapore agrees and says the DTF in S'pore nicer. We tried the one in Malaysia later and we think it's better than Taipei's too - the filling is tastier. Tried the crab version too, better as sweeter with the natural crab taste.

Din Tai Fung, Taipei 1

Din Tai Fung, Taipei 3

Egg fried rice with pork and shrimps – each rice grain was coated with egg with enough seasoning to make this a great example of an egg fried rice. Other dishes were ok. The hong shao ("red cook") beef was not as good as Taoyuan St's hong shao beef.

Din Tai Fung, Taipei 2

鼎泰豐 Din Tai Fung
台北市大安區信義路二段194號 (永康街)194 Xinyi Rd., Section 2 Taipei, Taiwan (Original shop)
Official website
Other branches available

Kao Chi


Dim sum restaurant just around the corner from DTF and some say they serve better xiao long bao and dimsum than DTF. I can understand why as the xiao long bao and crab version both tastier than DTF but skin thicker and slightly sticky. Slightly cheaper than DTF and there is less of a queue.Ultimately we agreed that both versions had their pros and cons and what those xiao long bau needed to do was mate with each other to produce the ultimate baby (xiao xiao long bao) with a thin skin yet tasty meat/broth filing.

Kao chi, Taipei

Shanghainese pan-fried bun 上海生煎包 (bottom left) - nice crispy burnt bottom, lots of juicy filling. Quite nice. Yam paste and longan 桂圆芋泥 for dessert (bottom right) - yam paste was quite nice and smooth but tasted weird with the longan.

高記 Kao Chi
台北市大安區永康街5號 No. 5, Yongkang Street
Official website

Mala Hotpot

Felt cold so wanted something nice and hot and we happened to see this random hotpot restaurant with lots of people near our hotel.

Ximen Mala hotpot, Taipei 3

They had a choice of 4 different soup bases. We chose 2 different soup bases - Spicy mala 麻辣 (made from special spices from Sichuan and other Chinese herbs) and collagen 膠原蛋白 (made from kelp, sea cucumber, fish skin, tendons...). It was a buffet with unlimited hotpot ingredients including beef and pork strips (really good quality), seafood of crabs, prawns, fish, shellfish and balls of various types. The seafood actually felt reasonably fresh (no bad odours around) and tasted pretty sweet. Also included were vegetables, noodles and rice.

Ximen Mala hotpot, Taipei 4

They have lots of interesting hotpot ingredients like this sesame mochi (they also have plain mochi). Only the Pigpig dared to try it as the others thought it was weird to dip "dessert" mochi in savoury soups. The Pigpig dipped it in the spicy mala soup, she liked it - the surface of the mochi absorbed a lot of the spicy salty mala soup which went really well with the sweet sesame filling...The girls loved the Hokkaido cheese ball 北海道起士燒 - fish ball with melted cheese filling.

Ximen Mala hotpot, Taipei 1

Free flow drinks including a variety of tea, soft drinks and the local Taiwanese beer (the Wild Boar still can't get over the fact that they serve free flow beer). For dessert there were some fresh fruits and cakes but the piece de resistance were 8 different flavours of Haagen Dasz and Movenpicken each. More on what they serve here.

Ximen Mala hotpot, Taipei 2

Total cost NT500 each but limit to 2 hours only. Probably the best value meal of the trip. Highly recommended.

馬辣鴛鴦火鍋專賣 (西門店) Mala Hotpot (Ximen branch)
台北市萬華區西寧南路62號2樓 No. 62, XiNíng South Rd, Wanhua District
Official website
Other branches available

Fu-Hang Dou Jiang

This place offers traditional Taiwanese breakfast. Queued for 45 mins alongside other desperate hungry people in a hot stuffy market!

Fuhang, Taipei 1

Fuhang, Taipei 2

From left clockwise: hot sweet soy milk 熱豆漿, egg pancake 蛋餅, rice & peanut milk 米漿, salty soy milk 鹹豆漿.

Fuhang, Taipei

I honestly couldn’t bring myself to like the salty soy milk no matter how much of an open mind I tried to keep. It looks like curdled soy milk served with bits of deep fried crullers, spring onions and hot oil. We are just used to sweet soy milk. The rice & peanut milk was quite nice - sweet and peanuty. For the egg pancake, it's fried eggs and spring onions wrapped in a soft and fluffy crepe-like skin. Very fragrant with the spring onions, nice.

Salty biscuit 鹹酥餅 - very flaky crust with salty spring onion filling. Tasty. Just a bit too greasy. Also, deep fried crullers was great - light, very crispy and fresh and I do normally like to eat it, but sandwiching it in between some more pieces of bread was just overkill for me. Overall, too greasy IMO, the thick bread with egg 厚餅夾蛋 would be a better choice. The bread was really nice and crispy on the outside and soft on the inside. It's lightly sweetened which went really well with the fried eggs and sping onion filling.

Fuhang, Taipei 3

Fuhang breakfast, Taipei

Total cost NT230 for 4 people. Traditional and authentic Taiwanese breakfast. Worth a try.

阜杭豆漿 Fu-Hang Dou Jiang
台北市中正區忠孝東路一段108號2樓之28(華山市場二樓) 2F, Huashan Market Building.
Nearest MRT: Shandao Temple Station 善導寺站, Exit 5

Hello Kitty Sweets Cafe

The girls loved it. The guys felt out of place.

Hello kitty sweets cafe, Taipei 1

Hello kitty sweets cafe, Taipei 3

Serves savoury meals and desserts; we went for desserts. Altogether not bad, huge portions but very expensive (probably most expensive dishes we sampled). Total cost NT1540 for 4 desserts that allowed us each NT180 worth of free drink and free jelly.

Hello kitty sweets cafe, Taipei 2

Hello kitty sweets cafe, Taipei 4

Hello kitty sweets cafe, Taipei 5

Hello Kitty Sweets
台北市大安路一段90號 90 Da'An Road, Taipei
Nearest mMRT: Zhongxiao Fuxing 忠孝復興, Exit 3
Official website

Mr. J II

Opened by Taiwanese entertainment superstar Jay Chou. The theme of this restaurant is based on his "Secret 不能说的秘密" movie which he starred in and directed. After filming the movie, they didn't know what to do with the school uniforms worn by the actors in the movie, so Jay Chou made them into the waiters' uniforms in his second restaurant. On the walls are pictures from the movie, pictures on the menu and an antique piano from the movie in the corner of the restaurant. The girls loved the movie, so that's why we went to the restaurant.

Mr. J II, Taipei 1

Only had coffee as full and restaurant was fully booked. Food (Franco-Italian) is supposed to be good; in retrospect should have tried at least one pasta. Very weird location - within Taipei Medical University Hospital campus.

Mr. J II, Taipei 2

Jay Chou spying...

Mr. J II, Taipei 3

Mr.J義法廚房II (北醫)
台北市信義區吳興街250號 No. 250 Wuxing st.
Official website

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