Category: Taiwan Culture
Wish I’d be more hungry – cake and coffee spoiled it a bit beforehand. Called in to see Chen at his restaurant and ordered the following. Must come here more often as it is very close to my hotel in West Taipei near the former Food Circle.
Actually at Chen’s Taiwanese-Japanese Restaurant you don’t ‘order’, you select from prepared dishes. A guarantee of getting what you see and like the look of. It’s a good system.
The Atlantic salmon was an exception. He often has smoked salmon wings. I’ll always have these when they are available.
Miso soup is always good here. Fish soup with a few tofu cubes and seaweed.
Sesame seaweed is just that. Boiled or steamed stripes of green weed with sesame seeds and maybe vinegar of some type. A popular dish everywhere in Taiwan.
Steamed squid was cold, very tender. Perhaps a bit tasteless as compared with abalone. Similar in texture. Nice though with a good sauce.
Taiwan tap beer is good. I’d rather Australian Boags Draught from Tasmania but that’s not possible. The difference in minimal.
This is a popular restaurant (even regarded as famous by other friends) in a narrow lane or alley. Outdoor and indoor seating. Good atmosphere. High quality for a medium to low price. About NT$490 for the lot.
THIS RESTAURANT HAS BEEN MENTIONED HERE PREVIOUSLY.
Quite an amazing chance encounter to see this. Part of the procession entered the famous ‘snake alley’ section of the night market, (shown at the end). Fireworks in the street always attracts me – especially as these are no longer in most Australian states.
The restaurant that specializes in ‘just desserts’ was mentioned in an earlier blog entry.
Cijin Island pier (from the other side) – view you will see on the return journey.
(click any picture to enlarge it).
Do not order fish with a sauce all over it.
At a different eating house – clams plus Mangrove Jack BBQ’d
NT $350 for the fish NT $100 for clams.
Australian friends on Facebook, who live in the country, are shocked most windows in Taiwan are fitted with metal bars to deter intruders. However something similar exists in Sydney, with bars on the windows in most suburbs.
The front door of many homes in Taiwan is made of stainless steel which is most impressive.
A favorite part of the city is in Dadaocheng area near the Taipei Bridge. Diahua Street is where dried shark fins and cans of abalone are a specialty. Calmex abalone (California-Mexico) at NT$3300 to $4000 depending upon which shop, is over US$100 per can.
Many other dried herbal products are here.
Small historic shops with frontage signs in Chinese are a joy to see. Nothing quite so historic remains in Sydney today.
Shark fins are still on display in several businesses – I would not doubt that foreigners have complained (in their well-meaning ignorance). Taking pictures might be a more sensitive issue than what it was a couple of years back.
(Click picture and it should enlarge to full size).
The Taiwanese drink beer very differently. 5 oz. shot glasses and chug-a-lug as per a movie cowboy drinking whiskey.
This is an insult to the taste.
In Australia we usually take a large mouthful but slowly. I lived in a hotel with my parents as owners for 20 years so there is some knowledge retained on the subject in my grey matter.
2F #5 Sec 1, Wu Chang Street, Taipei 100
See “Lunch at the Astoria”, top of this page for a link.
Australian journalist Simon Townsend, who was later to become the host of the popular children’s TV show Wonder World made news in the mid 1960′s by refusing to serve in the Australian army as a conscript. He was jailed for a time by the army and given a tough time.
Simon was certain to be sent to South Vietnam to fight the perceived threat of ‘communism’ in their civil war that has become known as ‘the American war’ by Vietnamese.
Before the American’s, the French Foreign Legion also had hard times in what was then their colony. They departed and the Americans stepped in.
The Vietnamese believing America was trying to become another colonial power – ‘which it was not’ (so said Robert S. MacNamarra in the award-winning documentary The Fog of War).
A website worth a view, if you are interested in this kind of military history is http://dienbienphu.org (the guest book had become a bit of a mess with spam, unfortunately).
We selected the beautiful Coral Cod from fisherman’s wharf at Fugang Harbour. A large-sized ‘A’ grade fish, not common in Australia where it’s cousin, the famed Coral Trout is more plentiful. (Coral Trout are exported live from North Queensland to HK).
In Australia we fry fresh Coral Trout fillets as the common way of preparing them.
No chef in Taiwan will do this for me. All have insisted on steaming the fish – or turning it into a soup.
Our fish was prepared both ways – deliciously steamed with some green vegetables and in a soup with shallots and ginger.
Our chef spoke like an Aussie after living in Sunnybank, Brisbane – the home of many expatriate Taiwanese.
He returned to Taiwan to care for his elderly parents, which is the practice. (The Taiwanese old age pension being not as generous as in Australia).
This was the best Coral Cod I’ve experienced. Cooked to perfection and fresh.