Last Few Days of Taiwan

Well that went quick. I’m out of here on a plane to San Francisco tonight.

Taipei is an amazing city. I intended to get out about the country more, but ended up spending almost all my time here. We i did get out and about the country the language barrier seemed to increase tenfold and made everything extremely hard. You have to laugh when you catch yourself dancing like a duck in a restaurant to tell them what you want.
I have eaten some interesting food the second time through this city. The best i will tell you about first.
I was wandering around Ximen thinking that i hadn’t found anywhere i would have to visit twice before i left. Then i stopped at a duck place, with no english signs or speakers. One short dance later i was served a small bowl of noodle soup and a plate of cleavered duck.

It was amazing. I am going to go back there again for lunch today. After looking around i couldn’t even find a chinese menu. I think the only thing you could actually pick in this place was thick or thin noodles.

The others i will detail in eating order.

Arriving completely hangover and worn out from down south, all i wanted was a simple meal and sleep. I entered what appeared to be a Japanese curry restaurant. Sorry no name taken down. I got a beef and onion curry with rice. I have fond memories of eating Japanese curries as a kid, with many Japanese family’s growing up in my valley.

This one came out as a brown slop on a large plate. And it was just what i was looking for.

The next day i decided i was still worn out and needed some comfort food. You guessed it Pho Tai. So on recommendations form Hungrygirl in Taipei, i headed down the metro to Pho Hoa. It is a weird place that also sells japanese/american sushi. I ordered a big bowl of steak pho. It came out looking right, and first taste of the broth told me that this was pretty good. But then the first problem. They only bought me plate with lime and basil. No bean sprouts (and lime is also a little weird, normally lemon). On closer inspection i saw there were a few bean sprouts floating around in the broth, but nothing exciting. Upon adding the sauces, basil and some lime i got into it. The second thing that hit me was the noodles were extra thin, not big fat ones like you normally get in Australia. They weren’t bad though. All in all, good pho. Not Quan Thanh by any means, but still good pho. I’m not sure what the go with the little bread things was, keep you busy while you wait?

Later that night i did actually get to Dan Tai Fung. And i got to eat the famous soup dumplings. The dumplings were excellent, if a little salty. I also got some seasonal greens (another of my favourites) and some shrimp fried rice.

Unfortunately by the time they got the rice to me everything else was cold. The greens were good with large chunks of garlic throughout, and a strange tahini aftertaste.

Beside that i tried on of the chain stores i see everywhere, Yoshinoya (cheers Fold), which turned out to be japanese again. I got some sort of pork omelet on rice, miso soup and young soy beans. The standout here was the young soybeans. They are awesome. Fold tells me they eat them at the food bars in Japan.

On my last day here i decided to try get something really Taiwanese for breakfast and followed the swarm into a food court near the train station. I looked around and saw a couple of people eating this, which looked more traditional than some of the thing i saw. It was a mussel omelet and noodle soup. Everything was very very gelatinous. I ate about half and ran away.

A picture of Fort San Domingo. A old Spanish fort near the mouth of the river.

And one looking towards Ximen (kind of) from one of the bridges that goes across the river.
I enjoyed Taipei immensely and feel i could spend another couple of weeks here without getting itchy feet. But onward i go. I have people to meet in Chiapas.

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3 Comments

  1. Keeping working on your duck dance… I want to see it when you get back! Have you figured out how to mime any other foodstuffs?

  2. Leroy,
    You are supposed to dunk the little bits of fried bread that come with your Pho Tai. They serve it with Pho in Vietnam but for some reason not over her. Not sure why…

  3. i’m surprised you liked durian, but not the oyster omelette! that’s definitely very taiwanese.

    I like the skinny noodles since that is how it is in the US. most places here have the fat noodles. also in the states, they serve it with lime, not lemon. i’ve never been to vietnam, so i don’t know what the “real” version is.

    btw, i found your mystery berry:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Myrica_rubra

    it’s called yangmei or bayberry