Monday, October 31, 2011

hsinchu and zhudong x2

I regret telling my sister about eating really awesome shanghai dumplings at Din Tai Fung because then she kept insisting that we go. Her second weekend here I brought her to check out downtown Hsinchu and to eat at Din Tai Fung. The first time I was there, Yvette brought us there and I had thought that it was located in the basement of SOGO mall which is right next to the train station, just like all the other Din Tai Fungs we saw in Taipei. However it wasn't there and we had no idea how to find it after walking all around the East Gate shopping area. This day there were students everywhere selling flowers for a charity. We finally bought a rose from one of the students as a way to find directions to the restaurant. They didn't give us accurate directions but the fact that we had a rose already prevented other students from pestering us. One rose for $100 NT. Better have been a good cause. We were anxious to reach Din Tai Fung because my sister had arranged to meet a couchsurfer there for lunch. Well we finally got a map from a hotel and she told us where to go. Good thing I'm good at reading maps even if the streets are in Chinese. We finally arrived at the restaurant but we didn't see the person we were suppose to meet. We were an hour late and thought that the couchsurfer left. Turns out he overslept and stood us up!

instructions for how to eat a xiaolongbao
We ordered a steamer basket of pork xiaolongbao. One basket consists of 10 dumplings and cost $190 NT! Super expensive. If you want pictures of the dumplings you can check out pics from my previous post. Since that wouldn't be enough my sister also ordered a bowl of noodles.

fatty pork noodles
I honestly stick to the fact that besides the xiaolongbao everything else I've tried isn't good. The noodles were really bland. Fatty pork on rice is much more delicious.

I'm not sure if anyone remembers when I first visited the Hsinchu City God Temple where I showed a statue of an old man and believed that this was the one couples prayed to for love. Well I brought my sister to see this statue so that she could pray to protect her love. Haha. Her first try at throwing those red half moon pieces gave a disastrous result so she threw it again and her wish was granted.

sister's wish is granted
The statue is of Yuo Lao, or the old man under the moon and supposedly if your wish is granted it meant that you would find your match. The story of Yuo Lao goes like this. During the Tang Dynasty, a young man called Wei Gu was walking near the city of Song and saw an old man reading a book in the moonlight. Wei Gu asked the old man what he was reading and he stated that he was reading the book of marriages and it was his duty to tie a red cord between husband and wife. Wei Gu asked to see who his future wife was and was shown an old woman carrying a three year old girl. Wei Gu, not believing, asked his servant to kill the little girl. Years later, a high official gave his daughter in marriage to Wei Gu. The woman was very beautiful except for a little scar between her eyebrows. When Wei Gu inquired about the scar she told him that she was stabbed long ago by a man near the city of Song.

So since my sister got her wish granted she took a piece of red string. I'm not sure what you are suppose to do with the red string but I guess it symbolizes that she will find her match in life. Well I tried wishing this a couple times and it didn't work. Yuo Lao obviously realizes I have no plans to marry and therefore no match for me. Sorry mother but the gods have destined me not to be able to fulfill your wishes of me being a dutiful woman.

passionfruit slush
I finally ordered a drink besides pearl milk tea. The passionfruit slush includes the seeds and it was annoying to have to spit them out everytime I sucked one up in my straw. Apparently you're suppose to chew and swallow them. The seeds made this drink look super creepy like there was frog eggs floating in my drink.

Then we headed over to the East Gate where we saw a lot of students dancing there.

dancing at east gate
The boys at the bottom of the picture were krumping! It was cool to see them krumping and getting into each other's face. We sat there and watched them and soon many people followed suit and sat down to watch too.

Later we headed over to the Zhudong night market to grab some grub. I really like this night market because it's big enough to have a variety of stalls but also not super crowded like the ones in Taipei.

steak over noodles with egg
 Most stalls don't have any seats since you're suppose to just take it to go. However there were a couple of stalls that sold this "steak" exclusively. All the stalls that sold this had their seats filled to capacity. We had to hover near people who were done in order to jack their seats once they got up. This meal was super delicious. I loved the sauce! My sister was talking about this meal for days afterwards and I'm sure she considers this the best dish she had while in Taiwan. I hadn't planned to eat such a filling meal while here because I'm a firm believer that at night markets we should buy a whole bunch of small eats to try everything we can. So I just managed to stop at one other food stall...

indian food!!
There was a stall that had indian food! I was so excited to see something else besides Chinese food that I had to make a stop at this stall especially since this is the first time I've seen it here in Zhudong. The only bad thing about this stall is that it only has samosas and nann and no actual curry. The white circular thing on the table is my nann. They spread it over a stone or something and place it in the "oven" the thing with the lid over it. I ordered a garlic nann and it was pretty flavorful. Definitely will try the samosas next time.

garlic nann

1 comment:

  1. It's cheating to throw that half moon thing so many times. You're not accepting your fate!

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