Sunday, February 5, 2012

we're always eating

So for Chinese New Year we went to Taipei. This time we took the bus like the good money conscious kids that we are. How-Tai is one of the bus companies that goes from Hsinchu to Taipei and the one I prefer the most with cushy seats and cheap tickets. Student tickets cost $105 NT. Is it petty of me to be so happy that they ask me if I'm a student? I totally lie and say yes because dude who doesn't appreciate a discount?? I also brought Phil and Erica with me down the road of deceit, I'm sure they appreciated it too. Since there are too many pictures of food, this post will just be on all the food we are today.

The first stop was a noodle shop that Erica found online. I think she found the shop because it has good cold sesame noodles. No idea what the shop was called but take the MRT to the Shandao Temple exit 2 and turn right. You should see a McDonalds, the restaurant is across the street from the McDonalds in a diagonal and has blue posts in front.

I got #6, the shrimp won-ton noodles for $80 NT. The noodles were pretty bland until you added some soy sauce and chili paste which made the noodles awesome.

Since this was Phil's first time in Taipei we brought him to all the memorials and tourist hot spots around the city. One of these hot spots being the Longshan Temple which was super packed with people all wanting to be blessed for the new year. There is a market that surrounds the temple and a lot of new stalls were erected just for the New Year season. One of the stalls was selling a variety of dried snacks and I went around just sampling from every container. I love sampling in Taiwan, besides Costco, because at some vendor stalls you can just grab a whole piece straight from the container. I bought a little bag of dried kiwis, first time I've ever seen these, and it cost $200 NT!! Dang those kiwis were expensive but so delicious!

The person was nice enough to throw in a couple of dried jackfruits. Then Phil went off to buy a green onion cake by himself. When I spotted him using English for the prices I yelled at him from far away and everyone stood around super shocked. Lol. To understand my anger, Erica and I had spent a long time teaching Phil the numbers in Chinese so that he could pay for things by himself and so seeing him not using his newly learned skills was anger inducing. It made for a good laugh tho since we shocked the girls selling Phil his green onion cakes.

me and erica really wanted to eat that green onion cake
The green onion cake is just a bao filled with you guessed it, green onions. Was decent but if you're not a big fan of green onions, this could be a miss.

i'm about to kancho her
So one of my friends who teaches in Japan got kanchoed by her student. Google kancho if you don't know what it means. So hilarious. I love the above picture, the worried look on Erica's face but no movement in trying to stop me and the innocent, unaware face of the green onion cake seller. After that we headed over to Shilin Night Market. Once you get off at the Jiantan MRT Station, you will see the point of a triangular intersection. If you head down the right side, while facing the point, you will eventually end up at a courtyard of food vendors. This is where you will find the Hot Star Large Fried Chicken stall which is very popular and has a lonnnnnnng line.

The chicken was delicious! The batter was nicely flavored while the chicken inside was tender and juicy. The stall next to this one sold rolls, kind of like burritos, and skewers of meat.

I bought a garlic chicken skewer for $35 NT. It was juicy and tender but didn't really taste any garlic flavoring, just tasted like barbequed chicken.

While shopping within the market, Phil found a stall selling fried milk.

Those milk cubes are dipped into batter and then fried. The taste of these balls were weird. I wouldn't buy them again, it just tasted like fried batter. So if you go down the left side of the triangular intersection you'll end up at the newly open Shilin Night Market Building. The temporary building used to be right across from the Jiantan Station and was there for several years. It has since been demolished and I'm sad I never went inside it, always heading towards the open streets of the night market rather than the building. The new Shilin Market Building is more of an open air pavilion with the first floor being used mainly by non-food vendors. All the food vendors are in the basement level and just glancing at it I could see it was super crowded with a lot of smoke. To my knowledge there is only that one staircase that leads down to it but I could be wrong. It sure looked like a fire hazard and there seems to be a ventilation problem. I'm not sure why they would put all the food stalls underground where there is no fresh air or anything but I know none of us felt up to braving the smoke and crowds to find some food.

Right in front of the staircase is a stall that has a shrimp catching game. For $100 NT you get seven "fishing poles." These poles are just little hooks tied to a small stick with a string.

Phil paid and was kind enough to give Erica and I each a fishing pole so we could experience it too. We each caught one shrimp! Haha pretty sad seeing as peoples next to us were catching several shrimps with one pole. The trick is to use the hook to tangle the legs beneath the body instead of trying to grab the shrimp or grab one of its bigger legs with the hook. The hook falls off easily so don't yank too hard! After catching the shrimp, the stall vendor will even cook it for you! It only tasted ok, too burnt for my tasted. It was fun to play the game but if we had to depend on catching our own food I think we would all starve.

1 comment:

  1. Doesn't even look worth eating. You should just catch and release.