Sunday, October 31, 2010

Jin Peng Lai: Traditional Upscale Taiwanese Fare in Taipei

Our first night in Taiwan, the Lees took us to Jin Peng Lai in the Tianmu area of Taipei.  The food was delicious and I tried many things which I never had before: authentic Taiwanese food in a rather fancy setting.
Raw clams with garlic

Bamboo shoots which I loved: substantive with a good bite; you just can't get fresh bamboo in the US
Deep fried spare ribs; so airily crisp and flavorful
Drunken chicken

Fried noodles and ximian (thin noodles) cooked in chicken oil
Hot aged xiaoshing wine (yellow wine) with dried suanmei (sour plums); really good, a little like port
Chicken testicles and kidneys in rice wine and sesame oil. NFT.

Happy Halloween from Otis, Floyd and Toby

Such a handsome devil
Halloween has always been one of my favorite occasions and is pretty big in our neighborhood, so I seized on the opportunity to dress up the dogs and decorate the house a bit.  Since I've been traveling most of the last two weeks, we just put up a few decorations although most of our neighbors really went all out.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

China Pa: Taipei nightlife

I met up with my cousins from France for some drinks on Thursday night
at China Pa on An He road. We had planned to meet at another bar but
it was closed; turnover is quick in Taipei. We had a good time; there
was some live music, although the musical selections were odd: lots of
phantom of the opera, some opera, and random old songs. Jacqueline
ordered a drink in a blue flaming bowl.

Mitsui Review: Favorite Sushi in Taipei

Original iphone pic
After many days of rather oily and rich food in China, I was
in the mood for something light and fresh so we went to Mitsui (San
jing), one of my favorite spots that we ate at last year. It was also nice to have some cold sake after all that Chinese beer. The sushi is
really good and the whole atmosphere is modern and fun; reminds me a bit of En
Japanese Brasserie in NYC.
At 9:30pm every night, the waiters line up, they turn down the lights and lower the curtains, and bow
Mirugai and seaweed salad
Broiled sea bream

Seared tuna with herbed dipping sauce; one of my favorites
Crab handroll
Red bean dessert

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Shanghai Expo - China Pavilion

Day 2 of the world expo, we hit up the Asia and Middle Eastern
pavilions. Out of the ones that we visited, Taiwan was probably my
favorite. Overall, I think the Spain is my favorite (although we
didn't visit many of the popular ones with 3 hour + lines, such as
Saudi Arabia and Japan).

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Shanghai hairy crab

We finally got to eat one of Shanghai's specialties only available
seasonally: hairy crab. No joke, those huge front claws are covered
with brown hair. It's really good, but it's very different and not for everyone. You don't
really eat it for the meat but primarily for what's inside the shell.
Tasty but not cholesterol friendly for sure.  Each crab is officially certified with  tag.

Shanghai Expo

The primary purpose of this trip was to attend the World Expo in Shanghai. Today was our first day and we hit a ton of pavilions including my favorite, Spain, pictured below, Finland, denmark, Turkey, Egypt, Libya, Netherlands, Sweden, Estonia (arguably the least impressive), Turkey, Brasil, Africa, Luxembourg and others that I can't recall now.

Monday, October 25, 2010


Hangzhou Temple

Buddhist statues carved into the mountainside

Suzhou Temple

Saturday, October 23, 2010


Original iphone pic
Typical crowds in China: famous landmarks with ridiculous crowds. Made worse by incessant rain and pushy crowds with sharp umbrellas. Zhouzhuang is "the Venice of China," reknown for its canals and bridges which are captured in many famous paintings.

Reminds me a bit of the Blue Bayou in Disneyland


Friday, October 22, 2010

Lian wu

I really like the fruit in Taiwan. Lian wu is one of my favorites,
looks a little like an apple. It's crispy on the outside, spongy and
juicy on the inside. Random but delicious!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Original Din Tai Fung

Iphone pic
Usually our first stop on every trip to Taipei. Unfortunately, the one
in Arcadia in LA still just can't compare with the original. There's
always a huge crowd waiting outside, no matter what the day. We had a
delicious lunch with three of my uncles, my cousin from France and my

Morning East Gate (Dong Men) Market

Original iphone pic
Typical typhoon season in Taipei, rainy, warm and humid. Typical morning market, lots of seafood, produce and small food stands.  We had breakfast at a tiny shop in the middle of the market.
Love handmade food
Squid, basil and mung bean sprouts
Fish ball and dumpling soup

Cooler than me

Yes, Mike Posner is cooler than me, as he was sitting in first and I
wasn't. I'm not really a fan of his music but he's actually a really
nice, regular guy. No huge entourage. He was happy to take a picture
with me (not posted)


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