Sunday, March 27, 2011
Excellent Soon Dubu anyone? Me, me me! Finally got a chance to head out to Dubu House (www.dubuhouse.com.tw)) in the Zhongsan station area. There are two floors and we had to put our name on the list. The wait was one hour but they called us after only 20 minutes. The interior design is warm, woody and soft. Browsing through the menu they have a lot of soon dubu dishes as expected. Of course if you want Bolgogi or Galbi, they have that too. But no Dol Sot Bi Bim Bap. It was kind of disappointing, but it is called the Dubu house, so it's fair they concentrate mostly on soon dubu. I ordered a medium spice and Yuki ordered no spice. Prices range from $260-280 NT. Not bad, it's even more expensive in the states. As usual to Korean dining, they offer banchan for free and refills too. It's the small portions of side dishes that go with the meal. You can only order soon dubu as a set meal. So that includes a drink (tea), desert, banchan and stone pot rice. The Soon dubu was excellent! It's the best i've had in Taipei so far and I don't feel the need to search anymore. I was ready to give up on decent dubu in Taipei and my previous experiences ended up with watered down broth. Granted I'm sure Dubu House may still have some taiwanese influence, but it's very delicious and not watered down. Until I go to Korea, I won't know. And the spice, spicy! medium hot (中辣）was damn spicy, next time i'll switch to mild (小辣). The wait staff was prompt and courteous and the business was busy throughout my dinner experience. So this is definitely a popular spot for Taiwanese people. There are two locations in the heart of Taipei city. I'll have to return for more with the coupon they gave me as we exited.
Friday, March 25, 2011
Today Yuki and I tried another recipe from the Taiwanese cookbook. Since I have a spicy tongue, I chose Diced Chicken with Dried Chilies. For our vegetables, we went back to our KongXingCai (空心菜). But this time we added some dried shredded scallop and "Taiwanese flavor" seasoning. It's the brown stuff on the top of the vegetables in the picture. Loved the chicken. I do enjoy my red meats, but I do love chicken too. It's healthier so I don't feel guilty about eating too much of it. Especially in easy to eat (lazy), boneless cubed breast meat versions :). The dish was great! Although the spiciness of the chilies did not integrate well with the dish. I blame the book. The recipe involves pan frying the chilies then removing them from the pan. The recipe never tells you when to put it back into the mix. So i'm guessing it doesn't have time to integrate with the chicken and sauce during the cooking process. We added it at the end because we were confused. It still turned out great though. I just had to nibble on pieces of the chili for eat bite of chicken. Yuki's not as much of a spicy food lover. Fine by me, gimme the spicy stuff!
Thursday, March 24, 2011
After class I had some business to take care of. First was to explore the YongKang Jie (永康街) antiques market. It's small and right behind the Shida MTC school campus. History has it that it was once a fish market. They carry/sell a lot of trinkets and sculptures, signs, posters, toys and jade. I have a friend who will be having a house warming in California that I cannot attend. So I'd like to find something unique and meaningful to Taiwan that can be used to adorn a wall or table. During my search, I also found a cache of old Eastman kodak folding cameras. Right next to it was a really cool Thomas Edison phonograph wax cylinder. It's the earliest form of recordable media dating to 1877. Basically it takes voice vibrations and echoes onto a rotating hard wax cylinder. After the antiques market, I had to drop off my first 35mm Agfa 400 color roll to the Shida Kodak developer. Lets hope they turn out well. I really want to find a good soft and saturated color film to use with the Leica. Thirdly, Yuki needed to buy a plane ticket back to the California. Yes, I'll be leaving end of May back to California. But only for a short bit, I'll be returning by April. Since this ticket business had to be done in Dingxi, afterwards we headed over to the Lehua night market (樂華夜市). This is the first time i've walked through here during business hours. So I got to see what they had to offer. Strolling through, nothing different than any other night market. Except for a few things. First off, they have a Hong Kong style stinky tofu (臭豆腐). It's much crispier than the Taiwanese style. And the tofu is has a hole in the middle kind of like a bowl, to hold the tofu juices. This makes this style much more crispy and moist. Maybe a little too crispy, as I prefer it a tad less crispy. Second, they have a specialty cart serving grilled lamb kabob's. They take their time cooking it, but it's sooo flavorful. Holy crap, I can eat a plateful of this! I love lamb, it's my favorite red meat. Last but not least, is Yuki's favorite ice cream dessert. It's three flavored ice cream scoops and shaved frozen peanut warped in a crepe. Maybe it's hard to imagine, but it's quite delightful. It's like a taiwanese peanut ice cream burrito. I wish I didn't have to travel all the way to YongLe for this, but maybe that a good thing. Unfortunately I did not bring my camera. So I'll have to snap pictures next time and update this entry.
Wednesday, March 23, 2011
In search for something good and affordable to eat, Yuki and I found a Nepal curry restaurant in GongGuan. The food was ok, but the salt and pepper shakers were cute. They look like these two little ghosts hugging each other. Dessert was a pain in the ass to eat though. It was a hard gelatin "Jello" substance. So together with a small tiny spoon, it kept slipping off the spoon. So annoying! But to save the meal, the Chai Nepal milk tea was spectacular! The environment was somewhat comfortable and quiet because it wasn't that busy for that evening. The restaurant is located on the second floor with absolutely no view. The menu wasn't that large and the prices range from $200-300 NT.
Monday, March 21, 2011
The return to Shilin night market. Finally I got to return back to Shilin night market. It's been a long time since i've been there. Somewhere over a month. Some of the food booths have already changed. Just a few…majority are still the same. I did find some new foods I didn't know existed though. First, I finally found a semi-proper deep fried King Oyster Mushroom. It's along one of the food stands in the back on the main road (where the cars pass you by). It's definitely battered, but not as battered as what we found in Kaohsiung. Kaohsiung still beats this hands down. But at least this one is in Taipei and has breading, making it crispy golden brown delicious. Second, we found grilled scallops shish kabobs. The whole thing, not just the muscle portion. There were 8 flavors to choose from. The order took a while to make and it was expensive, considering. $40 for a kabob of 4. But it was delicious! I wish they gave more for my money, but I guess scallops are just plain expensive even on a fishing island. Yuki and I were also in search for fried giant squid arms. We had that in Kaohsiung and it was awesome. Little chopped bite size pieces of flavored chewy squid arms. I swear I saw it at one of the Taipei night markets, mainly Shilin. But alas we didn't find it. Perhaps Raohe has it. Well, I have tons of homework tonight, so back to it.
Sunday, March 20, 2011
I intended to wake up at 8:30am, but still ended up sleeping in until 10:30. Well thats my idea of sleeping in, heh. Once everyone was wakey wakey, we went to Cijin island （旗津） via ferry. Cost, a mere $15 ($12 with student rate). Once we got there, we were all hungry. So we headed to the seafood market (Fisherman's Wharf) which is just a short walk away. We ate lunch at one of the famous seafood restaurants along the street. Most of the restaurants just have a long shelf of ice lined with freshly caught fish and shellfish. You just pick what you want out front, then head in and seat yourself as they cook it for you. I added some deep fried oysters which happen to be the favorite of the table in my opinion :). Afterwards we rented 2 bikes and a 4 seater bike/car aka a flintstone-mobile LOL. We rode up and down the shore and ate some ice cream floats at a store next to the beach. We rented it the bikes for two hours, and before we knew it, it as time to turn back. So we headed back into town to return them. Afterwards we immediately went to a shaved ice place for some R&R and dessert. To our surprise, every shaved ice place was crowded as it was a hot day. Once we found a seat and enjoyed our snow ice, we headed back to the 85 building/condo to pick up our stuff and head to the bullet-train station (高鐵).
Saturday, March 19, 2011
Today I went to Kaohsiung with Yuki, Lucy and friends (Christine, Grace, Hatuyen). We got there around 12pm and immediately checked in and ate at a local Thai restaurant. It's called Thai Town. There are several in Taipei, but I never got the chance to eat there. Heard that it was good, and it was in fact pretty good. The thai chicken and these Thai pancakes were very Thai flavored! basically spicy, sweet, sour and lemongrassy flavored at the same time. I never seen these fried Thai pancakes before, except in Taiwan, so maybe it's a Taiwan/Thai fusion creation. Never the less, crispy and flavorful. The bill will run a little high, but overall very enjoyable. Afterwards we went to the Kaohsiung famous Dream Mall. It's the only large mall in Kaohsiung, but it's typical of any large mall in Taiwan. Large, lots of name brand stores, great architecture. Nice place to hang around, enjoy the A/C, and walk around. Shopping though, I can stay in Taipei and get it done. Fro Dinner we went to the local night market. RuiFeng Night Market (瑞豐夜市)! There was tons of unique food I have never seen in Taipei like battered and deep fried king oyster mushrooms, which I tried last time I was here. Still love them. But I was also introduced to Kaohsiungs version of the coffin bread, deep fried cheese dumplings, thai style boneless chicken steak, spicy fried boneless chicken on a stick, stuffed chicken legs, hot dog wrapped in bread wrapped in a chicken, HK style baked rice and last but not least, deep fried giant squid arms. The night market was so crowded it's like it has it's own health measure. If you eat too much and your too fat, you can't fit through the crowds to get food. Once you go on a diet, you'll be thin enough to fit through, just to get fat again. It's a vicious cycle haha! Word of help for other visitors, while there, they sell 2 day unlimited MRT passes for $230NT each. I also finally used up my last shot on the agfa 400 35mm roll so I can finally get it processed. Time to try out the Ilford Delta Pro 3200 roll. I also didn't bring my digital, so no photos :(.
Friday, March 18, 2011
Tonight's recommendation comes from my friend Andrew. Since he's a New Zealander aka Kiwi, he has a relationship with this restaurant. It's called, KGB, Kiwi Gourmet Burger. Yes, i know, KGB, CIA...harhar. The backstory is that a native Kiwi decided to stopover in Taiwan for 3 months on his way to London. He ended up staying here permanently and still hasn't been to London. These kind of stories are sounding all too familiar now a days. Anyways, this special little Kiwi burger joint is not in the Shida night market, but it is on Shida Road across from the Watsons drug store. The burgers are uniquely created and delicious! For example,
Lamb Burger – a NZ lamb patty with honey lemon feta, tsaziki and a sliced cucumber.
CC Heaven – smooth creamy camembert cheese covered with cranberry sauce. It’s thanksgiving on a burger. Great with beef or chicken or the walnut lentil patty.Doesn't that sound mouthwatering? Although it was a little over my $300 NT daily student budget, it's definitely worth it. Perhaps I'll be a more frequent visitor once I get a paycheck. It sits about 20+ patrons with one table outside. The waitresses are cute ;) and I think there is free Wifi. Sorry no pictures. You'll have to just check it out yourselves one day.
Tuesday, March 15, 2011
Today I experimented with some chocolate cooking today. I started with a simple double boiler and slowly mixed in chopped bits of white chocolate. I then dipped cleaned and dried strawberries in and rolled them around. Then pop them on a wax papered tray and into the fridge for 10 minutes. This was all for white day. Technically it was yesterday but Yuki was too busy studying for a test today. So today's our White Day. White day is the sister holiday of Valentine's day. So the men get the treated by the women. I think this is an asian culture thing only. But in Japan, it's the opposite. Valentine's day the women treat the men, then on white day the men return treatment to the women. Chinese culture lesson for the day :). Yuki, also did some chinese cooking of her own. She made KongXinCai, chicken rice and deep fried oysters (my favorite). Ever since DuXiaoYue (度小月), I've loved deep fried oysters with a salt pepper dip. Dinner was awesome and dessert was sweet! We had such a fun and memorable evening! Now to plan for next year. Ice cream chocolate lava fountain with philipino pit-roasted pig? MMmmmm!!
Sunday, March 13, 2011
Yuki and I headed up to YangMingSan (陽明山) today to look at the flowers. We took a bus from the Shipai MRT station, which takes you straight to the site. Every year YangMingSan opens up around this time for the public to see the hundreds of trees in full bloom. There were so many colors of flowers everywhere, as well as people! There are also great hiking trails, waterfalls, scenery and food stalls. Other than during this flower festival, I think they're still open to visitors all year round. So it's a great place to hike. After coming back down the mountain, we wanted to try out a ginger chicken place near ShiPai. We thought it was the fried ginger chicken that we had up at Maokong (貓空), but it ended up being a ginger chicken hot pot more or less. It was still good, but a little on the expensive side. It's definitely a completely different flavor for hot pot, and would be better suited with a bunch of friends huddled around the table :). Next door, there was Cho MaMa (臭媽媽臭豆腐). It's a stinky tofu place. It smelled so good! It looks like a hole in the wall place, with an antique wooden interior that seems like it hasn't changed in 40 years. There were delicious smelling giant pots of mala tofu and possible other variations of tofu. They may even have that fried ginger chicken. I'll have to give it a try next time!
Saturday, March 12, 2011
Today, Yuki and I discovered a GREAT almond dou hua (豆花) place in Ximen. Best almond tofu place ever! They offer other types of desserts too, not just dou hua. BUt I just have to say, the along flavor is all natural and very very tasty. The flavor isn't mild like usual, but really comes through with intensity. It was too good, that I didn't realize that I needed to take pictures until I the bowl was empty and dry. Yes, I just about licked the bowl clean. Sorry!
Thursday, March 10, 2011
I bought a very short and simple Chinese cooking book at the Eslite book store a while back. Today, I finally got around to making my first dish from it. Mifen (米粉) or rice vermicelli. It's pretty simple recipe, but it does require quite a few ingredients. mostly vegetables, rice vermicelli noodles and a few sauces. I also made KongXinCai (空心菜). It's a chinese vegetable with a hollow stem and long thin leaves. This recipe was quite simple. Just vegetable oil, chopped garlic and the vegetables. Yuki and I had so much fun cooking it! The food came out great, but we loved the KongXinCai the most. Who knew, the vegetables would win out like that. It tasted slightly garlicky, but mostly sweet and crunchy (vegetable crunchy). It's so simple of a recipe I won't be surprised to find myself making that over and over again in the future. I'm so content...time to get all couch potato!
Tuesday, March 8, 2011
After class I tried out a Tainan Yi Mian restaurant on the street border of Shida night market. It's actually just past the front entrance (as in walk past). If you read my earlier posts, I had some in Tainan, and I'm wondering if I could get that similar taste up in Taipei. If you don't remember, follow my tag named "Yi Mian". Although it was not soup style (they don't offer that), they do offer the modified youth style. I heard the non-soup version is popular with the younger crowd. So the soupy version is more traditional. I still consider both to be very very good. The same ingredients and the same great cinnamon-y taste that I remember from Tainan. This Shida restaurant will definitely satisfy as my Tainan Yi Mian stand-in here in Taipei. I will return again and again as it was only $100 each and easily accessible after class.
Sunday, March 6, 2011
Yuki and I headed over to Xinbeitou (新北投) today to walk around and check out some of the hot springs. I wish we could soak in them today, but we just wanted to walk around and scope out which hotel offered the best deal. We plan to return back when we both have a job to pay for a getaway here. But for a day trip, it's definitely possible to get away with a cheap deal. $40 for a public hot spring all day long + train fare to and fro. Not bad! Of course it's a public place, so you'll have to bring your own towel, use a public shower to clean yourself and it'll probably be noisy with kids. Afterwards, while on the train, I contacted my parents to get together for dinner. We happen to both be on the same end of Taipei. So it was very convenient. I headed home and picked up my grandmother and met my parents at the restaurant in Tian Mu. It's called 興蓬萊 (Xìng pénglái). They have two signature dishes that are a must at this place. The crispy pork ribs (Pai Gu, 排骨）and a soupy/gumbo type dish in a white porcelain pot. They have pictures of both on the walls so it shouldn't be hard to ask for it. I really really enjoy the pork ribs. I'm a sucker for fried food. MMmmm crispy and delicious pork!
No. 165, Section 7, ZhōngShān North Rd, Shihlin District
No. 165, Section 7, ZhōngShān North Rd, Shihlin District
Saturday, March 5, 2011
Today, I found another mexican food place near the Sun Yat Sen Memorial Hall (國父紀念館). It's called Macho Tacos. I think the founder is an ABC like myself. The food was excellent. They were out of beef, so I had the pork instead. The pork was tender, tasty and shredded. AND they use the proper mexican rice with options for refried/black beans. Now this is the fresh-mex that I have been missing since California. My heart is content, I've found my Cali-mexican joint to satisfy my burrito cravings here in Taiwan. They're chips and salsa are also excellent. To top it off with a cherry, they serve Horchata too. It's a mexican cinnamon rice drink. WIN! Afterwards, Yuki and I visited an old concrete military residence museum/village. This relic has since been converted to an art park. We found many people here browsing the limited trinket stores, taking pictures, eating ice cream and sitting around chatting. On my way back, my parents called me up for a dinner invite to Beijing Do It True (北平都一處). It is also near the S.Y.S. memorial. They have two famous and frequently ordered meals. The Peking Duck and sour cabbage hot pot. Peking Duck of my favorite dishes. And so hard to come by in the USA. Many places say they have Peking duck, but unless it's a REAL peking duck from Beijing, it's fake. Most restaurants in the US can't justify the cost for the real thing and substitute it with another duck. Most patrons can't tell the different. To be fair, I can't either. I have to ask. Sorry, no pictures of the Peking duck. Why, because we didn't order it. The waitress was speaking too fast for me to understand, but I believe they sold out. So we had to order another type of meat that was still available. It was still tasty and we devoured it way too fast. The sour cabbage hot pot was so-so according to my mom.
www.machotacos.com, Yanji St, Lane 126, #3.
Beijing Do it True, 506 Renai Road, Sec. 4.
www.machotacos.com, Yanji St, Lane 126, #3.
Beijing Do it True, 506 Renai Road, Sec. 4.
Friday, March 4, 2011
After class, I was craving hot pot. Yuki knew of a famous "hot pot train" in DingXi (頂溪). It's just east of the DingXi MRT station, literally across the street. It's located on the second floor of the Sushi Express building. Apparently one single company owns all the restaurants there. They're more famous for their AYCE (all you can eat) places, but they have a la cart places too. The restaurant is clean and offers unlimited drinks, red bean tapioca soup(紅豆湯圓) and ice cream along with your meal. It's $300 for AYCE hot pot on a train. It's like sushi boat but with hot pot ingredients. Also disappointingly, it's not really a train. More like a flat moving walkway like you see at the airports. One minor thing I'd like to mention that I like, is the individual hot pots are built into the table, not placed on top of it. So there's a better view of what's simmering in your broth for the height challenged. They don't serve a lot of meat. Mostly vegetables and cheap filler ingredients. So grab more meat as it rolls on by. They have pork, beef and lamb, thinly cut and of mediocre quality. But still, I really liked my meal. And it's affordable. I think I need to start eating healthier, but I'll be my "go to" cheap hot pot place after school. I have a question. How do Taiwanese stay so thin when there's such an abundance of AYCE places for so cheap!? It's ridonkulous!
Thursday, March 3, 2011
Back to school with a new semester starting! My new teacher is very nice and understanding. Although I do prefer a younger more energetic teacher. Although she is very kind, it's still going to be a challenge as we continue into book 3. Also, I'm in a classroom full of girls. 5 japanese, 1 Korean and 1 Vietnamese. 6 of them have a really good comprehension of Chinese characters because they know the Japanese language. They also write extraordinarily fast since they're used to asian character strokes. It'll be a lot tougher than last semester to keep up with them. I feel I'm the slowest cog in the class. So I may be searching for a better classroom better suited to my needs.
Wednesday, March 2, 2011
Slept in this morning because…I can. It's nice to have the opportunity to sleep in once in a while, especially on vacation. So Yuki and I barely made the complimentary breakfast at the hotel. If your ever at the Shangri-la, the breakfast area is very nice. The hotel has a cylindrical shape, so the Horizon club dining area is suspended in the middle (not on the first floor). After satisfying our stomachs with made-to-order omlettes and waffles, we quickly headed over to the National Museum of Taiwan Literature. It's a beautiful turn of the century Japanese build building. According to what i see in the historical pictures and the chinese that I can understand, it was originally a military command post by the Chinese and Japanese. It wasn't until the last 20 years that it was converted into a literature museum and library. The entrance fee is free. After a short tour, we were getting a little hungry as it was already past noon. Well maybe only I was hungry. Gift of a fast metabolism. So we then headed to a famous Tainan Zhongzi restaurant. The Zhongzi （粽子） was must softer, sweeter and considerable larger. They do have a normal size, but the large one (at $150NT) was twice the size. I'll remember to share this one next time. Afterwards, we decided to walk off some of the lunch. Wandering into a old alley way, we bumped into a black pig on our way to Chikan Towers (赤崁樓 Chìkàn Lóu). Afterwards we stopped by the Confucious temple (孔廟) for a second time on the way to west gate(大南門). The west gate was simple and small. Obviously the walls connecting it are long gone. So the only thing left is the great brick corner building with a big iron double door in the middle. Moving on, Yuki read about a famous mochi establishment in Tainan. It's not too far from the city center so look it up and stop by if happen to be in Tainan. It is actually a strawberry （草每） wrapped in red bean （紅豆） wrapped in mochi. That about did it for our list of site we wanted to see in Tainan. So we had to kill some time. So we found an almond tofu shop nearby for some time to get off our feet. Almond tofu （杏仁豆腐） is also kind of famous in Tainan. I don't think the one we visited has any notoriety, but the shop owner was definitely friendly and talkative. I find most faces in Tainan to more friendly and talkative compared to the bussle of Taipei. After some slurping up the last of my sweet almond tofu, we headed to a small "old Street" and found a Tainan noodles place (過燒意麵). Yi Mian is probably the most famous food related to Tainan. We were told to not miss this while we were here. As with most food here, it was a sweet. But these noodles had an additional almost cinnamon taste to it. It can be served as a soup or on a plate. Traditionally it should have eel in it too (according to my MTC teacher whom is originally from Tainan). Last stop..Ba wan aka meat circle (肉圓). Using Yuki's Iphone, we quickly found a famous Tainan Ba Wan restaurant for dinner part 2 I guess. Well we shared the Yi Mian noodles, so don't think i'm stuffing myself :(. Entering the place we were ushered to the back where we were seated by a happy "hefty" guy and ordered one Ba Wan. Wow! It was soo good. nian-nian 黏黏 (I don't think there's an accurate English word, maybe sticky), warm, meaty and sweet! It was so good, we had to request a second order. He happily obliged. But now our Tainan trip has come to a conclusion and it's now time to hop aboard the train back to Taipei.
Tuesday, March 1, 2011
Rise and shine! Early wake for an early start on my Tainan trip. First off, I wanted to surprise Yuki with a lox bagel from New York Bagel. After getting ready and doing the final packing, I head out to the Renai Rd. 24 hour New York Bagel. Just my luck, it's closed. It's open 24 hours a day, but for some reason it's closed for maintenance, TODAY! Who could have predicted that. So I headed to the Taipei Main Station location, which happens to also be our meeting point. This NY Bagel location is not 24 hours, but they do open at 8:00 AM and our train leaves at 8:19 AM. Once opened, I put my order in, but they say they need 20 minutes to prepare the kitchen. What!? NY Bagel, you FAIL me! So Yuki and I just bought some 7-11 snacks for the train ride. We took the Taiwan High Speed Rail. Expensive but it gets us there in 1 hour 40 minutes rather than 4 hours with the normal train. The high speed is also much more comfortable. Once in Tainan, we headed straight to our hotel, the Shangri-La Far Eastern Hotel, to drop off our baggage as it was too early for check-in. Next we called a taxi over to the Anping Fort. Once there, we had a little snack. Dou Hua (豆花). It's a chinese sweet tofu soup that can be served cold or hot as well as include other ingredients like pearls (aka bobba) or red bean. Dou Hua is a great snack, a little sweet, refreshing and healthy. Moving on to the Anping Fort. It's an old Fort made during the dutch rule in the early 1600's. It was here that the battle between the chinese and the dutch ended the 38 year Dutch rule over Formosa (Taiwan). There's a tower in the middle of the fort with great views over Tainan. While browsing through the museum, we met up with Hanya. Such small world (island) that I get to meet up with my friend one last time before she leaves back to Germany. So cool. Afterwards, it was time for dinner. Yuki heard of a famous shrimp roll place in Anping. According to Yuki, the english name is Chou's shrimp rolls (www.chous.com.tw). We ordered some shrimp rolls (周氏蝦捲), some fried seafood cakes (黃金海鮮派) and some noodles. The seafood cake and shrimp rolls were awesome! Crispy and delicious, bursting with seafood flavor! They have three locations in Tainan and several in Kaohsiung too. I recommend this place if your in Tainan. Afterwards, it was time to check in and unwind a little in our hotel room. We reserved the Horizon Deluxe King suite. We got it for a very good deal. It had a very spacious bedroom, family room and bathroom (two sinks). It's also part of the Horizon club, so we get a higher floor suite, with a great view and a horizon member only lounge area with complimentary drinks(alcoholic) and snacks. There is also a nice restaurant on the top floor with stunning views of Tainan, but we didn't have time to make it up there this trip :(. Next time. The service was excellent. They wait on you hand and food. The moment you step out of the elevator there's someone there to help you with anything. But that's how a 5 star hotel should be I guess. If I can afford it next time, i'd definitely return. After unwinding for about 2 hours, haha, we headed out to the original Du Xiao Yue (度小月) location. There is one in Taipei, but we decided to try out the original. I did not know it originated in Tainan. Du Xiao Yue has been around since the late 1800's, making it one of the oldest eateries in Taiwan. They're famous for their Dan Zai noodles. My two favorite dishes there are the Dan Zai noodles and their deep fried oysters. If your in Tainan or Taipei, you need to try out their noodles. After taking a snapshot of the cook at the traditional stove like most tourists do :), Yuki and I headed over the Confucius Temple (kong miao, 孔廟). On the way over, we stumbled upon a famous "snack on a stick" snack stand. They serve vegetables, fish dumplings and various other articles of food stewed in a thin soy soup, stuck on a stick and served hot. Most 7-11's have this now, but this little shop has been doing it for quiet some time. It's is also very very cheap. It costs only $2 NT per stick. So you can have a little nibble or an all out feast if you want. We ended up at the Confucius Temple late, past closing hours. But entry is all free and open to the public 24 hours a day. The only thing closed was the shrine house in the middle of the complex. That must be paid ($50NT). The Confucius Temple is a very peaceful and serene place. Even at night you can see couples taking a stroll and other practicing Tai Chi. We were getting tired and I got sunburnt and the evening in Tainan were cold, so we decided to buy some hot desserts and bring it back to our room. Back in the hotel room, we turned on the TV, started the hot tub and unwound from the day. Ahhhh relaxing…