taiwan madness: most delicious thing you'll ever eat

This was by far my favorite thing to eat in Taiwan. No joke. I would go back again and again just to eat it.

I really really love to eat yam and taro balls. They're just so chewy and qq. MMM just thinking about it is making my mouth water.

So my grandma and cousins took us to this place, 鮮芋仙 and holy moly...I was... yeah. SO GOOD! The store specializes in the taro and yam balls (芋圓 & 地瓜圓). They have tofu pudding (豆花), grass jelly (仙草), and drinks with boba and stuff. All my favorite things in one store.

So I got 芋圓豆花冰. The soup was the sweet syrup, but not really syrup... but it was very yummy.
This one is the 超牌杏仁冰, which is newest specialty with almond tofu (杏仁豆腐, my all time favorite), the yam and taro balls and red bean. The ice was almond flavored too! Super super good and it wasn't because I am in love with almond, but yes. Very yummy.
This one was their special, 鮮芋仙招牌. This was grass jelly (仙草) with grass jelly flavored ice and yam and taro balls topped with 鮮奶油 which is kinda like creamer. Soooo good.
I miss it. I miss this deliciousness. Go, if you go to Taiwan. It's a chain, you'll find it...at least in Taipei and Kaohsiung. It's so good.


taiwan madness: noodle soups

Everytime I go to Taiwan there are a whole lot of delicious noodle soups. Their soup base is so much better than ones that I normally eat here at the states.

At every department store, I guarantee you that there is a Sugakiya and I always have to eat it at least once. It's not the best ramen out there, but it's alright and since its tradition, I eat it.
So this next noodle soup is ... I have forgotten. Haha. The noodles are not your normal noodles but like they're...man I can't even describe it. Maybe m can help me on this. This was yummy, the broth wasn't too heavy and I do love fish balls.
Of course, there's no going to Taiwan and not eating 牛肉麵 (beef noodle soup). Supposedly this was the best place to eat and yes it was delicious. Haha, but they kinda all taste the same...

More ramen. This was super garlic-y and salty. My grandma was so funny and complained that it was too salty and asked for clear soup to make it less salty. I am over it. I am over ramen. Too much in Taiwan, I will die.
The thing about noodle soups in Taiwan is that the soup base is soooooo good and not msg filled. Mm yum.


zachary's pizza

N and I had the most gloriously disgustingly delicious pizza yesterday at Zachary's. Andrew ordered a large deep dish bacon, jalapeno, garlic, onion, and extra cheese.

Enough said.

Zachary's. Behold and fear (and eat).



I feel like noodles. (I even had Noodle Theory last night! But still craving.)


cooking with dog

Okay, so NOT using dog meat in your recipes...but cooking with a dog! Jenn showed me this new youtube show, featuring a poodle and his Japanese owner! The dog's name is Francis and his voice is dubbed with a heavily accented man's voice. The premise of the show is that it's the dog's show and his Japanese owner is his assistant! She speaks sometimes, but only in Japanese that's subbed for the viewer.

Watch! Yes, it's hilarious, but worth watching because the recipes are easy to follow and so delicious! The only hard thing is getting all the ingredients.

In this video, they make a Japanese bento. So cute!


wood tavern

My fine dining escapades, though plentiful during my college years (ironic! I know!), have dwindled to the occasional birthday/anniversary affair. And then, only people you actually care about (I kid. Somewhat).

Wood Tavern has long been on my (and D's) list on dining establishments to visit, so I decided to take D there for his birthday. We went on a Wednesday night with reservations and I am so glad we did, because it was beyond crowded. We were seated right away though, and throughout the whole night, service was impeccable. They bring you two types of bread from La Farine (just next door!) with butter, refill your water the instant you finish halfway.

The decor is warm and inviting, all deep browns of wood and dark greens. Behind the bar is an open kitchen where you can see the chefs making your food! So charming! Noise level is up, as the space isn't exactly huge, and everyone is in somewhat close proximity.

The food didn't disappoint, especially our appetizer. We got the Pig 'N Figs (I know, so cute!). It was amazing. It was beyond amazing. The figs were sweet, the pork belly was tender, and the blue cheese crumble with the sauce...mmm, I'm getting hungry just thinking about it!

For the entrees, D ordered the Pork Shoulder Confit, while I got a seafood/rock cod stew (I totally forgot what it was called! It was in Spanish or something).

Both were good--D thought mine was better, but I think I would've preferred his actually! So maybe we should've switched. His came with a lovely polenta; the pork was done well, quite tender. Mine was also good; it had a bit of a kick, which was nice. So good to sop up with bread. Mmm.

For dessert we went with their Basil Panna Cotta, which was...interesting to say the least. The fruit on top was too watery; when combined with the creamy panna cotta, it was...not so good. And I'm not too sure about having those basil overtones in something so creamy and light. I think we just chose the wrong dessert--the others looked better.

I think it's definitely worth returning, if only to eat the Pig 'N Figs! And to try their other desserts. Wonderful service, friendly staff, delicious food... you should go!

Wood Tavern
6317 College Avenue
Oakland, CA 94618-1331



N, I am so, so jealous of your trip. I really want a donut now. A mochi donut. Maybe more than one. Probably 5. Or 10.

So, in my jealous rage, I will post about Ici, because I know you love it. Yes, I am shameless. Yes, I also know you will be back here soon and this post will mean nothing! Please, just let me have my moment of insanity.

The Bay Area is notorious for spawning restaurants out of Alice Waters (creator of Chez Panisse), who is often credited for the sustainable, green, organic movement in New American cuisine/restaurants. Now, I don't know much about that--it makes for simple dishes with fresh ingredients, but it also comes with a hefty price tag. Ici is an ice cream shop, created by a pastry chef who worked for Waters, with these same principles. Good ingredients, but you pay for it.

Nevertheless, the ice cream there is (at times) creative and delicious. Their flavors include classics like vanilla and chocolate, but they often experiment with other pairings, such as chicory coffee, earl grey, candied walnut, cilantro-lime (don't ask!)...

I got a scoop of candied Meyer lemon with a scoop of chicory coffee (the strangest pairing, both are delicious on its own, but I wouldn't get them together again) on top of their famous cone with a chocolate bottom. Dan got a caramel something or other with apricot? I totally forgot, but those were interesting too.

The lines are atrocious, always, and the flavors, which change daily, are hit-or-miss, but on a hit day, it's so worth it. They're really nice people--you can try all the flavors you want before making your decision!

Ici Ice Cream
2948 College Avenue, Berkeley, CA 94705


taiwan madness: donuts galore!

Yes we are like little piggys (including Willie who isn't in the picture). Taiwan is going crazy with opening up Baskin Robbins, Coldstones, and Dunkin' Donuts. Meh, we've tried it before in the states and it's whatevs and why eat something I can get here? But then...this new donut...or maybe not new, but I've never had it before is this mochi donut...and its freaking delicious. Either Austin or Brian told us to try this and so we saw a Dunkin' Donuts and bought some.
Dang. It's soooo good. Something about the texture of the donut is not really a typical donut, but the qq-ness of it was just amazing. We got the mocha mochi donut, which I thought was the best.
So at first, each of us were just getting one, but they had the deal buy 5 for 100NT so what the heck, let's get 5. We got this lemon green tea one, which was pretty good too surprisingly.
Okay, it may seem like Connie was eating it all...but no. We all ate like 3 bites of each. The next one we got was their corn flake chocolate crunch one. This one was alright.
The other two, Willie got this cinnamon roll thing which was not very good (as he said) and Connie got this heart shaped one filled with chocolate filling which as alright. We regretted soooo badly not getting 5 mochi donuts.

Each day that passed, we kept craving these delicious donuts, so on our last day, right before going to the airport, we got our donuts. This time from Mister Donut which is a Taiwanese store and is like the place to eat donuts. I actually thought the Dunkin' Donuts ones were better, but at least before leaving back home, we got our donuts.

We are happy, donut-filled people.


taiwan madness: taiwanese breakfast

One of the things that I soooo look forward to eating in Taiwan is breakfast. I love breakfast here, I love breakfast there...I am just a breakfast person.

So me and Connie couldn't stand it, so the day before we went to Taiwan, we had a pre-Taiwan breakfast at Four Seas (四海) in Hacienda Heights. Okay so overlooking the C rating, I'd say it's pretty good and authentic. We got a sweet and a salty fan tuan (飯糰) and 米漿 (I'm not sure what this is in English but its a drink). The sweet one had crushed peanut sugar thing, which was a bit overwhelming and too sweet.

In Taiwan, guess what we found?! There are Four Seas there! So the thing that I got was a sao bing you tiao with dan bing (燒餅油條 with 蛋餅) with a soy milk (豆漿). It's a chinese donut (or so they call it) with egg mixed with green onion pancake wrapped in a flaky pastry dough. Pretty intense.

Okay so my all time favorite thing to eat ever, I mean ever is man tou (饅頭). They have different flavors like brown sugar, taro, whole wheat, etc. I like their plain one the best and it is soooo good in Taiwan. It's just like bread, but more delicious. They're humongo. Look! It's as big as my face!

This is 肉包. These are pretty good, kinda like mantou but with meat in the inside and sometimes salty egg. These aren't my favorite but everyone else loves them. There's like juices flowing in the inside kinda like xiaolongbao but different wrapping.

This is fantuan (飯糰) and dan bing (蛋餅). Inside the fantuan there's you tiao and pickled veggies (酸菜) and pork sung. It's very yummy.

Mmm. How I miss yummy breakfast, but there are places with Taiwanese breakfast! Not as authentic but it'll do. I heard Yi Mei is pretty good too. I haven't been there in a while but yeah, check them out!

18414 Colima Rd
Rowland Heights, CA 91748

2020 S Hacienda Blvd
Hacienda Heights, CA 91745