Thursday, December 16, 2010

Last Meals in Taipei

After a thoroughly delicious meal and an eyeful of the unusual decor at Wu Jiao Chuan Ban, it might seem like such an anti climax that our next stop is at a tea centre in town. It's the usual tourist trap, they bring you to a designated 'centre', convince you that their product has so many wonderful properties and is unique to their country, and the hapless tourist such as us, lap it up and fall right into the trap.

This time, the people in the tea centre claimed their bamboo barbecued tea leaves were able to reduce the tummy and lose weight overall - 2 big claims, that if true, would have most women scrambling to buy truckloads of their tea. Anyway, some women in the group did buy some of the tea (including my mum).

Demonstration at the tea centre

We moved on to "Zhong Lie Si' or Martyr's Shrine, where we get to watch the changing of guards ceremony, which occurs daily.

It reminds me of the guard changing procession at the Buckingham palace in London, except that the guards weren't dressed as smartly as these Taiwanese guards IMHO (I think it has everything to do with those ridiculously tall black furry hats that the Buckingham palace guards don). In any case, I do think the lone guard in navy green uniform (2 photos above) is awfully cute, and I had a picture snapped with him but not posted here cuz I don't want you the see the vast difference in our heights.

Our next and last destination for the day was Ximenting, Taipei's most famous shopping stretch. It hasn't changed much in the 5 years since I've last been here, still very groovy and still emitting that hip, teen-friendly vibe.

Obviously we can't visit Ximenting without buying this stall's famous bittergourd juice, a wonderfully quenching balm for warm days. The bitterness was played down by the milk and sugar added to the drink. Do give this drink a try when you visit Taipei!

We were left to our own devices at Ximenting, including finding our own grubs for dinner. Following Francis' recommendation, we hailed a cab to Ding Tai Fung, a popular chinese restaurant originating from Taipei and have expanded to multiple branches overseas including Singapore. Just mutter "Ding Tai Fung on Zhong Xiao Dong Lu" and 9 out of 10 times, the cab driver will know exactly where it is.

Here are the dishes we ordered. All were delicious and 10 times better than its Singapore branches by the way.

Xiao Long Bao (Dumplings filled with delicious soup)

Yum Yum Yum (excuse the blurry shot)

Pork chop noodles

Wantan (prawn dumpling) noodles 

Herbal chicken soup

Chicken (or was it pork?) chop fried rice

The restaurant's official mascot

Trying to be true to this post's title, here are pictures of our last lunch in Taipei the next day. The eatery is just a few streets down from our hotel, Imperial Hotel Taipei, so it should be easy to find.

Fried oyster Kang Kong

"Ma You Ji"/ Sesame Oil Chicken

The Taiwanese rice are fragrant, soft and pearlescent, just like Japanese rice (which I love!)

The chefs hard at work

The star dish - sesame oil chicken was tasty, albeit being a little oily. All in all, a thoroughly satisfying 'last meal' in Taipei.

Some 6 months and 16 posts later, I finally wrap up posting about my Taiwan trip. To read all my Taiwan posts from start to finish, please click here.

I feel like I deserve a good pat on the back and reward myself with a nice tub of haagen daz ice cream. You know what, I am going to do just that. Later!


emi said...

haha, good job! even though i went to taiwan too but we visited different places so this was interesting~!

Fleurgal said...

Heh, thanks. I'd say this Taiwan trip is more laid back and food-focused. Definitely not for the avid 'check-off-many-must-go destinations-off-the-list' traveler.


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