Thursday, March 25, 2010

Taipei March 2010 - Day 4 (More Food and Cuties Spotted!)

On Day 1 I went to bed with a full stomach.
On Day 2 I went to bed thinking about the huge uni I had for during lunch
On Day 3 I went to bed realizing that I might have 3 (or perhaps 4) stomachs!
On Day 4 ... I ... I went to bed wishing I have 2 more stomachs!

Our flight back to Hong Kong was scheduled to depart around 8pm so we got a whole day ahead of us! More sightseeing? More food? Why not both! We headed for 九份 Jiufen, located in the 瑞芳鎮 Ruifang township 瑞芳鎮, used to be a major mining destination and was once a very prosperous community. Currently it is a very popular tourist attraction for the buildings' unique architectural designs, or so it claims. Many of the buildings are built along the mountain overlooking the Pacific Ocean. One thing for certain, the buildings seem to remain relatively unchanged for the past several decades and there is only one road that leads to this hillside community.

One of the major stopovers was the old street of 九份 Jiufen which was very similar to Hong Kong's Stanley market but with a lot more street food - and honestly more varieties than the night market. I prefer this historical destination than the night market

Within 20 steps from the entrance, I already spotted some food to eat! Deep Fried Shrimp Balls! Yum!

Food was all around me once again! Another 20 steps forward we found another place selling fish balls in soup! We walked in while I was still chewing on the Shrimp Balls!

It was a Monday morning and the place was already so packed with locals and tourists! We took the seats inside with the little stools.

Appetizer was smoked duck and it was better than I expected from a touristy street food vendor. It was rich in flavors and the thin fatty layer between the meat and skin gave it a wonderful texture!

The main item was the varying sizes of fish balls!!! Look at that HUGE fish balls? I think they were called Fuzhou Fish Balls. Did I mention they were FILLED???

Oh my, one has to be very careful when eating this, the fillings were pretty hot and liquid with strong meaty flavors. Yum! (Thanks to Andrew's info, I am learning new things everyday! The traditional kind of Fuzhou Fish Balls have fillings made of shark meats but I personally was not able to distinguish that on the spot because the flavor was rather strong. Then again, just another reason for me to return again to try it out and ask!)

Alright it was time to walk it off, been eating too fast too much in the last 15 minutes. Another 30 steps of walk should do it right? So many to see and wonderful aroma everywhere!

Actually 25 steps were all I took after the Fish Balls meal because I spotted this Ice Cream Peanut Wrap!

It looked like a normal wrap but when you take a bite you will be surprised. Not from the cold ice cream or the peanuts, but the that little green thing! They added Chinese parsley / Coriander in it. Interesting indeed and certainly gave it a very unique taste / flavor.

Before going onto more food sighting I would like you to pay attention to the next food stop which sells 油蔥棵 (Rice Cake in English I suppose)

Not only was it interesting looking, it tasted wonderful as well. The texture resemble that of Chinese turnip cake only softer. The sauce and the fried garlic on top gave it most of the flavors. I liked it very much!

Why did I take so many picture of this particular store? Because the girl selling it is pretty! Don't you agree with me?? (*wink wink* if you are reading this 'pretty girl from 郵局前油蔥棵, care to join me for dinner? Can you teach me how to make this Rice Cake? ... email me please! ^^)

Alright I better move along because otherwise I would have bought the WHOLE thing! This lady selling sausage was just too scary!

One huge sheet of peanut toffee!

I am still not sure what there are, looked interesting though. Like I said, more food varieties here compared with the night market!

Wow, HUGE mushroom! I ordered a cup right away!

O Yum! Less sauce would do just fine!

Cute doggy running around :)

Hello MR! What are you doing? Brushing Teeth???

After walking and eating for about an hour we got tired and we picked this tea house for a little break.

The place was nice with all wooden decor including the tables and chairs, but it was the view that topped everything else! Did I mention it was the Pacific Ocean we were looking at?

Drink some fruit tea overlooking the Pacific Ocean somewhere up the mountain was definitely the highlight of the day!

Our day did not stop here, we continued out journey further up the hills and even went pass a little hole in the ground which used to be an mining entrance.

I don't like stairs! After a short walk up and down, I felt hungry already so time for more food! It was time for some sweets! We stopped by this dessert place which sell 芋圓 which resemble and similar to Italian Gnocchi in terms of shape and texture. There were many flavors and were placed in sweet soup for consumption.

We also went to the nearby gold / mining museum (Gold Ecological Park) whereby a Japanese prince once stayed during the period when Taiwan was still a colony

The museum was closed on a Monday so we can only walk around the garden and the surroundings. Almost all buildings were built or reconstructed in Japanese style perhaps to fit the historical background of this location / region.

There were so many stairs! I think I had enough stairs for this day! Good that this was out last stop before the airport so I can really take a nap! But after all these exercise, I was getting a bit hungry again ... I guess my food venture must continue back in Hong Kong.

I will be back Taipei! Wait for me!

Day 1 >> Taipei March 2010 - Day 1 (Eat, Eat and ... Eat)
Day 2 >> Taipei March 2010 - Day 2 (More Food please ... )
Day 3 >> Taipei March 2010 - Day 3 (I have a 3rd Stomach!)
Day 4 >> Taipei March 2010 - Day 4 (More Food and Cuties Spotted!)

- End of Day 4 -


TG said...

Wow, great post :) I've been here just few days ago and it was awesome. But I haven't eaten so many foods like you. I mostly took pics of the scenery. :)


Wow you saved the best review until last - I LOVED this one the best! Certainly gives me an idea of where to go visit the next time I'm in that area...

PS: I hope that lady selling the sausages didn't end up emailing you, instead of the cutie one above her haha! :P

Jason said...

@MKL, thanks for dropping by! yeah it is a place worth going again and there are some food I haven't tried yet! (of course I will go back for the 油蔥棵 Rice Cake for sure!)

@Babedolphin, haha ... I will pass your email to the sausage lady and don't you even think about buying those 油蔥棵 Rice Cake!!! (Unless I am there as well!) ... lol

Andrew said...

Hey Jason

It's been great reading your adventures.

My girlfriend's parents are originally from Fuzhou and her mum occasionally gives me a big bag of those 'Fuzhou fishballs'. They are really tasty treats. From what I understand traditionally they are made using shark meat.

Good luck with the 'rice cake girl'; I like your style!


Jason said...

@Andrew: Thanks for dropping by and thanks for the info indeed! I really love how I am learning from fellow foodies everyday, the adventure of mine is an on-going process indeed!

The fillings I had were pretty strong in flavor so I really did not and cannot distinguish the type of meats haha ... I hope it was the traditional kind that I had ... then again, this gives me an excuse to go back to try again right? haha ... AND to visit the Rice Cake girl perhaps?

Jin said...

I love this post, Jason! Glad to know you are also interested in girls, not just food. Hahaha! :P Don't you just love Taiwan and the feeling of being bombarded with food every minute you're there?

Sometimes I wonder if being born in Taiwan is the reason why I love to eat and why I can eat so much. I guess training started early for me. :)

Jason said...

@Jin: very funny very funny indeed! Like I said in my reply to your comment in the Yiland post, if you are going back for a food trip, please let me know and I will tag along ... and we can make a trip to JiFen together and of course we have to visit the Rice Cake shop!! lol ...

cheeky angel said...

Thanks for sharing your fab trip to Taiwan. Would you say it would be quite difficult/ easy to have such a good time without being able to speak any Mandarin?

Jason said...

@cheeky angel: I think it would more enjoyable if you are able to understand Mandarin, not necessary able to speak. Ability to read Chinese would be nice too because a lot of the restos (especially local establishments) don't have English on their menu.

cheeky angel said...

Fancy being a tour guide then, Jason? :)

Jason said...

@cheeky angel: my pleasure! but just a note of caution, you might discover a 3rd stomach after the trip lol ... one for food, one for dessert and one for street food! lol

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