June 13, 2018

Fun Taiwan Day 6: Tainan (Tainan East Traditional Market 台南東菜市場) & Taipei (Taipei 101 台北101)

Day 4 morning in Tainan, we were about to leave for Taipei on this day. Planned to have breakfast nearby, used the Google map and accidentally found a traditional market which is just located a few steps from our guesthouse. I got quite thrilled to have found this small place called "夜。牡丹", as I've seen this ever introduced by a Taiwanese TV programme before.

The shop can only accommodate 5 - 6 pax. Really compact. The vendor was quite emotionless. No greetings and focusing on cooking only.

They have 5 types of dishes: minced meat rice NT$30 (魯肉飯), oyster porridge NT$80 (蚵粥), seafood porridge NT$110 (海粥), and seafood udon NT$120 (海烏龍).

Mum had the fish porridge and I had the oyster porridge. The weather was cold and windy on this day, a hot bowl of this did help to warm up our body. I like this kind of porridge, clear soup and not sticky. Mum was enjoying her fish porridge as well, no filthy fishy smell.

There's another one stall selling Japanese sushi. Quite tempted to try it. Unfortunately, no more seating available so I cancelled my thought.

We took a tour at the traditional market after breakfast.

The map to 台南東菜市場:

After breakfast, we checked out from our guesthouse and proceeded to Kuo-Kuang bus station 国光客运. We took bus instead because the train tickets were fully booked. Inquired the staff at counter, the duration of the bus ride to Taipei is 4 hours plus which is equivalent to the train journey to Taipei. Most importantly, the bus ticket was only NT$460 per pax. A lot cheaper and a lot of empty seats.

I heard that Ho-Hsin buses are newer and more comfortable. http://www.ebus.com.tw/ Too bad I had purchased the tickets before I found it out. Ho-Hsin is just located next to Kuo-Kuang.

We arrived Taipei late noon. After checked in the guesthouse, we just randomly wandered. There's a McDonald's building near my guesthouse. I ordered a combo set of pork burger. It was nice to try different taste of McDonald's worldwide.

Next destination, uncertain. We stopped by National Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Memorial Hall (國立國父紀念館) around 6pm. The door was closed for visitors. We just took a picture outside the premise and left.

Then we came here at Taipei City Hall station to do window shopping. *Please be careful when you shop at the departmental stores here. There will be a 3 - 4 girls standing at the escalator, then they will approach you by handing you a trial pack, saying it's free. Once you grab it, she'll ask you to fill up questionnaire. Begging you to help her as she has to fulfill the task. Please ignore them. We thought of helping her, ended up we were trapped by them for half an hour. They kept sweet talking to you, in the end they will still persuade you to buy their products.

We saw a LINE Cafe here. A huge Choco welcomes you here.

Our LINE friends, Sally, Brown and Cony.

Finally we reached Taipei 101 by walk. I wanted to bring my mum to the observatory. She told me if we have to pay, she rather not to go. But I enticed her to go, once in a lifetime. The night view of Taipei is unforgettably beautiful and can experience the speed of lift too.

The tickets to observatory, NT$600 per adult.

This globe is called tuned mass damper, it's used to stabilise the skyscraper.

Taking picture with the mascot of Taipei 101.

Map to Taipei 101:

We called it a day after visiting Taipei 101. Next coming up, the famous Zhuzihu calla lily farming village!

June 5, 2018

Fun Taiwan Day 5: Tainan (Old Tainan Magistrate Residence 知事官邸)

Third day in Tainan, I started to get sick. Lack of energy to travel far so we just did something more flexible and relaxing; took a walk in the neighbourhood area and shopping. There are shops along the road from Tainan Station, a shopping heaven in Tainan.

Wandering the area, following the pedestrians to cross the railways.

Weimin Street Underpass 衛民街彩繪巷. Passed through the entrance of this underpass, decided to enter and explore.

The other side of underpass, we saw this building in front of us. Old Tainan Magistrate Residence 知事官邸. Another historical place in Tainan. This building was served as a Royal Residence when Japanese Imperial Family members visited Taiwan. The Japanese Prince Hirohito (later Emperor Showa) stayed here before in 1923.

Corner of the room which the Japanese Prince Hirohito stayed. I like the antique chairs so much.

The staircase.

If not mistaken, the red bricks were handmade by prisoners.

The map to Old Tainan Magistrate Residence:

Bought two flavours of Castella cake to try. But it was too sweet for me.

We had our late lunch at Far Eastern Department Store (遠東百貨) food court. Mum had this wanton soup NT$130.

I had the Korean set lunch NT$150.

The map to Far Eastern Department Store:

That summed up our day 3 in Tainan. Mum had shopping spree at here. We had an early rest on this day as we'll leave Tainan for Taipei the next day. In the evening time, we went out to hunt for dinner. The eating places were so packed during peak hours, guess the food there must be taste nice. We settled our dinner at a "Japanese" restaurant (湯婆婆拉麵) that's quite local and not so authentic ramen. But the price is fairly cheap and they provide a jug of drinks (with three flavours to choose from) for free.

May 27, 2018

Advertorial: Heineken Beer Pairing Event in Celebration of Gawai Dayak 2018

Beer has been the drink of choice for countless people across a range of civilisations as it is the world's oldest and most widely consumed alcoholic beverage. It is central to the culture of eating, socialising and celebrating in many countries.

Pairing beer with food is one of the best ways to enhance and elevate your meal experience, opening a whole new way of balancing and contrasting flavours on the plate.

HEINEKEN Malaysia with its portfolio of iconic international brands is the leading brewer in Malaysia. This year, in conjunction with the Gawai Festival in Sarawak, HEINEKEN Malaysia has curated a special food pairing menu that sees its iconic beers, stouts and ciders matched with the exciting flavours present in traditional Dayak cuisine.

During the event, Ng Eng Kiat, Corporate Communications Manager of HEINEKEN Malaysia said, "As Malaysia's leading brewer, we at HEINEKEN have always been commited to bringing enjoyment to consumers around the world. Whether celebratory, or in times of building friendships, beer is representative of human desire to share and celebrate new beginnings. This Gawai, we want to celebrate that through good food and good beer. The accentuating notes and flavours of our portfolio can make a good meal great. With this event, we hope to share a whole new way of experiencing traditional flavours on a plate."

The traditional Dayak dishes were prepared by Livan Lah, owner and chef at LEPAU Restaurant, Kuching. She prepared Pansuh (Bamboo) Chicken, Dayak Sour Eggplant with Smoked Beef, Dinuh (Kayan Traditional Glutinous Rice Fritters), Stir Fried Rubbed Tapioca Leaves with Tepus, and Orang Ulu BBQ Platter; all of which were enjoyed with a range of HEINEKEN Malaysia's beers, stouts and ciders. Each was carefully selected and paired to match the flavour profiles, textures and aromas of the traditional Dayak dishes.

Beer & Food Pairing: There's a beer for that
Lager is the world's favourite type of beer and can be paired with a wide range of food from sweet to savoury.
Tasting Notes: Peppery bitterness, clean, gentle, sweet
Food Match: Pansuh Chicken, Stir Fried Rubbed Tapioca Leaves with Tepus, Orang Ulu BBQ Platter
Best Paired with : Beef, Seafood, Noodles, Light Cheeses

Stout is the darkest beer of them all. The colour and flavour derive from the dark grain used to make them - including roasted malt, roasted barley, or other dark grains. These ingredients produce bold flavours - expect espresso, chocolate and roastiness.
Tasting Notes: Roasty, chocolate, espresso, dried fruits
Food Match: Dayak Sour Eggplant with Smoked Beef
Best Paired with: Beef, Chicken, Seafood, Dessert

Cider is primarily made with apple juice and is a refreshing alternative to beer, especially for those who prefer something a little sweeter on the tongue. 
Tasting Notes: Tangy, crisp dryness, refreshing
Food Match: Dinuh (Kayan Traditional Glutinous Rice Fritters)
Best Paired with: Chicken, Pasta

Responsible Consumption
HEINEKEN's ambition is to Brew a Better World across the entire value chain, from Barley to Bar. As part of its strategy for sustainability, the company also has a deep-rooted commitment to promoting responsible consumption to consumers. HEINEKEN Malaysia has been advocating moderated drinking habits with its Drink Sensibly campaign which has engaged more than 550,000 consumers from 2014 to 2017. 

The campaign advocates responsible consumption through a 5-point system; HYDRATE with plenty of water between drinks, EAT well so your body is ready to handle your drinks, MOVE and dance the alcohol out of your system, PACE yourself throughout the night, and finally TAXI HOME to stay safe. 

In addition to drinking sensibly, HEINEKEN Malaysia also reminds consumers to choose 100% Duty-Paid beers, stouts and ciders to ensure the best quality is consumed. Ng added, "Choosing 100% Duty-Paid beer, stout and cider is key to allowing us to deliver on our promise of quality drinks. We want our consumers to enjoy the best with guaranteed authenticity." 

100% Duty-Paid products can be recognised by looking out for the company name, address, and the 955 barcode on all packaging of HEINEKEN Malaysia's brand portfolio. This includes Heineken, Tiger, Guinness, Strongbow, Apple Fox Cider, and Anchor; all of which are brewed with a passion for quality at the Sungei Way Brewery.

In conjunction with Gawai Festival, HEINEKEN Malaysia will be introducing various promotions with exciting rewards for its 100% Duty Paid products. Consumers can look out for these promotions at leading supermarkets, restaurants and bars.

For latest updates on HEINEKEN Malaysia's portfolio of inspirational brands, visit www.heinekenmalaysia.com and follow them on Facebook via www.facebook.com/heinekenmalaysiaberhad. 

May 26, 2018

Fun Taiwan Day 4: Tainan (Confucius Temple 孔子廟, Anping Tree House 安平樹屋, Anping Old Fort 安平古堡, Flower Night Market 花園夜市)

Second day in Tainan, I didn't know what to have for breakfast as we faced the difficulty to travel on foot. So we referred to the recommendations provided by our Airbnb host. We chose Ah He Minced Pork Rice (阿和肉燥飯) which takes only 4 mins walk from our guesthouse.

It took me sometime to find the shop using Google map. I couldn't really figure out which direction I should head to, turn left or right. It provides no indication when you walk. Nevertheless we found it.

We ordered two minced pork rice, one fish balls soup, one cabbage dish, and one fish skin soup.

The portion was quite little actually. The pork meat was unbeatably tasty, the fat might look greasy but it melts in your mouth. Not oily as you thought. No regret to pay visit here.

The fish skin soup is another must have in this shop. The clear soup had no fishy smell at all because the fish was real fresh. We super loved this soup.

The map to 阿和肉燥飯:

After breakfast, we started our sightseeing plan. First stop, the Confucius Temple 孔子廟 as it's within walking distance. We arrived at Fuzhong Street, Kongmiao Shopping District 孔廟商圈.

Mum wanted to try the almond milk.

I chose to have cappuccino and sandwich. The small cafe is run by a married couple, quite a cosy place.

Later we passed by this DIY traditional sugar cookie (椪糖) which you can learn it hands-on to burn the sugar until it inflated.

The entry to Confucius Temple.

Entry ticket costs NT$15 per adult.

The Confucius Temple was under repair, not accessible.

Tainan Sightseeing Bus route map. The fare is not cheap, NT$300 and valid for 4 hours only. One day pass costs NT$500.

For detailed information of Tainan sightseeing bus, please click here.

We waited for a while for the sightseeing bus but decided to take taxi instead. Next destination, Anping 安平. This place you can visit the tree house and the old fort. We visited Anping Tree House first and Anping Old Fort later.

The ticket to Anping Tree House is NT$50.

Visited the tree house, we walked to Anping Old Fort.

The entry ticket to Anping Old Fort is NT$50.

Exited from Anping Old Fort, we hang around Anping old street. Bought this tasty egg cake with assorted cute shapes.

This one was nice too. The cake is icy and very fragrant with different flavours.

We tried to get a taxi to leave Anping. But the road was so congested and the number of taxi was very rare. When we were walking down the road, I saw this place 周氏豆花 which selling soy bean pudding. Decided to give it a try.

The map to 安平周氏豆花:

It took us sometime to get on a taxi. The driver told us that they are having holidays, so there are many travelled from Taipei and other districts for the weekend. That caused the traffic jam in that area and many taxi drivers was avoiding to enter because they don't want to stuck in traffic jam.

Next stop, Garden Night Market 花園夜市, one of the biggest night markets in Tainan. We arrived there around 6pm. The vendors just started to set up their stalls. Not long after, the crowds started to flock in. We had to squeeze ourselves to pass through the path. I started feeling unwell, itchy throat.

We just randomly chose the stall which we don't have to wait long and have seats to dine-in. The instant noodles with cute poached egg. 

This stall 二师兄古早滷味 is very famous, selling stewed food such as chicken wings, duck wings, duck tongue, chicken feet, etc. Every queue line here was terribly long and squeezed.

This is how crowded the night market was.

The map to Garden Night Market 花園夜市:

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