Taiwan May 2010 Day 4 – Back to Taipei
After breakfast at the hotel cafe, we took the HSR from Kaohsiung back to Taipei. Choosing the appropriate timing is very important as certain trains make very few stops along the way from Kaohsiung back to Taipei, namely at Taichung and Banchiao. This shortens the travelling time considerably. Also, since the train does not call upon every stop, there are few passengers boarding and alighting making the journey less disruptive!
Breakfast at kindness hotel in kaohsiung before checking out. The menu is roughly the same for both days but still, the spread is quite decent given the price we paid!
stir-fried noodles ain’t that bad too… the pickled bamboo shoot tasted a bit wierd though
typical western breakfast spread of toast, ham, sunny-side ups are also served alongside with coffee, tea and soya bean. We opted for soya bean mostly.
Typical Taiwanese porridge breakfast condiments – salted eggs, preserved black beans in sweet sauce which is known as 丹波黑豆, pork floss with seaweed, pickled cucumber, gluten
HSR back to Taipei. We chose the right timing this time round and managed to get on a train at 1000 h which makes only 2 stops, at Taichung and Banchiao respectively, from Kaohsiung to Taipei. This shortens the travelling time by about half an hour. It also reduces the commotion and human traffic from the all that alighting and boarding activity when the train calls upon each station.
Lady with snacks and lunch trolley. The lunch on the menu looks good but quite expensive, at NT120 per set.
Zippy on HSR
After leaving our luggage back at the hotel, we went down to 新生南路三段, just opposite Taiwan National University. There’s a row of shops apparel outlets there. After shopping, we stopped by 臺一牛奶大王, a dessert shop has been around for more than 40 years.
八宝综合牛奶冰. Basically a mish-mesh of ingredients, mostly traditional, like yam, red bean, green bean, barley, grass jelly, coconut coated with taipioca flour,. kidney beans etc.
Lots of texture and flavours. Should have omitted the condensed milk drizzled on top to tease out the actual flavours of the individual ingredients.
芒果牛奶冰. This dessert is available in almost all dessert shops and stalls in Taiwan. Most popular from Ice Monster 冰馆 located at Yongkang Street 永康街. But Ice Monster closed abruptly this January so we have to make shift with 臺一’s version.
Zippy’s hair tells you how smackeroo good it is!
fresh chunky pieces of mango… .for a hefty price. This serving costs NT100!
A final shot before diggin’ in!
饕食天堂, is a well-known buffet outlet in Taiwan. There are a few outlets in Taipei and we went the one at 内湖 on our last trip and enjoyed it tremendously. So we included this place as our own personal “must-eats” . Turned out to be a mistake to go on a weekend.
Sashimi platter round 1. We went for several more rounds after that, but concentrated on mainly salmon aka sake. The other cuts aint that fantastic.
Stir-fried items – pan-fried salmon, potato croquette, buttered prawns and assorted vegetables, bacon with asparagus. We only tried these once. Not impressionable really…
Tempura platter Round 1. Like sashimi, we went for several more rounds of tempura after this, especially the prawn aka ebi tempura. The batter texture was quite nice and light. Yasai tempura is only passable and the fish tempura is virtually non-descript! Inconsistency in quality really…
Assorted maki. Have to confess, this assortment was conjured basically for a photo moment. Much of it was uneaten after that. The unagi one tasted chewy and tangy, like rubber but the weirdest of them all is the yellow piece, which is sushi rice enclosed in swiss roll! No wonder the sushi chef gave me a ‘are you sure?’ look when I took a piece from a plate which was literally left untouched!
Peking duck wrap… well… so-so quality. Could do with more duck skin!
Oyster was quite bland as well. No oomph at all.
Drunken chicken, a dish I quite like. Chicken was slightly undercooked which gives just the right texture for this dish! Regardless of whether its purposefully or accidentally done so, kudos! The huadiao is fragrant but not overpowering.
nonsense shots of salmon.
cake platter… only one. The selection is markedly different from what we had last year. Firstly, less variety and secondly the portions shrank. Well… so that each customer could sample a larger variety?
Ice-cream is a can’t go wrong with Hagendaaz
Movenpick was a bit too soft… more like an intermediate of sorbet and milkshake. And milkshake indeed it finally became after taking a mere few photos!
Lesson learnt! Never go on a weekend! And if you must, Reserve seats way in advance! We spent more, to eat less, and the place was just jammed packed to the brim. Oh ya, we went without reservation as “the reservation list is currently full” as we were told when we called 3 hours prior to dinner dining hours. Had to queue with number tags (number 21) and ended waiting for nearly an hour to get in… and we were “lucky” cos the couple holding number 22 were seated when we reached dessert!