Taiwan May 2010 Day 5 – 龍山寺, Weekend Jade and Flower Market, Gyukaku
It was another grey and rainy day in Taipei. Visiting 龍山寺 seems to have become a ritual whenever we are in Taipei. Not so much as to pray, but more to take in the atmosphere. The afternoon itinerary is for Danshui but poor weather seems to forebode futileness. So a change of plans to go to the Jade and Flower Weekend Markets located under the flyover of JianGuo and Ren’ai Roads. Evening is another gastronomic experience at Gyukaku.
Going 龍山寺has almost become ritualistic for our trips to Taipei, and stopping by 小南鄭記 for some Tainan delights, 碗粿 and 虱目鱼焿 has also become much of a routine.
Rather simple layout, since they sell only 2 things, 碗粿 and 虱目鱼焿.
Zippy’s breakfast, tainan style!
碗粿 is basically a steamed rice cake which is traditionally made from rice grains which has been soaked overnight, added to water and blended or beaten to form a thick paste, after which it is steamed at high heat . Modern day versions simplify this procedure by using rice flour right from the beginning instead. Trust me, the texture is very different. Usually it comes a piece of meat and half a duck egg embedded. This time round, duck egg is replaced with shrimp! I wonder if its due to increased prices or shortage (duck eggs yolk is a favorite ingredient for taiwan-style bak chang!) A move to create a healthier version!? I doubt so. All this is drizzled with a delicious sauce which seems to have a bit of everything in it! The sauce is really the spirit and soul of this dish, which would be rather drab otherwise.
虱目鱼焿, milk fish ball soup. Theoretically it can’t be called soup as it has more of a thick and starchy consistency.
After 小南鄭記, we quickly moved down a few shops along the same corridor to another popular eatery in th Mangka area, 两喜號, famous for their cuttlefish soup 鱿鱼焿.
Placed a wrong tick on the ordering chit! Ended up ordering a bowl of 肉燥饭 more than expected.
Like the “milk fish soup” at 小南鄭記, the base of the cuttlefish soup is of a thick starchy consistency. Prefer the one we had at 光华夜市 in Kaohsiung where the piecs of cuttlefish and bigger and chunkier. But 两喜號’s version has other ingredients added, like strips of fish paste, made from “torsat”, which is essentially a catfish.
The fried noodles is quite tangy and “Q” . It goes well with the 油葱, deep-fried shallots above.
Beehoon is not that bad either, though the texture is not quite the same as those we get back in Singapore.
Long Shan Si Temple is a major landmark in 艋舺, one of the earliest places in Taipei to be developed and inhabited.
busy and crowded despite a weekday morning
One of my favorite shots…
Tree outside Long Shan Si Temple
CSed to desaturate the background…
永和豆浆大王’s franchise stores are found all over Taiwan.
A light lunch with hot (bowl) and cold (cup) soya bean milk, youtiao aka dough fritters, 烧饼 and 肉松蛋饼. Except for the last, the others are pre-made.
烧饼 baked in the morning. Still light and crisp!
Like filo pastry. Making this requires two types of dough, one of flour and oil/lard/clarified butter 油皮 and one with just flour and water (and maybe a bit of salt) 水皮, folded together to create the desired multi-layered texture.
Located under the flyover of Jian Guo Road and Ren Ai Road, the Jianguo Holiday Jade Market is a popular place for both locals and tourists interested in getting for themselves some jade ornaments. Some, like us, are just here to soak in the atmosphere!
Its very crowded! Carpark by weekday, this place transformsover the weekend to become a bustling place where jade merchants gather to display their jade ornaments and antiquities.
A lot of pretty bling bling stuff…
Jade is very popular amongst asians and is known to have properties ranging from calming the nerves to warding off evil.
It requires a trained eye to rate the quality of a piece, or to tell if a piece is genuine or not! Not something we would dare to try…
全国仙履蘭巡迴展 Paphiopedilum Exhibition at JianGuo Holiday Flower Market. Slipper orchids as they are popularly known, owing to the pouch-like sac-shaped lower petal. It’s a large genus with over 100+ known species and countless of hybrids being cultivated by growers and enthusiasts all around the world. Slipper orchids are also known as 兜兰, 拖鞋兰 or 仙履蘭 in Mandarin.
This is organised by the Taiwan Paphiopedilum Society 台湾仙履蘭協會
A good selection of hybrids and species cultivars on display. What a treat!
A section with hybrids
Variations of the maudiae form.
Drawing a very large crowd on a busy Sunday afternoon at JianGuo Holiday Market. Taiwanes hobbyists are indeed very lucky! The weather in Taiwan is ideal for growing a large number of exotic species especially the highland cool-loving ones. Slipper orchids are very widely cultivated by orchid farms all over Taiwan.
Paph. niveum at 2 for NT150! What a steal!!!
A artistically attired gentleman making watercolour sketches of some winning entries. The one in the picture is the grand overall winner.
Paph. “Winston Churchill x candelo” (hybrid). Such hybrids are affectionately known as 肉饼 “meatpies” in Taiwan, owing to the thick and boisterous looking petals.
A hybrid multi-floral (Paph. St. Swithin?) under very poor light. 😦
Where’s the flash when I need it!?!
A paph. hybrid from one of the sale vendors.
Another paph hybrid from the sale vendors
maudiae hybrid on sale!
Another maudiae hybrid on sale. I’m guessing that this has some sukhakulii blood in it from the dark dense punctation on the petals.
Paph. esqulorei “Yi”
Paph. appletonianum var. hainanense.
Paph. godefroyae var. “alba”
Paph. wardii var. “album”
Paph. wenshanense “Ruey Hua #5” A possible natural hybrid between Paph. concolor and Paph. bellatulum. This cultivar has more concolor in it (from the prominent yellow morph) than bellatulum it seems.
Paph. godefroyae var. leucochilum. This is an interesting plant and somewhat controversial, as its considered by many to be a distinct species.
Paph. hangianum “Shih-Yueh”, a beautiful species found near the Chinese border of Yunnan and Vietnam.
Paph. hangianum “Nei Shan #4”
Paph. barbatum, one of my favorite species and incidentally, the species most which can be found most closely to Singapore, from Penang Hill in Peninsula Malaysia
Paph. “S. Gratrix x hangianum” (hybrid)
Paph. “Hsinying Ruby Web” (hybrid)
Paph. “Hung Sheng Magic” a “maudiae: hybrid
Paph. “Enzan Provine” (hybrid)
Paph. “S. Gratrix x Lipperwunder” (hybrid)
Another Paph. “Enzan Provine” (hybrid)
Paph. “Seaquin Hsinying” (hybrid)… very clearly has some Paph. sukhakulii influence.
Paph. “Formosa Lily” (hybrid)
A complex hybrid of Paph. “Robert McElderry x hangianum” (hybrid) in striking yellow owing to its Paph. armeniacum parentage.
Paph. “Robert McElderry x hangianum” (hybrid). It won 全场总冠军 “Best Flower of the Show”
Paph. “Graze Horse x Nulight”, another “meatpie”
Multi-floral species – Paph. philippinense “Jin Yang”
Another lousy shot of Paph. philippinense “Jin Yang” Argh! Should have brought a flash! Or better still, two!
Another lousy shot of Paph. philippinense “Jin Yang”
Paph. “Booth’s Sand Lady” (multi-floral hybrid)
Paph. “Angel Hair” “In-Charm” (multi-floral hybrid)
Another shot of the Paph. “Booth’s Sand Lady” under differrent settings
Another specimen of Paph. “Booth’s Sand Lady”
Paph. “Prince Edward of York”
Paph. “Vanguard’s Lebeau” (multi-floral hybrid)
A magnificent display of Paph. “Le Beau” with 9 full bloom inflorescence and a couple more in bud!
A primary hybrid between Paph. rothschildianum and Paph. gigantifolium
Paph. “Yang- Ji Apple” , an all-time favorite multi-floral primary hybrid between Paph. philippinense and Paph. anitum
Another beautiful specimen of Paph. “Prince Edward of York” , primary hybrid between Paph. rothschildianum and Paph. sanderianum
A somewhat puzzling Paph. “:Lady Isabel x Susan Booth x rothschildianum’
An alba hybrid called Paph. “Green Horizon”
One of those complex hybrids of Paph. vietnamense with a multi-floral species like Paph. rothschildianum or its hybrids.
The fella on the lower right likens Paph. “Dollgoldi” which has its roots from the unmistakable gold nugget, Paph. armeniacum
新加坡所谓的“自助餐”在台湾叫“吃到饱”。 而“自助餐”的定义好像和新加坡不太一样哦。到这里，当然是点”吃到饱” 啦。饮料也无限量供应， 好划算哦！
牛角的“吃到饱”只有在Sun- Thurs 才有提供，用餐时限为两小时。周五，六是单点制的。如果是一大班朋友约好来用餐但陆续到， 时限以第一位点餐客人为准哦。但吃到来，还是很划算啦！
蛤蜊汤, 还不错喝。淡淡的海水味配上一点点姜的辛辣来去腥提鲜。 如果在秋冬时节来上一碗一定很赞！
杏鲍菇…轻轻刷上一层日式酱油, 再微微烙一下就可以吃了！微微散发出的菇菌香。 好吃！
Strawberry daifuku ice-cream with corn-flakes and mixed frozen berries.
黄豆粉雪糕。 ice-cream with soya bean powder topping。黄豆不用钱哦！在两球香草口味雪糕上厚厚一层。
抹茶雪糕 ice-cream with macha powder topping。默茶粉也不用钱！而且看卖相， 厨房里好像有点不胜其烦的样子哦。
No, we didn’t try this cos we were simply too full from Gyukaku. Some claimed this to be better than KFC! Then again, KFC is not much of a standard reference i guess. This joint is located just next to SOGO Fu Xing outlet. What’s interesting is the spelling on the signboard. Wonder how many people actually noticed?