Shallow Aquatic Addiction and a Sea of Fruits and Vegetables

A fishy wall :o
There’s something fishy about this wall :o. No, really, seriously, there is ;).

You may have notice the almost absolute absence of sushi, sashimi and any other raw seafood dishes on my blog. I blame my DNA for it, I just don’t gravitate around seafood, and if I do, I prefer it cooked.  Nevertheless, I still love strolling through fish markets to observe those little, and sometimes huge, treasures from the sea.

Earlier this year, I welcomed a canuck friend, who happens to love seafood, and so, while putting together an itinerary to show her the best of Taipei, Addiction Aquatic Development (AAD) came to mind. Still a foreign territory to me, I had put all my trust on a few positive blog reviews to ensure a visit that’d be worth our time.

The day before our excursion to AAD, I inquired Google Maps for public transportation alternatives, and was presented with just one bus route, although once at the bus stop the following morning, came the unpleasant surprise that it was actually a ghost bus. With a tight sightseeing schedule, time was of the essence, so we jumped into a taxi and made our way to there. Continue reading

Hoshina 穗科 (tpe)

Udon noodle making, from start to finish, all is hand-made.
Udon noodle making workshop, from start to finish, all is hand-made. (Both Marukame and Rakurakuan are using machines for the last step of cutting the noodles.)

As the unfounded French saying goes, jamais deux sans trois, in other words, never two without three. So let I, do a third udon restaurant review, and end the streak here or I’ll make myself sick of it if I keep writing about it.

This actually dates back to last summer, when I was frolicking around Taipei. After crashing an afternoon and enjoying a coffee cocktail at Gabee in the Songshan 松山 district, I made my way out, back to the the closest YouBike station. Unfamiliar with the area and too lazy to double check the path online, I walked around, following random streets, confident that I’d eventually find my way. It was late in the afternoon, and a few restaurants were already starting to prepare for the evening shift.

Walking by Hoshina 穗科, I felt like a piece of a Japanese garden had been transplanted into this residential area. With a zen garden in front of the restaurant, and the neat and tidy noodle workshop behind its huge glass window, it gave the place an appeasing atmosphere. However, I had other plans for dinner, so I snapped out of my daze, jotted down the name of the restaurant, and rushed to the YouBike station to avoid competing for a bike with the working crowd getting off duty. Continue reading

Rakurakuan Udon 樂樂庵之烏龍麵 (khh)

Hand-made udon.
Hand-made udon.

Despite a satisfying bowl of udon at Marukame the day before, the relentless hammering hot weather kept feeding my craving for some cold udon, and so I decided to give Rakurakuan Udon a second chance.

A while back, I had gone to their first branch at the Hanshin mall adjacent to the Kaohsiung Arena, it was on a week-end, the wait was quite long, long enough that I almost lost my appetite. The atmosphere was frantic, the staff was running left and right trying to service everyone but looked kind of disorganized at it, and whether the food was good or not, I don’t even quite remember. It was a forgettable experience, and forget I did.

But then again, I can be a pretty forgiving person :twisted:. Rakurakuan Udon happens to have a second branch inside the Dream Mall, conveniently close to my homebase, and since I had a shopping errand, I bicycled my way over during the past week-end. Yes, nothing better than a ride under the sun and the humid air to work myself a sweaty appetite :). Continue reading

Marukame Udon 丸龜製麵 (khh, tpe)

On the right path to Marukame Udon 丸龜製麵
Following the path to Marukame Udon 丸龜製麵

Of all the High Speed Rail stations, Zuoying 左營 must be one of most convenient one, if not simply the most. Just off on the northern edge of Kaohsiung city, the subway stops there, and should you need to venture onto more remote horizons, do know that there’s also a platform to jump on a regular train, direct shuttle buses to Kenting, rental cars, scooter rentals and public City Bike share right outside of the station.

In the departure/arrival concourse, a few food options are available with the quintessential 7-11 and TRA lunchbox stand, Starbucks, Mövenpick, Mo’s Burger, Coco Curry, Pasadena Bakery, etc… For more options, head to the exit towards the subway, instead of taking the escalators down, stay on your left, and you’ll arrive at the food court of the Rainbow Bazaar Mall 彩虹市場. If nothing entices you, then keep walk some more and take the connecting bridge to the Mitsukoshi mall, and make your way to the B2 level. The basement level is host to a Jason’s market, many food gift stalls, some bakeries, and more dining options to satisfy your hunger. The food court area is actually quite nice with its dim lighting, wood tables and chairs, green plants on the walls separating tables, giving it a bit more flair than the usual food court mall.

After countless times through the Zuoying station, it will have taken a craving of udon and the opening of Marukame for me to finally venture into the basement of the Mitsukoshi, and concurrently extend my food hunting territory in this little corner of Kaohsiung. Continue reading

Taiwanvore Digest #10 – June 2014

The Kaohsiung subway often outfits some of its wagon to promote special exhibits taking place at the Pier 2 Art Center. This month, I was lucky to find myself riding the Snoopy subway,
The Kaohsiung subway often outfits some of its wagons to promote special exhibits taking place at the Pier 2 Art Center 駁二藝術特區. This month, I was lucky to find myself riding the Snoopy subway, next, I hope to catch the one with the baby Pili Puppets :) .

Summer has arrived with its higher temperatures and a prelude of the typhoon season with Hagibis. Lots of news here and there, so enjoy and bring on the cold noodles and shaved ice! 8-) Continue reading