Taiwanvore Digest #13 – September 2014

During a solo improvised travel to Hong-Kong a few years ago, I chanced upon Ho Hung Kee 何洪记, a tiny and cramped one star Michelin restaurant. I was seated at a small table, the opposite space was free, so another solo dinner got placed there. It was strange to eat in such proximity of a stranger, literally, right in my face. I thought we’d both feel uncomfortable, but not all, from the vibe of my unknown dining companion, I gathered this was normal by Hong-Kong standards. It’s great to be a solo dinner in Asia.

Since my visit, Ho Hung Kee 何洪记 closed down due to higher rent prices and relocated inside a mall to keep the show going on. Many other traditional eateries haven’t had the same luck though, so slowly, Hong Kong is losing its distinct flavor. Whatever happens to Taiwan, let’s hope it won’t live to experience the same fate.

On a lighter note, autumn has arrived and the weather is finally cooling off, yay to that! The mid-autumn festival 中秋節 happened earlier this year, on September 8th, tainted by the gutter oil scandal, but the spirit of barbecuing on the side of the roads lived on, cheers to that! Continue reading

Original Intentions 初心 by André Chiang 江振誠

Things are coming full circle for André Chiang 江振誠, the Taiwanese-born French-trained chef extraordinaire who, after decades abroad, will finally get to showcase his cuisine at RAW, his new establishment (in partnership with Hasmore Ltd 赫士盟集團), set to open next November 19th, in Taipei.

The mission of RAW is to bring “The New Interpretation of Taiwanese Flavor” to your table by highlighting beautiful Taiwanese seasonal produce through innovative food and drink.

Expectations are high, but after reading his autobiography, 初心 (Original Intentions), readers could not expect otherwise, and can count on him to deliver on the mission of RAW. Hints of this new enterprise were palpable in his book, published last year, where he had expressed wishes to push Taiwan under the international culinary spotlight. Continue reading

Caffeine Pit Stop at Oh! Cafe 握咖啡 (khh)

Coffee by the Gushan Pier. (fb/ohcafe.shop)
Coffee by the Gushan Pier. (fb/ohcafe.shop)

Temperatures have started to drop, making it once again a pleasure to whiz through the city on my bike without leaving a trail of sweat or feeling like a chicken roasting under the sun. The Pier-2 Art Center has always been my favorite resting spot, although lately, I’ve started pushing a little further, into the Sizihwan 西子灣 area, also known as Hamasen はません in touristy guidebooks.

The streets of Sizihwan are always filled students from the nearby Sun-Yat Sen University or tourists making their way to or leaving the ferry for Cijin island. Actually, I also feel like a tourist whenever I find myself in Sizihwan, the secret location of the hidden beach remains whole to me, I’ve yet to hike Monkey/Shoushan mountain, and I draw a blank when it comes to finding a good place to eat in the area.

One day, I’ll take the time to check off all those Sizihwan must-visit spots. As for the food, I’ve made a step forward, well, only if you consider coffee as food :) . Continue reading

Taïwan, Jardin des Saveurs, à Paris, du 9/19 au 10/1.

Dans le but de promouvoir la culture taïwanaise, le Centre Culturel de Taïwan à Paris organise actuellement une manifestation sur le thème de la gastronomie taïwanaise. Le programme m’a l’air tout simplement délicieux :P .

Lettres de Taïwan nous en raconte aussi un peu plus sur le côté littéraire des événements.

Amis parisiens et français, profitez-en!

(Hat tip: Positive Eating Positive Living)

Cari de madame 咖哩娘 (tpe)

Full House. (fb/cari.de.madame)
Full House. (fb/cari.de.madame)

I don’t remember how I got wind of Cari de madame 咖哩娘, but after reading up about it and checking pictures on their fb page, I made sure to go feast there on whenever my next trip to Taipei was to be. Until that journey occurred, I found myself craving curry now and then, my mind kept flashing back to pictures of their trays of spices, and I’d end up sighting, knowing it wouldn’t be another couple of weeks before I’d head up to the capital again. But after all, as the saying goes, hunger is the best spice… although, in this case, there was maybe a spice that was one too many, and it wasn’t hunger. Continue reading