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.
Arriving around 10am, we were one of the few souls visiting. Walking through the aquamarine area, we marveled at ginormous crabs, snapped pictures of oddities from the sea, compared the different sizes and colors of uni, and gasped at the price tags :o. So is the price to enjoy fresh seafood flown from afar I guess.
Overall, most of the seafood on the premise is composed of shellfish, there’s also a stand with fresh fish but the catch for that day looked rather underwhelming and paled in comparison to the array of choices found at traditional fish markets. Lest to say, I left the aquamarine area a tad disappointed, not wowed, with my curiosity still hungry (or angry?) for something more rowdy and stimulating. Obviously, I should have been warned, had I read about AAD’s aim to evolve above the mess found in traditional markets.
Aside from the fresh seafood, the gourmet shopping area is also worth checking out for its imported products, especially the cheeses, muhaha. For more information about the sushi bar, deli area and surrounding dining options, I’ll leave you in the hands of some fellow bloggers who actually enjoy seafood and write about it much more enthusiastically than I ever could, even if I faked it, haha.
But who knows, maybe I’ll learn to love seafood after a few more years in Taiwan. Because really, what a pity to be living right next to the sea, and not take advantage of it.
As much as the AAD’s website claims to offer reasonable prices, this definitely ain’t gonna be an everyday place to go shopping for seafood or to dine out. All in all, Addiction Aquatic Development is an upscale gourmet seafood stop, certainly a piece of heaven for seafood lovers, but not so much for those who prefer delicacies from the land. So for the latter crowd, if visiting in the morning, you can starve off your curiosity by walking across and delving into the Taipei Agricultural Products Marketing Corporation.
Just before dropping us at Addiction, the taxi passed by that old building, it caught my attention, and seeing people hauling cages and boxes of fruit and vegetables just outside of it, I gathered that whatever went on inside the building deserved some of my attention.
This is not your usual neighborhood market, but a place geared for wholesale distribution of fruits and vegetables. This kind of place actually exists in all major Taiwanese cities, and are open to the general public as well.
Walking in the huge warehouse split in two sections, separating the fruits from the vegetables, imported or locally-grown, it felt like stepping in the vegetarian/vegan version of Ali Baba’s cave.
The fruit section had actually quite a lot on display, some sold in bulk, other nicely packaged for gifting, right on time for the then upcoming Chinese New Year celebration.
Just like Addiction, this isn’t a place you’ll go out of your way for shopping, the majority of the produce there can be found at most supermarkets and traditional markets, but still, who knows what you may luck upon in this cornucopia of fruits and vegetables.
With our curiosity fulfilled, and some time left before our next touristy destination, I attempted to locate the closest U-Bike station, and miserably failed at that, or was it also a ghost one? And then opted to walk our way to the Zhongshan Junior High School MRT station, where we stumbled upon the beautiful Hsing Tian Kong 行天宮 temple. Pre Chinese New Year rituals were talking place, with lines of people, some even bringing clothes or other objects, waiting to receive blessings. It was my first time witnessing such a scene, and I was glad for the unexpected opportunity to show my friend this traditional religious facet of Taiwan, which I myself never get bored of.
I had originally allocated the whole morning to visit AAD, and in retrospect, I have no idea why I thought that much time was needed. In any case, even though AAD left us underwhelmed, the Serendipity goddess hovered over us that morning and nudged us toward some unexpected points of interests. Indeed, surprises can lurk at unsuspected corners in Taiwan, and sometimes you don’t always need to try too hard to stumble upon them, just a pinch of luck will do :).