These days, when it comes time to eat, I catch myself asking my own self 「呷麵或呷飯?」, which I loosely translate as 「am I in the mood for some noodles or rice?」, as the first question of my “What to eat?” decision process. Clearly, this is a sign that I’ve lived in Taiwan for a long time already, or as I prefer to view it, a sign that I am becoming Taiwanese, 😱! Someday, I may post a listicle of all those Taiwanese traits that have crept into me, but for now, that’ll just be another draft sitting on the back-burner.
So what’s it gonna be, noodles or rice? Usually, it’s been noodles, in particular Ah-Wan Yanshuei I Mien 阿萬鹽水意麵, tucked in the old Sanmin Street 三民街. The neighborhood is not flamboyantly touristy by any means, but it has some palpable history and good food to be found. Somehow, the atmosphere reminds me a little of the Wanhua area in Taipei, albeit, less crowded. If only it didn’t take me 20-30 minutes to bike there, amidst crazy scooter traffic and pollution, I think I’d hang out more often in that area. Wait, bike 20-30 minutes (and add 20-30 minutes for the way back!) for a simple bowl of noodles, do I have that much time to spare or are those noodles just crazy good? Continue reading Ah-Wan Yanshuei I Mien – 雄好呷 #028 (khh)→
October has come and gone, and could have done without yet another food scandal. On the bright side, I unleashed the GMO watch-dogs who brought back some optimistic news for the future. In the middle of it all, I had the honor of being asked for a radio interview to discuss the organic farmers’ market trend in Taiwan, but honestly, aside from slapping some information togetheron the subject, I am no expert (or am just too modest ), and so I kindly suggested someone more appropriate and knowledgeable, hehe (Annie, I hope the interview pans out for you!).
With two months lefts, before we roll into 2015(!), my self-assigned challenge of eating through and reviewing the 100 establishments from the 雄好呷 book before the end of the year is clearly a lost cause 😄 . I’ve actually eaten at more than the 15 places reviewed, but the inspiration to write isn’t always there, and I’ve also kept going back to some favorite haunts instead of venturing into unknown territory. Ah well, as they say here, 慢慢來.
The weather had plunged back into a bipolar state, raining at will, pausing with spots of blue skies, only to relapse even harder. I had spent the previous day hibernating, improvising in my kitchen, surprising myself with a walnut and sweet basil pesto. At last, I found a purpose for this huge bag of walnut gifted on to me a few months ago.
24+ hours in confinement and a gloomy weather was starting to make me go cuckoo, besides, for some days already, I had been building an appetite for some noodles 意麵 at a shop featured in my 雄好呷 book. Hours passed, and as optimist as I was about the rain stopping, it kept pouring. I was no longer inspired to cook at home, ignoring gargles from my stomach, but in the end, the call of hunger prevailed. I seized the first opportune break of rain to get on my bike and pedaled to the noodle shop as fast as I could. Continue reading No Name Lard Sauce Noodles Food Stand 無店名古早味麵攤 – 雄好呷 #029 (khh)→
Mini-tragedy 迷你悲劇. With the continuous face-lift of the Kaohsiung harbor, my route to the Yancheng district has become slightly less scenic with the connecting bridge on the waterfront bicycle trail temporarily dismembered, sigh, so is the price to pay to have have a pretty city.
In any case, the Yancheng district remains a fun place to hang out, with still many eateries to discover, and so today, let’s have some charcoal sandwich, which basically is a sort of club sandwich where the toasts are grilled over charcoal. It sounds fancy, but personally, I find the end-result no better than using a toaster.
I actually had already tasted some charcoal sandwich at some famous place for it in Tainan, where I had to queue up, and though the sandwich was good, I left with a “so, this is it?” impression. But, since I’m always game to be proven otherwise, I enthusiastically took on the advice of my foodie guidebook, and headed to Takao Fat Charcoal Fat Sandwich 大ㄎㄡ胖碳烤三明治, in the Yancheng district. Continue reading Takao Fat Charcoal Sandwich 大ㄎㄡ胖碳烤三明治 – 雄好呷 #078 (khh)→
60 years and still counting. With a humble start as a food stall which grew pretty popular, Ah-Jin quickly moved in a brick-and-mortar place in the then bustling Yancheng district.
The place serves traditional Taiwanese fare. It’s actually one of the first places from the book that I visited, and ate there many times already. I guess I never felt in a hurry to blog about it because the food is simple, maybe too simple for the adventurous foodies, but the quality has always been consistent, and sometimes that’s all I want, a simple bowl of Ah-Jin rice noodles. Continue reading Ah-Jin Rice Noodles 阿進切仔麵- 雄好呷 #038 (khh)→