Tag Archives: japanese food

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 Hoshina 穗科 (tpe)

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 Rakurakuan Udon 樂樂庵之烏龍麵 (khh)

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 Marukame Udon 丸龜製麵 (khh, tpe)

Soba-ing at 2.5 Months Soba 二月半そば 蕎麦麺 (khh, tpe)

Where the heck is the restaurant?

Taiwanese food bloggers really own it when it comes to covering new food joints in town. Do they have a seventh sense for it? Are those new places contacting them for some buzz? Is there a dedicated board on their beloved PTT? I have no idea, but they sure make for a great source information, and are always prompt at reviewing the newest establishments in town.

If it weren’t for those bloggers, I’d likely have never noticed 2.5 Months Soba 二月半そば 蕎麦麺. Originally from Taipei, a second outpost was recently inaugurated in Kaohsiung, tucked inside what used to be a Japanese bookstore, which in fact, is still there but has shrunk to make space for the restaurant. According to the website, the 2.5 months refers to the time from sowing the buckweat seeds to harvesting the crop, interesting, huh!

With the outdoor thermostat slowly rising, the cold noodles season has finally arrived, so let’s inaugurate at 2.5 Months Soba 二月半そば 蕎麦麺.

Continue reading Soba-ing at 2.5 Months Soba 二月半そば 蕎麦麺 (khh, tpe)

Ramen at Ippudo 一風堂 (khh, tnn, tpe)

Ippudo in Kaohsiung. (@taiwanvore)
Ippudo in Kaohsiung. (@taiwanvore)

Last week, before the Sunflower movement set in motion,  I had an episode of acute ramen craving (#firstworldproblem). I couldn’t think of where to go, so I browsed through Hungry Girl in Taipei’s blog for some inspiration, which doesn’t make sense since I am in Kaohsiung… go figure O_o.

From having read a few articles about it, Ippudo had been buzzing in my head, and sticked in my mind. Apparently, it’s quite the craze in New-York, where the only two branches in America are located in so far. Joan’s review sounded promising, so I looked up online to see if by any chance, Kaohsiung had also an Ippudo branch, and it did! So does Tainan, though I’m surprised Taichung doesn’t yet have a branch of it own as well.

Continue reading Ramen at Ippudo 一風堂 (khh, tnn, tpe)