Emoji Dim Sum at Dim Sum Icon

Hello! As usual, it’s been a while since my last post. I’d been putting it off as my mouse wasn’t working and it simply killed the mood. But fret not, I finally got a new mouse and cleared my schedule for the next few days (well, cleared somewhat), so we’ve got some goodies to look forward to!

Anyway, the title and pictures should be pretty self-explanatory. Enjoy!

So the big question is: does the food taste as good as it looks? Unfortunately it’s more gimmick than gastronomy, but hey, at least we get to eat with our eyes.

That’s all for now, folks. See you soon!

点心代表 Dim Sum Icon
B/F, Century Square, 1 D’Aguilar Street, Central
中環德己立街1-13號世紀廣場地庫
Tel: 2807 1682

Fish & Chips, Friends & Chit-Chat

One of my favourite parts about our Singapore trip earlier this month was meeting up with old friends. I hadn’t seen some of them in years, so it was great to be able to catch up with them and find out what they’d been up to.

On a Friday evening, I had dinner with my ex-classmate, Zhenli, at Fish & Co. The place was packed by 7pm, so it was a good thing I showed up earlier to secure a table!

Crispy whitebait. Not bad, but I’ve had better.

Coleslaw, to trick myself into thinking this meal was somewhat healthy.

“New York Fish & Chips”, stuffed with Parmesan cheese and topped with lemon butter sauce.

“Swiss Fish & Chips”, with mozzarella-oregano stuffing and topped with garlicky lemon butter sauce.

Zhenli and I talked for hours that evening, which isn’t all that surprising. We’ve known each other for 16 years and counting, and yes, I’m feeling OLD as I’m typing this. So what did we talk about? Well, education, career, relationships, family, food… Pretty much everything!

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It’s the end of yet another month. I can’t believe just how quickly everything’s happening, and hopefully the blog posts won’t lag behind too much! Right now, I’m two-thirds into “Better Than Before” by Gretchen Rubin, and if all goes well, I’ll have a few tools to increase productivity. Fingers crossed!

Addiction Aquatic Development

Some of the freshest sashimi and seafood!

Took a taxi as it wasn’t within walking distance of any metro station. Luckily, it wasn’t very far from our hotel, and the cab fare was reasonable.

Must have been hundreds, if not thousands of crabs in there!

Turned a corner into something that resembled a supermarket with a standing sushi bar between aisles. It was insanely crowded in some parts…

… and practically deserted in others.

We took a queue number before heading back out to have lunch (Part I) at one of the stalls.

Radish soup

Seafood version of Taiwan’s famous 滷肉飯 (braised pork on rice)

Clams in sake broth

Lunch (Part II). Salmon skin salad, which was larger than expected.

Deluxe sashimi set~

Addiction Aquatic Development 上引水產
No. 18, Alley 2, Lane 410, Minzu East Road
Zhongshan District, Taipei City, Taiwan 10491

Alice is Coming: Alice in Wonderland Themed Cafe in Taipei

While Taipei is world-famous for its night markets, there’s no shortage of kitschy themed cafes either. From Lego to Hello Kitty, this city seems to have it all! For our weekend trip, however, I had only one such cafe in mind – the Alice in Wonderland themed cafe.

First, a little music to set the mood.

After having brunch (second breakfast, really) at Smith & Hsu and shopping up a storm at Cosmed, we finally made it to Alice is Coming! I love the decor – there’s even teacups like the Disneyland ride – inspiration for my future dining room, perhaps?

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Lots of Alice-inspired artwork scattered around the cafe.

A cozy little corner just for photo-taking purposes.

Yes, I dressed up for the occasion! Sporting a Queen of Hearts ensemble, right down to my socks!

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Our table by the window.

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Even the place mats aren’t spared!

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“It’s always tea time.” – The Mad Hatter

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I’ve had this ring for years – don’t even remember where I bought it from.

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To truly appreciate the ambience of this place, you probably have to be a fan of Disney/Alice in Wonderland. Needless to say, I was reveling in it all. There was even a Disney soundtrack playing, and I was practically squealing with excitement when “Alice in Wonderland” came on.

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Even the food and drinks followed the theme as well. There were four beverages that were each inspired by a suit of cards: Coca-Cola float (spades), Sprite with rose syrup (hearts), Sprite with plum syrup (clubs), and apple tea (diamonds). I picked the Coca-Cola float, something which I’d been craving for ages. I don’t usually drink coke, but hey, exceptions can be made when on vacation!

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Edwin had the curry omurice, which was surprisingly good. We didn’t have high expectations for the food, since we were there mainly for the cute factor, so being able to tuck into a hot and tasty dish was definitely a bonus!

Confession: when I was ordering the chicken nuggets, I just wanted something savoury and somewhat filling to snack on, and “vacation mode” led me in the direction of fast food. That was all I wanted. So imagine my surprise when these arrived at the table, in the most adorable little shapes! Moreover, they tasted fairly good – crispy on the outside, piping hot on the inside. So satisfying!

One happy diner!

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More little details in the washroom.

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Be ambitious, courageous, and above all, be yourself.

More Alice goodies by the counter!

Note: we actually walked around the building once before we could find the entrance to Alice is Coming. The doorway was situated left of Family Mart, and was poorly lit, hence our initial confusion. Although, in a way, it’s like the rabbit hole that Alice fell through by accident, so it’s rather apt, isn’t it?

Alice is Coming 來自愛麗絲
No. 111, Yanping South Road
Zhongzheng District, Taipei City, Taiwan 100 (Nearest Station: Ximen)
中正區延平南路111號2樓 · 台北市
Tel: +886 2 2311 0210

Maison Libanaise

Y’all know that I love Middle Eastern food, so when Edwin and I were in Soho during the lunch hour rush, the name and bright exterior of the place caught my eye immediately. The ground floor was dedicated to takeaways, while the dining area was located upstairs.

The interior was warm and cozy, and surprisingly quiet given that it’s lunch time in Central. I don’t have any pictures of the decor though – I’ll try to do better next time!

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Pita bread – always a comfort food in my books!

Grilled Kafta with Rice Pilaf

The lamb, while flavourful, was a little dry. Also, the rice was cold. I’m not sure whether it’s supposed to be cold, but we were expecting warm rice, so it was a little disappointing. The hummus really hit the spot though.

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Shish Taouk with Rice Pilaf

The chicken was much better – it was tender, juicy, and had just the right amount of mint. What’s worth noting is that although “chilli” was written on the menu for both items, I didn’t detect much spiciness, just the fragrance of chilli.

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For dessert, the available options were cake and baklava, and I obviously went for the latter. These were insanely sweet, as they usually are, so the tiny morsels were more than enough to satisfy my sweet tooth!

Given that we were there for lunch, we had a limited menu to choose from. I wouldn’t mind going back to Maison Libanaise for dinner in order to sample more Lebanese fare, and maybe even try their famous wines!

Maison Libanaise
10 Shelley Street, Soho, Hong Kong
Tel: 2111 2284
www.maisonlibanaise.com.hk

Scrumptious Scones at Smith & Hsu, Taipei

While I love a good scone and tea in the afternoon, this classic combination works for brunch as well. With that in mind, we arrived at Smith & Hsu (Hengyang store) at around 10.30am, only to find that we were the only ones there. It turned out to be a blessing in disguise, as we ended up spending a couple of hours there, savouring every moment. In fact, it felt a little like a private dining event!

The first thing the staff did was bring over a tray of tea leaves along with the menu. The variety of teas, from green to black to floral, was simply astounding! Picking our tea was definitely quite the experience, and for a while it seemed like we would never be able to narrow it down to just two! Finally, we managed to settle on No. 99 “Black Tea Golden Rush” and No. 102 “Falling in Love Again”. Pretty names to go with pretty scents!

Some of the most eye-catching tea leaves I’ve ever seen. This one was No. 100 “Philosopher’s Tea”.

Exploring the store while waiting for our food.

Gift sets.

The salted caramel coffee cake looked so good!

Just about everything was for sale.

As usual, the camera “eats” first.

For the scones, there were four flavours available: original, cranberry, rose petal, and Ore0. We picked original and rose petal. I had heard great reviews about Smith & Hsu, and these were indeed some of the best scones I had ever tasted. They were warm and fluffy on the inside while slightly crusty on the outside, which is how scones should be.

The scones were served with clotted cream and our choice of jam. The options were raspberry, strawberry, plum, and lemon curd. We went with classic strawberry jam. My only complaint is that there wasn’t enough to go around. We finished every last drop of the cream and jam, and maybe 20% or even just 10% more would’ve been prefect.

Unfortunately, the tiramisu was a little dry and bland. I definitely wished that I’d picked the salted caramel coffee cake instead.

Like I mentioned earlier, just about everything was for sale. If you liked the tea, the teapot, or even the jars that the samples came in, you could purchase them at the store. I adored the tea “Falling in Love Again” so much that I bought two boxes of them! (The 12% discount didn’t hurt either.)

Now on to do more shopping before our next meal!

Smith & Hsu
No. 35, Hengyang Road, Taipei
(Metro Ximen Station Exit 4 or NTU Hospital Station Exit 1)
Tel: +886 2 2370 0785

Shida Night Market, Taipei

You can’t go to Taipei and not visit at least one of their many night markets. Whether it’s for street food, shopping, or just people-watching, it’s a must-do. On our last trip to Taipei, we went to Shilin and Raohe, so naturally we wanted to go somewhere new this time. Shida Night Market was within walking distance from our hotel, so we headed there after checking in.

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Walked past a shop selling 蔥油餅 (scallion pancakes), and I had to have one because a) there was a queue of locals, which meant it must be good; and b) I was starving. It tasted quite nice, and was only 30TWD (~HK$7.70/~US$1.00/~S$1.40)! Gotta love Taiwan.

Lots of people, locals and tourists alike.

Shi Yun a.k.a. the “deep-fried everything” stall.

Got my fried chicken with salt and pepper!

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We bought a few other things here and there, including this chocolate crepe. We were a little tired, so we didn’t stay long, and headed back to the hotel soon after.

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Bought some 麵線 (meesua/noodles) to enjoy in comfort of our room.

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I absolutely adore Tienren tea, and knowing its Taiwanese origin, I had to try it while in Taipei. However, I was sorely disappointed as it tasted nothing like the one in Hong Kong. There was no sweetness whatsoever, and reminded me of the Chinese tea that’s the “default” tea in restaurants here.

Next post will most likely be about the sights and sounds of Taipei, and it’ll be a fairly short one as well. After all, we were only there for a weekend, but fret not, there’ll be other exciting stuff coming along, so stay tuned!