Posts Tagged ‘Taipei’

Agnès b Cafe (Taiwan –Taipei)

Agnes B Cafe

I had a bit of time to spare on the second day of our Whirlwind Taiwan Trip so when I chanced upon the agnès b cafe, I took the opportunity to have a cuppa there. This is directly outside the Zhong Shan MRT station so it won’t be missed. It was the most blustery yet, and I happened to just be wearing a short-sleeve Tshirt and a sweater because I wanted to be a hero. Still, despite that, I went ahead to have my cuppa at this al-fresco cafe. They have heaters, which you can’t see too clearly in the photo, but I had to have a table slightly away from the line of heat because the tables directly under the heaters were all occupied!

Agnes B Cafe (4)

Check out all the eye-watering cakes!

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Amba Hotel (Taiwan –Taipei)

My first day in Taipei was a pretty gloomy one, not because the people were unfriendly, but because the sky was overcast. Thankfully, we got blessed with sunny skies and really good weather the next few days, as compared to the dreary rain we’d heard about the week before.

From Taipei’s Taoyuan International Airport to my hotel in Ximending took just over an hour’s ride in a taxi. Amba Hotel is located right smack in the middle of Ximending, about a 5 minute brisk walk to the Ximen MRT Station. It was really good to have this hotel on our first night because you don’t have to fret over maps or farecards. You just pop downstairs and all the shops, eateries and food pushcarts of Ximending are at your service! Another good reason to choose a hotel in a bustling area is so that you can easily pop back to the hotel to offload your heavy loot before continuing with round 2, or 3 for that matter.

Amba Hotel Taipei Ximending (2)

This was the room that I got at Amba Hotel. Huge ass king size bed to roll around in!!

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天命庵 (Destiny) (Taiwan – Taipei)

Okay….for the 1st time ever, I shall be posting food reviews of restaurants that only have Chinese names! Google Translate has been my best friend this past 2 weeks. It translated 天命庵 into Destiny Um. Ummmm, I have no idea what Um is, so I have shortened it to Destiny. Not to worry, I have also translated the address into English so that you can still find Destiny!

The first thing that strikes you about 天命庵 is that it is a very tiny little place. You feel as if you’re entering a Japanese home, that just happened to have lots of tables and chairs. A well known architect Ye Yuqing was tasked to reproduce the Japanese elements of the place and it is deliberately small to keep the crowd numbers down.

Destiny Eatery (2)

For my 1st evening in Taipei, I was glad to be able to huddle up near to my two fellow diners and to get to know them better.

Destiny Eatery - (2)

These are the prices of the dishes on offer. If you want the skewered meats, they are mostly NT100, which is equivalent to about SGD$5. We stuck to mainly the skewered stuff even though there are rice or noodle sets as we wanted to try out all the different types of meats. If you’ve been to an Izakaya, you’ll know how it’s like.

Destiny Eatery - Skewered Meats (2)

The first of our skewered meats to arrive. If you ask me, 天命庵 is like Innards Palace! I have absolutely no problems eating any sort of innards and off parts, but really, the one that stumped us all was GUMS. Pig’s gums!! Like literally the gums that hold the teeth, or used to hold the pig’s teeth in this case. That’s the very elegant sounding 天梯, for when you need to order it in Chinese.

The gums are the two leftmost skewers. Actually, they didn’t have that much of a taste, but they had an extremely tough and rubbery texture. But I would definitely recommend anyone to try it just so that you can say you’ve eaten GUMS.

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Whirlwind 5D4N trip to Taiwan

If you have been following me on Twitter or Instagram, you would probably have realised that I was missing in action last week in the Blogosphere and was instead very active on Twitter and Instagram!

To cut the long story short, I was invited by the Isee Taiwan Foundation to visit Taiwan and blog all about it. Actually, when I first received the email from the Isee Taiwan Foundation, my first reaction was….”Is this a spam??” The entire email was in Chinese, and TRADITIONAL CHINESE for that matter! Reading simplified Chinese characters is already a monumentous task for me, what more TRADITIONAL CHINESE. I asked a few of my friends to help me translate, and more than one told me to be careful.

In the end, it all turned out to be totally fine. The 5 Day 4 Night Taiwan trip was very well planned to the extent that even a tour guide was hired to accompany us to almost all the places that we had to visit! We visited numerous restaurants and eateries ranging from skewered innards to intricately presented Ma La Hot Pot to atas Zha Jiang Mian. In Taichung, we also tried our hand at roasting our own coffee beans all the way to brewing them; and making our very own Taiwanese Bubble Tea. We got to speak with numerous proprietors who shared with us their vision in setting up their own businesses. We even traversed from Taipei to Yilan, braved a 4 Wheel drive up a steep hill to visit the Bulao Buluo Aborigine Tribe.

It was definitely a trip to be remembered and for the 1st few days upon returning to Singapore, I actually kinda missed Taiwan a little! For some reason, I had this huge urge to try GongCha or Koi again, just to consume something of Taiwanese origins! Prior to this, I had never stepped foot in Taiwan, and I made an effort not to read up on Taiwan either, so as to be able to be totally surprised when there.

And indeed, if there’s one thing that amazed me the most there, it’s that there are SO MANY cafes and eateries all over the place, down back alleys and in almost every corner that you turn to! And for this, I hope to return again soon with more time to spare to sample more of the cafes around Taipei and Taichung!

Watch this space for more updates on what I did in Taiwan!

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