Taipei Day 10/11/12 - Ippudo Ramen, wheel cakes, Tonkatsu, nightmarket snacks & more!!

  Announcement: Hi guys!! Just wanted to let you guys know that I'll be in Vietnam for a week so I'll be posting my Malaysia and Singapore recaps when I get back!! :D

Back to the post:

  Even though I’ve been traveling for the past few weeks, I’ve been taking breaks in between and resting in Taipei!! So here’s what I’ve been eating the days I’ve been in Taipei! The photos in this post are all from the past month, in no particular order because I've been eating out so much I've having trouble keeping track LOL. I’m probably consuming twice the amount of calories than I usually do in Van hehe…but THANKFULLY I haven’t gained any weight LOL!! Or have I?!  But I don’t weigh myself, so I wouldn’t know haha :P  Hey, if my pants still fit, I’m all good!! ;)


  Everytime I go to back to Taipei I take up late night eating (horrible I know lol) A few years ago when my dad still lived in Taipei, whenever I would go visit him we would hop on his scooter and go out for late night snack runs at the night market LOL!! Favourites included gua bao, takoyaki, grilled skewers, and bubble tea!! :D

  The past few weeks I’ve become addicted to eating some form of dessert (usually something cake-like) after dinner hehe!! Back in Van I’m usually really good about not eating after dinner LOL but now that I’m vacationing, I just can’t help myself! ;)
But hey, can you blame me? There’s just sooo much to eat in Taipei!! And everything is so DANG CHEAP!! :D

  Anyways, it’s currently past midnight and I’m lying on my makeshift sofa bed in my grandparent’s house, wide eyed and typing away on this post and editing pictures!!
  I’ve been sleeping on their couch the entire time I’ve been in Taipei lol. I've practically been getting no sleep the entire time I've been here because I've been sleeping really late and waking up early!! The other day my mom was like "You have dark circles under your eyes and your pupils don't sparkle like they do back in Van" LOL!! Gee, thanks for the confidence boost Mom!! 



Anyways, now that I’m done rambling, on to the food!! :D




  You guys know I crave ramen every other week in Van LOL. So the other day I was craving ramen, and when a ramen craving calls, there’s NO denying it ;)
Thankfully the Taipei Ramen scene is pretty killer, comparable to Van! They even have a Santouka LOL! Ippudo Ramen is one of the more popular ones, a Japanese chain with locations all over the world! 
Letmetellya, I wasn’t expecting much, but not going to lie, I was impressed. Ippudo was solidd!! 
And we got an awesome deal!! We got a two person combo which included 2 full sized ramens,  3 large size dishes plus dessert for about 900 NT, which is like less then $30 CAD!! 


The famous Ippudo...with locations all over the world!! :D This one is located near Zongxiao Dunhua intersection!


They were promoting their new squid ink ramen!! Motomachi Shokudo also does something similar!! :D


(Click to Enlarge) Instead of naming their broths shio or shoyu, they're called "classic" and "modern!" The tsukemen looked so tempting...but I RESISTED!! lol 


Appy menu!! :D


The "Classic" 

The broth was complex, not overly salty, with a silky mouth feel. Definitely not your average shio!! The noodles were a bit more spaghetti like and less bouncy, but al dente nonetheless, and soaked up all the flavours of the broth! Like most ramen places, you can get soft/medium/ or hard noodles!



 The pork belly char siu was super tender, which just the right amount of melt in your mouth fat with some lean meat!



My mom’s spicy ramen was just as good, super spicy with a multidimensional broth! For the price, we were pretty impressed with the amount of food we got!




 Perfectly cooked!! :D


The gyozas were yummy!! They make all their gyozas in house daily! The skins were super thin/elastic with a nice char and the filling was actually sweet-salty! :D


  Ippudo's signature fried chicken!! This was awesome!! They use katsu breading, so the outside’s super crispy and crunches when you bite into it! The pieces were glazed with a yummy sweet teriyaki sauce, but it also came with a side of spicy sauce for dipping!



Our combo also came with a large side of char siu pieces,seaweed and 2 eggs! The char siu pieces were lean and tasted great soaked in the broth!


And to balance out all of dat protein, we also got a bowl of steamed veggies! The bowl looks small, but it was actually huge! :D


Green bean soup for dessert which was served warm with some vanilla ice cream! They definitely added something extra into the green bean soup because it tasted different from your average green bean soup, in a good way! :D


Ramen sauce, garlic and vinegar on the side for you to add in your ramen!


Free iced tea!! It doesn't get better than that! ;)


Later in the day I got thirsty so I bought a drink at 711 haha! You've probably eaten red bean soup before, but have you ever tried red bean juice...in a bottle? :D


  Wheel cakes are a taiwanese classic!! Wheel cakes are round crispy shells filled with a sweet, mushy paste!! They come in a lot of different flavours, but the most common ones are red bean and cream!! Thanks to Joey (a reader) for reminding me to eat them, I almost forgot LOL.

  So on the hunt for wheel cake, we went to wheel cake central in Gongguan!! There was a huge lineup when we went! They usually sell for 10 NT each = 30 cents CAD!! 

 There’s another popular wheel cake stall in Gonguan that’s run by an elderly man and we just went there today haha, so I’ll be posting about that next week!! :D



How cute is their logo?!! ;D


Here's what they look like on the outside! 


A new flavour I've never tried, pepper radish! Shredded radish pieces with loads of spicy pepper! :D


Classic Red Bean!


Custard flavour!


  For some strange reason I’ve been craving tonkatsu…or fried meat in general LOL. So I did the obvious, and went to a restaurant named Tonkatsu haha...a chain with locations all over Taipei!

  What’s awesome about Tonkatsu is that you get unlimited rice and miso soup!! Most people just order one tonkatsu set to share between 2 people and fill up on unlimited rice LOL. So that’s what we did!! ;D    Hey, gotta save those pennies for tuition LOL! We ended up saving about 250 NT, and we both still ended up full!! :D


  We ordered their extra thick version, and it was massive, twice the size of your average tonkatsu!! The katsu breading was super flaky and crispy, and the inside was reasonably moist. Our combo came with some shredded lettuce, fried tofu, sour pickles, miso soup, and coffee pudding! They also had some ponzu sauce and garlic sauce on the side for dipping! 


         The fried tofu was really addicting, crispy on the outside, and super silky on the inside! 



Coffee pudding for dessert! :D


The free rice also included unlimited seaweed toppings...score!! :D


Unlimited miso soup!! :D


(Click to Enlarge) here's a look at their menu!!


Later in the day I got thirsty so I popped into this little organic juice shop for a drink! :D


Tons of interesting tea flavours! You can mix/match different teas with fruit juice!


I went with Taitung wild mulberry mixed with blue magpie tea!! I have no clue what blue magpie tea is LOL, but it was awesome!! The drink had actual mulberry pieces on the bottom!! :D


You guys know meee, I have a habit of taking creeper photos of washrooms LOL!! How cool is this toilet?! It has a built in sink on the top that automatically starts lowing after you flush!! :D


We’ve probably passed by this garlic bread stall over a dozen times and last week we finally caved and bought a piece because they smell so good LOL!! My mom chose the spicy garlic bread and it was awesome: crunchy, fragrant, with just the right amount of garlic and spice!! :D




After dinner we got hungry LOL, so my mom and I decided to hit up the Gonguan night market for some cheap eats! I tried traditional taiwanese wine fermented sponge cake for the first time!


  They have a ton of different flavours but I went with the classic: burnt brown sugar!! They serve it to you piping hot, which melts the brown sugar!! The cake was super spongy and soft, and the brown sugar was just the right amount of sweetness! I could definitely pick up a subtle fermented flavour in the cake, which wasn't overpowered by the brown sugar!




My mom had her staple mien shen (pork intestine noodles!)




Of course, a day in Taipei wouldn’t be complete without some Taiwanese breakfast!! We went to a different one this time, close to our house! My mom and I always order 2 or more portions and share so we get to try more stuff hehe.




Sweet-salty chinese donut Rice Wrap

  This version is different from your typical rice wrap because they actually break up the chinese donut into smaller pieces and then they sprinkle it with sugar instead of adding other ingredients!! The rice is super chewy and “QQ” and paired with crunchiness of the chinese donuts!
And bonus points for the rice/filling ratio!! :D


 Taiwanese shaobing…because who can say no to shaobing?!! Gotta fill up on shaobing while I can LOL.The only place that I know of in Van that sells Taiwanese shaobing is Yung Ho Soymilk in Presidents Plaza in Richmond, across from Aberdeen!!



Salty soy milk w/ chinese donuts, another classic Taiwanese breakfast dish! This one was loaded with chinese donut! The flavours of the soy milk and green onion, paired with the doughiness of the chinese donut really work well together! :D



 Chive buns are my mom’s favourite haha. We got the last one they had for the day! This version was great, loaded with chives, pepper and sprinkled with a  generous amount of sesame seeds!






Only in asia man, only in ASIA!! 


LOL I've seen these things in T&T!! Fruit vinegar drinks!!


Couldn't resist picking up the peach flavour!



Wait...black fungus, in drink form?!! And its organic? Take note Whole Foods!! ;)



2 comments:

  1. The sink above the toilet tank is very common in Japan. It diverts the water for refilling the tank to the tap first so you can use it to wash your hands.

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    1. Oh haha I didn't know that, thanks for letting me know!! Really clever, saves space and water! :D

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