Showing posts from November, 2016

Old Kiln Scallion Pancake 舊漫窯烤蔥油餅

My expectations are usually pretty high, especially if my boyfriend (a Taipei local of 30 years and a chef) point out food to me. I bike to Yonghe 6 days a week for week, and it seems that every day I pass a "well-known" scallion pancake stand in Gongguan, next to the 福和橋 Fuhe Bridge called Old Kiln Scallion Pancake 舊漫窯烤蔥油餅. Biking makes me snacky, and scallion pancake is a great snack.

The Old Kiln Scallion Pancake 舊漫窯烤蔥油餅 is not good. I was served a tepid, greasy fried scallion pancake. I ordered my pancake with an egg, which in my past experience has meant a fried egg. At Old Kiln Scallion Pancake 舊漫窯烤蔥油餅 cool scrambled eggs are spooned inside the pancake. A time-saving trick that seems invalidated by a poor menu.

So, did I go on the wrong day? Was going at 11:30 am the wrong time? Did they pawn out the day-old pancake on the foreigner? Is the boss on vacation? Did the new guy forget how to clean the oil? If fried food is your bread and butter then your oil needs to tast…

Safranbolu Turkish Restaurant 番紅花城土耳其餐廳

This cooking is better than mine, but not quite as good as Grandma's. Living in Taiwan for the last 4 years I thought I would never taste most of the Armenian/Lebanese food I grew up eating again. Even when I return to America family and friends enthusiastically try to feed me sliced cabbage, canned orange and condensed milk salad instead of my childhood sarma, lamb, kabobs, pilaf, yogurt, and lahmacun. Taiwan has a few Middle Eastern restaurants (Sabbaba, meh) that mostly seem to cut corners or compromise true taste for the local preferences. It is not a good scene.
That has all changed. No more moping and longing from me! Safranbolu Turkish Restaurant is putting out excellent, high-quality food with authentic flavor. There is thoughtfulness and hard work in all of their food. The menu is thorough and full of options for everyone. Their pidas (flatbreads with toppings) are all hand-fired in an oven on premises. The dough is light and crispy, and can easily compete with the best …

South East Asia Ice Shop東南亞冰店

New life goals, order the 40 kg shaved ice that is served in Taiwan-shaped bowl. I'm thinking birthday, next year, for myself and 50 of my closest. It's only $5999 NTD,  or less than $200 USD The South East Asia Ice Shop東南亞冰店 in Gongguan isn't the most famous shaved ice shop in Taipei, but it is reliable and generous. They offer unflavored shave ice, topped with condensed milk and the fruits (strawberry, mango, kiwi) of your choice, and a selection of fruit sorbets if that isn't enough. It's light, sweet, and more refreshing than a chilly dip in a waterfall on a hot and humid Taiwan day.

I like this place not only because it has good desserts, and even some savory snacks too, but mostly because it is yellow. The yellow tables, walls and chairs just make mango taste a little more mango-y, mango-ish, mango-riffic. They also offer a photo menu of each version of shaved ice. 

The shaved ice machine is a drill press with a blade at the bottom on which cylinders of ice …