Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Taipei, A Foodie City

Three days and four nights wasn't enough for me to eat all of Taipei's specialties. With my limited command of Chinese, I made people laugh a lot with my Vietnamese accent and half of the time they didn't understand me at all. But it was fun and I'm glad that I made the effort.
One thing I was wondering about before the trip was how I would be treated by my Asian neighbors. It's always a little bit awkward because in this region, people assume that I am from their country and are quite surprised when I can't communicate. I need not have worried because the people from Taipei are amongst the most friendly I've ever met in all my travels. I think I need come come back and spend at least two weeks to walk around for both sightseeing and eating as well as to see other parts of Taiwan. On this trip, I didn't spend much time visiting tourist areas at all except for the Longshan temple.
On the food front, however, I probably spent too much time! There are so many dishes to try and, because I'm Asian, the rice and noodle base never gets boring. Some Chinese Taipei dishes are a bit similar to Vietnamese dishes but I think it's more about BBQ and stir frying. It doesn't really matter which way the food is cooked as long as it tastes delicious. Perhaps my favorite dishes (from a long list!) were the squid noodles with thick broth and Asian basil or Guobao which is another version of steamed bun.
The weather wasn't that great but it didn't stop me wandering around to try Taipei moon cake and at the Astoria cafe, I had their famous Mazurka cake and coffee. At their retail outlet I also went a bit crazy, taking away a great Portuguese Pasta de Nata and a creme brûlée. I think one of the best things about sweets in Taipei is that they are not too sweet like they tend to be in Vietnam.

I need to send special thanks to Robyn and Dave for all of their great recommendations to eat and stay in Taipei. Their blogs continue to give me lots of good tips for my travels.

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