Monday, 1 February 2016

Taipei Taipei!


I went to Taipei....errr.....at Damansara Kim for dinner. heh...heh... Sorry, lame joke. This was the same day when I had lunch at Ante@1-Utama.



It was my partner who spotted this place earlier and he thought it would be a potential dinner spot for us. We used to frequent Magic Wok but on our last visit, we noted that our favorite dishes did not taste the same. After dinner we found out from the wait staff that the cook left and a part time cook was holding the fort in the kitchen. No wonder.



When I stepped into Taipei Taipei, I was quite drawn to the decor. To me it was simple elegance and I found it very tasteful. I liked the ambiance. It's a small restaurant and there were only two other tables occupied when we arrived.



There's more seating room upstairs. Next door is The Kitchen Table and from the window I could see that it was almost fully occupied and in full swing. That's another place we should check out one day.



The menu consists mostly of set meals of rice and noodles. Apparently the selling point here is the deep fried pork chops. My partner prefers ordering rice with side dishes, so I had to abandon the beef noodles set hah..hah...

There were not many choices for side dishes since this restaurant concentrates on set meals. Maybe we could try those on our next visit. Since I'm the "boss", I chose the dishes.



This is the Three Cup Chicken. It was flavorful and the aroma of the basil shone through. It's a bit on the salty side for me, but I liked it.



This Pork Rib and Bittergourd Soup is a one person serving but I shared it with my partner. It had a very strong smell and you can see those impurities floating on the soup. I suspect the kitchen did not blanch the pork ribs first to clean it. I'm afraid I did not enjoy this soup.



Kangkung fried with garlic and pork using castor oil. Castor oil? Up until now, I only know that castor oil is used for medicinal purposes and I have not ever tasted it. And yeah, the kangkung had some kind of smell (castor oil?). It was not unpleasant but it was not what I am used to. I'll have kangkung belacan anytime. But I ate this strange tasting kangkung anyway since I love the vegetable.



Ah! Pork belly! This was the something-something stew. It's what I know as tau yew bak. Besides the belly, there was an egg and some tofu slices. It was just alright. Maybe it's because I wasn't that hungry.



For drinks, we had the Lemon Honey. Before he took his drink, my partner asked me "Do you have to take photos of the drinks?" hah..hah.. I almost forgot and it looks like he is getting the hang of me taking pictures before we eat.



So what did I think of the food? I don't know, I find Taiwanese food quite mild tasting. Perhaps I am more accustomed to the robust strong flavors of Nonya and Malay cooking. 

But still, this is way tastier than the food at a Taiwanese restaurant I had in Boston. That restaurant was in the vicinity of Harvard University. I was actually quite shocked when I tasted the food. The egg fried rice was bland and the sweet and sour pork was deep fried pork balls doused in some kind of strange tasting chili sauce.

The worst was the vegetables with mushrooms. It was as if the vegetables were simply blanched and plonked on the plate. No seasoning no nothing. Pity I did not own a smartphone back then or else I would have had photos to show you. It wasn't my idea to eat there, I mean if I am in  the USA, I want American food! It was a revelation, really. I am sure there are good Chinese restaurants there, just that we picked the wrong one.



I don't know if the food at Taipei Taipei is authentic Taiwanese but I won't mind going back there again to try the other items on the menu. And perhaps someday, I'll get a chance to go to Taiwan and eat the real deal. Sigh...

38 comments:

  1. I can't believe you can stomach dinner after a full-on meal at Ante....heehee! ;D Maybe you were too full, so the food didn't taste as good? Castor oil sounds like a lubricant >.< Three cup chicken is a signature Taiwanese dish although I'm not a big fan as the basil taste is very strong...the one you had doesn't look as dry or dark as the ones I've had before.

    Your partner is very supportive to ask you if you want to take photos for your blog, my spouse will say, "Ah, this one also need to take photo?"...that's why I tend to go to the same places for food with family so that I don't have to blog about it :'( With friends I can go full on with lots of photo taking for my blog coz they "understand".

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  2. That an Taiwan eatery place in Singapore, i wanted to try, but i heard people said so so only, in the end, didn't go try out...

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    1. For me, Taiwanese food not that exciting.

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  3. I love their ambiance and also Taipei food! They are mild and nice, just like Hong Kong food. If we eat real China's food, I often waved white flags!
    It is so near my home, so I will visit there. If you bump into me, please smack my head!! You know how exactly I look.

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    Replies
    1. hah..hah.. I will look out for you :D

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  4. I guess it can't be much different from the regular Chinese fare, Taiwan. The last time I went to one was in 1973 in Singapore...with my then-still-around grandparents for the Taiwanese sweet potato porridge. Guess you were not born yet then. LOL!!! But yes, I did go to Taiwan in the 80's, ok...nothing much then.

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    Replies
    1. 1973 I was around already hee..hee..

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  5. Hi Phong Hong, I think you should try Taiwanese food in Taiwan. Here, they are more to set meals and I think they cater more to office workers who wants quick, complete meals.

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    Replies
    1. Hi Kimmy! I think so too. Hope I make it to Taiwan and eat the food one day :)

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  6. It's sambal kang kong for me too anytime. I didn't have very experience in the Taiwanese restaurants here either :<

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  7. Not sure what is castor oil... reminded me of Castrol...hahahaa.. yes, I prefer the ribs or any bones to be blanched first, kick off the smell... anyway I think outside food has no time to do that... that is why homecooked food is always the best even if they do not taste the best.. hahaha...

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  8. I was fooled by your title. I thought you are on vacation now in Taipei. Did the menu specifically say castor oil is used for the kangkung dish? what are those round things in the last photo?

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    Replies
    1. Yes, it did say castor oil. I don't know what are those round things. Maybe sweets.

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  9. I liked the interiors, pity that you were not enough satisfied with everything!

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    1. I went back there again and it was still just OK.

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  10. I thought you went Taipei, the real one, hehehe!

    I heard the real pork belly rice is very nice, wish to try it someday!

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    Replies
    1. I find their pork belly dish is just alright.

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  11. I thought you also flew to Taipei lately ...hahaha. The decor over there looks very comfortable and cosy! Love the food !

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    Replies
    1. I like the decor more than the food hah..hah...

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  12. how nice if you were in Taipei and there you can really savor the authentic local delicacies, probably at much cheaper prices.. anyway, I've not been to Taiwan before, this is what I always hear about, hehe~~ :p

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    Replies
    1. I hope to try authentic Taiwan food in Taiwan someday. Maybe I will change my mind.

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  13. one day makan out two times in fancy restaurant, so happy!! yeah, the decorations of this Taipei Taipei is nice, kind of tasteful and homely style.. it makes me feel comfortable like dining at home.. :)

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  14. I would probably go for the set meal as I suppose they are greater for value?? usually they will lump the most popular dishes into one set huh?? three cups chicken, I think this is very iconic Taiwanese dish huh?? I've forgotten what the three cups mean.. but too bad the other dishes you ordered didn't go quite well huh?? hmmm, while your partner asked if you would want to take photo of the drinks, I'm gonna ask you how they taste?? hehe~~ :p

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    Replies
    1. I went back again and tried their pork chop set. It was again just ok for me. The drink however was just as good as the first time!

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  15. I find high and low, I read again and again, but can't find any description of the last photo.. I find them interesting and wonder what they are?? cheese?? chocolates??

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    1. Actually, I don't know what they were and I forgot to ask. Maybe sweets.

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  16. Ha ha ! Phong Hong,
    I thought you were holidaying in Taipei ^-^!
    tau yew bak ? is like braised pork on rice (Lu Rou Fan) ? It is a must try in Taipei.
    Oh ! What's those little cans of thingy? Cookies? Sweets?

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    1. I think my tau yew bak taste better hah..hah...hah.... I don't know what are in those cans. I'm guessing sweets.

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  17. Looking at your blog title, I thought you went to Taipei, haha.

    Me too, I prefer strong flavours of Malay and Nyonya origin

    But sometimes it can be quite interesting to try mild flavours

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    Replies
    1. I am not happy with mild flavours hah..hah...

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  18. Same here, I was searching for your explanation of the last photo, what are they?

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    Replies
    1. Don't know. Maybe sweets. I forgot to ask.

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