Taiwan | Fan Tuan

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Another super breakfast in Taipei

I woke up at 6am nearly every morning to explore the back streets, watch the city wake up and…eat breakfast. Someone should start a Taipei street breakfast blog! The eating options are endless. I found this woman in the Xinyi district, manning a giant steamer of sticky rice. What could she possibly be making?

Fan tuan, huzzah!! I queued up, number five behind three people on mopeds and another on foot. My Mandarin isn’t the best so when it came to ordering, I pointed said, I’ll have what she had

Luckily that girl knew how to order. A little of everything/ She pressed sticky rice flat on the plastic bag and crushed up a super crisp you tiao, covered it with yuk si/pork floss, smashed in a shoyu boiled egg, pickled this and preserved that. Then a quick twist of the hand and voilà a giant sticky rice roll. It was glorious…

…and made even better with dou jiang from the guy around the corner. 

I found a bench somewhere nearby and ate and ate. I love Taipei!

Taiwan | YEN at W Taipei

Lunch for two at YEN inside the W Taipei ^_^

Most hotels keep the top floor of the property for penthouse suites, but W Taipei made it into a restaurant so that everyone can take advantage of the views…

…which are nothing short of spectacular. Half of the floor is devoted to YEN, and the other half to private dining and YEN Bar (where we did afternoon tea).

Shall we begin?

The first photo in this post is YEN’s signature dish, pumpkin bisque with black truffles and steamed crab-shrimp paste. The bisque is made with duck broth, so extra intense!

A little dim sum trio, clockwise from top: prawns with bamboo shoots, garoupa with water chestnuts, and prawns with amaranth greens.

Roast kurobuta pork belly and jellyfish followed by…

…braised cabbage with wild mushrooms and bamboo shoots.

Double boiled black chicken soup with fish stomach…

…and fried cod with snap peas and peppers.

And the final savory dish, fried rice with shrimp and black truffles. 

Fresh fruit and a shot of sour plum liquor…

….another pot of dong ding oolong.

Time for dessert!

One piping hot dan tat, super flaky and just the right size.

Lemongrass crystal jelly with aloe vera….remind me to try make this at home.

Next time, we’ll have to return for the roast duck ^-^

Breakfast in Taipei

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I must have looked lost when I landed at Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport. A couple standing next to me asked, where are you trying to go?  I gave him the name of the hotel and he said, but what are you eating for breakfast?

And then we were off! All three of us together.

Both husband and wife were born and raised in Taiwan, and just returned from vacation in Las Vegas. We took the bus, cab, and MRT to get to their favorite breakfast spot. 

We lined up to order. What do you like to eat?

Everything! We ordered flaky little buns in both a savory version with scallions…

…and a sweet version with sugar. Super crisp and hot, dotted with sesame seeds.

Paired with chilled dou jiang. I think I had three cups. I could live off Asian soy milk. 

And then we took a little break, and dived into round two, shao bing jia dan!

I could probably never find this place again on my own..

…but that’s just part of the magic ^-^

Masala Chai by Nespresso

Friday morning lattes ^-^

Did you know Nespresso came out with a Masala Chai? How awesome is that. It’s a seasonal variation and this one is all spicy with cloves, cinnamon, and star anise. Hot milk and a little frothy top, served in white/gold ring cups.  

As for the trays…that’s from the ritual collection which I blogged about (over two years ago!) I’m more than a little obsessed with Nespresso accessories…more to come soon.

La Scuola di Eataly | Baci and Perugina

Snapshots from a Baci and Perugina session at La Scuola di Eataly, the in-house cooking school at Eataly. The school offers both sweet and savory sessions and this one was hosted by Francine Segan…and endless bottles of prosecco.

We started off with a chocolate tasting…

…and then made our own Baci!

The center is made of whipped, ground hazelnut and gianduia paste. It’s topped with a whole toasted hazelnut, and dipped in 51% chocolate.

My favorite part (aside from eating it), is the “love note” that comes tucked in with the chocolate. The note I received last week? The only way to get something is to stop waiting for it. Ahh! So, so true.

Next, a chocolate-fruit salad with chopped dried fruits, nuts, Baci, crushed amaretti cookies, minced candied orange peels, fresh strawberries, apples, and pears. All the dry ingredients were mixed with fresh squeezed orange juice, limoncello…and topped with a big dollop of mascarpone.

And then we had this crazy molten lava cake. It was easy to get the “molten” part because we just tucked a Baci in the center before baking :)