Saturday, March 28, 2015

Time to Eat like no tomorrow in Taiwan

What is the first thing that strike you when the word Taiwan come across you? For a fella who live to eat, it's definitely food all over my mind. Although I have been pushing myself to a eat to live lifestyle, but when you put food and Taiwan together, screw diet plan!
If you don't know what to expect from Taiwan, it would likely mean you had been abducted by alien since birth, and for some unforeseen reason had been release back to earth (which usually not likely the case). Being the generous me, here's my Taiwan 101 guide, basically the 3 thing you must do to claim you have been to Taiwan are food, food, and food.

Photo Credit: My friend Joan Teo
Sorry when it comes to food I just got overly excited even by just looking at the photos only. What I do mean are:
  1. Snack Food
  2. Street Food
  3. Superior Food (anything from proper meal to locally available only)
So one of the famous Taiwan Pasar Malam (AKA Night Market) is none other than Shilin Night Market is located in the Shilin District of Taipei, Taiwan, and is often considered to be the largest and most famous night market in the city.
Now you may thought I have been to Taiwan at least once if not several time, if that's the case you're totally wrong. I always wanted to travel to Taiwan but the time isn't here yet. I had friends who paid Taiwan a visit and all, I repeat all of them return with a mouthful of food praises on the people there, the scenic view, the unforgettable shopping moment, and not forgetting the scrumptious food. What really convince me that paying a visit there will be my best yet trip of all time because all my friends had decided that they will return to Taiwan again.
Photo Credit - My friend Joan Teo
Coming back to seriousness, Taiwan had so much to offer, first there was Shilin market which need not much introduction by now, then there's superb scenery that is competence with other country, and if you're an outgoing person there is also tons of outdoor activities.
Photo Credit - My friend Joan Teo
What differentiate Taiwan from other part of the world is the kindness and friendliness of Taiwanese. My friend did share plenty of her trip experience with me and one of them did surprise me, is like a total culture shock without me leaving my own country. According to her, she and her mom went dinner at one of the small restaurant and the lady boss did drop by and have a chat with them, which later on turn into a karaoke session with the lady boss and her circle of friend, and not only they are friendly, they even refuse to accept money from my friend for the karaoke session.
Photo Credit: Mr J Cafe Facebook
See how I get distracted throughout the post? This is because Taiwan is good in every aspect and if I can only choose to focus on one and only aspect it will be food without a second of doubts. Coming back to food, there are more reason why Taiwan food is the best. Take for example Jay Chou who own 3 Mr. J restaurant all around Taiwan, not only serving scrumptious food, but is also allowing his fans to live through his movie and music. To hype things out, dining in his restaurant may be merrier with the artist himself showing up unsuspectingly. So whether is for food or fans fanatic, such concept restaurant deem to satisfy both crave.
Photo Credit:
In case you haven't notice, we Malaysian love food so much that you can literally we have food from every continental of the world. Whether is local, Western to Taiwan, Korea, Japan, to even Arabic and etc, you will sure to find it here. Take Taiwan cuisine for instance, we have so many options here and while it taste really good here, I believe it is still somewhat different from the origin birth place. Thus one of my mission if I get to visit Taiwan is to try all the Taiwan food I love back here in Malaysia and do a comparison post between the two version.
Photo Credit: Google Image
On top of all these amazing food and concept, there's really one food among all other Taiwan food that I would die to try and it is known as the "Ginger Female Duck" (AKA 姜母鸭) dish. It was made famous back in the 80s and the dish is made with cooked duck meat, old ginger, rice wine, sesame oil, and Chinese herbs boiled over charcoal fire. Ginger Female Duck is a dish widely consume during winter time as after eating it, the body will feel warm. These seasonal dish may sometime not be visually astonishing, but claims stated that they taste profile will made you go crazy.
Like I mentioned earlier, Taiwan people are not just friendly, they are so welcoming until the stage where I happen to know a Taiwanese from social media has invited me over and had volunteer to host me during my visit. Since I have never step foot in Taiwan before my only photo of me with Taiwan would be this green screen photo where I have to edit Google Street over it. I wish after this blog post, I get to snap a real Taipei 101 background photo. Or wait I don't mind being the building's background. Lol

So after knowing how much I appreciate Taiwan from so many aspect, you may ask me why do I want to goto Taiwan, well you're in luck cause I have prepared a sincere reason that rhyme.
[T]aiwan had always been my obsession,
[A]lthough we have Taiwan food here but nothing beats the authentic version,
[I] wouldn't mind substituting onion ring with chicken wing,
[W]ether is toast or roast,
[A]ll I wish is to taste everything from rice to spice,
[N]ot forgetting the local's warm hospitality & pampering myself with a well deserved break from hectic city lifestyle

Psst: If you send me to Taiwan, I will not lost my way even if I were to survive a week there without Internet cause I do speak from English, to Mandarin to even localized dialect which is Hokkien (it seems this is when I could proudly put my hokkien in full use). :p


Oh ya do check out Taiwan Travel Fair Roadshow happening this 25th - 29th March, 2015 at 1Utama (new wing). You could stand a chance to win some awesome prizes too. Here's the promotional info on the roadshow.

Eat, shop & go on two wheels in Taiwan!
Before that grab the best travel deals at Taiwan Travel Fair

Whether you are considering a first or subsequent visits to Taiwan, there’s never a better time to tour the island than in 2015! Taiwan Tourism Bureau Kuala Lumpur (TTBKL) is organising its first-ever Taiwan Travel Fair in Malaysia. With the theme of “Time to Enjoy Life”, it will be held at 1 Utama Shopping Centre, where the public can get the best deals for Taiwan travel at this one-stop event from 25 to 29 March 2015.

With the first Taiwan Travel Fair, TTBKL hopes to present great value travel deals to Malaysian families. They have tied up with top Taiwanese and Malaysian travel agencies to offer a variety of exciting packages and the most attractive travel deals for all destinations in Taiwan. This also includes customised packages or tours specially-catered for Muslim visitors. 

For visitors of the fair who purchase any tour package from participating agents, they stand a chance to participate in a lucky draw for every RM500 spent. Prizes include Taipei return flight tickets sponsored by China Airlines and Eva Airways; and East Asia cruise on Star Aquarius, Star Virgo and Aquarius liners sponsored by Star Cruises. So do make a date with us and visit the Taiwan Tourism Fair to bring back these fabulous prizes!

The Taiwan Travel Fair will be held at the Oval concourse in 1 Utama Shopping Centre from 25 to 29 March 2015. Opens 10 am daily. For more information, visit !

Based on a survey conducted by Taiwan Tourism in 2012, the top attractions for inbound tourists are sights and sceneries, food and shopping. As such, the Taiwan Travel Fair will also highlight three major experiences under the theme of “Time to Enjoy Life”:

Time to Eat

When it comes to food, Taiwan has it all. Dine like royalty without paying a king’s ransom for it. From juicy seasonal fruits, sumptuous traditional Chinese dishes, healthy vegetarian dishes, icy desserts to creative tea drinks, Taiwanese cuisine makes full use of local ingredients and age-old techniques to surprise and satisfy your palate. Don’t forget the world-famous night markets, filled with the enticing aromas of delicious street food and snacks!

Time to Shop

Taiwan is a shopaholic’s dream come true, with many large shopping centres and chain department stores in all four corners of the island. Shop for anything you want, from high-quality made-in-Taiwan 3C products, to famous highland tea and handmade weavings. For the fashion lover, all kinds of affordable clothing, leather goods and branded products are at your fingertips. In Taiwan, you are sure to find just about everything you want.

Time to go on Two Wheels

These days, the LOHAS (Lifestyles of Health and Sustainability) trend is gaining popularity as people begin to be more health and eco-conscious. Taiwan is well-known for its LOHAS practices, and there is no better way to experience it than to travel along the breath-taking coastal highways by bicycle! Immerse yourself in the beauty of nature and appreciate the simple yet wonderful things in life with your loved ones. 


Monday, March 23, 2015

Croissant Delicatessen

Croissant Delicatessen serves scrumptious sandwiches with croissant as its base in disguise. Situated in Hartamas Shopping Centre, the month old Croissant Delicatessen is pretty hard to locate (at least for me) especially if you're not familiar with the mall.
The shoplot is about half the size from the others, so seats are pretty limited inside the airconditioned compound, but is still capable to host approx 10-12pax simultaneously. To begin with this is not just another sandwich shop, it is a croissant sandwich as its name suggested and with the aim to satisfy your craving without hurting your wallet.
Green Tea Latte - RM9
I shall begin with its beverages first. The Green Tea Latte uses premium matcha powder to produce and it wasn't overly sweet compare to other which I had tried, and this cup of latte isn't the milky type. With strong aromatic green tea, accompanied with the powdery texture, I can have a few cups of this anytime.
Cappucino - RM10
Cappucino on the other hand was good but not the best I had yet. It was aromatically soothing to the throat and was definitely a great cup to go along whether with your scrumptious meal or over a table talk.

Next up the Croissant Sandwich, where you don't really get to pick what you want in your sandwich but instead you can choose from 4 types of flavour croissant namely Classic, Garlic, Pumpkin and Wasabi to go along with your set of sandwich. In my personal opinion, wasabi sounds like a interesting mixture but it tasted near to classic without very mild presence of wasabi. On the other hand, I do LOVE the garlic flavoured croissant for its strong garlic fragrant along with crispy crust yet soft and fluffy croissant. Here are the few variant of sandwich offered by Croissant Delicatessen.
Pumpkin, Mushroom & Ham - Rm13.80

Turkey Ham, Broccoli & Cheese - RM14.80

Garlic & Basil Chicken - Rm16.80

Grilled German Bratwurst - Rm15.80

Supreme Egg Mayo with Smoked Salmon - Rm13.80

Mixed Berries Croissant - RM14.80
My Favorites
Garlic & Basil Chicken - It was utterly appetizing for me with the strong presence of garlic and basil, well coated around tender chicken patty. It was flavourful in the mouth with every bite and look like one heck of healthy and hearty meal to me.

Grilled German Bratwurst - You can't go wrong with a perfectly grilled juicy sausage. If you're not a olive fans do opt out the olive for maximum enjoyment.

Outstanding Croissant
It has to be the Mixed Berries Croissant. This is a sweet variant of the old and boring croissant combination that not just only is visually vivid, it is also packed with explosive taste in it. It is filled with not-clongy-whipped-cream-that-make-you-want-more and fresh cut of berries, served along side with premium chocolate that definitely sweeten the deal after your meal.

Overall the croissant here are made fresh with no nonsense added into it, so be sure to consume it while it is 'hot' / fresh. Each set of sandwich are carefully experimented to give a balance in its taste profile and is sure to open up your appetite with just a bite.

Hartamas Shopping Centre, Plaza Damas, Sri Hartamas, Kuala Lumpur

Operating Hours
10 am - 10 pm Daily

Friday, March 6, 2015

Pretz & Beanz - Round 2

I had previously visited Pretz & Beanz in SOHO Mont Kiara which I blogged about my experience about it here, this time round I went to Pretz & Beanz in Ikano Power Center, and this time with more than just pretzel I promise.
Locating the place ain't difficult but finding a seat during peak hour may be a little challenging, nevertheless, like its SOHO Mont Kiara branch, Pretz n' Beanz is brightly lighten up with clean and neat atmosphere.
For the item that I had previously tasted and blogged about it, I would just like to summarize that they all tasted as good as I had it from different branch, this could only mean they are really controlling the food & beverages quality very strict and very well. I am especially glad to have yet another one of the sweet potato pretzel, is just simply too amazing, and you really have to try it.
Tower Chicken Burger - RM21.90
I was somehow disappointed with the Tower Chicken Burger as I might have set my expectation high after all the scrumptious food from my previous visit. No doubt it was good, but I think there's still room for improvement. The large piece of chicken thigh patty was tender and good but if the flavour were to enhance, it would definitely be a come-back-for item for me. Other layer of the burger was somehow pretty decent.
Hotdog wrapped Pretzel
Basically by now anything that comes with pretzel in Pretz N' Beanz taste really good and this sausage pretzel was one of it too. Juicy and flavourful jumbo hotdog packed into easy to eat size pretzel, definitely something suitable in between meals.
Spicy Seafood Pasta - RM26.90
Yet another flavour packed dish that would definitely spice up your taste butt. The noodle was slightly overcook to my liking but it was easily compensate with the fresh ingredient.
Royale Salmon Eggs Benedict - RM23.90
 A nicely slice of salmon, along with poached eggs and hollandaise sauce artistically sitting on top of a muffin. The Royale Salmon Eggs Benedict had all the right item and flavour in place and for you salmon lover out there, this is something you might wanna try.

Ice Cream Waffle
 Warm and freshly baked waffle serves with a scope brownish vanilla ice cream is what we had to seal the last meal of the day. It was generally good but a little bit dry due to the absence of syrup. Beside the presentation, the waffle taste good especially when it is still hot, where you can actually feel the crispy out fluffy in texture.
With so many good food on its menu, why don't you drop by the next time you're in Mutiara Damansara area? Forget the long queue in Ikea, and be comfortably seated while waiting for your scrumptious meal to be serves.

G23, Ground Floor, Ikano Power Center, No.2, Jalan PJU 7/2, Mutiara Damansara, 47800 Petaling Jaya, Selangor Darul Ehsan.


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