Kiki’s Dinner Service

Funny how two and a half days in a city can take a week two blog about.  We’re nearing the end, though.  More telling, perhaps, is that Andy is just catching up to the first day of our trip.  Of course he has many more pictures than I do plus had been in Taipei for a week before we arrived.

The final day in Taipei followed the bleak and misty pattern that had been the tone of the weekend.  We took the subway to the north end of town, out past the suburbs, really, to the Tamsui Fisherman’s Wharf and the nearby market area.  From the terminal station of the subway (Danshui) we strolled along several streets that had many of the same foods and items for sale that we had seen at the night market.

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The mist was just enough to get you wet if you weren’t using an umbrella but not enough to keep us from enjoying browsing the shops.  We had just eaten bao at Din Tai Fung so there wasn’t a lot of room left for snacking.  That didn’t keep me from looking at all the interesting things to eat.

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Two types of noodles!  And the vendor’s arm as she stirs them.

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Stuffed tofu skins.  Not sure what it is stuffed with but I’m sure someone will tell me in the comments.  Pretty sure that isn’t mozzarella cheese on top, though.

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I did buy some grilled mochi (pounded rice).  The proprietor’s daughter was running the stand and took my order, grilled the mochi, figured out which bottle had the sauce I ordered (she sniffed them), took my money and made change.  Very cute.

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We then got on a ferry to the Fisherman’s Wharf.  Looking at the map, we probably could have taken a bus or walked there just as easily.  The Fisherman’s Wharf is “D” on the map and the shopping street is “A”.  As the boat approached the mouth of the river and made the turn around the breakwater to the entrance to the wharf, we were rocked with some pretty strong waves.  Strong enough to crash across the bow and onto the lower windows, which is where we were sitting.

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The big attraction at the wharf is Lovers Bridge, shown in both the above pictures.  By this point the wind was really blowing and the mist was growing heavier.  As Sugi and I posed for a picture, her umbrella was caught by the wind and snapped like a twig.  I’m sure Andy will have a picture of that for you soon.

Tawn smartly stayed in a coffee shop, taking a nap, while the rest of us wandered about, sacrificing umbrellas to the winds.

That evening, after some gift shopping (pineapple cake!) at Sogo, we met Andy’s parents for dinner at Kiki Restaurant, a Szuchuan restaurant that’s been around for nearly twenty years.  If you ask me, Szuchuan may be the tastiest of all the Chinese cuisines.

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Tawn, Andy, Andy’s parents, Sugi and me in front of the restaurant.  I think Andy has his mom’s nose and eyes and his father’s forehead and chin.  Let’s discuss…

The restaurant had wonderful lighting for taking pictures.  If you are designing a restaurant, please spare a thought to food bloggers and install halogen lamps over the tables.

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Braised tofu.  Had my mother made tofu this way when I was growing up, I would have learned to love it much earlier.

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An elaborate version of drunken chicken.

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Bitter melon with salted duck egg.

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Morning glory stir fried with garlic and fermented tofu.

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Boiled pork with thick, sweet soy sauce.

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Dan dan noodles – served with ground pork and bok choy.

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Tripe and duck’s blood stew in a spicy chili sauce.  We got into a discussion of what tripe is.  I had always thought it was intestine but, as I’ve since learned thanks to Wikipedia, it is stomach.  There you go.

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So called “water wok” beef – a stew with bean sprouts and bamboo shoots.  The type of chili in here isn’t spicy so much as it numbs the tongue for several minutes.  Seriously, the front half of my tongue was numb after two servings.

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Last but not least, yes we did try stinky tofu.  Here it is fried up in a dish with dried chilies and spring onions.  Actually, pretty tasty.

The meal was excellent and a bit thank you to Andy’s father for treating us.  It was an excellent end to the trip as we headed to the airport shortly thereafter.  But not before some dessert!

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Stopping at a local dessert chain we encountered some Engrish.  “Garss jelly” and “Retrospective tea” were two of my favorites.  It would seem that “old-fashioned” might be a better translation.  Note that in addition to English we have Japanese.  Ah-ha!  More proof that there are lots of Japanese tourists here.

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Last but not least, here’s a photo Andy took while I was filming my tasting of salted plum stuffed cherry tomatoes dipped in candy coating at the night market.  Superb shot.

 

 

 

0 thoughts on “Kiki’s Dinner Service

  1. Sounds like you and Tawn have a wonderful time!  I envy that you can travel and blog at the same time.  I am so very behind in my travel blog. 😦  .  Among the dishes, I do not remember trying the Morning Glory with Tofu.  I have not acquired the taste of stinky tofu yet, although my youngest brother crave for stinky tofu as he would follow his nose for blocks to get some. 

  2. So much food! I am having a difficult time deciding which one I like the best (visually of course!). The lovers bridge looks so beautiful, especially with the grey clouds. So romantic! LOL@ retrospective tea and double LOL@ your snap.

  3. 1) I think that’s a Fish paste inside of the wrapper. Not 100% sure though.2) Funny, I remember my favorite umbrella snapping while I was out there too. How odd.3) In your water wok beef, I think the spice isn’t actually a Chili, but is just a lot of Szechuan Peppercorn… it tends to have that tongue-numbing effect more than Chili does.4) I hadn’t realized you were there for only two days; for some reason it seemed as if you were there for an entire week in my mind.5) Just curious, how tall are you exactly?

  4. I really enjoyed this review of the food – but I wasn’t aware that tofu had skins! The last photo was funny. I take it that the taste wasn’t entirely enjoyable. hehehe.

  5. @Wangium – Incredible, overwhelming sacharine sweetness.@murisopsis – Dry their pelts and you can make socks.  Ha ha… tofu skin is more a thin layer of tofu.@CurryPuffy – Braised tofu was excellent.  Stinky tofu… okay but not something I would rush to get.@Roadlesstaken – Please do.@arenadi – 1) You may be right.  2) Umbrella danger zone.  3) May be – Andy described it as chili but peppercorns would make sense.  4) I have a way of getting a lot out of a trip.  You should hear me tell fishing stories.  5) When I stand up straight and/or have recently been to the chiropractor, 183 cm / 6 feet.  Something about that picture makes me look mighty tall.@WilldrawsRainbows – Yeah, that’s a snapshot that will live in infamy.@Dezinerdreams – The bridge is very pretty; the weather was less so.@stevew918 – Yes, with all the places you’ve been I’m expecting a mess of entries soon.@amygwen – Yes, I would give Taipei high marks for food.

  6. You were there for only a weekend? I thought it was a lot longer. If I visit Taiwan, I’ll have to use your blog and Andy’s blog as a reference. I have not acquired a taste for stinky tofu. As for Andy, hmm… hard to say. Maybe you’re right. He does look like he was a mischievous kid. hee hee… (hope he doesn’t read this).

  7. The stuffed tofu skin things are called 阿給, A Gei, and is stuffed with the mung bean clear noodles and “sealed” with fish cake.It is usually served with a mixture of sweet and hot sauce + oyster sauce I believe.

  8. I love the picture of the bridge! The fog makes the bridge look really mysterious. What a great shot :)Tripe is used a lot in Latin American cuisine. I love Latin American culture and cuisine but I’ve never been able to try tripe. Organ meat in general kind of freaks me out and I’m not really sure why.

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