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.
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.
Two types of noodles! And the vendor’s arm as she stirs them.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Braised tofu. Had my mother made tofu this way when I was growing up, I would have learned to love it much earlier.
An elaborate version of drunken chicken.
Bitter melon with salted duck egg.
Morning glory stir fried with garlic and fermented tofu.
Boiled pork with thick, sweet soy sauce.
Dan dan noodles – served with ground pork and bok choy.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.