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According to the endearing blog-style website Kem CoBa has up online, the name of the restaurant means “third auntie’s ice cream” in Vietnamese. That right off the bat tells you that it’s an operation that takes family into consideration. And it shows. The cheery little shop is run by the co-owners and husband and wife duo Ngoc and Vincent who have managed to create high quality, interesting products that just keep you coming back for more
Word about the Preservation Society and the fantastic little workshops they hold came to our knowledge through Michelle Marek and Seth Gabrielse of FoodLab when we interviewed them last month for SNAP! Magazine
Lola Rosa is located in the heart of the McGill ghetto, making it a convenient and relatively affordable eatery for the multitude of students who live around and frequent the university campus. The restaurant is a small, vegetarian, indie-vibing kind of joint with some of the most friendly staff I’ve been in contact with in the city as of late. Here’s a unique feature of the restaurant you won’t likely find anywhere else: most of the vintage style tables in the place have little drawers filled with pieces of scrap paper with wishes, words of encouragements, notes and general comments scrawled on by previous diners. All are welcome to add their own personal messages and rummage through the ones already inside for inspiration or just for fun!
The Oyster Bar is on the Gourmet Food floor of the Bellavita complex by the Taipei City Hall MRT station. It boasts a very sleek look especially for a food court kiosk restaurant. Their specialty as you can probably guess, is oysters. We ordered two Ecailles oysters that were said to have a fruity taste – and boy, did they! Never had an oyster with such a unique taste that’s for sure.
From what I gather, Sadaharu Aoki is currently the most popular Japanese chef in Taiwan. His minimalistic patisserie shops have been catching my eye since ever I’ve been in Taipei (once in the Regent and the other when I passed by Joel Robuchon’s Salon de The in Bellavita) so I was happy to finally stop by and pick something up at the location in the B2 level of the Bellavita complex. Everything looks amazing… good enough to make you actually semi-seriously contemplate buying one of each dessert and worrying about the calories later. We got one Valencia with candied orange and sugar on top and one chocolate cake. Pictures speak for themselves.
About an hour away from Taipei, the Sunrise Villa is tucked away off a back country road – to a foreigner (yeah, me), maybe a little difficult to find. Popular in its own right, people travel from all around the country to taste their authentic Hakka style food. With an enviable feng shui arrangement, the natural space around the buildings are in perfect harmony – the mountains behind the restaurant serves as a strong support, the body of water in the front promotes fluidity and the green space in the middle of the lot for new life.
Not too far away from the SoGo department store in the Zhongxiao Dunhua district is the unique VVG Bon Bon (13, Lane 161, Dunhua S Rd Sec 1, Taipei 台北市敦化南路一段161巷13號). One of the most interesting places I have been to in Taiwan so far, this spot is great for a leisurely afternoon lunch or for high tea. The decoration inside, the general vibe and the clientele (from what I saw today) here is almost too cute for words. Housing an eclectic collection of items (silver glitter antler horns, a smiling child sized giraffe, several foot tall wooden nutcrackers, plastic cakes etc.) that would otherwise seem tacky or overdone on their own, VVG Bon Bon finds a way to make the pieces work together to create a fun atmosphere.
Serving Hunan style food, 1010 is located on the 6th floor of the swanky Eslite building. We ordered Chinese cabbage with some pork strips, orange chicken (especially delicious), ribs smothered with cumin seeds (tender, falling off the bone goodness. You get a plastic glove to eat with and a wet towel to clean up with), grilled shrimp (bite off the head and tail, eat the rest of the body, including the shell. Crunchy!), Chinese buns done two ways, steamed and fried along with condensed milk sauce. For dessert, we had the black sesame ice cream topped with tapioca balls and a bowl of chestnut soup with longan (dragon eyes) inside. Unghh, so good. Personally, I never get really excited about Chinese food simply because I have it so much at home. 1010 did a great job of serving delicious Chinese food with a few interesting surprises here and there.
This is quite possibly the only way to recover from the unforgivable sin of buying pre-mixed sangria. We were skeptical at first, but our hosts fervently insisted. Then the Pabst Blue Ribbon came out. Against all odds, this batch of Beer Sangria turned out surprisingly tasty. We used slices of orange for flavor and garnish. Recommendations for next time include:
– Using a different beer – Something extremely blonde or unfiltered (Cheval Blanc, Griffon Blonde)
– Using a flavored beer – Locally brewed St Ambroise Apricot Wheat Ale or seasonal Raspberry Ale
– Different fruit – Probably staying with citrus. Lemons floating in summer beers are already a common sight
Things to avoid:
– White wine – Send in pictures if you can prove me wrong, but I don’t think this can work
– Skipping the wine – Beer and juice without wine will taste like beer mixed with juice
– Pre-mixed Sangria