Category

Food & Drink

Category

Taiwan’s Shittiest Restaurant

Declaring any single eatery The best restaurant in Taiwan is ridiculous. (Though kudos to CNN.COM for doing their level best with this article about Chef André Chiang RAW.  Taiwan has too many excellent restaurants to make any such proclamation a subjective crapshoot at best. Naming Taiwan’s shittiest restaurant isn’t a problem.   Modern Toilet is a Taipei institution. It’s been featured on CNN, the Travel Channel and a thousand blogs and magazine articles written by writers in search of the bizarre. I’ve visited the place twice myself, once for Lonely Planet, and another time on a date. Not sure what I was thinking there. I wasn’t impressed with the place either time. When Pablo, a Spanish writer currently living in LA who I’d offered to act as guide on his last night in Taipei, tells me he had yet to fully complete his research for an article he’d been assigned…

Gluten Free Eating in Taiwan (Part Two): Wheat Free Snacks and Gluten Free Night Market Fare

Last week we discussed ways to eat gluten free in Taiwanese restaurants. This week, we’ll move onto snacks and street food. Barbecue,  mentioned in last week’s article  bears mentioning here as well, since meat on a stick is found everywhere. The same rules apply on the street as in a sit-down restaurant. Just say I am allergic to soy sauce (我對醬油過敏 / Wǒ duì jiàngyóu guòmǐn), perhaps adding Don’t add sauce (不要加醬Bùyào jiā jiàng), as wheat is sometimes used as a thickening agent for sauces. (Chicken ass on a stick is surprisingly tasty, and unless it’s been marinated in soy sauce, wheat free.) Stinky Tofu / 臭豆腐 / Chòu dòufu The king of Taiwanese night market foods, this dish made from a block of fermented tofu that’s been chopped up, deep fried to a golden brown and served with hot sauce and pickled cabbage is admittedly not everyone’s cup of…

A Day of Tea – Tea Culture in Taiwan

Coffee is my day-to-day stimulant, but I love the tradition, history and ceremony of tea. Having been back in Taiwan for close to six months, it’s high time to make time for a full-day tea tour. We meet our guide and tea expert David at the Maokong Gondola entrance, and within minutes we’re watching the jungle pass beneath us through the glass bottomed gondola. Exiting the cable car, the temperature is several degrees cooler than it had been in the city. We make a beeline to our first stop, a museum overlooking tea fields dedicated to Taiwan’s tea history. Mrs. Szato, the wife of venerable Tea Master Chang (whose expertise dates back to the days of Japanese occupation) takes us on a tour, both of the museum, and of Taiwan’s own tea history. Especially telling are collected paraphernalia from a 1914 Japanese expo touting the quality of Japanese products. It…

Maokong – A Location for Tea-for-Two

Text: Mark Caltonhill Photos: Vision The Taiwanese are fond of their tea and love to climb hills overlooking their hometowns to take in a “night view.” Put these two together, stipulate that you do not want to drive more than one hour, and Taipei residents still have a large number of choices. One of the most popular is the historic tea-growing area around Maokong in the southwestern part of the city. Tea plantation at Maokong The Taipei basin is surrounded by hills – many of which offer excellent hiking opportunities – and Maokong (貓空) in the hills above Muzha would be just another of these, were it not that at the end of the 19th century immigrants, most famously Zhang Nai-miao (張廼妙) from the tea-growing region of Anxi in mainland China’s Fujian Province, discovered that this particular mountain area’s moist climate and good soil perfectly suited the strains of tea…