Big Breasts Food – Green Papaya with Pork Rib Soup

So recently I haven’t updated my blog and for a really good reason. I broke a finger and more specifically my ring finger. Recently at work we’ve been really busy at work and a few people have called in sick so we’ve been super busy and I was at work one day in a rush...

Swensens Taipei Restaurant Review

There are many things I really like about the UK but some things that really annoy me. The first things that really annoys me is the NHS, it’s useless! The second is eating out. Most shops are open until around 6pm, some 8pm, and the same goes for restaurants. Restaurants close at 11pm and reopen for lunchtime the next time.

One of the best things about Taipei is that there is always something to do / somewhere to eat 24 hours a day and the quality of the food is always really good. When I was younger I used to enjoy clubbing and when we would leave clubs at 4am we would go to a restaurant and grab some food.

One of my favourite 24 hour restaurants is Swensens. Swensens is located at 106 Taiwan Taipei City Daan District Section 4, RénÀi Road 109號 and they serve delicious American food 24 hours a day.

The first time Chris and I visited Taipei together I took him to Swensens for breakfast. Swensens is a chain of American restaurants serving the usual array of American food; burgers, steaks, ribs etc. He ordered an English breakfast, which he really enjoyed but he was bemused when my father ordered a burger. He said “burger? for breakfast?” expecting a tiny little burger but the burger was the size of a plate. It was huge. He had a couple bites and vowed next time we came to Taipei together he would order a burger for breakfast.

Two years later we returned to Taipei and went to Swensens at 5am where he ordered a burger and I ordered a steak. I also ordered soup and a smoothie. Chris ordered a cookies and cream ice cream drink.

Everything was really good. The burger was delicious, the cheese was tasty, the bacon crispy and the burger was cooked perfectly. Same with my steak, it was cooked exactly how I like it and was covered with garlic butter and came with the usual assortment of chips/salad.

Chris absolutely loved his drink and I really enjoyed my smoothie. Everything cost about £30.

This is the thing that annoys me. Yes you can buy food at the UK from 6am/7am but it’s always the same assortment of bacon and egg sandwiches or greasy spoon food. Don’t get me wrong, I love greasy spoon food sometimes but Taipei has so many places like Swensens, where you can walk in 24 hours a day and eat really delicious food.

Pumpkin soup

Cookies and cream milkshake and smoothie at Swensons

5am burger at Swensons. This was really delicious

5am steak covered in garlic butter at Swensens. Awesome!

Close up of that delicious steak

Swensens Taipei menu

Swensens Taipei menu

Swensens Taipei menu

Swensens Taipei menu

Swensens Taipei menu

 

Kao Chi Taipei Restaurant Review

Kao Chi Taipei Restaurant Review. The first time I brought Chris to Taiwan we didn’t go to any Taiwanese restaurants. Sure, we went to quite a few night markets which of course sell Taiwanese food but night market food is different to restaurant food.

Kao Chi Restaurant Taipei

Kao Chi Restaurant Taipei

For example, in a night market, you might buy a bowl of rice covered with slow cooked mince or you might buy a bowl of beef noodle soup. The night markets have a huge variety of food but it’s not restaurant food.

This time when we went back I wanted to take him to some more restaurants. We first of all went to a Shanghainese restaurant where we ate delicious dumplings amongst other things (this restaurant is mentioned elsewhere on this blog). I also wanted to take him to a famous restaurant called Din Tai Fung but it’s always really busy and it’s not necessarily any better than some other Taiwanese restaurants.

So, a couple days before we came home I took him to Kao Chi. Kao Chi’s website can be found here: http://kao-chi.com/ but as a warning it’s entirely in Chinese. Kao Chi is one of my very favourite restaurants and if you eat there you’ll know why.

We went with my parents and my grandmother and ordered quite a lot of dishes. We started off with sweet and sour pork ribs, which Chris quickly devoured, and then in usual Eastern fashion they brought most of our dishes to the table at once. We had a delicious cooked rice dish which I made on 28th April (this recipe can be found here: https://eggwansfoododyssey.com/2011/04/28/cooked-rice-with-bak-choy-and-gammon/). We also had Wuxi Ribs, which if you follow this site you’ll remember I cooked before.

Cooked Rice Kao Chi Restaurant Taipei

Wuxi Ribs Kao Chi Restaurant Taipei

The Wuxi Ribs were phenomenal. In terms of seasoning they’re quite similar to how I cooked them but the meat was very different. Ribs in the UK tend to be mostly bone with a little bit of meat but the ribs in Taiwan are some bone and mostly meat.

We also had one dish with a kind of jellyfish wrapped in pork belly. Incredibly tasty. Chris actually thought the pork belly was bacon but they cut the pork belly so fine it does look like bacon but tastes a lot better. I’m hoping to have a go at making this dish, minus the jellyfish as they can’t be bought in the UK, providing I can find a butcher that can slice pork belly thin enough.

Sliced Boiled Pork with Garlic Sauce Kao Chi Restaurant Taipei

We also ate really delicious shenjingbao, a large fish dish and a pork dish which came with garlic soy sauce. Below are the photos from the food we have but trust me everything is really delicious.

Shenjiangbao Kao Chi Restaurant Taipei

Fish Dish Kao Chi Restaurant Taipei

Tzung Tzu Kao Chi Restaurant Taipei

Deep Fried Pork Chop Kao Chi Restaurant

Rice Eel Kao Chi Restaurant Taipei

Drunken Chicken Kao Chi Restaurant Taipei

Steamed Crab Meat and Pork Dumplings Kao Chi Restaurant Taipei

Cooked Rice with Bak Choy and Gammon

When we were in Taipei one of my favourite restaurants is Kao Chi. Kao Chi serves really delicious Shanghai cuisine and one of the dishes we ordered was this really delicious Cooked Rice with Bak Choy, Chinese ham and mushroom. So for this recipe I decided to make...

Mitsui Japanese Restaurant Taipei Review

Mitsui Japanese Restaurant Taipei Review. Whenever I visit Taipei one of the restaurants I have to visit is Mitsui. I really love Japanese food, it’s beautiful and can be incredibly tasty, and Mitsui is one of the finest examples, if not the finest, in Taipei.Mitsui is also, by UK standards, incredible for value for money but there’s more on this below.

Whenever I visit Taipei one of the restaurants I have to visit is Mitsui. I really love Japanese food, it’s beautiful and can be incredibly tasty, and Mitsui is one of the finest examples, if not the finest, in Taipei.Mitsui is also, by UK standards, incredible for value for money but there’s more on this below.

 

THE RESTAURANT

Very smart and very modern. The service is impeccable. All of the staff are extremely knowledgeable and extremely attentive. They regularly top up your drinks and if you wait literally more than two or three minutes between dishes they apologise. If you also order a set menu the restaurant manager will personally take your order.

Whenever I visit Taipei one of the restaurants I have to visit is Mitsui. I really love Japanese food, it’s beautiful and can be incredibly tasty, and Mitsui is one of the finest examples, if not the finest, in Taipei.Mitsui is also, by UK standards, incredible for value for money but there’s more on this below.

 

THE FOOD

The first time that Chris and I travelled to Taipei together was in January 2009. We both ordered a set meal which consisted of the following:

  • Large scallop on a seafood sesame base covered in crispy seaweed
  • Spot Prawn and tuna belly sashimi
  • Foie Gras dish
  • King Crab dish (they brought a whole live King Crab to our table for our approval)
  • A Lobster salad
  • Kobe Beef Hot Pot (for information Kobe Beef is the Japanese beef that comes from Wagyu Cattle that are fed corn, massaged and given beer to drink). This might sound crazy but Kobe Beef is absolutely divine.
  • Endless supply of Chinese tea
  • Green tea ice cream and fresh seasonal fruit

How much? £50 each!!! In the UK this would have been £200-300 or more.

Mitsui Scallop dish

Deep Fried Scallop with seaweed

Spot Prawn and tuna belly sashimi

Spot Prawn and tuna belly sashimi

Mitsui Lobster Salad

Lobster Salad and the dressing was amazing!

Kobe beef miso hot pot

Kobe Beef Hot Pot

Green Tea Ice cream and seasonal fresh fruit

Green Tea Ice cream and seasonal fresh fruit

The second time around we ate differently. We ordered a set meal and three sushi platters.

  • Sashimi platter. Highlights of this were a huge prawn and super fatty tuna (the fattest most expensive part of tuna)
  • 2 sushi platters. This contained one piece of half cooked fish, roe sushi (roe is super tasty), salmon sushi and my favourite was the sea urchin sushi. Sea urchin looks and sounds disgusting but it’s absolutely divine. Another highlight was the squid sushi. Just two days before going to Mitsui we went to the food hall in the 101 building and had sushi there. The sushi is granted cheaper (cheaper than Yo Sushi and much better) but the squid sushi I had was a bit tough. The squid sushi in Mitsui just melted in your mouth. There were of course other kinds of sushi but naming these is fairly irrelevant.
  • Abalone Salad (abalone is a large sea snail)
  • Grilled King crab legs
  • Tilefish with drops of sea urchin (this is the first time I tried Tilefish and it’s gorgeous)
  • This wasn’t Kobe beef but it was absolutely delicious and I love the presentation
  • Miso Soup
  • Deep Fried softshell crab. Chris is  petrified of anything with more than 4 legs (strange I know!) but these small softshell crabs are delicious (Even he thinks so too! ). You eat absolutely everything and both the shell and the meat inside are some of the tastiest crab I’ve had.
  • Green tea ice cream
  • Endless supply of Chinese tea (I believe this was Oolong which I really enjoy).
Mitsui Sashimi Plater

Mitsui Sashimi Plater

Mitsui Sushi plater

Mitsui Sushi plater

Mitsui Abalone Salad

Mitsui Abalone Salad

Grilled King Crab Legs

Grilled King Crab Legs

Tile Fish with drops of sea urchin

Tile Fish with drops of sea urchin

Deep Fried Soft Shell Crab with Pumpkin puree

Deep Fried Soft Shell Crab with Pumpkin puree

Mitsui Barbeque Beef

Mitsui Barbeque Beef

Total cost: About £30 each. Phenomenal! We originally planned to eat just sushi but after looking at the menu and based on past experience we had to order a set meal as well. Let’s also face it, we don’t go to Taipei very often.

A note about pricing. The sushi alone would have been £40-50 in the UK but the quality of the sushi in Mitsui was on a whole different level. I will admit I have had better sushi in Japan itself but then you expect the best sushi to be in Japan.

Each time we’ve been to Mitsui we’ve been utterly filled up and every dish was incredible. One thing I must point out was paying for the meal. If we eat in a regular night market or shop then we pay with cash but for a larger more expensive meal we always pay by card. Mitsui wouldn’t accept either mine or Chris’ credit cards as they hadn’t opened a line for international banking. I had to run down the street to a cash point, half scared that neither of us had any money in our accounts, then had to run back and pay. This wasn’t great.