Tag Archives: Review

Beef Noodle Master – Yong Kang, Taipei

Yong Kang Beef Noodle1

Even though I go to Taipei regularly, I still manage to find new and old eateries I’ve never been before. Yong Kang Beef Noodles (永康牛肉麵)is one of these places, it is one of the most traditional and well-known places in Taipei for beef noodles. It’s a very old school looking store and probably hadn’t been renovated since it opened, with tables and stools filling the restaurant to the brim. They open at 11am, and we got there at around half past, already there was a queue forming and we were told that it will be a 15 to 20 minute wait.

image-9

We were given a small round table and shared with another party of 3, you don’t have a choice here. You either share a table or you’ll have to wait again for your own and they’re most likely not going to give it to you :) This is quite a common practice in Asia ~ The menu is all written on the wall in Chinese, which is a little concerning because I’m not sure how non-Chinese speaking people will be able to order what they want. But perhaps if you ask the waiters or waitresses they should be able to help you.

Side dishes approx $35TWD ($1.5AUD)

Side dishes approx $35TWD ($1.5AUD) each

We started off with some cold side dishes, which you can see in the photo above, you go to the counter and tell the waitress what you’d like she’ll scoop it onto a plate and you will need to bring it back to your table. From the top left, we got a soy braised octopus, braised mung and also cucumber with konnyaku jelly. The octopus and cucumber had a nice hint of spiciness to it and these were great starter.

Beef noodles small $200TWD ($7.2AUD)

Beef noodles small $200TWD ($7.2AUD)

Within a couple of minutes the beef noodles we ordered arrived. They come in two sizes but we decided to go the small because we knew we’d be eating all day :P For those who are unfamiliar with Taiwanese beef noodles, its very similar to the ones made in China, they both use beef brisket and perhaps tendons. What makes Taiwanese beef noodles special is the soy sauce used to make the broth and also the spiciness along with the herbs such as star anise used. I personally prefer this Taiwanese version as flavours are stronger. Anyhow, back to these famous beef noodles from Yong Kong, they certainly lived up to their name! All three of us were so impressed by the tenderness of the beef, the al dente noodle but most importantly was the broth! Happy to declare probably one of the best I have up until now :)

Clear broth beef noodle soup $160TWD ($6.6AUD)

Clear broth beef noodle soup $160TWD ($6.6AUD)

My other sister Bianca can’t really eat spicy food, so she opted for the beef noodles with a clear broth instead. There was definitely a contrast between the two beef noodles, as the clear broth the beef flavour is more prominent and becomes the hero, as opposed to the spicy broth in the other one. The beef didn’t feel as tender but wasn’t tough and the clear broth was nonetheless tasty. I think both beef noodles were delicious really depends what you prefer :)

Wonton in chilli sauce $100TWD ($3.8AUD)

Wonton in chilli sauce $100TWD ($3.8AUD)

Because it was our first meal of the day, we were pretty hungry. We decided try the wonton in chilli sauce as well. One of my favourite ways to eat wontons! A slight disappointment compared to the beef noodles, as I found the filling a little bland and expected the chilli sauce to be a lot spicier.

When I was doing research about Yong Kang Beef Noodles I found their website which is all in Chinese but the URL for their website is ‘Beef Noodle Master’ :P Find the name a little tacky but their noodles are everything but the best ~ really enjoyed our meal at Yong Kang, only advice is to get there early and go with an empty stomach!

永康牛肉麵館

No. 17號, Lane 31, Section 2,
Jīnshān South Rd, Daan District
Taipei City, Taiwan 106
Opening times: 11am-9:30pm
PH: +866 02-2351-1051

Bacon Steak – Ora Cafe

Bacon steak is definitely the new BACON :) So many cafes are now doing it and I’m so glad they are! Because there is so much more flavour with thick cut bacon. Ora Cafe in Kew is one of these cafes that do a great bacon steak dish. I’ve actually visited a few times but never got around to blogging about it ~

Ora Cafe, Kew

Ora Cafe, Kew

Ora Cafe is one of the few cafes close enough to where we live that serve interesting dishes and most importantly good coffee. It rarely happens but I actually visited them twice a week a while ago, first visit was with Steph a Uni friend. We’ve been keeping in touch with Facebook and email but haven’t had the chance to meet up, so after what feels like 3 years we finally caught up :)

Iced latte $5

Iced latte $5

It was quite warm so I started with an iced latte which is a shot of coffee with some milk and ice. I really enjoyed it because it was essentially an espresso topped with cold milk and ice. The coffee wasn’t diluted and was strong enough which is how I like it ~

Yoghurt panna cotta with honey tulle biscuit $14

Yoghurt panna cotta with honey tulle biscuit $14

Steph got the yoghurt panna cotta with honey tulle biscuit, I was so jealous because it sounded amazing and tasted even better! It was like a legit dessert for breakfast, the fruit compote cut through some of the sweetness of the yoghurt panna gotta if anyone was worried. But what got my attention was that crunchy honey biscuit on top! Highly recommend this!

Bacon Steak, BBQ beans, apple cider scone and fried egg $19

Bacon Steak, BBQ beans, apple cider scone and fried egg $19

I know it’s a surprise for all that I didn’t go for a sweet option for breakfast, for once I was really craving bacon! And when I saw ‘bacon steak’, I simply had to order and try it! It didn’t disappoint, the bacon steak was full of flavour and the BBQ bean was slightly caramelised and sweet. I found the apple cider scones a little dry though but was great for scooping up the sauce left behind.

Chocolate beetroot brownie

Chocolate beetroot brownie $4

Who was I trying to kid, of course I needed something sweet :P Steph was too full, so I got something small for myself. The friendly waitress suggested the chocolate beetroot brownie, a great choice! It was so moist and moreish, it actually resembled more like a fudge.

Awkward looking Mr Bao

Awkward looking Mr Bao

Then a couple of days later on Valentine’s Day, Mr Bao and I went back to Ora for brunch, because he also wanted to try the bacon steak. I was one lucky girl because Mr Bao got me a new camera for Valentine’s day YAY!!! So I used my snazzy new camera to take a very awkward photo of him hehe

Canon 100D

I had been eyeing the new Canon 100D that was recently released, it claims to be one of the smallest DSLR cameras on the market, and to make a comparison it’s smaller than my iPhone 5! Mr Bao also got me a new lens the 40mm which Fatboo (Let’s Get Fat Together) recommended :) I’m totally in love with both the camera and the lens! Hopefully my photos will improve and you will also like my photos!

Magic $4.20

Magic $4.20

Moving onto the food and drinks, Mr Bao got his usual Magic, he commented it had a light floral flavour with some nutty undertones. He really enjoyed the coffee and went on to order another flat white after our brunch ~

Latte $4.2

Latte $4.2

I got a latte using the same coffee and agree it was quite floral but I really liked the nutty aftertaste that comes a few seconds after you’ve taken a sip. The coffee was at a good temperature too not too hot or lukewarm.

Bacon steak with BBQ beans, apple cider scones and fried egg $19

Bacon steak with BBQ beans, apple cider scones and fried egg $19

Mr Bao got the same dish as I did last time, the bacon steak and he was also blown away by the flavour of the bacon. His only compliant was he wanted servings to be a little bigger because he wanted more bacon haha

Swimmer crab hash with salad $18

Crab corn and fritters with salad $18

I decided to get something on the specials board, the crab and corn fritters with salad. The fritters were quite fluffy and reminded me more of potato hash with crab mixed through it because it’s quite fluffy. I really enjoyed the sauce beneath it which was like a spicy hollandaise/mayonnaise.

Crab corn fritter

And because it was Valentine’s day they had a little something special on their sweets cabinet hehe and I’m a sucker for cute things. So that’s how we came about ordering this heart shaped macaron with a chocolate. The macaron shell was a little soft but I really liked the chocolate filling and its so perfect for Valentine’s day! It will put a face on any girls face :D

Heart shaped macaron with chocolate filling $4.5

Heart shaped macaron with chocolate filling $4.5

Always a pleasure to visit Ora cafe, it’s close to home, service is friendly and efficient but most importantly it is still the dishes they make and the bacon steak!

Ora Cafe on Urbanspoon

Meeting Nami (JOC) – Hanlai Hotel, Kaohsiung

Big huge hello to all My Dearest Readers! How have you all been? I have been keeping up with most of you through Instagram and other forms of Social Media, but boy I’ve missed blogging. Have been so preoccupied trying to catch up with everyone in HK and also doing some (erm…maybe a LOT) of shopping :D

Hk 2014

Have so so so many new stories, restaurant and cafe to share with you. But the first one would have to be meeting Namiko Chen from Just One Cookbook! If you like Japanese food and have tried to Google for Japanese recipes, I’m sure you would have come across Nami’s amazing blog with easy to follow recipes, step-by-step photos and she has recently added videos for her recipes!

Just One Cookbook

Nami and I have followed each others blog for quite some time now, and we’ve always talked about meeting up one day. Coincidentally, last week Nami posted up on Instagram that she was flying to Kaohsiung, Taiwan to attend her brother-in-law’s wedding. I was ecstatic! Because I too was going to Kaohsiung the next day, so I boldly messaged Nami and asked if she would like and have the time to meet up. So excited she said yes, so we quickly organised to meet on the Tuesday afternoon at the hotel lobby lounge cafe at the Hanlai Hotel.

Hanlai Hotel

Hanlai Hotel

I got out of the taxi and started looking around the cafe when I saw a lady wave at me and I recognised that was Nami and her husband! She was everything I imagined her to be, the sweetest, gentlest and most genuine people you can meet! We had such a good time talking about everything from how she started her blog all the way to how she moved from Japan to the US and the challenges there are. I also shared all the crazy things I get up to down under hehe

Hello Nami!

Hello Nami!

Moving onto the food, we decided to get the tea set which was $299TWD ($12AUD) each including a drink. It was such a generous serving and we simply did not expect so much food, the food was served on a little 2 tier stand with sweets on the top and savoury on the bottom.

Afternoon Tea set $299TWD ($13AUD) + 10% Service Charge

Afternoon Tea set $299TWD ($13AUD) + 10% Service Charge

Starting with the savoury items, there were two tuna sandwiches, a baguette with a piece of ham and a petite serving of pasta prawn with a spicy tomato sauce. I really enjoyed the baguette with the ham as it had good flavour and crunch from the bread. The prawn pasta was a little spicy for Nami but I thought it was quite nice maybe because I like spicy food.

Savoury

Then there were the sweets, we all got a small serving of fruit which I thought was really nice as it’s quite refreshing, a small square sponge cake with vanilla custard which was my absolutely favourite. The sponge cake had the lightest texture. Last but not least we all got a different piece of cake, I got the strawberry shortcake which I knew Mr Bao would’ve loved because this is one of his favourite cakes! There was, however, a little too much cream for me.

Sweets

We were also given an extensive list of drinks to choose from, not just tea or coffee. I ordered the iced coffee latte with coffee jelly and it was lovely with a strong coffee taste but what really impressed me was the coffee jelly which I kept scooping into my mouth~ I also like how most restaurants and cafe have set meals which include a drink, while it doesn’t seem as common in Australia.

Iced coffee latte with coffee jelly

Iced coffee latte with coffee jelly

Would highly recommend anyone going to Kaohsiung to stay or visit the Hanlai Hotel and try the afternoon tea. I think it’s really good value for money, for less than $15AUD you get to enjoy a wonderful afternoon tea with delicious food and drinks. The atmosphere is also really nice for a bunch of girls to get together and chit chat.

Once again would like to thank Nami and Mr JOC (her hubby) for meeting me! It was such a pleasure to finally put a face to a blog and I really admire their dedication to their blog and have become so inspired by them to really put more effort and time into my own little blog! Hope you have a safe flight back to San Francisco and I’m sure we will meet again either :D

Hanlai Hotel
No.266, Cheng-kung 1st Rd
Kaohsiung City 801, Taiwan R.O.C.
高雄市前金區801成功一路266號
PH: 886-2-2751-7527
Website: http://www.grand-hilai.com.tw/english/index.htm

Matcha Delights – Miam Miam + Some News :)

Happy Chinese New Year my Dearest Readers :) If you celebrate I wish you all a prosperous horse year!! Mr Bao and I celebrated Chinese New Years with our friends and I will be sharing that story with you soon ~ But today, I want to share with you a new French-Japanese restaurant that has recently opened in Chadstone Shopping Centre – Miam Miam.

Miam Miam

Miam Miam is originally from Tokyo and have now opened throughout Asia including Singapore and have now ventured into Australia and landed in Melbourne :) As soon as I saw photos of of the matcha lattes and desserts, I knew I had to go check it out ASAP! You know how much I love my matcha hehe

Miam MIam

If you’re not familiar with Chadstone, Miam Miam is in the area with the other restaurants such as Pappa Rich and close to Aldi and Colonial Markets. I really like the decor of the restaurant with the aluminion chairs and bright lights. They have a no booking policy, so I arrived early to get a table for 6 as I was meeting up with Jana, her husband and some of her friends ~ The waitress was friendly and even though they didn’t have a table for us, they were willing to shuffle the tables around to accommodate us.

Matcha latte with softie $8.8

Matcha latte with softie $8.8

They had a whole section on the menu dedicated to matcha goodies! You should’ve seen the smile on my face :) A couple of us ordered this matcha latte with matcha soft serve, I must say I was quite impressed! Because it is quite hard to find matcha lattes that have a strong matcha flavour and the soft serve had a nice creamy texture and good matcha flavour. I would have preferred if it had an even stronger matcha flavour, but its already one of the better ones I’ve had in Melbourne.

Matcha smoothie with red bean $7.5

Matcha smoothie with red bean $7.5

Mr Bao ordered a matcha smoothie with red bean, I couldn’t really taste the red bean but it had the same matcha flavour and had a more icy texture as it was a smoothie. I think I prefer the matcha latte a little more ~

Miam Miam Spaghetti $16.8

Miam Miam Spaghetti $16.8

The menu is a little small with only a handful of savoury dishes, it was made even more disappointing when a few dishes were sold out at 7pm and we were only left with either the Miam Miam spaghetti or the squid ink risotto. 3 of us got the Miam Miam Spaghetti with tomato, eggplant, bacon and a soft boiled egg. The pasta was cooked to a nice al dente texture and with good flavour, we did find it to be slightly salty.

Squid Ink Risotto $20.8

Squid Ink Risotto $20.8

The rest of the table ordered the Squid Ink Risotto with omelette on top, once again cooked to al dente and with squid pieces through it, flavour was great and the egg top was creamy and soft. For such a small portion I find it a little overpriced for $20.8, the boys were definitely not full and wanted more food ~

Matcha Souffle

Matcha Souffle

Sorry I can’t find the prices for the desserts, of course all the desserts we ordered were MATCHA :D Starting with the matcha soufflé, I don’t think I’ve had this before. Unfortunately, it was a little bit of a disappointment, it was very wet inside and felt a little uncooked, while matcha flavour wasn’t very strong. I think it would make a great soufflé if a few improvements were made.

Matcha soufflé pancake with soft serve

Matcha soufflé pancake with soft serve

The other dessert we got was the matcha soufflé pancake with matcha soft serve, coffee jelly, matcha jelly and red bean. The pancake is thicker and dense in the middle but remained soft, once again lacked some matcha flavour but the coffee jelly actually complimented the matcha in general.

That’s the first meal I had at Miam Miam, I enjoyed some of the dishes but would’ve have liked more options no the menu and stronger matcha flavour for some desserts. However, still really glad that they have now opened up and serving so many matcha desserts.

Iced Matcha Tea

Iced Matcha Tea

Because I am a true matchaholic, I couldn’t hope but go back two days later with my colleague and we had afternoon there. This time I had the iced matcha tea as it was quite hot and I wanted something to quench the thirst. It’s very different from the matcha latte as this iced version has no milk and not sweetened either, it had quite a lot of ice which watered down the matcha.

Matcha parfait with matcha jelly, red bean and rice crisps

Matcha parfait with matcha jelly, coffee jelly, red bean and rice crisps

I didn’t get to try the parfait last time so went back to try the matcha parfait with matcha jelly, coffee jelly, red bean and rice crisps. Pretty much the same toppings that was on the matcha soufflé pancake, all matched quite well but I think I would’ve liked some other topping on the parfait to make it a little different. 

Cookie N Cream Parfait

Cookie N Cream Parfait

They made a mistake with our order and brought a Cookie N Cream parfait when we ordered another pancake. They were kind enough to offer it to us so yay for us we got to try this as well. Similar to the matcha parfait it had a vanilla soft serve base chocolate rice crisps, sliced banana, chocolate syrup and some crushed Oreo cookies. Not bad but I think I prefer the matcha more hehe maybe I’m bias!

Spiced Apple soufflé pancake

Spiced Apple soufflé pancake

Last but not least was the spiced apple soufflé pancake topped with vanilla soft serve and crushed corn flakes. I found the pancake to be slightly overcooked this time, and would have preferred if the apples were a little softer.

After two visits in 3 days, I definitely like Miam Miam especially their matcha soft serve and all their other matcha drinks and desserts. However, I find the quality of the food to be a little inconsistent and the same elements used again and again. I have also heard from others that they find the menu to be limited and for some dishes it is overpriced. I think Miam Miam needs more time to improve and expand on their menu but other than that it is a great addition to our food scene ~

Miam Miam Restaurant on Urbanspoon

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Now time to share some exciting news :)

My little CUPCAKE!

My little CUPCAKE!

Mr Bao and I are very happy to announce that we are now proud parents to this gorgeous little silver toy poodle :) And his name is CUPCAKE! I have actually Instagrammed some photos before so those who follow me will know about him hehe we are both so in love with this little puppy! But I do understand not everyone likes dogs so I have created a separate Instagram account for him to share his daily adventures ~ His account is @My_Mr_Cupcake

Cupcake

I totally underestimated the time and effort required to train a puppy, between working full-time, going to puppy school twice a week, toilet training, feeding and playing with Cupcake. It hasn’t left me with a lot of time to do my own things like blogging! But please bear with me Dearest Readers, I promise to get my act together as soon as possible! Thank you so much for being so patient with me!

Birthday Celebrations – Ganache High Tea

Yesterday was an important day, it was my BIRTHDAY hehe :) I admit my Dearest Readers, I’m one of those attention-seeking friends and love celebrating my birthday with all my loved ones! Usually my birthday celebrations last for at least a week…but it’s quite often that they will last for a month :P

Ganache high tea

I got lucky and my birthday was a public holiday, because Australia day landed on a Sunday so we got the Monday off as well YAY! So i definitely made the most of this long weekend, the first birthday celebration started with a high tea with my fellow blogger friends at Ganache on Toorak Rd. It’s one of my favourite chocolate cafes in Melbourne so I was thrilled when they told me, they could do a high tea for me in their back room.

For $30 each we all started with a glass of champers followed by a traditional high tea set with savoury and sweets and of course a choice between the famously delicious hot chocolate, tea or chocolate infused chai tea ~

Look at us with our cameras hehe

Look at us with our cameras hehe

Ta Da! This was our high tea set, with a full plate of freshly made sandwiches on the bottom with roast chicken and smoked salmon. It was then followed by quiche with goats chesse and another with tomato, it had a smooth texture. But what we all really enjoyed was the Parisian tea cake which is an almond topped with chocolate, hazelnuts or cranberries. It was so moist and lightly dense and not too sweet for my blogger friends :P

Ganache high tea

On the very top layer was a range of they signature gateaux cakes with hazelnut fan slice, brownie mousse slice, rapsberry chocolate mousse and passionfruit and mango. They’re all so delicious but the hazelnut fan slice was by far my top pick.

Gateaux YUM!

Gateaux YUM!

As if we didn’t have enough food, there was also two stands full of macarons, chocolate pralines and Swiss chocolate muffins. The texture of the macarons were wonderful, especially the dark chocolate macaron. We had so much food, we were all given paper boxes to take things home, so even though Mr Bao didn’t come he tried a little bit of everything hehe

Macaron Ganache

Macarons goes best with hot chocolate :) They actually make the hot chocolates using a Ganache base which is why it’s super smooth, rich and utterly wonderful!

Ganache Hot chocolate

I was honestly so spoilt that day, because I outsourced my camera duties to Agnes who took all the photos for this post thank you! And then BBFF Shellie totally outdid herself again but making an AMAZING Thai Milk Tea crepe cake!!!

Thai Milk Tea Crepe Cake

Thai Milk Tea Crepe Cake

There were so many layers, I swear there’s at least over 25 crepes to make this cake!!! I can’t thank Shellie enough I’ve been gushing over this cake since she’s made it and posted it on her Instagram :)

Thai Milk Tea Crepe cake

If you like Thai Milk Tea you’ll definitely like this crepe cake, especially when paired with the Thai Milk Tea drizzle, if you’re game enough and have the patience Shellie has already blogged the recipe here ~

IMG_0367

Absolutely loved the cake and thanks Ash for taking this photo for me :) One of my favourite birthday photos yet!

My Dear Blogmily :)

My Dear Blogmily :)

Awwww Thanh closed his eyes in this pic! But this is my blogmily :) Thanks so much everyone for coming! Hope you all had fun and I still think starting my blog and getting to know you guys was the best decision I’ve made!

Ganache Chocolate on Urbanspoon

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