Friday, May 18, 2012

A Meander through Taipei - March 2012 Part 2

Day 2 of our Taipei jaunt saw us head directly to LungShan temple where vendors prepared offerings and talismans to purchase on the way in.  Read about Day 1 HERE. The city didn't disappoint as it continued to envelope us with colour and movement!
Across the road we found a handful of food stalls then around the corner just to the left we stumbled across an arcade  that housed a truly wonderful food market - as you will see everything was super fresh... almost kicking. Warning - some of these images are of a graphic nature... if you are vegetarian or squeamish you might want to look away after the first handful of shots...
mmm... looks like a version of oden... Taiwan was under Japanese control at one time so its more than likely
OK... here's where it starts to get a little gory.. now don't say I didn't warn you....
Well this chook is FRESH... cousins still alive above and below the slaughtered birds... I like the touch of the bowl to catch the drips
Any takers for above??
This is my favourite  - you just don't see pork this fresh everyday....
Soy chicken.. yes please..
These guys were powering through the dumplings - lovely to watch such craftwork
Fresh water chestnuts on the right and lotus root on the left
100? 1000 year old eggs???
an assortment of fish and meatpaste dumplings etc 
oooh loving the slow cooked pork... any bit will do
Mountain yams
Apparently the thing to do is casually throw your money onto the fish you want... when they noted I was snapping away they quickly snatched back the note
Have a heart??? lung? stomach?
We exited the market into an area close by some heritage buildings and strolled over for a closer look
The preserved area housed a museum of old shop/living quarters and some memorabilia - we really just needed to use their "convenience" but it was great to take a little look around and talk to the local guides.

Afterwards we headed to lunch at a Chinese Buddhist Vegetarian restaurant. We asked the hotel to do some research for us and we were really looking forward to finally trying some decent grub. FAIL! Sooo disappointing ..
The menu looked inviting enough
And the food itself looked promising...
...but we left most of it - really quite awful sadly - but hey... next time we will just have to make sure we do a lot more research of our own. The trip happened  all too quickly so we were leaving it in the hands of the gods... ah well, you can't win em all. If anyone has any hot tips for Taipei please drop me a line!
After much walking in search of an old fashioned tea house we stumbled across this "trendy" area and giving up on the local delicacies we opted for chocolate drinks and a wee piece of pastry at the  Agnes B cafe .. of all places. It was good....  This one is for you Lindy Thompson!
Who can resist a hello kitty cake??
A walk in the park
A bit of romance, some live music absolutely pumping out in a main shopping centre... the day was almost over but we had a wonderful dinner to look forward to
Our final meal was in a swish joint... it did indeed look fab. And being situated at the top of the 101 buildling -we might have had a superb view for our last night in Taipei but the fog, which had kept us from landing was also preventing any scenic joy. And sadly -the view was the only thing this place might have had going for it - the food was probably the least successful rendition of Taiwanese food we had eaten. People were clearly here for the view... its a gimmick. The food is seriously below par.  I would not waste my money (especially not on a foggy night!)

OK that's all to report - just a quick look at our couple of days in Taiwan. Thanks to Bridget for holding my  hand on the plane and keeping me from having a coronary incident.  It took me a whole day to stop shaking.... I didn't really care what happened the rest of the trip - I was glad to be alive. But looking back... what's with the food taipei... we tried, we really did -but clearly one needs insider knowledge. Maybe next time... 

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