Yang Ming Shan National Park

Start my Yang Ming Shan trip with Qing tian gang grassland on an amazing clear sky day. What a great way to start my day with such a beautiful and vibrant scenery. Ohh and beware of buffalo if you step on grass area. 

Leng Shui Keng although translated into English as cold water pit, the hot springs at Lengshuikeng are still quite hot, albeit cooler than others in the area, making visiting the area great for those curious about hot springs without siting in 40°C water.

Xiao You Keng is a beautiful scenery as post-volcanic geological landscape area.

Stop for a lunch break at Miau Ban garden. Ferns & Steamed Fish – Both menu are local delicacy. Extremely fresh and sweet fish. Fern texture are quite interesting. Not much seasoning though

Beitou

Gudetama cafe are closed. I am kind of disappointed. Ended up having dinner at Din Tai Fung instead. The food are just amazing and their service are on point.

Jiufen & Ding Wang Hot Pot

Jiu Fen is one of the most famous tourist attraction in Taiwan nowadays. Famous from an inspired scene from Studio Ghibli Spirited Away. As I traverse around Jiu Fen street with colorful side vendors, it is more enjoyable with Spirited Away soundtrack in my head.

Stopped to take a tea break with Skyline tea house opposite to famous A Mei tea house. Their menu of beef noodles are enjoyable with fragrant tea by the sea view on a clear sky day. What a lovely scenery.

Exquisite Shabu Mala style. Ding Wang is more like a family celebration kind of restaurant rather than all you can eat style shabu place. Mala soup was not too numb for my taste. Amazing A5 Wagyu quality. Not so extensive menu but well executed quality.

Wenting Hot Pot

Start my first meal in Taiwan trip with Wenting Hot Pot. Weting emphasize on Emperor level service with finest ingredients. I have arrived around noon time without any queue and got a table right away.

Their front service provides costume for photo shoot, massage chair, nail decoration service, candy and hot tea in case you have to wait for the table.

Mix your own sauce corner. Variety of ingredients to make your own sauce depends on individual preference.

Ordered two persons Wagyu Surf & Turf set. The set were served beautifully. Mala soup is a numbing Chinese soup which consists of Sichuan peppercorn, chili pepper and various spices simmered with oil. From the photos it is red color soup on the right. Wenting soup are abundance in herb and spice ingredients and full of flavor. A trick is not to dip vegetables in Mala soup since it will soak too much Mala and resulted in too numbing flavor. Most people prefer dipping meat/seafood for a short duration and enjoy the flavor

AU Wagyu Beef

Seafood

Abalone

Abalone size are just bite size. The texture are fresh and resulted in sweet and enjoyable flavor.

Matsuzaka Pork

Apparently, Matsuzaka pork is not a famous dish in Japan. From my research, I understand that it is a coined term in Taiwan. Definition aside pork texture are good and enjoyable. If anyone have further detail, it would be appreciated and I would update the info in the future.

Palsaik

Palsaik (팔색 삼겹살)  is a famous Korean cuisine with three branches in Seoul and outlets in the US, Japan, Australia, China, Taiwan, Malaysia and the Philippines. With a recently opened branch in Thailand in 2nd floor of Siam center.

Famous for 8 colorful different flavors. I started with their signature set with pork belly that is marinated for 12 to 36 hours in eight different sauces – gingseng, red wine, pine leaves, garlic, herbs, curry, miso and gochujang.

Similar to some Korean places, staff took care of grilling and keeping pan clean using Radish which is an amazing idea. The thing about Thai people is that we are not used to have stranger cooking while we are eating in front of us and it could be awkward sometimes. Not a big deal though, still an amazing experience to leave it to the expert.

Pork belly are cooked very well with firm and fragrant texture. Different flavor offered a variety of enjoyable choice to choose from and side vegetables are surprisingly fresh.

Cheesy fried rice to complete the meal. The rice are not too dry or soggy and well-balance flavored.

Cha um

Cha-um [adj] is a Thai word which translates as Verdant in English. Recently compact pop up store resides in Vibrant Gump community mall. Gump community mall seems to be aligned in Pastel color scheme. Keep in mind that they do not have parking spaces at the moment if you are driving.

Cha um clearly depicts itself as a healthy hang out cafe located at center of the community mall. Menu consists of Salmon Donburi, salad, Thai cuisine and smoothies. I personally like the vibe of hanging out and having delicious healthy meal while feeling outside environment at the same time.

Salmon Donburi are beautifully presented. The texture of Salmon are fresh and contains no trace of fishy odor. The rice are served warmed which is an enjoyable texture.

Salads contains of various fruits from green apple, strawberry, orange, passion fruit, dragon fruit, blueberry, pomegranate, yogurt and granola. I like the idea that you get a different taste of each vibrant fruit from sour to sweetness.

Ministry of Crab

The Ministry of Crab, a Sri Lankan restaurant institution, led by Chef Dharshan Munidasa(#25 Asia’s 50 Best 2018), cricket legends; Mahela Jayawardene; Kumar Sangakkara. Recently opened from 1st of December for dinner, My foodie instinct told me to book the table and went for this famous Sri Lanka originated restaurant.

Arriving around appointment time around 18:00 on 5th day of grand opening. Guest are arriving fast. Vibrant decoration on 1st floor. I was seated on 1st floor and did not take any peek at 2nd. Maybe next time then.

The menu range from famous Chili, pepper, curry, Garlic Chili or even butter crab. Size and availability of crab and shrimp are displayed by glowing crab shell on the decoration. Their constitution showing crab size start from 500 g to prevent under grown sized crab from being served.

Before starting the meal, waiter/waitress ask for a permission to provide you with a lap apron with apron. Apron are for one time used and you could bring it back home as a souvenir. Just don’t forget to wash it first if there are any spot from eating those yummy crab.

Crab liver pate (20 g) served with Melba toast and syrup

First of all, love that tiny beaker. Probably the smallest on I have ever encountered. Second of all, forget all extremely strong crab liver odor. I am not a big fan of crab liver sushi however, this one is just insanely good with a not too sweet syrup. A perfect appetizer indeed.

As my table consist of only 2 persons, we went for a medium (up to 800g) curry crabs served in a pot. I had observed that there are variety of crab that were served on plate too depends on your order. Crab quality are absolute fresh with insane amount of natural sweetness. Curry style remains different from what Chinese style curry crab with lots of egg and sweetness from seasoning. This curry crab are more packs a punch curry style with a dip of juicy Garlic bread to crack up enjoyable moment. I think the price are reasonable for the freshness of crab on the menu.

Chicken curry rice served with Pol Sambol, fried egg and Kade bread.

This soft and cooked to perfection chicken curry are spicy even matching Thai’s standard so that is a good sign with a punch of curry. Combining with Pol Sambol, Fried egg and Kade bread to ease spiciness. Pol Sambol is also refreshing light texture.

Complimentary Coconut Crème Brûlée

As the only dessert on the menu which they are planning to expand further in the future, aromatic coconut Crème Brûlée is a good way to complete this wonderful meal. The texture are enjoyable at first however, a little bit too creamy about half a way. I had also comment regarding this point to the waitress.

In conclusion, the restaurant service are smooth as for first week of opening as the staff are attentive and knowledgeable for their menu . It is also interesting to have a little chat with Jay (General Manager) and to see our wish list from Sri Lanka arrive before we even visit their original branch. I would say the place is well worth the experience.

Botejyu

As Bangkok weather progress to be hot on a sunny day as usual. My cravings for Kansai food with Teppan(Pan) skills are increasing which is a good opportunity to try out Botejyu located in Nihonmachi around Prom Phong area.

Immerse with a compact history of Botejyu to crank up some appetite.

Mixed Yakisoba with extra scallops topping – Well-balanced portion of sauce and Soba. A little crispy pork with fresh shrimp and squid. Scallops are a little too tiny though.

Ultimate Pork Okonomiyaki – A mixed of variety of pork. Satisfying texture with well executed seasoning.

Jumbo Takoyaki Sauce & Mayonaise – A jumbo size Takoyaki as claimed. Texture are fluffy and satisfying with generous amount of fresh Tako inside.