Sunday, 29 June 2014

Shilin Night Market + Ximending

I went to Taipei, Taiwan in November last year for a conference and obviously I would take the opportunity to try out as much food as I can! Too bad I was travelling alone so I only could eat the max that my stomach could store. If I were to travel with someone else then definitely I'll be able to try more food.

Shilin Night Market

A must go for tourist would be the Shilin Night Market. If you are travelling by public transport then then nearest MRT station would be the Jiantan Station. The market is about 5- 10 minutes walk from the Jiantan MRT station.

Though near, I've no idea why I got lost on all three occasions even if I had a map with me. Yeah, I went to Shilin night market THREE times, haha.

The three visits were:
#1 To check out the location since it was on the way back to Taipei Main Station (same MRT line)
#2 Real visit, try out food, discover cheap buys
#3 Couldn't get enough of cheap shoes so I made one last trip there to buy more shoes

Talking about shoes. They have many cheap shoes i.e. flats going for RM19!!!! I bought 3 pairs of shoes for myself, one pair each for sisters and two pairs for mum. Well, mum's I bought one from Shilin market at RM19 and another (Aborigine prints) at Longshan Temple area for only RM10!!!!

Trip #1 Checked out the location. Found it easily with the help of people around

It was so weird that I easily found the market on my first trip but was terribly lost during my second and third trip there.

So the Shilin Market is really huge. Before you even reach the market you will see a whole stretch of stalls leading towards the market. They had games stall too! There was some balloon game, shooting game, fishing game etc It was very much like a fun fair. But I didnt play any because I had limited cash to spend LOL

Fried milk stall

One of the first street food I tried there was the fried milk. Initially I was reluctant to buy the fried milk because though I'm a milk lover, I find it weird to fry milk. And it was about RM2 (Forgot how much in Taiwan Dollars). Actually I was skeptical about a lot of food in Taipei hahahha It was all so different from the food I've been eating back home and it smell really different too.

I remember getting all excited about the 7-11 there. It's 24 hours like what we have here in Malaysia but they carry much more food there! And by food I mean proper food that you could heat up and eat anytime!

I arrived at Taipei at midnight because that was the cheapest flight available. By the time I took the bus and reach NiHao Hotel (right next to Taipei Main Station) it was already 1am. Good thing there was a 7-11 a few shops away from my hotel because I haven't had dinner (I didn't purchase food on flight because I wanted to save money).

Day 1 midnight dinner: Beef noodles RM7 and milk tea RM1

All the price of food here will be written in RM and it by approximation because its been a year since I went there so can't really recall the exact price. 

The beef noodles was not too bad for instant beef noodles: 3/5 stars. The RM1 tea was horrible it tasted so diluted I can hardly taste the tea: 1/5 stars. So be happy that you can easily get yummy ice tea (teh ais) from any stalls here in Malaysia for about RM1.50. Good tea with thick condense/ evaporated milk!

Oh ya, the next morning I had my breakfast in 7-11 too before switching hotels. I had my favourite herbal eggs! Not too bad, but I can easily find better eggs here in Malaysia. 

I didn't like the almond milk though. I forgot that I hated it back in Sydney and yeah, I hate it in Taiwan too LOL It has this really strong smelly nut smell.

Day 2 breakfast: Herbal eggs, RM1 and almond milk, RM3

Talking about smell, after Day 2 whenever I passby 7-11 I will get a massive headache because of the smell. I don't know what smell is that but I believe its from the food that the sell. That distinct smell made me sick. Literally. Good thing I had panadols.

OMG. There I go off topic again.

So back to Shilin Night market, this is where I had my fried milk! RM2 per stick. Recently, I went to Asia Cafe, SS15 and noticed this new stall selling fried milk too! Maybe if you would like to know how fried milk taste you can try it at Subang Jaya:)

Fried milk that looks like fish balls!

It sounds nonsensical to fried milk but actually it tasted not too bad. How I think they made it was first they combined milk and jelly to form some kind of milk pudding. Then they cut the milk puddings into cubes. Yes, I know it looked round but it was cubes before they fried it then it melted.

Oh ya, before they fried the milk pudding they dipped it in batter. Tada! Fried milk.

Fried milk, super hot on the inside. Caution!

Besides fried milk, I tried Smelly Tofu! Before going to Taipei, I did my research and smelly tofu was on my must eat list because it's so popular there. But once I reached Taipei, I couldn't find my guts to actually try it. You can smell the smelly tofu stall from miles away, it was horrible that again I had headaches.

But on the second last day, which is during my #3 Shilin Market trip I decided to give it a go. Apparently a Taiwanese lady from the conference told me that Shilin Market is well known for they smelly tofu. 

Smelly tofu stall. Can't understand what's written but it should be the price for different tofu LOL

The stall lady was so nice that she allowed me to buy one piece of tofu from here instead of a set:)

Deep fried smelly tofu with prickled cabbage

There are two types of tofu I think but I ate the deep fried one. OMFG! It was actually so good! I love tofu so this is one of the best tofu I've ever eaten and it doesn't stink as much as it smells when cooking!

The exterior of the tofu is crunchy because its deep fried in really hot oil but the inside of the tofu remains soft and juicy! It goes really well with the prickled cabbage too! I tried adding the chili sauce but I didn't like it very much because the chili sauce smelt funny (again, I know).

Me and smelly tofu, RM1.50 

Also, I tried the frogs egg drink in Shilin Market! Kidding!! 

It's not real frog's egg. Its just that they place a froggy picture there. But then again I can't read Chinese so it might be real frog's eggs :P teehee.

Frogs egg drink stall

Frogs egg drink was a very soothing beverage especially for night markets where it can get hot and sweaty. It's actually a lemon drink with aiyu jelly and frog's eggs (a type of tapioca balls that looks like frog's egg). Go google.

Frog eggs RM4, you dare?

I think fried chicken is very famous in Shilin Market too but I had it in Ximending instead. So here is the second part to my post:


This is Ximending.
Ximending at night

I understand that a lot of Malaysians love to stay around this area because they its a good place for food hunt and shopping! I wanted to do my nails here but then I decided that I'd save on manicure and stock up on more cheap facial masks.

My Beauty Diaries face mask was RM22 per box (10 pieces) so I stashed about 4 boxes home. Here in Malaysia its priced double! There's this huge ass Watsons in Ximending, a FOUR STOREY Watsons!

Ximending's Watson located outside the Ximen MRT exit opens till late I think midnight. Some blogs say 24 hours but by mignight they were closing already. 

I bought this face mask there, forgot the brand I think its QQ mask, RM18. Buy 1 free 1!!!! I regretted buying only one box because when I came back the next day there were out of stock already! Gah!

So as I was saying I had chicken in Ximending. I had two types of chicken actually- one huge chicken cutlet (like the ones that we find here at Shilin Street Snacks shop) and chicken chunks.

5 Star chicken cutlet, RM6

Seafood tempura, RM5

The chicken was sooooo good! So juicy inside! One of the best fried chicken I've tasted! Guess what? When I came back to Malaysia I noticed that they have an outlet at Pavillion's food court too!!

*chicken dance*

Chicken chunks from 1973? I think that's the shop's name.

The 5- Star chicken tasted better though! But if you are in a hurry like I was, you can get your chicken from 1973 too because it tasted okay and it's located right outside the MRT station. I was hurrying to meet one of my supervisor's mentor so I just packed chicken and run.

Oh, and in Taiwan I hardly drank water during the first few days... till I got dehydrated later on and then bought mineral water. So what I drank instead? Tea!

I realized this bad habit of not drinking water when I'm overseas LOL

Yup, I love tea so I was going bonkers on tea when I was in Taipei. By the way, Chatime here is on par, if not better than most of the milk tea there so I can happily enjoy my Chatime in Malaysia without needing to fly all the way there for good tea.

But one, only one shop in Taipei that I  came across that sells super good milk tea that tops Chatime is 50嵐 (I copied and paste the Chinese character from Google). Apparently that chinese character is "Lan" :X

50嵐 (50 Lan milk tea)

The milk tea has this really fragrant tea smell and its so yummy with milk!! I've been drinking milk tea, green tea, black tea, red tea all with pearls for the first few days in Taipei. Then I felt a bit guilty because the milk seems unhealthy (and I wasn't drinking water) so I decided to have fresh milk tea!

LOVE LOVE LOVE Fresh milk tea!

But that, you gotta shake before drinking because fresh milk will separate from tea so you will get two layers. The fresh milk is so light and the fact that it's fresh milk erases all guilt if indulging in milk tea!

Fresh milk tea. See the two layers? Top fresh milk, bottom tea.

Back to normal milk tea with pearls again on my last night in Taipei LOL

Okay, I'm ending this post with Ah Cheng's meesua (rice flour noodles) picture. I didn't try it even if it's a must try in Ximending because there's pork intestines inside. But everyone was slurping away on their meeshua. 

They only have stools there so you gotta hold the bowl and slurp up! I think its priced at RM5. Service was efficient though, everyone had their meesua within such short time so no grumpy customers.

Oh, another famous food in Taipei is their Lu Rou Fan (braised minced pork rice). I didn't try it though but this couple sitting next to me while I was flying to Taipei kept harping on how yummy that dish is and that I should try it and that she would want to eat bowls and bowls of rice. So it must be that good haha

Thursday, 26 June 2014

Levain Boulangerie & Patisserie, KL

I've visited Levain Boulangerie & Patisserie for a couple of times now and I'm still loving their pastries!! The only problem is that it's located at Jalan Delima, off Jalan Imbi in Kuala Lumpur so I'll usually feel lazy to drive all the way there for a few buns. Opening hours 7.30am to 9pm daily. 

Valet parking in the compound will cost you RM2 per entry. Im not too sure if its the same rate for weekends? I thought I paid like RM5 on a Sunday, can't really remember though. 

Anyway, I'd happily pay for parking because its safe inside compared to outside where the road is cramp and there are constructions going on. Wouldn't want to risk a big scar on your car just to scrooge RM2.

Levain it is a good place to get reasonably priced yet super delicious pastries! I've tried one of their cake before, I think it was Tiramisu. I was good but because cakes (slice) are priced around RM7- 10 I find it relatively expensive. But, good cake.

I'm a sucker for their pastries that's for sure have a look at the aisle of pastries!!!

Sweet and savoury pastries

More pastries

I'm also a big fan of their pizza! They serve really good homemade pizza. By homemade I mean it taste less commercialized than those pizza by Pizza Hut or Dominos. If you're on a budget (like me, nearly always I'm on a budget), then you can opt for the pizza slice as shown in the picture above. 

They usually have Hawaiian Chicken pizza and some other chicken/ tuna pizza going for RM4.80 each if I've not mistaken. You can have them heat up your pizza/ pastries too for free! 

Pass them your pastries/ pizza for reheating

If you have more money or you have a more elastic tummy then you can opt for their whole pizza approximately RM20. They have about 8 different types of pizza! Oh man, talking about pizza I wished I could try Mikey's Pizza, Bangsar:(

Back to topic, I've tasted Levain's chicken burger and YES IT'S A GO! Crispy chicken like zinger patty but more homemade tasting with soft buns and salad! I like! I think that was about RM15. A lot of people seem to be having pasta there as well but pasta is meal that I usually cook when I'm lazy so haven't tried it there yet due to my personal negative connotation of "pasta"

Was in KL the other day so Nit and I decided to hop by Levain for teatime. I recommended the place, It was her first and she was pretty pleased:)

Clockwise: Choco Crunch RM3.30, Hazelnut Choc Croissant RM3.60, Cheese croissant RM4.50

That was Nit's selection of pastries. Glad that I would still bring her somewhere yummy despite her being a vegetarian. My makan buddy!

We decided to share the Choco Crunch bun solely because it was cute LOL I was expecting cream inside but there is no filling inside. Just chocolate crumbs on the outside and two sugar eyes. Hazelnut Choc Croissant is my all time favourite!!! It feels like you're eating Kinder Bueno but the pastry version. Reasonably priced too!

I didn't taste the Cheese Croissant but Nit rank that #1. She said there's a fat strip of cheese inside. Meaning its not molton/ creamy cheese.

Nit cutting the bun in half. There goes it's eyes, oh no. 

My budget selection: Cream Cheese Danish RM3.90 and Tukimi Ham RM3.80

I love the Cream Cheese Danish!! The pastry is flaky and it's sweet on the outside. Inside there is a generous amount of cheesy cream cheese to savour. The amount of cream cheese they give you is worth more than RM3.90 so it's a steal! Off it goes into my favourites list <3

The Tukimi Ham, blah. Not nice. Dry. Need chili sauce to go with it. They had some mayo in the centre I think but still overall a wrong buy.

Cream Cheese Danish up close 

Free water

I love the idea that you can get your own free water from the water dispenser. It's FREE! And it saves the hassle of asking the waitress to get it for you. You can drink a whole jug of water too for FREE! lolol

Btw, it's best if your head over in the afternoon to get the pastries or you might be left with sad looking ones as the day ends. Also, everything including their pastries are exclusive of government tax.

Okay, since the world cup fever is on. I'm leaving you with a picture of the World Cup Bun RM4.50:

It looks like Papa Roti, but with football prints. Nit said it looked sad, flattened so I didn't buy it but I was thissssss close to getting it because... well, it's World Cup! hehe

Monday, 23 June 2014

Durian Buffet, Pahang Durian SS2

It's just so darn hot these days! Whether it is during afternoon or even at night it's so so so hot and stuffy. Everyone's complaining about the heat BUT when it's hot it means that it's also Durian buffet time!!!! I think someone told me before that durian season is a really warm season. That's why its a heaty fruit. So during rainy seasons, you might still be able to find some but of course with watery flesh.

The durian season has just begun so I quickly haul my sis there for a treat before she goes back to our hometown. Anyone interested in Durian Buffet (which generally in Malaysia means eat till super full or till you puke) can always drive your way to SS2/65

There are three durian stalls around that corner offering durian buffet: Pahang Durian, Donald's Durian and SS2 Durian. 

Pahang Durian Stall

Durian buffet starts from
  • RM9- Durian kampung. For those who wants cheap durians to lepas gian. Flesh would be super thin though.
  • RM15- Better durians like Musang King and the likes.
  • RM20- For the best durians I suppose like XO maybe?

Wanted to just get the RM9 durian buffet but they ran out of cheap durians. SS2 Durian stall had only super good durians i.e. RM20 so we decided to opt for the RM15 ones at Pahang Durian Stall.

RM15 is good enough please! You get rounds and rounds of thick flesh, bitter sweet heaty durian with RM15! I wouldn't opt for the RM20, that's just crazy- imagine thick flesh, bitter sweet heaty durian x5

Yellow flesh- Musang King Durian

I love durian but I can't differentiate them. As in if the man asked me which type of durian I want I'll just tell him I like thick flesh, bitter sweet one. Wouldn't be able to point out their names. One that I'm sure I like is the Musang King (yellow flesh, front, in the picture) because it tasted sooooo high quality. 

Just one bite and you can feel a sore throat coming right up, haha. Can't eat too much of those I suppose. Then we had two less heaty durian (pale flesh, behind, picture). By less heaty I mean it didn't had that wave of heaty feeling like the Musang King.

The pale flesh durian was sweeter and less fleshy but it had this very strong ammonia taste on your tongue that it kind of burns a little. 

Basket full of durian shells/ seeds.

To reduce heatiness we drink salt water in durian shell!

This is most essential for me because my body is already the very heaty type so I anticipated at least 2 new ulcers after the durian buffet:S So glad they provided salt on the table, squeeze them out onto the shell add water and slurp!!

If you don't want your hand to stink of Durian...

Use durian shell- wash your hands using water which runs through the shell!

No picture of that because both hands were too dirty. You can google image "How to wash hand using durian shell" if you think this is facinating:P

Thursday, 19 June 2014

Hong Seng Chicken Rice, PJ

Feeling extra semangat today after writing my first blog post so I'm churning out another before I go off hunting for boring journals. So last week my tummy was cranky, it was cranky till I decided that I should stick a finger in my throat to let out the toxic. 

Obviously the next morning I was starving after letting out the 'toxic' which included all of my half eaten meals. Had a craving for chicken rice, especially the soy sauce that they drizzle on the chicken! So I googled up blogs for the best chicken rice in Petaling Jaya. I was told that Satellite Chicken Rice, Jalan Gasing was must try but blog reviews suggested otherwise.

Instead, they (blogs) recommended Hong Seng Chicken Rice, Section 17/29 PJ. Off I went to pick my sis and we headed to Hong Seng. Its located at the same row of shops as Caring Pharmacy which means its dang hard to find free parking. There's a RM3 per entry parking right across Hong Seng though.

Hong Seng Chicken Rice stall. 

Obviously it's not halal. The boss caresses the roast chicken, the Char Siew pork and the Roasted pork with the same hand. Yes, literally caresses when he's choosing the meat. A bit gross but just don't stare at his arm which also looks a bit red like got some kind of allergy:X

It's self service so you gotta queue for the food. Very much like the Nasi Kandar Beratur, Jalan Masjid Kapitan Keling, Penang. Except nasi kandar is halal and the boss don't use his bare hands to scoop curry onto your rice.

Nasi Kandar Beratur opens only at 10pm! 

Before that it's another boss also selling nasi kandar so I got conned! I ended up having both a fake plate of nasi kandar and an authentic Nasi Kandar Baratur. But it was good, tasted better when I tapao it back to my hotel the next night! 

One chicken, one vege cost about RM7. Good deal!

Gotta make a trip to Penang soon during Ramadhan because I'd love to visit their Bazaar!

Opps, coming back to my chicken rice story. Chicken rice RM5.50 per plate. The chicken's skin was super crunchy which I love! But the chicken flesh was too hard and the chicken rice was too dry because they used the thick sweet sauce instead of the usual watery soy sauce.

It's up to personal preference anyway. I need my food with a certain level of moisture. And I was craving for that salty watery soy sauce.

They also sell salted vege, the spicy sour type for RM3 if I've not mistaken. The boss is very generous with his servings because I think that small bowl of vege contains so much vege that it would make kids cry LOL

Across the street you will see a truck selling drinks (i.e. coconut water/ sugarcane juice). Please buy! Its relatively cheaper than what you find in Pasar Malam! One bottle sold at RM2.50 from the truck compared to RM3 sold at Pasar Malam

Good Australian Milk

I thought that I should start off my brand new food blog with food that I really like! Initially it sounded pretty easy because all I thought I had to do was to comb through Facebook pictures and pluck food pictures that I like and talk about them here. But as soon as I start scrolling through, I realised there were tonnes and tonnes of food and it would be crazy to write about all of them (even if briefly) in one blog post.

Then I remembered that I have not blog about my Sydney trip, which was back in 2012. Opps.

So I've decided to start off my food blog with my favourite food/ beverage in Sydney! Btw, everytime I looked through the pictures I can never thank my friend, Kaveiinaa, enough for being such a good host. She showered me with so much food, till my tummy bloated for the whole 5 days there.

My favourite food/ beverage in Sydney is... MILK!

Ohhh, the glorious milk! 

They have a variety of cereals there too! 

We have a lot of cereals here too, but somehow theirs taste better HAHA And, the same cereal there sold here is crazy expensive. Oh, they don't have to seal them up worrying that the cereal will 'masuk again'!

Back to milk,

I'm very much of a milk person. Even here, I stock up on milk a lot especially during promotion period. Its when milk's price drop from RM5+ to RM4 I'll stock up to nearly a dozen of them. All for self consumption!

Australia must have really fat and happy cows because their milk taste super milk-ish! Very fresh, till their "fresh milk" actually smells like cow. So I rank #1 Full cream milk, #2 Low Fat milk, #3 Fresh milk, #4 Almond Milk.

Almond milk taste too 'Almond- smelly' :X

And so, good milk makes good yogurt I suppose. OMGGGG, I miss the dairy products in Australia. I think  probably finished most of Kaveiinaa's yogurt :S One good slab of yogurt on each piece of fruit. Kave said that I could probably find the yogurt here in Cold Storage but I couldn't. Anyway, even if I did it would probably be too expensive for my daily Malaysian consumption. I mean, eating yogurt as if its AUD 0 on a holiday is acceptable but when I'm back home I'd probably opt for the cheap watery RM1.69 yogurt instead of a RM18 one, lol.

 Good milk makes good ice- cream! Oh nom, nom, nom. I think I was at some beach, Bondi beach maybe? 

Kave picking the flavour- which I forgot what since it was 2 years back :P

Swiss ice- cream! I doubt they used Swiss milk.

The night before I departed from Sydney, I bug Kaveiinaa to bring me to the supermarket! To grab a few stuff back home (good milk makes good cookies!!!), and to replace the Kave's milk in the fridge- I was surviving on milk instead of water because I found it odd to drink water directly from the tap. Still have the mentality that we gotta filter the water/ boil before consuming it.


Holy cow! (pun intended, lol) SUPER GOOD MILK!! I think it was about AUD 5 

Good cow makes good milk, heh.

Good milk makes good bread? LOL 

Okay to be fair I don't find their bread as premium tasting as the milk. I'd gladly settle for my RM2.50 Gardenia here.

No relevance, but I love Scooby Doo! Didn't buy it because was heading back the very next day. 

The next morning, one last picture of me and the yummy milk before flying back to Malaysia:

Oh, I miss you Aussie milk! :(