Such a glorious header picture. It is true, the Taiwanese eat like royalty.
Taichung (台中) is the 3rd most populated city in Taiwan and geographically located in the west-central part of the island. In our rental car, we drove from Tainan to Taichung which took an approximately 2 hours.
In preparation for the short road trip haha. Same stuff as Wong Lo Kut (王老吉).
After we arrived, the first order of business, was as usual, FOOD. We went to a famous hotpot place called Wu Lao Guo (無老鍋). Furthermore, we all know I am a hotpot enthusiast. If hotpot was a sport, I’d be a … superstar, an allstar, an ambassador… too far? This was my initiation to Taiwanese style hotpot (台灣麻辣火鍋), and what and introduction it was.
The moment that I stepped into this restaurant, I was engulfed by a blast of hotpot heaven. The aromatic flavours that was in the air was intoxicating and made me starve in an instant. I just needed to eat something, anything from here.
Exquisite presentation. This coming from the home hotpot enthusiast. Known for their famous Japanese Ice Cream Tofu Pot (日本冰淇淋豆腐鍋) AKA. non-spicy side, coupled with their Japanese Ice Cream Tofu, although I’m not big on tofu, this was the best tofu I have ever had. The spicy side was the most delicious Chinese herbal/spice flavour explosion that you can get, probably.. on earth.
Before you put meats in, the pot is delivered to you with 2 fully food filled broths. By instruction, I was told to eat the initial tofu, mushrooms, and duck blood already cooking inside before tarnishing the broth’s flavour with meats. So I did. It was yummy. In addition, a server comes by with all you can eat tofu and duck blood. They refill this as you please along with your soup base. I believe I have a new best friend, don’t know her name but she works here! This was also the first time in my hotpot career that I did not need a dipping sauce. I had originally made one but not once did I find myself having to need to dip anything. Ah, too good. Unimaginable.
It was also a special occasion that day as it was Emily’s birthday. Happy Birthday to Emily! Commemorative polaroid pic to go with it. It made for good times with good food on a special day! Woooo. At the end of our hotpot session, we were asked if we wanted our pot refilled with the best tofu, duck blood, and soup broth to be packaged and brought home. Now this was service. I should write them a thank you letter… or something.
Another trip to 7-Eleven calls for more things to try. Another ion-water variant time.
We arrived at Tunghai University (東海大學) to take a look at it’s unique campus and church. Other than the church, the buildings and classrooms had a large japanese architectural influence, and this was displayed throughout the grounds.
In the evening, Ellie headed back to Taipei for work the following day, while Emily and Tori ended the night early. So while time was against us, and not having another chance to night market in Taichung, Billy and I headed to the famous Feng Chia Night Market (逢甲夜市). This night market, was much larger than the last one in Tainan as it was a shopping plaza based market (open during the day-time) with small street closures during the night time. Luckily for us, the light rain earlier made it slightly less crowded for us. Though during weekends, it’s body to body.
This was the market not crowded.
A larger variant of the Hong Kong egg waffle snack, 雞蛋仔.
As with everything else, this place was famous and very popular.
Deep fried squid with rice in the middle with various sauces on top. Many sauces to choose from to customize.
Stir fried instant noodle.
Famous Taiwanese night market snack, ‘Big Sausage over Small Sausage’ (大腸包小腸). A rice based big sausage wraps a smaller Taiwanese sausage along with some veggies and sauce. This particular stall is very famous and the queue goes around the corner.
Candied haw on a stick (冰糖葫蘆). Basically various fruits coated with hard sugar on a stick.
Tofu dessert (豆花).
Red bean tofu ice.
Almond tofu ice.
We stayed at a special Taiwanese style hotel where bookings can only be found online and from the outside, I would have never known that it was a hotel. Just looked like a storefront.
Found out that the Taiwanese pitcher Wang Chien-Ming (王建民) on the Jays was big news.
As Baseball is one of Taiwan’s national sports, anything having to do with Taiwanese stars playing on the international is always talked about in their news broadcasts. Which I have come to learn, was every single day. So Wang’s face was on TV err’day.
Breakfast. Ordered too much, too heavy.
The famous Taichung Gong Yuan Eye Clinic (宮原眼科). Actually taken the name as it was just built from an optometrist office during Japanese occupation. This place is now famous for their Pineapple Cake and … ice cream!
Library-like decor on the interior while the glass display cases houses their famous cakes and pastries.
Pineapple Cake nicknamed the Dawn Cake (日出).
This freezer contained only flavours of chocolate, the kicker, each one is from a different part of the world with different percentages of chocolate flavour as noted in their titles below.
All tea inspired flavours in this freezer.
Example of chocolate flavours and their cocoa levels.
I like these ambiguous tea flavours.
I chose, “Between Dreams and Life” (oolong tea based flavour), and 64% Papua New Guinea Smoked.
Free toppings. I added nuts, cranberries, and a seasonal green tea moon cake thing.
Taichung Railway Station. We ended this trip taking the slow rail home (台鐵).
Still as clean and comfy as ever. Even at this point of the trip, I have lots of praise for the Taiwanese transportation system.
Next up, and finally, Taipei.