[TAIPEI] oo6. NIGHT MARKET HUSTLING

So we arrived at the famed Raohe Night Market 饒河街夜市 in Northern Taipei, which is in close proximity to Taipei’s Rainbow Bridge across Keelung River (another topic altogether), and accomplished the feat of exploring the entire district in a night. But hang on, this post is all about food! The night market 饒河 (Raohe) is named precisely as the stretch of food, beverages and late-night shops run parallel to 基隆河 (Keelung River). Our native Taiwanese buddies had highly recommended this street for its reputation of being less touristy and cheaper than Shih-Lin or Linjiang Night Markets.

ROUHE NIGHT MARKET TAIWAN

raohe st night market

So we entered via the main street, having walked from the designated exit of Houshanpi Station, into this intermingling of food, clothes, gadgets, lingerie and everything-you-can-think-of shops.

We made these boys eat their first 臭豆腐 Stinky Tofu, Taipei’s famous smelly dish. They had mixed feelings about it.

smelly tofu for the first time
“Oh god what is this montrosity!”

 

taipei tofu
“Oh hey, aside from the smell, there’s a party in my mouth.”
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“Crap I actually loved it!”
CHOU TOFU
I’m fabulous #foodporn
handrolls taipei icecream
HERE COMES THE REAL THING: PARTY IN OUR MOUTHS

We all loved this ice-cream & shaved peanut burrito/wrap 花生捲加冰淇淋! The scoops of ice cream came in vanilla, coconut and taro flavours, which tasted soooo good with peanut and the thin skinned crepe. The sprig of coriander added a unique twist. Overall, the dessert was refreshingly light – it felt just like having after-dinner mints, except with a lot more calories. I loved watching its preparation: the vendor first laid out the crepe, then shaved from a huge block of peanut candy. Three scoops of ice cream are set in a row before he shaved another layer of peanut candy, and topped it up with coriander. Then of course the combination is wrapped up, burrito style, and eaten like a Subway wrap. Voila!

raohe night market taipei
Predator face, with the peanut roll.
peace out girl
Now who’s up for seconds

For a traditionally laid-out Chinese night market, Raohe also boasts amazing Japanese food: teriyaki chicken on sticks, sushi and hand rolls. You name it, they’ve got it.

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日本玉子燒
日本玉子燒 Japanese mentaiko etc
not a selfie
Someone hijacked my camera

This one below is a personal favourite: Taro balls! I’d always thought they were cuttlefish balls but no, it’s made from taro, and fried. The Taiwanese do such amazing things with Taro, I love it.

night market cuttlefish balls
Watch me toss the damn balls
fried cuttlefish balls taiwan
Up up here we go

Okay confession: I cannot remember what the dish below is. We ate too much that night to keep track of everything so if anybody could tell me what this is, I have cookies for you!!

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WHAT AM I? Clues: fried, doughy, soya sauce…

And evidently, everything here was so yummy, that even on a full stomach, we couldn’t resist having to juggle all our food on our hands.

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lemme take a selfie...not
Me eating with a camera in my face: this was the most glam shot.

If you’ve got kids with you, they won’t be bored. Take them fishing and you get to bring the little rascals home with your big rascal. Hahha.

kids activities night market
#bored #daddy

For the grownups, there are no lack of fancy-schmancy knick knacks and strange foods at Raohe night market. Here goes collection of my favourite shots:

I LOVE TAIWAN
Sums it up for you
green taipei
Wheatgrass and all sorts of juices
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Royal jelly in a tub, anybody?
street food night market taipei
Guava juice maybe
boobies taiwan
Boob shot
taipei night market
Hustle and bustle and stranger looking into my camera
taiwan raohe market finds
Got coconutmilk

foodporn taipei

foodporn taiwanese night market

clocks taipei

birds taiwan

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This whole scene is too traditionally Taiwanese
cows boss taipei
I’m the boss. The Cow Boss. Hell yeah, steak.

Having eaten our way through the night market, we crowned the ICECREAM&PEANUT ROLLS as the King of Raohe Night Market. If we had a sliver of space left in our bulging bellies we would have had seconds, but sadly we couldn’t roll ourselves back to the stall. Everybody needs to try it once at least, if not from Raohe then at other night markets. YOU WON’T REGRET IT. And life’s like that isn’t it? If you don’t eat it, you might not live long enough to eat it again #justsaying.

Peace out.

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Raohe Street Night Market
Section 4, Bade Road, Songshan District
Taipei City, Taiwan 105
Nearest Metro: HOUSHANPI STATION
What’s good: 藥燉排骨 Medicinal Ribs

xoxo,
Viktoria Jean

[TAIPEI] oo5. DAZZLING CAFE

Dragging our 20kg luggage through subway stations and streetwalks of Taipei seemed like the best way to work up an appetite. So that day, a native Taiwanese friend, Wesley, met us at the legendary Dazzling Cafe, touted by many food bloggers for their famous ice-cream toasts. And we feasted on this ginormous 3-tiered toast splendidly flavoured with matcha ice-cream and whipped cream! The place was really rather pretty! It’s no wonder their main store and 2 other franchises are really popular hangouts for Sunday brunch and weekday tea-breaks. You actually had to take queue numbers to get seats at the place. Or if you would rather not wait, making reservations in advance would be a good idea.

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This is me sulking when Elizabeth was taking too long snapping food shots, and I was starving. Have I mentioned that they serve really amazing lattes?Dazzing Cafe HongKong 10 Dazzing Cafe HongKong 11 Dazzing Cafe Matcha
Okay now you get to witness how the toast went down: the crispy bread is actually buttered and pre-cut into bite-sized cubes for easy sharing. How thoughtful of Dazzling! And frankly, I loved the toast. It’s so good, we were tempted to order another one.Dazzing Cafe HongKong Matcha Toast Dazzing Cafe HongKong 11 Dazzing Cafe HongKong Food Dazzing Cafe HongKong Hopping Dazzing Cafe HongKong 5

This place was really one of those we-have-to-get-there! places, and in order to check this off our bucket list, we rushed out early in the morning the day we were scheduled to leave Taipei. Wesley very kindly took us there after finishing his duties at work. We were glad we went against the risk of missing our flight home. As usual, no regrets!

“The last laugh, the last cup of coffee, the last sunset, the last time you jump through a sprinkler, or eat an ice-cream cone, or stick your tongue out to catch a snowflake. You just don’t know.”
― Lauren Oliver, Before I Fall

xoxo,
Viktoria Jean

[SYDNEY] AUSTRALIA’S BEST-LOVED GELATO

I’ve finally tried Messina, voted the best gelato in Australia by the Good Food Guide!

Our double-scoop picks:
Salted Caramel and White Chocolate: salted caramel gelato with white chocolate chip, and
Tiramisu: egg, marsala and mascarpone gelato with lady finger biscuits soaked in espresso coffee
True to form, the combination tastes much better than it looks i.e. heavenly and as sinful as salted caramel may sound, its worth every damn calorie I will need to burn after scarfing this gelato cup down!20140719-203421-74061765.jpg

This one’s located at The Star, a short walk to and from Darling Harbour, Sydney CBD, Chinatown etc.
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I’m tempted to try everything on display but there’s not enough room  in my tummy after a seafood platter, sashimi and sushi from Sydney Fish Market. This must be a third-world problem – going to a foreign land, only to encounter so much good food in so little time. And then we complain of not having gastronomical variety in our own country. What a sin. I mean, look at these temptations!!20140719-203418-74058151.jpg

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Check out these GREAT FLAVOURS (taken from GelatoMessina, but watch ’em allergic hazards):
ALLERGY CHECKLIST 

– (G) Contains Gluten, (N) Contains Nuts, (E) Contains Egg, (A) Contains Alcohol

Apple Pie (G)(E) – real apple gelato with our own house made apple pie throughout
Banana Split (N) –
 caramel and banana gelato with chopped peanuts and whipped cream
Bounty
 – coconut milk gelato with desiccated coconut and choc chip
Caramelised White Chocolate 
Choc Mint – real fresh mint gelato with chocolate chip
Milk Chocolate with Choc Peanut Fudge (N)
Chocolate Fondant (N) – a rich decadent dark chocolate (contains traces of nuts)
Chocolate Chip – light cocoa gelato with chocolate chips
Coconut & Lychee – coconut milk gelato with lychee fruit
Coffee – made with real espresso coffee (seriously)
Dulce De Leche – an Argentinean caramel made by reducing milk until it becomes a sweet jam.
Gianduia Bianca (N) – white chocolate & hazelnut gelato with hazelnut praline
Gianduia (N) – chocolate & hazelnut
Hazelnut (N) – made with fresh roasted hazelnuts from Cortemilia in Italy
Italian Nougat (N)(E) (A-traces) – honey based gelato with roasted nuts, egg whites and Italian nougat
Pear & Rhubarb – fresh pear gelato with our own poached spiced rhubarb
Pistachio (N) – made with freshly ground roasted pistachios from Bronte in Italy
Poached Figs in Marsala (A)(E) – baby figs poached in Marsala (a fortified Italian cooking wine)
Salted Caramel and White Chocolate – salted caramel gelato with white chocolate chip (our biggest seller!)
Tiramisu (G)(A)(E) – egg, marsala and mascarpone gelato with lady finger biscuits soaked in espresso coffee.
Vanilla (E) – made from fresh Jersey Milk
Pannacotta with Fig Jam and Amaretti Biscuit (G)(N)(E)(A-traces) – pannacotta gelato base.
Yoghurt & Berry – yoghurt gelato with poached raspberry and blueberry coulee
Yoghurt & Caramel – yoghurt gelato with dulce de leche

Sorbets (all dairy free)

Salted Coconut and Mango Salsa
Blood Orange
Chocolate Sorbet
Lemon
Lychee Martini
Mango
Pandan & Coconut – 
Pandan is a green asian leaf used in asian cooking.
Passionfruit
Raspberry
Strawberry

See what I mean? We had such a hard time choosing.

Messina at The Star
80 Pyrmont St, Pyrmont NSW 2009, Australia

xoxo,
Viktoria Jean

Chocolateria San Churro, Brisbane

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Got a major kick out of having churros in Brisbane! Finally satisfying my cravings for both dark chocolate and cinnamon churros and where better to have these? Australia’s most famous chocolateria!

드디어 츄 로스를위한 갈망을 충족.  주말에 브리즈번에있을 때, 나는 다크 초콜릿에 담근 피 츄 로스를 먹었다. 호주에서 가장 유명한 츄 로스 카페입니다. 카페 근처에 호텔에서 숙박 할 수 하게 아주 행복했습니다.

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Macarons, truffles, pralines, cakes, fudge bizcocho, smoothies, coffees in all sizes, flavours and shapes. Take your pick. Now that I’m hungry, can I stay in Brisbane, please?

이 카페는 마카롱, 케이크, 초콜릿, 커피의 다양한 맛을 판매하고 있습니다. 여기를 음식을 날 배가된다. 여기에 내가 살 수 있을까?

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Now to make you hungry too…
배고픈 만들기 위해… 츄 로스와 다크 초콜릿 소스!

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That, my friends, has got to be the best churros I’ve ever had. Also, I loved its teak wood tables and straight-backed chairs. Perfectly conducive place for studying or a quick catch-up with friends.

지금까지먹었던 최고의 츄 로스 로… 이것은 또한 대단히 잘 설계된 카페이다. 확실히본 카페에서 공부할 것. 친구를 충족하기 위해본 카페에 돌아 오는 생각 해.

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If you love coffee and fancy everything sweet, or just want to find a place that is in Brisbane’s CBD to put your feet up and fill your tummy, this place is your wonderland. Their extensive menu can be found here! You won’t be disappointed! I most definitely wasn’t.

Chocolateria San Churro
Shop 2/161 Grey St
South Bank Brisbane,
Queensland Australia 4101
Phone: 07 3844 2022
Email: southbankqld@sanchurro.com.au

xoxo,
Viktoria Jean

Photo-diary: I’m in love…with Kurumba Maldives!

Unbolt your main door and this is what you see
This world is all kinds of amazing20131003-022815.jpgIt’s positively exhilarating to know that the beauty of Maldives is right at your doorstep
Complete with sea breeze and utter, remote peace.
20131003-022832.jpgI’ll always be in love with the skies and the sea.
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One of my favourite spots:
The patio to lounge around, to watch the sea from a safe distance
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Only at Kurumba, the pool comes crazily close to being as inviting as the open Maldivean sea20131003-023617.jpg

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Even the visitor lodge is so tastefully built with an air of zen.
None shall disturb your peace.20131003-023935.jpg
My room was closest to the lodge! Super safe and all, I didn’t feel scared to stay in that hugeass room at all.
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Can’t stop reiterating how much I love the Maldives.
How could anyone not fall to her charms?
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Definitely gonna be back for more.
Does anyone wanna come scuba-dive here with me?