Taiwan - Day 1

by - January 30, 2017

This is our first trip to Taiwan so Piggy and I were very excited. We spent Christmas and New Year’s Eve there, for a total of 10 days. We first travelled to Taipei and then all the way down south to Kaohsiung. We decided to go to Taiwan because we had never been there and we wanted to get away from the heat in Sydney while going somewhere that isn’t too cold either.

Day 1: Taipei

We went to RÒU by T-HAM for lunch

This place serves western food with a meat theme and some traditional Taiwanese dishes. The restaurant has two floors. The ground floor is like a deli where they sell imported and local produce including raw meat like Japanese pork, New Zealand lamb, and Australian and American wagyu as well as cured meat. Upstairs is the actual restaurant, which is not that big so I recommend booking.

Iberico salchichon & chorizo
Cheeses & jamon

Pock knuckle & Hock (local delicacies) 
Fresh meat

Australian lamb & beef

We were given the only private room as opposed to a table in the open area. How lucky!!!

Private room
Sorry I didn’t take a photo of the open area, it is quite nice but I still prefer the private room.

We came here to get their famous Black Pepper Thick-cut Bacon, which unfortunately they didn’t have on the day. The manager said they were not happy with the quality of the bacon so they sent the batch back to the supplier L

We decided on two other dishes and sadly they didn’t have them either as we were told the restaurant is thinking of taking them off the menu as they were not popular enough…what bad luck! After seeing the disappointment on our faces, the manager decided to offer us this house-made traditional Taiwanese sweet sausage dish on the house!
Sweet Taiwanese Sausages (normally $10)
The sausages are crispy on the outside and juicy on the inside, overall it is quite nice however personally I would prefer slightly less sweetness. Some other meals I had in Taiwan were also a bit sweet for me, so I think this could be due to the local preference.
Taiwanese House Cured Leg Ham with Skin $12
We also got this meat board to share, the manager highly recommended this dish as she said the ham with skin on is one of her favourites out of all the cured meat. To be honest I am not a big fan of fatty meat, but I thought I would give it a try and my friend really wanted to try this dish. After tasting this dish, it matched my expectations. It tasted like good quality ham that you can get from the supermarket in Sydney, but nothing too special.
Caesar Salad $19
The bacon was nice and crispy just the way we like it, the vegetables were fresh.
Premium Braised Pork rice卤肉饭 $8
This dish is seven times more expensive than the usual braised pork rice, but considering the name given we thought we can’t miss trying it. It turned out to be a bit of a let-down as there was only a little bit of braised pork on the rice, and the flavour was very light.

American Prime Beef with Rice $26
The meat was tender and juicy, however there was a slight smell and taste that I couldn’t help but notice and Piggy also noticed it (it is not like there is something wrong with the beef or anything, but it’s just different to Australian beef). I mean we had American beef before when we were in Boston, and that didn’t have this taste. Our friend seemed to enjoy it though.

Overall this place has a nice atmosphere, but the food has room for improvement. It was also a bit disappointing that we didn’t manage to get the dishes we wanted including the signature dish.

Food: 6/10
Service: 8/10
Atmosphere: 9/10


  • Own private room

  • No signature dish Black Pepper Thick-cut Bacon

For dessert we went to Quelques Pâtisseries 某某甜點

Xmas decorations for sale

Chocolate Pebble $10
This cake is the best of the 3 we tried. The pebble-looking dessert has this thin chocolate crust that is sooo crispy almost like you place a chip in your mouth and it snaps into pieces. The inside is filled with this rich chocolate mousse that melts away the minute you put it your mouth. A humble looking dessert with a big surprise! Highly recommended.
Cheesecake Au Whisky Miel $8
The cheesecake is beautifully presented with a white chocolate glaze on top and decorated with a piece of white chocolate that looks like a beehive. In the centre of the cake is this mousse-like texture that is creamy and smooth. In terms of the flavour, personally I think the whisky is slightly too strong, which overpowered the honey flavour.
Matcha Chestnut X’Mas Tree $8

This cake possibly had been sitting in the fridge for quite some time, the choux pastry no longer has the nice crispy texture it is meant to have and the green glaze on top tasted nothing more than a sugary glaze. The filling is this matcha cream that is slightly weak in flavour, it would have been nicer if the matcha flavour was stronger.

The Chocolate Pebble was clearly the winner out of the three desserts. We also got 3 cups of tea. We really love tea and drink it every day and really looked forward to our first Taiwanese tea experience. However, the tea here, although sounding interesting on menu, all tasted very bland and similar.

Make sure you order your tea after you sit down, otherwise they won’t serve you your cakes, even after you have paid for them! We ordered our cakes first while waiting to be seated, and took our time choosing our tea and was expecting our cakes to arrive shortly. After 10 mins or so we called the waitress over to order the tea (Thought we might as well ask when the cakes are coming, so we can start taking pictures of the cakes. They had two waitresses that day and they seemed not to be doing much so why aren’t our cakes coming?!). The waitress told us we had to order a tea each first before they can bring us our cakes…ok, so I guess they want us to spend enough money if we want to eat in. Also when we ordered the cakes initially, the staff was unhappy for us to pay later together with the drinks and insisted on us paying upfront.

Food: 6/10
Service: 4/10
Atmosphere: 6/10

  • The Chocolate Pebble

  • Not flexible enough at serving the cakes, you must order a drink first 
  • Service was disappointing for the price we paid

Dihua Street(迪化街) 

After dessert, we went to this place called Dihua Street, which was built in the 1850s, which is the oldest street in Taipei. The street is packed with people as well as new and old shops on each side of the street selling craft, kitchenware, and dry goods such as herbs, tea and seafood.

If you want to travel back in time to see what the old days were like, you should definitely pay this place a visit. By the way, this place didn’t seem very touristy (at least when we were there), we were like the only tourists there taking pictures and everything.

Shops selling dried goods

Bird Nests

This old building looks like it used to be somebody's house that got turned into a shop. There is this big roofless space that connects the front of the house together with the back (almost like somebody dug a hole in the middle of the house). Perhaps it is built that way so the people used to live here can have their meals in the open area during the hot summer season?

Wow Ganoderma (A new word for me), highly priced Chinese medicinal herb that is supposed to bring you lots of health benefits.

Em…interesting, can anyone guess what they are? You will know if you can read Chinese lol…

Interesting way of heating the tea pot

Awww look at these cute little buns! They have salt and pepper shakers, soy sauce and chilli sauce holders…etc. 

Yes, we fell for them… we got a soy sauce holder and a chilli sauce holder that came in a bamboo steam basket (So adorable!!! Can’t hold back my excitement). You can also choose your own combination.

Another cutie! Peach holders!!! We didn’t end up getting them however, a bit risky carrying so many fragile items on the plane.

We ran into few shops selling cooking utensils ranging from spoons and forks to lunch boxes, etc. The prices are very affordable from 50¢. There are a few shops selling things like these, and they seemed to be very popular with the Japanese tourists (we bumped into some in the two shops we looked at). And yes, our first encounter of tourists apart from ourselves.

Sichuan hot pot

For dinner we went to this place called 川府重慶老火鍋

Piggy and I have been wanting to try authentic Sichuan hot pot for a long time, so when I came across this place I was so excited knowing this place is owned by this couple where the wife is from Sichuan. So we thought there would be a good chance of them serving authentic Sichuan hot pot. Personally I am a big fan of spicy food, therefore hot and numbing food is a must for me. Sichuan hot pot is famous for their hot and numbing flavour.

Half spicy and half bone soup pot $15
For the pot we got the half spicy and half bone soup pot, Piggy and I like spicy food and my friend and her boyfriend can’t stand spicy food. We asked for medium spicy, and the waitress asked me to taste the soup to see if it was spicy enough for us and we decided we could handle more heat. So she added an extra bowl of chilli mixture.

Marbled veal (complementary) $13
The marbled veal was nice and tender, when dipped in the pot the meat quickly soaked up the hot and numbing flavour. It was so good that we had to order a second plate.

Marbled Beef (forgot exact price) ~$25
The beef was slightly chewy for my liking, I think the marbled veal tasted better.

Pork (large) $25
The pork was quite nice, the size of each slice fits perfectly in your mouth in one go.

Minced prawns $8
We have never had minced prawns with hot pot before, so we decided to give it a try. Apparently minced meat/seafood is a local favourite with hot pot.  So what you are supposed to do is to scoop the mixture into equal size (or try) as you drop them into the pot and let them cook for 5mins or so or until they float. The prawn balls were a bit too sweet for us and we were expecting a bouncier texture.

Old Fried Breadsticks $3
The fried breadsticks were crunchy and everything, but were so oily that we only managed to have two each, and couldn’t finish the rest.

Vegetables $4 (each)

We also got a bowl of mixed mushroom $10

The vegetables tasted fine in the bone soup, but when cooked in the spicy soup they were so soaked in numbness that they were barely edible. It may be better if the restaurant reduced the level of numbness for the spicy soup, in which case I think the whole experience would be more enjoyable.

Food: 6/10
Service: 7/10
Atmosphere: 6/10

  • None
  • The numbing flavour is quite overwhelming 

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