Saturday, December 23, 2023

Taipei - Airport 7-Eleven Beers (again)

Another SE Asia trip in the books - this time six weeks. It ended in the same fashion as our last trip - with beers from 7-Eleven at the airport. I wouldn't have it any other way.

Taipei - Moon Moon Food

There was a branch of Moon Moon Food, a local chain known for traditional Taiwanese fare, just down the street from us, so we stopped in for dinner.

It had a modern, but comfortable feel and was busy, but efficient.

We tried their signature sesame-chili noodles, despite the fact that we aren't big fans of too much sesame. And it was just too much sesame paste for me - which was a shame, since the texture of the noodles was good.

The chicken and clam soup fared better for us. A nice, clean broth with tasty clams and bone-in chicken that was a bit bland but perked up with a little soy.

And, of course, we couldn't resist some lu rou fan. This version was less seasoned than others we've had, which made it taste a bit lighter - something that worked in the context of this meal.

Taipei - Revisits to Jin Feng and Golden Delight

It wouldn't be a visit to Taipei without some lu rou fan, so we paid a re-visit to Jin Feng Braised Pork Rice.

It was even busier than it had been five years previously, but the line moved quickly.

And the lu rou fan is still delicious and reasonably priced.

One evening after a walk through Linjiang night market that was fun but didn't result in dinner, we stopped in at a place we'd had pork rib soup before. It was still exactly the same. Nothing super special, but satisfying.

Taipei - 永和豆漿 (Yonghe Soy Milk)

We were wandering the neighborhood near our hotel looking for breakfast. A spot we'd found on google maps was closed for a remodel, but another similar shop was open a few doors down.

The menu was pretty daunting, but with a bit of image-based translation and some pointing we managed to order breakfast from the one man running the joint.

Soy milk, along with a fluffy bao with a piece of pork and an egg.

And a pancake wrapped in egg.

I really liked the "bao sandwich", so I got it again the next morning. The bao was super fluffy and everything came together after slathering it with some of their provided sauces.

This time we got a "leek box", which turned out to be pretty much that - a dumplingy box filled with leeks.

Pretty representative every-day Taiwanese breakfasts, I think. We really liked it.

Taipei - Li Yuan

On our way homebound, we got into Taipei fairly late. We found this dumpling spot, Li Yuan, just up the alley from our hotel.

They closed at 9:30 and it was a quarter to 9, but we managed to squeak in some dinner. The xiao long bao really hit the spot.

We also got some greens in a fermented tofu sauce, which was interesting, and some gyoza, which were fantastic.

Hanoi - Cháo Dậu Cà Bà-O

Near our hotel there was a stall set up on the street during morning and afternoon that was always busy.

They had two large pots full of some kind of porridge - one yellow and one reddish brown. Looking it up, it turns out to be a very traditional dish we'd never heard of before - cháo đậu. It is a rice porridge - the red version is made with red beans and the yellow one is mung bean.

We got a bowl of the yellow version. The base is fairly bland, but they added in a salted egg and some braised tofu. The egg in particular is very salty, so when you break it up and mix it together, you get a nicely seasoned dish. Not something I'd go out of my way to have again, but it was fun to try.

Friday, December 22, 2023

Hanoi - Bánh Cuốn Trung Yên

Another spot in Trung Yên "magic food" alley. We'd visited Bánh Cuốn Trung Yên before, and really enjoyed it.

It was just the same as it had been five years previously. We got an order each - one with chả and one with an egg on the side (which they do up in a little bit of bánh cuốn).

Super good. We came back again for breakfast on our last day in Hanoi. It was a saturday morning, and they were really busy.

We went "dặc biệt" and each had an order with chả and an egg. Everyone was very friendly - eating in a spot like this is probably our favorite kind of experience in Vietnam.