Friday, June 21, 2024

australian/western: i strongly recommend CANVAS

No. 11號, Alley 5, Lane 107, Section 1, Fuxing S Rd
Da’an District
(02) 2711-6336

MRT: Zhongxiao /Fuxing

hours: 6 PM-10:30PM, closed 

price: $$ (NT$800-1600) 
kid friendliness: no high chairs spotted, but should be okay for foodie kids during an early dinner
Visit reviewed: 6/19/2024

Dear Gentle Readers, 

or hungry readers I should say. Hahah. Is anyone else watching Bridgerton? 

I haven't written in awhile, but I was feeling nostalgic (eek, the blog turns 19 in a few days) and I really enjoyed this meal and I thought I'd put pen to paper, or fingers to keyboard, I should say. And maybe more to come?

If you haven't yet been to or heard of Canvas, it's a casual modern Australian restaurant headed up by chef Kai Ward, who was one of the founding partners of Mume and also the chef at Little Creatures, a more casual Australian restaurant with a photogenic center bar, just across the lane from Canvas. Canvas is modern without being fussy, and just last month changed its tasting menu into a la carte, bringing back some favorites from its early days. So it makes it perfect for gathering a few good friends and sharing most of the menu. The vibe and philosophy there I feel is they just want you to have a good meal and a good time. It's really under the radar as a restaurant, and one of those places I tell people to go to if they are looking for a date night spot or place to go with friends that is good food that isn't too expensive. They also have a private room tucked in the back that can sit up to 10-12. 

I made it just in time to catch the last night of the first month's menu, and already Kai is changing up some of the dishes and all of the desserts. So here is everything we tried last night, apologies in advance if it's not on the menu when you go (maybe if enough people want it, Kai will bring it back around?). Three things we didn't get to try that I wish we did were the grilled octopus, the clams and the squid ink barley (classic), but we already had a table full for only 2 people! Like I usually LOVE their sourdough with butter, but I knew we had to save room for all the other food so we didn't order it.

Potato cakes with smoked fish cream, chicken skin and salmon roe (NT$290) - this was my favorite appetizer of the night and a must order if you come to Canvas. Served hot and crispy, you DIY top the smoked fish cream dip onto the fritter and try not to eat them all. I kept going back to this one since it was a lot for 2 people, but it would disappear quickly if you had 4 people sharing. 

Chicken Liver Pate with Sauternes Jelly (NT$250) I think the jelly is being changed to Shaoxing wine for the next menu. I love chicken liver ever since having it at Mume all those years ago, and this tiny bowl packs a punch. 

Chicken Wing with scallop mousse, xo buffalo sauce and pickles  (NT$110 per piece)  I think this is coming off the menu, but I remember this from the tasting menu. The good thing about per piece, is that you can order as many or little as you want. 

Scallop with tomato butter, lardo and kombu (NT$130/piece) I usually love Canvas' scallops but I wasn't a huge fan of this sauce. I probably would order the octopus or clams or crudo instead next time.

Kangaroo snag (black garlic aioli, beer onions and mustard greens) (NT$140 each) So the first time I had kangaroo was my last time at Canvas when Kai brought over kangaroo skewers over, thinly cut and grilled. I was actually surprised that it was tasty (because I usually cannot eat cute animals, so you just have to not think about it). The same here, these sausages on the toast (with cut off crusts) folded up and three very enjoyable bites. 

Smoked Mussel taglietelle, bone marrow, and mushroom (NT$440) Happy we caught the last night of this house made pasta coated in the marrow sauce. I love mussels and mushrooms.

Lamb rump, carrot puree, lovage, brown butter vinaigrette (NT$820) Yum, Slide the lamb around in the puree for the extra layer of sweetness. High CP

Wagyu rump cap "bordelaise sauce", geraldton wax (NT$1250) (Australian truffle add on charge)

Wow! When the chef brings a truffle, in this case Australian truffle, to the table and shaves it all over the steak, you just stop and smell the truffle. (and make sure you get the video) hahaha. We were getting so full, but I had a couple bites and was lucky enough to pack the rest to take home. 

Mango Coconut Bar (NT$140) pineapple jam, meringue Yum! This was so good!! Sad it was the last night on the menu. We snapped it in half to share (easier than cutting) and I love anything with meringue.

Chocolate Torte (NT$280) smoked coffee grounds cream, wattle seed This was melt in your mouth, but if you can only pick one dessert, I would have to pick the next one... scroll down

Vegemite sandwich (NT$280) in the form of a sundae Lol. I think this menu is also making sure that we are paying attention. You can't get more Australian than vegemite and chef Kai has made it into this amazing sundae. There's sourdough ice cream, brown butter ice cream, vegemite caramel, roasted almonds, chocolate sheet, dried milk sheet and sourdough crust cookie. What! Wow! I LOVED this and all the crunchy layers with the creamy ice cream and you should do a sundae on every menu! 

Chef Kai said to just smash down the layers to eat.

Before dinner started, I wanted to make sure I got some kitchen action shots before I got busy eating, so I told Kai that my goal of the night was to get a good photo of him. haha! So I have to share a few and you guys can comment below which one is your favorite. 

Kai has been in Taiwan for ten years this year! He's been here since August 2014 and Mume opened in December 2014. A bit of a backstory, Kai has been cooking since he was 16 and was 19 when he met Richie Lin when they were both in Sydney, and Richie ended up joining him at Quay. Years later, when Richie was planning to open Mume in Taipei, after working at Noma and opening Nur in Hong Kong, he circled back to Kai and brought in Long Xiong together to open Mume. And while they are the heads of each of their own enterprises now, I'll always remember fondly those early days at Mume and all the people and experiences and restaurants that have rippled out since those days. 

Thank you Canvas, Kai and Ashley for always your warm hospitality and good food. 

Until the next time, hungry readers! 

Lady Hungry, ahem, I mean hungry girl

Tuesday, April 09, 2024


Easy Homemade Biscuits

Makes 6-8 

Thank you Sugar Spun Run for the recipe! 

These biscuits were light and fluffy, yet had a nice crunchy top. Make sure to fold the dough over itself for the nice flaky layers. So good out of the oven, with a bit of honey and butter. Finished this batch the same day, next time I would double it for a dozen. This recipe is a keeper. 


  • 2 cups all-purpose flour (250g)
  • 1 Tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 Tablespoon granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 6 Tablespoons butter very cold, chopped or grated 
  • 1/4 cup Greek yogurt *
  • 1/2 cup whole milk *

Original recipe: uses unsalted butter and  ¾ cup whole milk or buttermilk 


  • For best results, chill your butter in the freezer for 10-20 minutes before beginning this recipe. It's ideal that the butter is very cold for light, flaky, buttery biscuits. (I had butter already in the freezer so I took it out while I was prepping the dry ingredients)
  • Preheat oven to 220C/ 425F and prep a cookie sheet
  • Combine flour, baking powder, sugar, and salt in a large bowl and mix well. 
  • Cut or grate butter with box grater and mix it into your flour mixture. Can also use fingers to press butter into flour. Combine until it looks like coarse crumbs.
  • Add yogurt, milk, and stir until just combined (don't over-work the dough).
  • Transfer your biscuit dough to a well-floured surface and use your hands to gently work the dough together. If the dough is too sticky, add flour until it is manageable. 
  • Once the dough comes together, fold in half over itself and use your hands to gently flatten layers together. Rotate the dough 90 degrees and fold in half again, repeating this step 5-6 times but taking care to not overwork the dough.
  • Use your hands (do not use a rolling pin) to flatten the dough to 1" thick. You can use a round biscuit cutter or I just shaped the dough into a rectangle and cut into 6-8 pieces for a more rustic look  
  • Place less than ½" apart on baking sheet. 
  • Bake on 220C/ 425F for 12 minutes or until tops are beginning to just turn lightly golden brown.
  • If desired, brush with melted salted butter immediately after removing from oven. Serve warm and enjoy.

Thursday, March 21, 2024


2024 Tatler Taiwan Dining Awards

The last few years haven't slowed down restaurant openings in Taiwan, nor the awards ceremonies.  You might have heard of newer awards popping up, like 500 Plates (or Wu Bai Pan) with 100 judges from different industries each choosing 5 faves and then a tally to see which ones got the most votes. 

Another is Tatler Dining Awards, which started a few years ago for Singapore, Malaysia, Hong Kong and Macau.

Held at Mandarin Oriental Hotel Taipei, today was the inaugural Tatler Dining awards for Taiwan, with 3 categories- 15 Tatler Recommended restaurants, Tatler Top 20 and then Best of 2024.  Most of the restaurants are in Taipei, with a few from Taichung, Taitung, Kaohsiung and Pingtung.

Quite of a few of these restaurants are on my to do list- restaurants to eat at and restaurants to latergram. Which ones are you looking most foward to? 


1. A Cut
2. Akin
4. Inita
5. le beaujour
6. Sinsera 24 (Taitung)
7. Mipon
8. Meowvelous
9. Ding Wang 
10. Ji Jia Zhuang
11. Danny's Steakhouse
12. Xiang Se
13. Le Palais
14. Molino de Urdaniz
15. Yonshin 

I've been to 11 of the 15 restaurants, and I really need to try Inita this year! 


1. Akame (Pingtung)
2. Coast
3. de Nuit
4. Embers
5. Ephernite
6. Frassi
7. JL Studio (Taichung)
8. La Vie Thomas Buhner
9. Le Cote (Taichung)
10. logy
11. Longyue
12. Mingfu 
13. Mountain and Sea House
14. Oretachi No Nikuya (Taichung)
15. RAW
16. Restaurant A
17. Sho (Kaohsiung)
18. Silks House
19. Tairroir
20. Zea

2024 BEST OF THE YEAR by Tatler Dining

Best New Chef
L'Atelier Par Yao

Best New Restaurant
Restaurant A 
Chef Alain Huang

Best Interior Design

Best Sommelier 

Best Pastry Chef
Yu Chocolatier

Chef of the Year
Chef Max Wo
Silks House at Regent Taipei

Most Influential 
Chef Andre Chiang RAW

Best Service

Best Restaurant of the Year
Chef Ryogo Tahara 

Thursday, February 29, 2024


Easy Lemon Cake Loaf

Makes 1 loaf

Thank you Broma Bakery for the recipe! 

Happy leap year! February 29th!

Last night, I was craving cake. And I had all the ingredients in the fridge, mostly. So it was the perfect time to try to make a lemon loaf for the first time.  This recipe from Broma Bakery was very easy to prepare and make, and I skipped the glaze because 1- the cake was sweet enough on it's own for me and 2- I didn't have any powdered sugar on hand. 

This recipe was SO GOOD. We ate almost the entire loaf the first day, though it came out flatter than I expected (maybe because it needed that extra 1/4 cup of flour and 1/4 cup of sugar. lol). (Can you see how moist it is?) 



  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar*
  • zest of 2 lemons (about 2 Tablespoons)
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
  • 2 eggs, room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 Tablespoons lemon juice (about half a lemon)
  • 1/4 cup greek yogurt or sour cream **
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1 1/3 cups all purpose flour ***
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder


    1. 1. Preheat the oven to 175 C / 350°F 
    2. 2. In a large bowl, combine the granulated sugar and lemon zest. Use your fingers to rub the sugar and the lemon zest together. 
    3. 3. Add the melted butter to the sugar and mix well. Add the vanilla extract and each egg, mixing well. 
    4. 4. Add the greek yogurt, milk and lemon juice. Mix to combine. It will look curdled and lumpy, and that's normal. 
    5. 5. Add the all purpose flour, baking powder, and salt. Mix until the batter is smooth. Do not over mix.
    6. 6. Pour the batter into lined loaf pan and bake at 175 C/ 350°F for 50 minutes to 1 hour, or until a chopstick inserted into the middle comes out mostly clean. Cool slightly before cutting, but it's quite wonderful warm as well. 

* (originally 1 cup)
 ** (originally sour cream)
*** (I misread the recipe and used 1 1/3 cup of flour instead of 1 2/3 cup but the cake came out wonderfully moist and rich but not too dense. will try it next time with the right amount of flour to compare.)

Tuesday, January 23, 2024


Easiest Chocolate Chip Cookies

Makes 12-24

Credit to I heart eating blog 

Happy new year everyone! 

I’m always trying to find the perfect chocolate chip cookie recipe (and oatmeal chocolate chip) that’s not a fussy recipe and is tasty. I scribble recipes into a notebook and try mark notes afterwards what I thought of the result. This one had a bunch of hearts from last time and it may be my cutest batch yet, so it’s a keeper. The cookie didn’t seem to flatten much with softened (not melted) butter during baking, but were easy to take off the pan after short cooling. The taste is soft but still slightly chewy and crispy on the edges. 


  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar packed
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 ¾ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
  • My Optional add in - 1/4 cup oatmeal for 1/4 of the flour 

  • 1.  Preheat the oven to 190 C / 350 F
  • 2. Microwave the butter for about 40 seconds. Butter should be completely melted but shouldn't be hot. (I had some butter that left at room temperature for another batch, so I used that today) 
  • 3. Mix butter with the sugars until well-combined.
  • 4. Stir in vanilla and egg until incorporated.
  • 5. Add the flour, baking soda, and salt. (Spoon in flour rather than packing it in)
  • 6. Mix dough until just combined. Dough should be soft and a little sticky but not overly sticky. (Do not over mix) 
  • 7. Stir in chocolate chips. (And oatmeal. Add chocolate chips on top of scooped dough if needed) 
  • 8. Bake for 7-10 minutes, or until cookies are golden brown on edges and bottom. 9. Sprinkle sea salt or salt flakes on top.