Monday, July 17, 2017

korean/delivery: i strongly recommend CHEOGAJIP

No. 26, Lane 290, GuangFu S. Road

MRT: SYS memorial Hall

hours: 11:30AM-10:30PM, Friday and Sat until 11PM

$$ (about NT$300 a person)

website: Cheogajip facebook page 

visit reviewed: 

WHAT TO DO IF YOU'VE JUST come back from a trip to Seoul and had a lot of glorious eating of everything BUT Korean fried chicken (韓國炸雞 )? If you're me, you call Cheogajip for a couple of boxes to go and then dig up photos from your visit last year to finally throw up this post. A few years ago, when Korean soaps started to invade Taipei, I started to see cups of korean fried popcorn chicken pop up on my instagram feed from Chicken in Bok and Beer, Chimac 175, and in real life, at the now closed Mom's Chicken, at ATT4Fun and even oven baked versions from Oven Maru. 

Cheogajip is a two story shop near the SYS Memorial Hall MRT, near the alleys that house Wendel's, Mazendo, Brookhurst Seafood Bar. Most of the seating is upstairs, and suitable for big groups. 

Cheogajip's menu offers over a dozen different types of Korean fried chicken. Sweet, spicy, boneless or whole chicken with bone, it can be difficult to narrow down the options if you have never tried it and only want to order one. If you can only choose one, I would go with the Boneless Spicy Yung Nyeom ($410) which is both sweet and spicy, with some honey to balance out the spiciness. Even if you get the regular Yung Nyeom it still has a tiny tinge of spiciness, so it just depends on your tolerance. If you have zero tolerance for heat, then you can opt for a Half Half box which has plain original fried chicken and your choice for the other half. Be warned though, there isn't much else on the menu besides fried chicken besides side dishes like salad, fries, spicy rice cake and rice with seaweed, so don't come expecting a fuller Korean menu.

For my first visit, I rounded up a group of friends who were excited to have some chicken and beer with me, so we were able to try a variety of flavors. Sticky, spicy, sweet, crispy, crunchy 🍗🍗. If you've never had Korean fried chicken before, Cheogajip is a great place to start. Just make sure to bring enough friends to share. Thank you to Cheogajip for hosting us that first time. 

Cheogajip has four main flavors that you can choose to be spicy or non spicy. Plain fried chicken original, their signature honey "yung nyeom", crispier soy sauce "warak", scallion fried chicken w a sweet sauce, and supreme with a drizzle of mayo. You can order a whole chicken (with bones), boneless or wings, and for the whole chicken you can choose 2 flavors. Sides include seaweed rice, salad, fries or beer. That's pretty much the menu. 
My favorites were the spicy signature honey boneless (this pic) and the non spicy soy, which is the crispiest. I think I might switch it next time and try non spicy honey and the spicy soy.. Lol! Portions are huge and the chicken meat was meaty and tender.

The servers were quite helpful in explaining to us what the differences were. Only the Yung Nyeom comes boneless, all the other are a whole chicken fried, but if you're a wings lover, it's no big deal. The only difference is that you can eat the boneless version with a fork and not get your hands dirty, where the regular kind you ware going to get sticky.

Yung Nyeom - Sweet and mild
Spicy Yung Nyeom- Spicy and sweet
Warak- Soy garlic
Supreme Yung Nyeom- with a drizzle of mayo
Scallion- Scallion

Whole chicken
Boneless chicken

(top left spicy young nyeom, top right scallion, bottom left warak)

Warak is slightly less sweet than Yung Nyeom since they use soy sauce instead of honey for the marinade. It's slightly crispier as well. If you can't finish a whole chicken, you can order just Warak wings.  Each piece was very juicy and tender and such a guilty pleasure to eat. Everyone gluttoned out on korean fried chicken and left very happy. 

Spicy rice cake (NT$90) 

Korean rice balls (NT$80) - DIY complete with glove to mix up the rice and seaweed and make your own rice balls

Yung Nyeom boneless (NT$360) mildly spicy honey glaze. Sooo hits the spot!

Boneless Scallion (NT$380) 

Warak (NT$430) soy garlic glaze

If you need anything you just press the call button on the table. 

Since my first visit, I've ordered to go from them a number times. It takes about 20-40 minutes for them to get the order ready, depending on how busy they are, so you can't order from them when you are in a rush since they fry to order. Where else have you guys tried chicken and beer in Taipei? 

Monday, July 10, 2017

breakfast/western: i strongly recommend ANTIPODEAN

No. 4, Lane 26, Gangqian Rd, Neihu District, Taipei City, 114
(02) 8751-0027

MRT: Gangqian

hours: 9AM - 6PM

price: $$

visits reviewed: 9/19/2016, 12/15/2016

My must orders: acai bowl, avocado breakfast plate, raspberry tart

Down a typical residential Taipei alley in Neihu is a small bright blue sign with a kangaroo logo. Turn left and when you're greeted by an even bigger pop of color with cerulean blue benches and a huge sign you'll have discovered Antipodean. It's a great place to grab a quiet breakfast since it opens at 9AM, or a group of friends for lunch to share salmon avocado toast, big breakfast plates and my favorite acai bowl (of the moment) in Taipei.  Dare I say an avocado toast and acai bowl wave has been rolling through Taipei the past year? Add this cute cafe in Neihu to the list, @theantipodean does it quite well.

The brunch menu is short and sweet, but avocado lovers will be happy to find that you can either have it mashed on toast (with smoked salmon and arugula), sliced on a breakfast plate (with baked beans, eggs, hash browns, mushrooms and a baked half tomato), or baked with spicy chorizo. 

Someone asked me the other day to recommend good coffee shops #☕️ to be able to work in, with free wifi and an outlet for a laptop. I recommended a few, including @theantipodean. Do you guys have any favorite coffeeshop offices? 

Water, cups and utensils are self serve. 

Lots of pretty corners to choose from for those with the patience to pose for selfies or pose their food. 

Having been to the Antipodean several times, my go to order now is the Avocado big breakfast (NT$320) since it has a little bit of everything, and you can DIY your avocado toast with the slices of sourdough they give you. The scrambled eggs are fluffy and creamy, baked bean slightly sweet, roasted mushrooms and tomato to feel healthy.

If you're looking for meat in your morning, then the Antipodean Big Breakfast (NT$320) swaps out avocado for bacon and sausage.

I'll always remember the Antipodean as the first place I ever tried an acai bowl (only a few months ago. I know totally behind the times), and though I've only tried a couple afterwards, I still like Antipodean's the best. The consistency and iciness of the acai smoothie is just right and their house made granola gives a nice sweet crunchiness. Even though I had a little bit of sticker shock the first time as their bowl is NT$380, the size is larger than the other places I've had it and they do not skimp on the fruit. Deflect the cost by sharing with friends. 

Loved the thin slivers of almonds, the caramelized granola and the fat slices of bananas, strawberries and blackberries (Yay!! Loveeee blackberries). Can you believe this was my first acai bowl EVER? Underneath the layer of crunch and fruit are creamy, icy spoonfuls of acai berry smoothie. 

I think I was always a bit intimidated by not knowing what it would taste like (and how do you pronounce acai anyway?!) but if you like yogurt bowls, you should enjoy this. 

Avocado toast hiding under the smoked salmon. I do love it with the arugula. (NT$320 for 2)

Founded in April 2016, the name of the Antipodean is a nod to its founder's Australian roots, and calls itself a third wave Australian inspired coffee shop. It does remind me a bit of Woollooomoolo in the early days with their breakfast plates before they raised prices and made portions smaller, and made certain menu items exclusive to weekends. The owner is quite friendly and you might catch him behind the counter to strike up a conversation. I've been wanting to keep Antipodean to myself since their space is limited, but I've already seen a flurry of instagram posts with their bright blue table and carefully placed dishes since I first posted it, so I might as well post my write up for my friends who have been asking me "what's good there?"