Monday, June 06, 2022

bread/taiwanese: i recommend EAT MI



The pandemic had everyone making bread at home, me included. For the first time, I made quick foccacia, no knead peasant bread, salted honey butter parker rolls, easy yogurt flatbread, honey beer bread, easy pretzels and of course, a lot of banana bread (not really a bread, but you know what I mean). Wow, okay seeing that, that's a lot of bread, but it's also been a loooong two years. It's evidence that  I love bread and all kinds of bread. But it wasn't until I got the invitation by a friend to try EatMI that I had heard of bread made from rice. 

Like everyone else, I’ve been trying to figure out how to eat healthier in between those media tastings, brown sugar boba and shaved ice cravings, and carb-bread-cinnamon roll-cake-croissant temptations. And most of the time, the cravings win.

So that’s why I was intrigued by EatMI, a new company making toast and bread with Taiwanese rice. Around the world, people are eating less rice (whether it’s because they are cutting carbs or have other options to pick from) and in Taiwan, rice consumption has fallen more than 30%. So the partners founded EatMI and spent two years figuring out how to make bread made from 100% Taiwanese rice and zero wheat flour, but still have a texture that bread lovers would still enjoy. With a master baker from Jiu Zhen Nan (舊振南), a food business keeping Chinese pastry traditions alive since 1890, and other partners, they are looking for a way to evolve the way people in Taiwan eat rice and the way they eat bread. 




EatMi started with a popup at Taipei 101 in December 2021, a vegan kickoff at Ooh Cha Cha x OmniPork with chef Mai Bach who also helped create some vegan toppings for them for their 101 popup, and then some collaborations with 5 restaurants like M One Cafe and Tamed Fox doing their thing with EatMI toast into eggs benedict, French toast, and bread pudding. 






Shrimp eggs Benedict w crispy hashbrowns
EatMi x M One Cafe 

Charsiu eggs Benedict Tamed Fox with EatMi English muffins

No flour, no wheat, just rice- which makes the bread a great option for those looking for gluten free options in Taipei. The first version of the packaging was individually packed and in a box, with three flavors available- original, nutty and chocolate. (NT$770/ 8 slices, combination box) 




My favorite was the nutty toast and the original a close second. They recommend (and I agree) that the toast is best when toasted longer than you would for normal toast... I use my air fryer and a good 3-4 minutes in it before I top it. I even tried my hand at the French toast that I tried from Brun, and it definitely helps those crusts when I airfried/toasted it a few minutes after griddling. The rice toast has a slightly chewy texture, not as chewy as mochi waffle, but just a slightly chewier than regular toast, and the crusts become caramelized. It's hard to describe, you kind of have to try it for yourself.

Strawberry French toast by Brun x EatMi. This was sooo tasty! 




Just launched, EatMi's second version comes in a sliced loaf, with slightly more eco-friendly packaging, and better pricing at NT$330 for 6 original slices, or NT$380 for 6 nutty slices. It's definitely still a splurge for bread, which is extremely competitive in Taiwan, but much more affordable than the pricing for the first time around. For those looking for gluten-free options, this is much tastier than the gluten free breads I've tried in the states. For more info, check out eatmi.com


Thursday, June 02, 2022

takeout/taiwanese: i recommend SHIN YEH x INLINE


hi guys! As you may know, Covid has been peaking in Taiwan and numbers are at a record high and for the first time, I have a number of friends who have caught (and recovered from) Covid. Since everyone is being more cautious and while things are not shut down (like this time last year), I have been definitely eating more at home, cooking and ordering in. So when Inline reached out and asked if I wanted to check out their service, I looked at the list of restaurants and I said YES. I realized that it had been far too long since I had my favorite dishes from Shin Yeh since it's usually a place I would eat at with my grandmother and visiting relatives, but why not enjoy it at home? 

inline is mainly known for their reservation booking service, but they also have a ton of restaurants that you can order from. For Shin Yeh, they have takeout from four locations- Xinyi Mitsukoshi A9, Nanjing, ShuangCheng (original shop) and takeout/delivery from ZhongXiao branch. The menus have slightly different variations at the branches, and I ordered ahead to schedule a time and got the confirmation once the restaurant opened. While you can click on the top right side to change the language to English, it doesn't translate the dishes' names to English (for now), though the newest OS for iphone lets you highlight the dish name to translate. 


If you're looking for what to order from Shin Yeh, here's what I recommend  (with photos) below: 

1. Signature braised pork 欣葉滷肉NT$270
 


I was afraid 1 portion of the pork belly wouldn’t be enough since it said it had 3 pieces, but 2 portions was really sizeable with lots of tender chunks of meat! It was still warm when I got it. Would definitely reorder. Enjoyed the leftovers and sauce with rice in a second meal. 


2. Sesame oil kidney (small) 麻油腰只(小)NT$410 


Shin Yeh separated the sesame oil broth so the kidney didn’t overcook. Pork kidney is slightly crunchy and bouncy, yum. This isn't something that I have often, but when I think of this dish, I think of Shin Yeh since it's one of their signatures. It might not be for everyone, but those who love it, love it. 

3. Wok fried pork liver 香煎豬肝 NT$300 


Shin Yeh’s pork liver is slightly sweet and soft. This is another favorite of my family's. IYKYK. Uncover right away so it doesn’t overcook. 


4. Baby oysters with leeks and fermented black beans 
蔭豉蒜青蚵 NT$310 


This was another dish I was slightly worried about overcooking, but it was fine. Juicy baby oysters with the pronounced flavor of fermented black beans - this was one of the first dishes I reached for, and wished I had added a few bowls of sweet potato porridge after eating. 


5. Poached chicken (L) 鹽水土雞(大) NT$480


 I admit I am spoiled by the deboning of Hainan chicken, so the meaty pieces were gone quickly and then the bony pieces were not. 

6. Cashew shrimp 腰果蝦仁 NT$460

They separated the cashews which I thought was interesting, it was either this or the salt and pepper shrimp. This is less work to eat. It's been so long I forgot we like the pineapple shrimp here. Next time! 

7. Stir fried chives with preserved eggs 韭菜炒松花 NT$285

Another perfect with rice dish


What's your favorite dish from Shin Yeh? Check out some other favorites from my previous visits - the clams and loofah or stir fried vermicelli  , or the gua bao. Reminder to self-next time get some sweet potato porridge and pineapple shrimp.

Thank you Inline and Shin Yeh for letting me try my favorites at home. 

Monday, May 30, 2022

#hungrylist/news: 10 BEST NEW RESTAURANTS TO TRY IN TAIPEI + HSINCHU, MAY 2022

I'm always getting asked if I have any recent finds and I finally had time to put together a short list of places I've either really enjoyed and look forward to going back to (and haven't mentioned yet on IG), or places that are on my list to try! Will try to do this monthly because Taipei is always changing and opening new things, even during a pandemic! Congrats to all the new restaurant openings, I already have a few to mention for next month's list! 

10 BEST NEW-ISH RESTAURANTS TO TRY IN TAIPEI, MAY 2022 #HUNGRYLIST

1. ZEA
2. AT EASE
3. ANTIPODEAN FUJIN
4. POKEWORKS
5. FONDA MEXICO
6. ACME CAFE
7. CHEF MARKET 
8. BE GOOD
9. LILLA (HSINCHU)
10. HSINCHUKU (HSINCHU)

1. Zea

TAIPEI's NEWEST RESTAURANT IS A MODERN LATIN AMERICAN TASTING MENU WITH HEART, OPENED THIS MONTH BY HUSBAND AND WIFE TEAM- ARGENTINIAN CHEF ELIZONDO JOAQUIN & DI HARN, @zea.tpe @elizondo_joaquin

106台北市大安區仁愛路四段300巷20弄5號 



2. At Ease

OPENED LAST FALL, IT'S IF IMPROMPTU  WAS A SPORTS BAR. CHEF PAUL LEE DREAMS OF STUFFED FRIED CHICKEN WINGS, BONE MARROW RICE, GOOSE FAT FRIES, BEER AND BASEBALL GAMES. @at_ease_tw




3. Antipodean Fujin

BRINGING AUSSIE BRUNCH + AVOCADO TOAST TO FUJIN ST IN BIGGER AND BRIGHTER DIGS. NOW WE DON'T HAVE TO DRIVE ALL THE WAY TO NEIHU FOR QUEEN's BREAKFAST. @theantipodean

松山區民生東路五段27巷10號 / No. 10, Lane 27, Section 5, Minsheng E Rd, Songshan District

photo from @theantipodean

4.  Pokeworks

BUILD YOUR OWN POKE BOWL, FIRST BRANCH OUTSIDE OF THE MAINLAND. FINALLY REAL CALI-STYLE POKE BOWLS IN TAIPEI. THREE SCOOPS FOR ME PLUS AVOCADO AND LOTUS CHIPS. Read my review + more photos, click here!  @pokeworks.tw  

大安區復興南路一段107巷45號 / No. 45, Lane 107, Section 1, Fuxing S Rd, Da’an District



5. Fonda Mexico

FLAUTAS, TACOS, GRINGAS AND ENCHILADAS, OH MY. I'VE BEEN GOING BACK ON REPEAT SINCE LAST YEAR, BUT NOW IT'S TIME TO SHARE MY LATEST FAVORITE MEXICAN IN TAIPEI. DON'T FORGET TO ORDER GUACAMOLE AND FIND OUT THEIR SPECIAL OF THE DAY. @fondamexico

台北市中正區羅斯福路一段123號 / No. 123, Section 1, Roosevelt Rd, Zhongzheng District (02) 2351-5181



6. Acme Cafe 

AIRY GORGEOUS BRUNCH WITH A SHILIN VIEW. SO THAT'S WHAT's INSIDE THAT BUILDING. @acme.taipei

士林區劍潭路1號7樓 / No. Jiantan Rd 7FShilin District, 


photo from @acme.taipei



7. Chef Market at Chun Place


TAKE YOUR PICK AT DAZHI's NEWEST + FANCIEST FOOD HALL - FROM WOOLOMOOLOO TO WAGYU LAB, SUSHI BAR TO SAKE BAR, IT'S LIKE SOMEONE PUT ALL THEIR GOURMET FAVORITES IN ONE PLACE. NOW YOU KNOW WHERE TO GET BANANA CREAM PIE AND CHIRASHI BOWLS FOR LUNCH. @chefmarket_tw

台北市中山區樂群三路303號/ No. 303 Lewinsky 3rd Rd, Zhongshan District 




8. Be Good

NEWLY OPENED HUMBLE HOUSE NANJING's CAFE, MENU BY CHEF KIN MING LAM. CHICKEN AND EGG WAFFLES ANYONE? @begood.tpe

10491台北市中山區松江路116號2樓 / No. 116 Songjiang Rd, 2F Zhongshan District


9. Lilla

LA VIBES IN HSINCHU, BAKERY AND MENU BY TEAMS FROM GEN CREATIVE, BOTTLESS + SALT & STONE. @lillaeats

新竹縣竹北市莊敬南路29號 / No. 29, Zhuangjing S Rd, Zhubei City, Hsinchu 


10. Hsinchuku

OOH CHA CHA"s SISTER CAFE, ASIAN FUSION VEGAN IN TRADITIONAL JAPANESE BUILDING IN HSINCHU. SOUTHEAST ASIAN FLAVORS SPICE UP THE PLANT FORWARD MENU, WHILE THE COCKTAILS REFRESH THE PALATE. @hsinchuku

No. 166, 南大路東區新竹市300 / No. 166, Nanda Rd, East District, Hsinchu 



Saturday, May 21, 2022

my kitchen: EASY BEST CHOCOLATE CAKE


I’m finishing the last of this cake and realized that I didn’t post the recipe here yet. (Amazingly, it’s still moist and delish even a few weeks later.) After posting on IG, I realized that the version I used from addapinch blog is a very close variation of Ina Garten and Hershey’s chocolate cake recipes. The hot coffee is definitely the secret ingredient that you cannot miss and I made a sour cream cream cheese frosting instead of chocolate. Will definitely make again. Enjoy! 

Easy Best Chocolate cake 


FOR THE CHOCOLATE CAKE:


Ingredients  
2 cups all-purpose flour 

2 cups sugar

3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

2 teaspoons baking powder

1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda 

1 teaspoon salt

1 cup milk or buttermilk, almond, or coconut milk

1/2 cup oil 

2 large eggs

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1 cup boiling water + 1 teaspoon instant coffee 


  • Preheat oven to 176 C / 350º F 
  • Prepare two 9-inch cake pans by lining bottom with oven paper or buttering and lightly flouring.
  • Add 2 cup flour, 2 cup sugar, 3/4 cup cocoa, 2 teaspoons baking powder, 1.5 tsp baking soda and 1 tsp salt  to a large bowl. Mix dry ingredients. 
  • Add 1 cup milk (I added a little lemon for buttermilk substitute), 1/2 cup vegetable oil, 2 eggs, and 2 teaspoons vanilla to dry ingredients and mix together on medium speed until well combined.  
  • Slowly add 1 cup boiling water+ coffee on low speed until well combined. It will be runny/on the thin side, and that’s ok. 
  • Split cake batter evenly between the two lined round cake pans, or one large pan for sheet cake. Bake for 30-35 minutes, until a toothpick or chopstick inserted in the center of the chocolate cake comes out clean. If you make cupcakes, check cupcakes around 20-25 min and scoop with ice cream scooper. 
FOR THE SOUR CREAM FROSTING:
  • 1 1/2 cups sour cream
  • 1 cup cream cheese 
  • 3 tablespoons powdered sugar 
  • 3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
Stir until creamy and combined. Will be less firm than cream cheese frosting at room temperature. 

Thursday, April 07, 2022

american/fusion: I strongly recommend POKEWORKS


POKEWORKS TAIPEI
No. 45號, Lane 107, Section 1, Fuxing S Rd, Da’an District
(02) 2775-3576

MRT: Zhongxiao/Dunhua


hours: 11AM- 8PM (closed Sundays)

$ (NT180-220 / person) 

Kid friendliness: only a few tables to sit in back, no high chair spotted, but lots of non-raw options like chicken, tofu and veggies available on the menu. 

Visit reviewed: march 2022


You guys know I can be picky about poke bowls in Taipei (because they seem to more like salad bars here). Since @pokeworks.tw is the first Asian branch of US @pokeworksco , it will feel happily familiar to those missing California style poke bowls.

You can pick a preset combo or build your own bowl, starting with rice/salad base (or noodles!), protein (2-3), mixins (5), dressing, toppings (4) and crunch (4). For this price point (NT$180-280+) you get a ton of selections and everything was very fresh, and it’s the combination of the components together that make it a legit poke bowl.

My usual Pokeworks order:  
-half and half brown rice and salad 
-protein: tuna, salmon and scallop 
-mixins: cucumber, kale, seaweed salad, edamame, sweet onion
-dressing flavor: sriracha aioli
-toppings: surimi salad, masago, kimchi, avocado (extra)
-crunch: shredded nori, garlic crisp, lotus crisp

I love that there’s choices like baby scallop, masago, surumi crab salad, avocado, shredded nori and fried lotus root. Was super satisfied by my bowl and will def be back! 










(Maybe even when I’m craving Asian chicken salad- add chicken, cucumber, onion, mandarin oranges, wonton crisps and use poke works classic or ponzu fresh flavor lol ). This was actually verryyyyy tasty. Thanks Ashley! lol




:)