Saturday, May 21, 2022


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 


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. 
  • 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

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 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

Wednesday, March 30, 2022

news: 2022 ASIA’s 50 BEST

Team Taiwan 🇹🇼 chefs celebrated the 2022 #Asias50Best yesterday in Taipei in an unofficial gathering, along with chefs in Tokyo, Bangkok, Hong Kong and Macau. Two restaurants - Logy and JL Studio made it to the Asia’s 50 Best list- and an additional five restaurants in the top 100, with Mume and Ryugin, and new entries Adachi, Liberte and Le Côté. Mume also was honored with the 2022 Sustainable restaurant award.

 It’s been a continued unpredictable few years for restaurants, but great to see chefs coming out to support each other. Congrats to all of chefs in Asia’s 50 Best and their teams- hope to be able to (re)visit again someday soon. 

🇹🇼 2022 Asia’s 50 Best 
#38 LOGY @ryogotahara_logy 
#45 JL STUDIO @jlstudio_tw @jimmy_jlstudio 
#52 ADACHI (new entry)
#54 MUME @mume_taiwan @richie_lin (also 2022 Sustainable Restaurant award)
#57 SHOUN RYUGIN @shounryugintaiwan @ryohei_hieda 
#72 LIBERTE @liberte_taiwan @kenji.liberte 
#99 LE COTE @lecotelm @lanshuchen (new entry) 

1 Den Tokyo 
2 Sorn Bangkok 
3 Florilege Tokyo 
4 Le Du Bangkok 
5 Chairman Hong Kong 
6 La Cime Osaka
7 Suhring Bangkok 
8 Odette Singapore 
9 Neighborhood HK 
10 Nusara Bangkok 
11 Sazenka Tokyo 
12 Fu He Hui Shanghai 
13 Ode Tokyo (highest climber) 
14 Villa Aida (highest new entry) Wakayama
15 Narisawa Tokyo 
16 Mingles Seoul 
17 Sezanne Tokyo (new) 
18 Joo Ok Seoul (new)
19 Ensue Shenzhen (new)
20 Meta Singapore (new)
21 Masque Mumbai 
22 Indian Accent New Delhi 
23 Les Amis Singapore 
24 Caprice Hong Kong 
25 Blue by Alain Ducasse (new)
26 7th door Seoul 
27 Mosu Seoul (new) 
28 Da Vittorio Shanghai (new)
29 Sushi Masato Bangkok (new)
30 Onjium Seoul (new)
31 Samrub Samrub Thai Bangkok (new)
32 Mono Hong Kong 
33 Gaa Bangkok
34 Wing Hong Kong (new) 
35 Ministry of Crab Sri Lanka
36 La Maison de La nature Goh Fukuoka 
37 Zen Singapore 
38 Logy Taipei 
39 Ultraviolet Shanghai 
40 Labyrinth Singapore
41 Burnt Ends Singapore 
42 Ete Japan (new) 
43 Cenci Kyoto (new) 
44 Cloudstreet Singapore 
45 JL Studio Taichung 
46 Raan Jay Fai Bangkok (new) 
47 Wynn Lei Palace Macau 
48 Otto E Mezzo Shanghai 
49 Megu New Delhi (new) 
50 Dewakan Kuala Lumpur 

Wednesday, March 02, 2022


Lemon kale bean soup just sounded so good and perfect for winter, and of course, halfbakedharvest takes the best photos, so I had to try this recipe. (I wish my kitchen had the window light that hers does, but sadly no windows in my kitchen). 


▢ 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
▢ 1 shallot, chopped (x) 
▢ 4-6 cloves garlic, smashed
▢ red pepper flakes (x)
▢ 2 tablespoons salted butter
▢ 2 cups dry orzo pasta (i used fagoli, 1 cup next time, soaks too much liquid) 
▢ 6 cups low sodium chicken or vegetable broth
▢ 1 can white beans 
▢ kosher salt and black pepper
▢ 1/2 bunch kale, finely shredded
▢ 1/2 cup basil pesto (I added less) 
▢ 1/2 cup whole milk (I added a little heavy cream) 
▢ 1 cup grated parmesan cheese (I added 1/2 cup) 
▢ zest and juice of 1 lemon (I did 1/2 lemon)

Yum would make this again though I would add less starch so it’s more soupy than not

Wednesday, February 16, 2022


Learn something new everyday and if you haven’t learned how to make crispy pot stickers at home yet, you must try this easy method perfected by @kirbiecravings. Our current fave brands of supermarket potstickers are Mazendo or the shrimp pork dumplings from Ba Fang. I should document the different brands I’ve tried, but always end up going back to Mazendo. 

[TAIPEI] 🥟Practice makes perfect #potstickers #crispyskirt 


1/2 cup water 
2 teaspoons flour 
Stir together to make a slurry. 

1- Oil pan and griddle potstickers for 2 min uncovered, medium high heat. I usually put 10-12 in a circle on nonstick pan 
2- Pour in slurry and cook 3 min covered on medium heat
3- Uncover and cook about 5-8 more minutes til skirt is golden brown and edge of skirt can be gently lifted by spatula
4- Gently put plate on top of potstickers (top of plate facing top of pan) and flip pan and plate together. (Or slide it off the pan to plate if you want the skirt to be at the bottom)


Thursday, January 06, 2022

american/chinese: i recommend FORKS AND CHOPSTICKS

Orange chicken in Taipei. 

When I first started the blog, the question I would get once in awhile was "where can I find Americanized Chinese food in Taipei?" And I had no idea, I mean it just was not a thing here. Plus you've got dumplings, noodle soups and veggies galore. 

But then after a few years I would really get nostalgic for that styrofoam box of orange chicken, chow mein and a fried egg roll. I know I wasn't alone because I even followed the news of an American Chinese diner opening in China (and closing a few years later) and orange chicken getting so popular you could buy it at Trader Joes. Panda Express even started trying to started making burritos with orange chicken and had Innovation Kitchens. 

And now, Taipei finally has its own spot to order a few of your takeout faves. The founders of FORKS AND CHOPSTICKS 筷叉小館  were feeling the same cravings and tackled this problem with a cloud kitchen solution. 

The menu at Forks and Chopsticks isn't long, but it's got the classics you might spy at the mall food court - broccoli beef, orange chicken, chicken zucchini, eggplant and tofu, chicken and string beans, fried rice, and chow mein..and yes, there's fortune cookies, takeout boxes and that familiar looking styrofoam shaped box (minus the styrofoam cuz it's Taiwan 2022). 

And the taste comes pretty close, at least for me who hasn't been to the states in 2 years and hasn't had orange chicken in more than that. I must admit Panda Express' orange chicken was such the guilty pleasure in college. So while the flavor is close, I do wish it was a bit more crispier and stickier (though I guess I get Korean fried chicken for those cravings these days). Paired with a chewy chow mien, it scratches an itch. The familiar fried rice, the lucky numbers with your fortune.

You can order by the dish or get a combo 1, 2 or 3 dishes with rice or noodles (or upon special request half and half). Currently you can find @ForksxChopsticks on ubereats or pick up,  but there's no dine in yet. They are also testing egg rolls (another fave that I haven't had in years) and crab rangoon. 

There _are_ fortune cookies, but they are an extra charge unfortunately, the same way chips and salsa are not free in Mexican restaurants here. lol. 

So anyone been missing their takeout menu from back home? What else are you missing? Maybe honey walnut shrimp or (it's been so long I had to google) sweet and sour shrimp or Kung Pao chicken. 

(pick up and delivery only)
No. 67號, Guangfu S Rd, Songshan District, Taipei
(02) 2748-4205

Monday, January 03, 2022


I love waffles, but I had never made mochi waffles before. New year, new you, right? 

I had some sweet rice flour in the pantry from a visit last year to Siang Khau Lu, so I decided to give this recipe a try (it had the most reviews on google with 442). The result was a chewy, soft waffle that was like some of the round mochi breads or cheese breads I'd pick up at local bakeries. I wished it was slightly crispier on the edges, like this mochi waffle street vendor that I found in Taipei years ago before it was a thing. I should mention I didn't have any white sugar on hand, so I used brown sugar instead of white sugar, which did give it a caramel color and flavor, but did not make it crispy. I'll keep tinkering with this recipe and see if I can adjust it to be crispier. 


Ingredients (makes 4-6 waffles) 

  • 3/4 cups milk
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract 
  • 1 1/4 cup mochiko flour
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

1. Preheat waffle iron.

2. In a medium mixing bowl add 3/4 cup milk, 1 egg, and 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract. Whisk until well combined.

3. Add 1 1/4 cup sweet glutinous rice flour, 1/4 cup sugar, 1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder, and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Whisk until just combined.

4. Add 1/4 to 1/2 a cup of the batter to the waffle iron. This will puff up a lot, so I recommend filling it less than half full to prevent overflow and make sure the edges get griddled. Cook for 3-5 minutes or until golden brown.

Wednesday, December 01, 2021

western/mediterranean: i strongly recommend TOASTERIA CAFE (YONG KANG)


No 200 Xinyi Road, Section 2, Da'an District, Taipei
(02) 2321-0073 

MRT: Dongmen

hours: 9AM- 12AM


Kid friendliness: baby chairs and stairs, but there is first floor seating 

Visit reviewed: 10/2021


Toasteria has come a long way since its tiny sidewalk cafe selling grilled cheese sandwiches. Now it's a busy 3 story restaurant next to the original Yong Kang Street DTF, with a full menu of mediterranean specialties that are hard to find in Taipei, brunch, pasta and salad options. I've only been a handful of times the past few years, but every time I go it's busy with large groups of all ages. 

I had a lunch date with a friend who asked me where she could find hummus and I suggested Toasteria. Flipping through the menu it seemed even more extensive than my last visit a few years ago with not just one hummus, but 5 different versions. She ended up picking the Hummus Moroccan Lamb which was delicious. The pita bread was presented so nicely with a few pickled olives and there was plenty to go around- it’s such a bummer when you order a dip/spread and there’s not enough pita or bread to go around.  

And even though there’s a handful of places to get hummus these days (which is happily so many more than even 5 years ago), I would come back for that and  the eggplant carpaccio (I wish I had a picture of it, I think we were so hungry we just dug in.)

Just had to post about it because so many people asked me about it or told me they went to Toasteria after seeing my post, because they had also been looking for hummus in Taipei. 

Wednesday, November 24, 2021

chinese/dim sum: i recommend YA GE at MO TAIPEI

No. 158, DunHua N Rd, Songshan District, Taipei
(02) 2715 6788

hours: 12PM- 2:30PM; 6:30PM - 10PM


Kid friendliness: environment on quieter side; no high chairs or children spotted

Visit reviewed: 11/2021

[TAIPEI] 🥟Michelin starred dim sum at @mo_tpe . Faves include the honey bbq pork, crispy taro puffs with foie gras, and rice roll with crispy shrimp. I’ve missed eating with a table full of dim sum and Cantonese food. 

Ya Ge is now headed by chef Tommy Cheung Kwok Pong who was previously at Peninsula Hotel in HK for over 10 years with signatures such as birds nest dumpling,  garoupa with chicken and duck au jus, pork ribs with aged vinegar and pear and wok fried rice noodles with crab. 

Thank you Mandarin Oriental for the lovely lunch and hospitality.