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Sunday, March 20, 2016

Taipei Relax Trip: Cafe Waiting Love + Food Finds at Ximending 等一个人咖啡景美本店 + 西门町找吃

This place deserves a post to itself!!
This part of our Taipei trip will always be a special one to me
Coz it was really out of the plan but somehow it just feels like we've enjoyed so much at a rather not-so-mainstream part of Taipei city.

I've never heard of 大坪林 Dapinglin but I guess somehow I was lucky enough to be in this less-busy area to explore around. Warning: PHOTO LOADED 

It's on the next day after our chillax trip at Danshui and the exhausting New Year Countdown. Woke up at noon, not knowing where to go. Told you our trip was super laid back haha. I have thought of going to this popular cafe during my first trip to Taipei but I remember it was very far from Taipei City center after checking out Google Maps. Feeling too lazy to move around with our luggage, I was expecting to convince myself that the cafe is too far. But turns out, we were at the "very far" place haha. It's just a bus ride away from where we were staying at that time. This is not FATE or what you tell me!!

Totally didn't regret. It was really my kind of chillax plan, which really perfected my last getaway in Taiwan. 

How to go Cafe Waiting Love: We were at somewhere near Dapinglin Station. You may take bus no. Brown 2 粽2 to Jingmei Girls School 景美女中 which is the terminal station. From there, walk straight and turn into the first road on your right, which is Yishou street 一寿街 and you'll find the cafe. 

Cafe Waiting Love 等一个人咖啡
For those who don't know. Cafe Waiting Love is a cafe which was the movie set of the Taiwanese local film with the same name. The film is an adaptation of a novel by one of Taiwan's bestselling authors Giddens 九把刀, who also wrote the super popular novel and film "You are the apple of my eye". Well I wasn't a fan of the movie at first, but as the TV keeps on replaying, I kinda fell for the story in the end. It's not your usual heart-fluttering romance film, it is funny, peculiar in many ways but tells a very simple story. Just as the film title suggest, the Cafe is the main set of the movie and it sure does make a small fan like me feel excited to live in the set even if it's for a few hours only. (To be precise, it's two hours. They have a time limit for customers, which is quite fair considering the amount of visitors and the amount of seats available.) Anyways let the photos do the talking:     

Address: No.1 Lane 44 of Yishou Street, Wenshan District, Taipei. 台北市文山區一壽街44巷1號

Before we knew it, we were already on a mission to take super artsy photos haha
forgive our shameless and countless attempts haha

oops 是等到,还是等错?

文青担当 of the day

LOL The beverage are inspired or named after lines in the movie

Some of the items we ordered, mostly by Gary haha. 
If i'm not wrong, this is called 告白需要勇气 (Confession requires courage) -- TWD250  
LOLLL which I have no idea why 

Green Tea Latte 抹茶牛奶 -- TWD100

老板娘特调 -- TWD 150
The signature drink mentioned in the movie. But this is obviously different from the espresso-size coffee in the movie la. In the movie, this coffee was specially brewed for the lady owner of the cafe who can't drink usual coffee which are to acidic. I forgot what herb was in the drink, somehow the coffee taste like a less bitter, refreshing and very smooth version of americano.  

阿布思庄园拿铁 Abusi Latte -- TWD175
Just a latte la haha....but taste good. Foamy and aromatic. 

苹果冰淇凌松饼 Apple Cinnamon Ice Cream Waffles -- TWD180 
Damnnnn this is so goooood. Sweet and sour, crunchy and fluffy, both cold and warm. Nice max. 

More shameless attempts haha

(There were actually people who were sitting at the bench, I shamelessly asked them to leave for a while to let me take that I think back, I feel really guilty actually) 

Well of course we weren't just taking photos la...
It was 2 good hours of enjoyment, chit chat, staring at people waiting outside, feeling good about all our experiences in Taiwan. 

Even the coasters are tied-in with the movie

The sky turned dark when we left haha 
So reluctant to leave eh, okay la i mean so lazy to move haha 

Anyways the cafe was worth a visit if you are a fan of the movie. But I guess it's abit too pricey if you don't see the value in all the movie related details. Be prepared to wait coz despite being in a less-busy part of Taipei, there's still a lot of people coming in. But from what I know, they are going to have more branches which I suppose will reduce the crowd maybe? 

Before moving on to our dinner, would like to share abit more about Dapinglin
It's true that you don't have to worry about food in Taiwan. I'm a total stranger to this area and I did not do any research on where to eat and stuffs, but just one street away from where I stay, there's one whole street of food omgggg The best part is, the environment here is much more...calm and peaceful. No cars zooming around, or the sound of loud honks. Food is everywhere, there's also plenty of boutiques around. One thing about Taiwan, Every small district is complete with all the retail outlets and banks and whatever places that you visit frequently. You have everything you need. I'm serious, you can find Starbucks, Nike outlets, NET (a fashion brand similar to UNIQLO) and more of their chainstore boutiques almost EVERYWHERE. Really recommend you guys to come over Dapinglin if you don't wanna stay at in the busy city center. 

Dafeng Road 大丰路
This is the FOOD street I'm talking about.
Well it's morning so not all are opened. But I swear it was all food at night!

Again, breakfast joint in Taiwan!

tried this Croissant Pastry Ham and Egg Sandwich 可颂饼火腿蛋
super yummy. Crunchy and awesome buttery flavor of the croissant T T
(I'm crying as I think about it.....can I have it now) 

another Taiwanese Breakfast 
黑胡椒铁板面 Black Pepper Fried Noodles

another breakfast joint on the same street 
had Bagels and Milk Tea (omgggg bagels....)

Address: Dafeng Road, Xindian District, New Taipei City. 大丰路,新店区,新北市

Next, it was time to pack our bags and leave the comfy Dapinglin. Knowing it's probably my last night Taipei for my exchange, I die die wanna eat steamboat haha. But tbh, steamboat isn't cheap in Taipei. Most of the places we search are at least 400TWD and many of them are buffet style. The cheap ones would be like mini steamboat, which wasn't exactly what I want. Finally found a steamboat shop in Ximending which cost us TWD300 per pax. 

爭纖健康涮涮鍋 Zhengxian Steamboat 
Address: B1, No. 84, EMei Street, Wanhua District Taipei City. 台北市萬華區峨眉街84號 B1

Now steamboat comes!! Well you think TWD300 is still too expensive, wait until you see the portion. Kinda regret that we ordered 3 sets. It's a lot to finish and we were the last customers in the shop coz it took us really long to finish our food. But it is sure damn worth it hehe. Well the menu has steamboat set meals, where you can choose the type of meat. Each set comes with veggie platter, egg, a soup of your choice, a refillable lemon slusshie and you can choose either rice/noodle/and some other types of carbs. We ordered a pork platter, chicken pieces and seafood platter. We picked Mala soup, the veggie broth and also Kimchi soup. Mala was the best, it's spicy and salty but it just taste right.

Loads of veggies included with each serving. 

Seafood and Chicken 
Gotta say I love the chicken slices. Super tender and taste great with any type of soup. 
The clams are quite fresh as well. 

and there's another pork platter with 3 different types of pork cuts. 
Pork belly ftw!
This view of the table was an instant source of happiness. 

and there's free flow ice cream, but damn I was so full after the steamboat. 

Btw, it was raining. Perfect reason for steamboat. Well not to say that the steamboat was exceptionally delicious, but I guess a rainy night, with loads of food and two good friends to enjoy the feast was really a memorable way to spend my final hours in Taipei before heading back to Kaohsiung. 

oh potong stim yixia...
lol had to post this. One of Taiwan's weird snacks 大雕烧. hehe
had this before dinner coz I was really hungry and it happens that my friend is dying to find this shop. But now I regret coz this thing cost me TWD60 wtf. Could have bought double servings of stinky tofu haizzzz
LOL check out this link if you wanna know about this interesting shop: 
Address: No.88 KunMing Street, Wanhua District, Taipei City. 台北市萬華區昆明街88號1F

Yep that's pretty much about my trip in Taipei.
hehe, me at the lady owner's usual seat 

Lastly, one big shout out to my friend Janwai!!
If you're wondering why did I end up in Dapinglin in Taipei, well that's because of this kind guy who decided to offer us a place to stay in Taipei during New Year while all the hotels and backpackers are either full house or expensive as f*ck. Super lucky that he happened to be in Taipei and has his own place to stay. Thanks for letting me stay for 2 nights and entrusted me with the key. And sorry for troubling you, I have no idea how the main door was locked when I had left it open when I left the house. You have no idea how much it meant to me haha, a free place to stay, no need to check in or check out (can sleep till noon), comfy couches, fluffy and warm blankets hehehehhe super syok i swear. Nothing's better than staying at a friend's house. Your place really meant a lot to my trip in Taipei.  

Wednesday, March 02, 2016

Taipei Countdown Trip Danshui Reloaded

Back in Taipei again for NewYear Countdown

OMGGG how time flies...I'm already away from Taiwan for two months

But everything just seems like yesterday. 

Okay sorry for that cliche opening haha
I remember my first trip to Taipei was a rather packed and rushing one, and I was just being the tourist like anyone else. Taipei is such a vibrant city and I always wanted to enjoy its beautiful things with a more laid back pace. And it's very much needed since I was going to have my finals and face the reality that I gotta return to Malaysia soon.

It's the new year and I thought I should spend it at Taipei. Not like I'm a fan of mega concerts but I guess this is YOLO kinda thing right. Enjoy the crowd while we're young, and be mesmerized by the fireworks show, which really was a memorable experience. Haven't seen anything like it so far, it certainly felt like magic at one point. The bright and colorful dancing sparks certainly ignited the new year. 

Sorry I don't have super pretty photos
You will just forget taking photos coz it's so hard to take your eyes off 

The crowd at the concert! 
Really one time is enough haha 
Anyways I really enjoyed the concert especially A-Mei's part. 
It was like her personal concert, she is giving so much energy to the crowd and I now understand how a great performer can influence her audience. Totally fell for her. 

A blurred shot but it gives you a glimpse of the colors :D

So after the countdown, we kick started our new year with loads of enjoyment. Food, sightseeing, relax, more food and for the first time, more sleep! 
Started our first day of the year late and we had a brunch at Ximending :D

Guru House 
Taipei is never short of cozy hipster cafes but this cafe offers not only western brunch menu but also put serves Taiwan's every-day breakfast snack: Egg Roll

Address: No. 10, Chengdu Road Lane 27, Wanhua District, Taipei City. 台北市萬華區成都路27巷10號

Cheese Egg Roll 三重起司蛋饼 -- TWD70
served in a pan
Taiwan's egg roll with tonnes of chewy cheese inside. 
The aroma from the cheese can immediately refresh your senses seriously. 
I like that it's not too heavy. I manage to finish 3 quarters of the serving without feeling sick. (My friends tried the other quarter) 

Latte with Coco Liqueur -- TWD140 
Well I guess you can hardly find latte with alcohol in Malaysia right? 
To be honest, I can't taste much difference 
But I guess the alcohol gave a heating effect, which in my defense was kinda needed with Taipei's chilly weather. (Okay actually dat day was freaking hot I have no idea why) 

Guru House Brunch -- TWD 180

Next, we traveled to Danshui 淡水 for some sightseeing

Like I said before, out trip was more like a wandering kinda thing. We just started off strolling at Danshui's Old Street and continued along the promenade.It was a really sunny day, loads of people at the old street, shopping, eating ice cream and snacks, enjoying street performances.  

British Consulate 英国领事馆
OMGGGGGGG I thought this was the Fort San Domingo!! Damnnn totally missed the fort, i guess it was being renovated?? Admission is free btw! well can't say it's super fun, but it is a well preserved building that gives you a glimpse into the past. Beautiful European architecture and interior. Yep It looks exactly like the British Consulate in Kaohsiung too. 

Now you know why they had to build this on top of a hill 
That's Guanyin Mountain 观音山 on the opposite side of Tamsui River. 

From there, we walked into the Aletheia University 真理大学 Area. It's not my first time here. (See previous post) But it still feels great to visit this pretty place. Even better when you have people who love making memories (i mean taking photos) haha... 

Every shot over here is pretty...these are all taken wif my phone eh. 

All Posers hahaaaa

Back to Danshui Oldstreet for food hunt! These were the things that I haven't check off my list in my previous trip!
1. 可口鱼丸

Address: No. 232, Zhongzheng Road, Tamsui District, New Taipei City

鱼丸馄饨汤 Fishball and Wantan Soup -- TWD 30
For 30twd, this is so damn nice. 
The fishballs are not those round and glossy type. It's solid and chewy, which taste more like real fish right. The wantan was smooth and fragrant as well. The soup, super refreshing. 

包子 Bun with minced pork fillings -- TWD10 each 
for 10twd, this is super awesome as well
just indulging in the chewy minced pork with delicious gravy that sinks into the bun. 

Address: No. 4, Lane 8, Zhongzheng Rd, Tamsui District, New Taipei City

缘味 Cheese flavored Cake -- TWD100
to be honest I can't really tell what's the difference between the two competing stores. 
Both are delicious, super aromatic, soft and moist sponge-cake texture. The fragrant taste just keeps you wanting more. 

Address: No. 4號, Lane 11, Zhongzheng Rd, Tamsui District, New Taipei City
阿给 Ah Gei -- TWD35
Apparently one of Danshui's must eat 
It's deep fried tofu with glass noodles wrapped inside, with a gooey slightly spicy gravy
In other words, is like YongTauFoo but it's glass noodles inside. 
Can't say I totally love it (because I generally don't like gooey and tasteless stuff) 
Well this is not the pioneering shop afterall, that's why it doesn't taste really good.  

Finally, had some chill and catch up time at the beautiful RC 1899 Cafe 红楼咖啡馆
This beautiful ancient red brick building houses a restaurant and also a cafe. 
It's kind of a splurge but damn, can't resist the beautiful cafe ambience and also the awesome night view of Danshui it offers. #YOLO
It was just fun, talking about our exchange experience, hard truths that we learnt and things we will treasure. 
Too bad it's only open till 10pm, wished we could enjoyed more time over there. 

Address: 3rd Floor, No.6 Lane 2, Sanmin Street, Tamsui District, New Taipei City 新北市淡水區三民街2巷6号3楼

I ordered a glass of Hot Cocoa with Baileys - TWD160 (hehe alcohol was my thing coz it warms the body :P )

see the boss 

We continued hanging out along the promenade despite it's past 10pm. 
Enjoying the chilly weather, with mild winds blowing occasionally. Not knowing what we're gonna do tomorrow, we just enjoyed every minute and forget about being late for sleep haha. 

Tomorrow is also gonna be fun. 

Love Nuffnang


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