Too _________ for words

August 8, 2010 § 28 Comments

I have so many pictures on my memory disk that it’s not even funny. It’s been two whole days since I last logged on to WordPress and clicked New Post. Like this chika, I am at a loss for words and am having a hard time at slewing those pictures together into one humongous yet eloquent post. I’ve been praying that some inspiration will hit me. Uhhhh…maybe not.

I’ve been thinking how I should document my blasting fun stay in Taiwan. I’ve been lugging my dSLR everywhere I go (well, almost), taking pictures like a tourist even though I’ve lived here my entire life. I’m doing this all for the sake of this blog, ’cause I so want to show all of you the treasures found in Taiwan!  I have loads of pics of city scenes, night markets, traditional open air markets, etc. But I think I’ll leave that to the end of my stay and combine all those pics into one huge post. For now, I’ll focus on food…you like that right 😉

Anyhooz, on Friday night, I met up with S to go to a Hello Kitty Theme Restaurant that she said she’s been wanting to try. With me back, she can finally brave herself to enter that obnoxiously pink restaurant.

They have a display of a variety of sweets, cakes, pastries near the entrance of the store. I was absolutely salivating over these while we were waiting to get seated!

Hello Kitty overload?

We were seated on the second floor of the restaurant, again with muchos pink!

I saw this Hello Kitty Bread Bowl on the menu. How cute is that?

Alas, they didn’t have any vegetarian options, so I opted for Vegetarian Calamari Spaghetti with Tomato Sauce.  I got the set meal, which included salad, soup, bread, appetizer, main course, dessert, and choice of drink. It might sound like alot, but here in Taiwan, every course is probably half the size of those in the States.

A salad the size of my palm with Japanese sesame dressing

Veggie soup with cilantro

Hello Kitty bread roll!

Appetizer: Vegetarian calamari with asparagus.

Main course: Vegetarian calamari spaghetti with tomato sauce.

Dessert: Hello Kitty Strawberry Jello

Everything was served on plates with Hello Kitty design.

The food was only above-average good, but it was a worthwhile experience to dine in a pink and girly restaurant 🙂

Unlike the U.S. (and other Western countries?), we celebrate Father’s Day in Taiwan on August 8th. Like I mentioned in this post, we celebrate Father’s Day on that day because August 8 = 8/8= Eight-eight = ba ba (same sound as “Father” in Mandarin). So for Father’s Day this year, we splurged on a fine-dining Japanese restaurant.

We ordered some ice-cold sake to go with our meal. They poured the sake into this glass container with an “inward cave” to put ice in.

It was the best sake I’ve had by far! It actually had a slightly sweet taste to it. I like :mrgreen: !

My sister and I both ordered the vegetarian meal set (only the two of us are vegetarians in our family).

Appetizer: some steamed veggies with mushroom. This was literally bite-size.

Vegetarian "sashimi", which is made out of "konjac."

Alot of vegan and vegetarian food items found in Taiwan and other Asian countries feature a type of plant called konjac. The “sashimi” and the “calamari”, for example, are made out of konjac. Konjac is a plant grown in the subtropical East Asian countries (Japan, China, Taiwan, India, Korea, Indonesia). It is tasteless, has a jelly-like texture, is low in calories, and a good vegan substitute for gelatin. You guys are probably more familiar with shirataki noodles, yes? Yup, konjac makes up a good portion of those noodles!

Green sashimi, anyone?

Served with a type of root vegetable and avocado(!)

Okay okay, here comes the good part. Prepare yourself, because this was easily my favorite dish for the entire meal, and because this was LEGEN- wait for it…

Grilled eggplant topped with miso paste!

-DARY!!! Oh who doesn’t love a little Barney Stinson now and then? 😀

Doesn't that just scream "EAT ME I'M DELICIOUS"?!?!

I’m salivating just thinking about it again!

Mini sushi pieces

Hot pot: soup with fresh veggies thrown in.

You dip the veggies from the hot pot in Japanese soy sauce and sesame sauce, then eat in that cute little bowl!

That might have seem like alot of food, but like I said, everything here is on a much, much smaller scale. All the dishes that you’ve witnessed above are probably smaller than the appetizers you find in restaurants in the States. It’s about quality and not quantity here.

It’s also sad to see how the “largest” and most “powerful” country in the world has the poorest quality of eating (developing countries don’t count!). Everything in the U.S. is supersized. It is not normal to eat 8 or 12 oz of steak for one meal! It is not normal to have pasta equivalent of three servings and think that was one serving. It is not normal to consume desserts that are probably more than half of your daily caloric intake.

Speaking of which, out “dessert” is naturally…

Courtesy of my cousin 😉

Overall, a very satisfying meal with lots of healthy, fresh ingredients!

Here are a few pictures of some other eats the other members of my family ordered.

Chilled soba noodles eaten with Japanese soy sauce, and some tempura.

A small piece of steak (literally the size of your palm) that my cousin ordered. Though I've been a vegetarian for two years, the meat looked so tender and perfectly cooked!

Vegetarian gods..please don't smite me. I'm simply admiring the plate.

I’ve recently just finished this book called Love Walked In. If you’re looking for a sentimental, inspiring read about love (and not just romance, but love of family, friendships, and loving a child), this is it!

The blurb on the back of the book:

When Martin Grace enters the hip Philadelphia coffee shop Cornelia Brown manages, her life changes forever. But little does she know that her newfound love is only the harbinger of greater changes to come. Meanwhile, across town, Clare Hobbseleven years old and abandoned by her erratic mothergoes looking for her lost father. She crosses paths with Cornelia while meeting with him at the café, and the two women form an improbable friendship that carries them through the unpredictable currents of love and life. Love Walked In, the first novel by award-winning poet Marisa de los Santos, is bursting with keen insight and beautifully rendered prose. Invoking classic movies to illuminate the mystery and wonder of love in all its permutations, Love Walked In is an uplifting debut that marks the entrance of an enchanting literary voice.

I came across this quote towards the end of the book:

“A real life doesn’t mean getting what you want; the achievement, the privilege, too, is knowing what you love.”

I have many things that I know that I 100% love, of which they are something that I think should be kept personal and dear to my heart. 😀

I know in my last post that I promised to make something featuring matcha and adzuki beans. But lately I’ve just been lazy too busy/not in the mood for baking, so that might have to wait till I return.

Return from what, you ask. My family and I are escaping to the high mountains for a couple of days to get away from the heat. Specifically, here…

See y’all when I get back!

————————————–

+ Have you read something worth recommending lately?

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§ 28 Responses to Too _________ for words

  • Glad to hear you’re enjoying the beauty of your home country 🙂 The restaraunts look great – and I can’t get over that Hello Kitty one! haha. I also find it so interesting how you mention portion sizes are much smaller. It seems like they’ve been growing over here!

  • I really need to get to a library…kind of not able to now. But I need something new to read. I finished a new book recently but it was a nonfiction book (“Perfect Daughters”). Before that I re-read two books i have read before, and now I am reading another book that I have read before.
    If I can’t read something new, then “re-reading” is the next best option!. I am reading “A long way down” by Nick Hornby now, which is a favorite of mine.

    If you like Jodi Picoult, her novel “Perfect Match” is decent.

  • Britta says:

    This makes me miss vegetable sushi soo bad! Taiwan looks awesome -I am editing a book and literally just came to a point where the author is in Taiwan..I love synchronicity 🙂

  • chelsey says:

    That is probably the coolest restaurant I have ever seen!

    I have a really good book reccomendation for you. I just finished Her Fearful Symmetry by Audrey Niffenegger. She is the same author as The Time Traveler’s Wife. Honestly… 2 days, 400 pages – it was that good.

  • Wei-Wei says:

    Happy Father’s Day! Seriously, sometimes people in Taiwan are crazy about Hello Kitty! That restaurant made me sigh and shake my head… “Typical.” But anyway, it’s actually really easy to be a vegetarian or even a vegan in Taiwan. There’s been an organic and vegetarian craze sweeping the country lately, and almost everything is marked ovo= or lacto-vegetarian (I really do think I got those terms wrong) and even vegan. When referring to vegan they say 全素, but you knew that right? If you don’t get freaked out by all the imitation meat first, anyway…

    Wei-Wei

  • highonhealthy says:

    Ahaha, I love that Hello Kitty themed restaurant!! Too cute. I would probably prefer the sushi place though because it looks so classy and the food looks delicious and is presented very prettily.

    Have fun on your vacation! It looks like it’s going to be absolutely gorgeous. 🙂

  • Kat says:

    I used to LOVE hello kitty!! I actually liked keropi more, I was obsessed with frogs because of him and even got 2 pet frogs when I was litte 🙂 Everything looks gorgeous there. I am so glad you are enjoying your time!!

  • Geni says:

    Love the pics and the Hello Kitty restaurant looks like such a kick! The Japanese restaurant looks divine…and yes even Legendary. I love a little Stinson thrown in! 

  • That’s such a cool restaurant! I’d probably eat there too (even if the food was only above average) 🙂

    And now I *must* try grilled eggplant with miso paste. I left my miso back at school cuz I figured…it can’t expire? (haha well hopefully…) But I’m def. giving it a try when I get back!

  • too “CUTE'” for words!!! omg i was so addicted to hello kitty growing up! i had to go into a hello kitty rehab.. well in my own world.. lol but i still love it ❤

    what a fabulous place!

  • Gail says:

    The vegetarian sushi looks SO CUTE! It’s been a long time since I’ve had something at a sushi place that wasn’t an avocado/cucumber/sweet potato roll or some variation. And I would love to go to that Hello Kitty restaurant just for the fun of it.

  • thehungryscholar says:

    I read a book about the origins of the concept of virginity. It was great just reading for FUN for a change. 🙂

    I am so jealous of your HELLO KITTY ADVENTURE!!!

  • kaztronomic says:

    That Hello Kitty restaurant looks like an absurdly fun place to dine. 😀 Vegetarian calamari? I’m confused and curious to learn more. x)

    I don’t know what kind of books you like, but Lois McMaster Bujold has some somewhat-feminist sci-fi (dominant, independent females, excellent plots — not just “fluff”) like Cordelia’s Honor, and anything in her Vor series. Definitely worth a read. =)

  • I had no idea they had a Hello Kitty restaurant!! Those foods are so cute! Love the bread bowl and jello mold 😛

  • What amazing, amazing food. The preference for quality–of both food and company–as opposed to quality is one of the things I immediately noticed, and loved, about this culture.

    Have a wonderful time in the mountains!

  • That Hello Kitty restaurant is the funniest thing ever! I can’t get over that it actually exists!

    That book sounds right up my alley! I really want to read it now. Right now I’m making my way through reading “The Omnivore’s Dilemma”. It is so eye opening!

  • Neil says:

    ~these pictures are so beautisul!
    Hello Kitty restaurant seems a good place to celebrate the Father’s Day.
    I am very happy to know you are a vegetarian because you are so young.
    Choosing to be a vegetarian to good to yourself,living things and the Eather.
    have a nice aummer ~(^-^)/

  • Monet says:

    Let the Great World Spin is a wonderful book…I’m working on a review for my blog tonight, so it should be up sometime tomorrow. Thanks for sharing all of these pictures…you look like you are having an amazing and adventurous time!

  • It’s horrible to try and sort through an endless amount of pictures, isn’t it? But I love seeing all of the things you’re doing/seeing on your travels, so thanks for taking the time to show us 🙂 And speaking of which… that Hello Kitty restaurant is seriously TOO FREAKING CUTE. Omigosh. Those little cakes are like works of art, and I have no idea how people can bring themselves to eat the cuteness.

    I haven’t actually picked up any new books for a while, now… I’m just going through some old, loved classics. But, if you need a good smile, The Book of Awesome is a fun read…. it’s a collection of life’s simple pleasures, and going through it always brings a smile to my face.

  • Run Sarah says:

    Oh my goodness – I would LOVE to visit that Hello Kitty restaurant. Have always been a huge Sanrio fan! Love how fresh the Japanese food looks as well.

  • brittac says:

    oh beautiful! I wish I was hiking with yall!

    The hello kitty place looks so fun – I never knew so much hello kitty food exsisted.

    Also hot pot – I LOVE hot pot!

    YUM. I want to visit Tawain!

  • I wish more places in the states had reasonable portion sizes! The portion distortion is CRAZY!

    The hello kitty stuff was TOO cute 🙂 Love it!

  • Kate says:

    I’m envious of your food! So healthy, filling, and beautiful! That is the kind of food I could live on every single day. I absolutely agree that our country has super sized everything. It makes me disgusted thinking about it. I would choose your dishes over “Americanized” food any day!!

    I just read “The Help” and highly, highly, highly recommend it. Oh my gosh, I didn’t want to put it down. I laughed, I cried, I texted my mom asking her “what the heck??”, and I would read it over and over again in a heartbeat! 🙂

  • Michal says:

    gasp! i love all of the hello kitty things, i love hello kitty she is so cute!

  • Megan says:

    Love Walked In sounds like a great book. I love stuff like that! And that Hello Kitty restaurant is insane! I always wanted the Hello Kitty waffle maker as a kid 🙂

  • Heather says:

    Oh my gosh, I wish I could go to that Hello Kitty restaurant, it looks so adorable!

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