Tastes of Taiwan (Day 7): Ximending

Breakfast: Fan Tuan w/ Lychee

Already a week! Not much else to say about fan tuan that I haven't already said. To be honest, I've gone a little overboard with it because it was my first taste of Taiwanese breakfast this trip. There's so many more wonderful Taiwanese breakfast foods to be had! So this will probably be my last fan tuan for a while. 

However, I haven't said anything about lychee yet. My #3 fruit! Mom said that this lychee was a special kind called "Jade Purse Lychee" which is larger and juicier and has a smaller seed. It's more expensive but wow was it worth it. 

Lunch: Ba-wan @ Banqiao

Pat and the parents felt like staying in today so I went with my Aunt and my cousin into Taipei. I took selfies while waiting for the train. 

Second breakfast! While walking around the mall we happened upon a "Mr. Donut" and my cousin mentioned that it was her favorite. Sounds good to me! She was right, it was delicious. I loved how soft and chewy it was! Definitely a fan of donuts in Taiwan. 

After the delightful snack and a black coffee (I was feeling a bit sleepy), we did a little more window shopping and then headed over to the food court. The first shop I saw, I knew it was the one. Aunt and cousin told me to make a circle around the food court to see what else there was but my heart was set. I wanted the Ba-wan.

Ba-wan. According to wikipedia: Ba-wan is a Taiwanese dim sum, consisting of a 6–8 cm diameter disk-shaped translucent dough filled with a savory stuffing and served with a sweet and savory sauce. According to me: delicious. This particular ba-wan was filled with meat, mushroom, and a quail egg. The dish also came with a soup and a side dish of my choosing. After eating, we headed over to Ximending. 

Snack: Shaved Ice @ Modern Toilet

I would describe Ximending as the Times Square of Taiwan. My cousin took us to a restaurant called "Modern Toilet" and, as the name implies, the shindig was a shrine to the porcelain throne. The decorations were toilets, the light fixtures were in the shape of poo, the seats were toilets, the paintings featured toilets or poo, the bowls were toilets, the sink was a toilet, the toilet was a toilet.

We ordered shaved ice with kiwi sauce and, since there was a minimum order, we also ordered fries and popcorn chicken. As I feared, a place that relies so heavily on a toilet gimmick might be a bit lacking regarding food quality. Indeed, the place seemed to be nothing more than just a tourist attraction. The shaved ice wasn't great and the fries and chicken were standard American fare. But that's okay! It was the experience and novelty we paid for. 

Dinner: Niu Rou Mian @ Taipei Main Station

More shopping. Saw some really cool stuff including a sizable Iron Man in Hulkbuster array. I wish I could buy everything but I think dropping so much cash on toys would be frowned upon (that Hulkbuster Iron Man was going for $120 USD).

We also stopped by an arcade (Taiwan arcades are awesome! - the games look way more interesting than the ones at Dave & Busters), visited a Scent Library (with interesting scents such as "Redhead in Bed", "Dirt", "Clean Skin", and "Fuzzy Navel"), and shared some pastries. 

Didn't have time to play this time but maybe some day.

Didn't have time to play this time but maybe some day.

A couple of the more... interesting "flavors" at the Scent Library. 

A couple of the more... interesting "flavors" at the Scent Library. 

Decorated macarons. Neat!

Decorated macarons. Neat!

Finally, it was about time to go home. Aunt treated me to dinner at a Niu Rou Mian shop at Taipei Main Station. Apparently, the beef noodles at this shop had won a bunch of awards. The trophies were displayed proudly on the counter. Nice. Except... there were three other niu rou mian shops right beside this one and each of them had their own gallery of trophies. Oh well, not much you can do but squint suspiciously and enjoy your noodles. Which i did. And at the end of the day, that's pretty much all that matters. 

When I got home, I was beat. I went right to bed. I had a great day in the city with my relatives.