poor scientist. will blog 4 food.

the culinary adventures of a self-described foodie

Taiwan Highlights (2012 Edition)


Two weeks back and I’m finally getting around to posting about my trip to Taiwan. I took hundreds of photos, so I went through and selected the ones I thought were most representative of my trip, while also picking out some food photos (of course). They’re haphazardly organized into 3 sections: Chinese food, non-Chinese food, and miscellaneous (people, places, things). I should also note that many of these pictures are courtesy of my sister JS. Thanks sis!

Are you ready? Here we go…


xiao lung bao (soup dumplings) from Ding Tai Fung

I’ve blogged about these previously. We ate at Ding Tai Fung twice. I wish I had just ordered 20 for myself.

This is a photo from one of the lunches we had at a stir fry restaurant. It was really good, but we ordered too much food. I was stuffed.

At the same restaurant (as above). See, I’m such a nice, nurturing girlfriend!

The best Peking duck EVER, which I’ve also blogged about previously.

Dim sum with the family.

We ordered too much again, so we played “spin the lazy Susan” to see who would have to finish the last piece of food. My niece “won” when the food landed in front of her, as my dad and I were eager to point out.

At Kiki, a Szechuan style restaurant, for a gathering with my cousins. This is only 1/3 of the food that we got. Once again, it was delicious, and once again, I was stuffed.

On our last full day in Taiwan, my mom arranged this buffet lunch at my uncle’s karaoke joint. These are just the hot items; there was also a table full of salad, pizzas, and fruit.

At this same karaoke/lunch buffet feast, we celebrated Father’s Day early (in Taiwan, it’s on August 8th). My mom’s friend from elementary school, Auntie Huang, brought this yummy cheesecake. Of course, cheesecake isn’t Chinese or Taiwanese, but I do think they have a different take on it in Taiwan.

Shaved ice, two ways. On the right is the more traditional version, with tapioca balls and boiled peanuts. On the left is shaved ice with fresh mango topped with mango ice cream. Both were doused with sugar water.



My sister P and her husband cooked us this simple and delicious pasta. I really enjoyed it, as it was one of the few truly homecooked meals we had the whole trip!

This was our first lunch at a ramen place in Taipei Main Station. TC got the fried rice. It was much better than the ramen, which was overly garlicky even by my garlic-loving standards.

After the ramen, we went and got some fancy mochi. Despite appearances, it was not good. Very disappointing.

After about 4 days of non-stop Chinese and Japanese food, TC was craving Western food. So, we made a stop at Coke Forest, which appears to be a rip-off the fairly successful TGIF franchise. Anyway, it was decent.

We also ate a lot of pizza. My cousin’s husband is now the pizza chef at my uncle’s restaurant, serving (more or less) authentic American pizzas. They were delicious!

For dinner one night, we went to a Western style steakhouse, where you typically order a set menu that includes salad, soup, appetizer, main course, dessert, and a beverage. TC opted to get the croissant-like dough on top of his soup. He was a big fan.

Some cute bear donuts from Mister Donut, a Japanese donut chain that is super popular in Taiwan. I finally tried one of their donuts, and honestly, I don’t understand the appeal. Kind of bland and dry.

There’s a relatively recent chain called “Ireland’s Potato,” which features fries with all sorts of toppings, ranging from the familiar sour cream and onion to spicy wine meat sauce. Hm…



TC and I on the plane from SFO to TPE, ready for our big adventure.

Some hella steep stairs at Yangmingshan National Park. Some of the steps were knee-high.

My dad makes his own special gruel for breakfast, with a blend of every kind of seed, oat, grain, and yogurt you can possibly imagine. TC was a big (and only) fan.

Chang Kai Shek Memorial Park at sunset.

My whole family, minus 2 nephews.


Stay tuned for upcoming posts about our side trip to Taitung and Green Island, as well as a post featuring delectable Taiwanese-style beer snacks/”tapas”!



Author: Jen

Howdy! My name is Jen and I live in the San Francisco Bay Area. I like to eat, run, and blog, but not usually at the same time.

7 thoughts on “Taiwan Highlights (2012 Edition)

  1. The top 4 pictures are awesome…looks like you guys had a great trip all around!

  2. I love that french fries (er…Ireland’s Potatoes?) have universal appeal! I’m glad you got a chance to visit your family! It looks like you had a wonderful (and yummy) trip!

  3. Gorgeous photos! I love your Lazy Susan game.

  4. Love the post, Jen!

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