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Right, I am a morning person who can't skip breakfast for a day and in Dubai, I was so much looked forward to the breakfast time everyday 'coz there were just too many nice places around to enjoy a lovely brekkie to kick start a day. My friend brought us to this cafe & restaurant, Shakespeare and Co. to have a Full English Breakfast in a truly English atmosphere.

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The crafted glass cake cabinet has instantly unveiled the vintage feel.

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Once I stepped inside, whoa! I was like being brought into the imaginative world of Shakespeare!! Look at all those photos below, do they look like in the fairy tale? They are all sweet and colourful!

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Toasts and butter, served along with a tray of cute mini Bonne Maman jam & honey.

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The set includes a glass of fresh pressed juice and a cup of tea or coffee. Here came my grapefruit juice, which wasn't too sour nor bitter but just refreshing!

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My friend's cup of Earl Grey, nothing much special about it indeed...

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My own Caffe Latte. Not too bad but a bit too much milk to my liking.

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My friend's English Breakfast (AED50) with grilled beef bacon, turkey sausage, roasted potato, scrambled egg & baked beans. Their scrambled egg was generally too dry and not fluffy enough, while the beef bacon and turkey sausage were quite nice and tasted special as I never tried a bacon made of beef and sausage made of turkey before!

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My American Breakfast (AED50) with same dry & stiff scramble egg, sauteed mushrooms, beef bacon and hash brown. Everything on the plate was not remarkably good or surprising, except the hash brown that wasn't the ordinary frozen type but made from freshly shredded potato! I was impressed indeed!

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My hubby's American set was almost similar with mine, only with the scrambled egg being replaced by egg benedict. Another disaster on the egg benedict as the pouched eggs were overcooked and wait, where is the Hollandaise sauce for it??

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This additional order, Savory Crepes with Smoked Salmon (AED33), should be the most delicious dish in our breakfast that day... The mixed greens was fresh & crisp and the crepe rolls were creamy with good dollop of lightly seasoned sour cream and fresh smoked salmon. Yummy!

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Basically, the dining experience was great given such a dreamy atmosphere. Food quality was on average, which was more towards the positive side. Besides, indoor, alfresco dining is available too but the Sun was just too strong for me at that time. Yeah, I do recommend those who are visiting Dubai to spend a breakfast there.

Facebook Page : https://www.facebook.com/Shakespeareuae

Address : G/F, Dubai Marina Mall, Exit 32 directly off Sheikh Zayed Road,Dubai, UAE

Google Map

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Right after our buffet dinner at Latitude, we drove all the way to The Palm, the artificial palm shaped island, for a stroll and snapped some gorgeous photos on its surrounding. I'm sure many would have seen it inside-out from tons of TV programmes, so I'm not gonna talk much about it. ^^

The most well-known building on the island is this Atlantis The Palm Hotel & Resort situated on the northern tip of the island.

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The design is like a giant gateway to the mysterious One-Thousand-and-One-Nights world.

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Main entrance to the Atlantis. Elegant as if I was entering an Arabian palace.

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The eye-catching glass sculpture by Dale Chihuly, a renowned American glass sculptor, stood right at the centre of the reception floor.

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Really can't imagine how these curl glass tubes were being assembled and formed such a tall sculpture! Another question that came into my mind was how do the staff gonna clean it? XD

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Watch out! Fire ball coming down from atop!! Well, it's another art piece by Dale Chihuly. :)

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Interior of the hotel is designed in marine theme with a lot of decorations in different form of sea creatures.

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Architectural model of The Atlantis, it would be very nice if I could have a bird's-eye view of the real one from helicopter!

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Website : http://www.atlantisthepalm.com/

Address : Crescent Road, The Palm Island, Dubai, UAE

Google Map

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There are a few hotels' buffet that are popular among tourists & expatriates in Dubai, and Latitude in Jumeirah Beach Hotel is regarded as one of the top. So on a Friday night, our friends brought us to Latitiude for a dinner feast as well as enjoying the great ocean view by the Palm Island.

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Hight lightwell constructed near the entrance enabling more natural sunlight penetrating and created a grand ambiance.

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Lounge area by the reception, cozy enough~

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Yeah, finally found the Latitude at ground floor. The dining area is along the corridor with buffet area only at one end, so it'd be a little inconvenient for those who are seated at another end away from the buffet area. Umm... not a very good design.... :s

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Our table by window side, pity that it's not a sea view but only garden view of the resort. By the way, not quite fond of that purple lighting indeed....

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Indian curry corner, pretty wide choice~

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Here it's the hot dishes corner. They served good variety of food and cuisine at different corners but I couldn't eat much on that day because of mild sickness after the long haul flight, so not able to give a comprehensive and yet objective judgement on the food quality and taste...

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Sweet-tooth corner! Though the quality wasn't superb (and even not as good as a dessert corner in a 4-star hotel in HK) but it did make me happy by just looking at the colourful desserts served on the buffet~

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Personally, I would still think buffet in Hong Kong is much tastier.

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After finished the dinner, we took a good stroll around the resort.

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Beach by the resort's garden. It would definitely be very nice during day time!

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Yacht club by the beach.

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A closer look to the so-called "Yacht Hotel", Burj Al Arab. I believe this is one of the best spots to take picture on it!

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Website : https://www.jumeirah.com/en/hotels-resorts/dubai/jumeirah-beach-hotel/restaurants/latitude-/

Address : Jumeirah Beach Road, Dubai, UAE

Google Map

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Long heard about this cafe even before our arrival to Dubai. On our Day 4, we woke up early and drove all the way to Mirdif City, a less popular shopping mall, just to escape from the hustle bustle city centre and have a tranquil relaxing breakfast. :P

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Although the mall is not that well-known, it carries a handful of international big brands and the best thing is, extremely spacious shopping environment with zero crowds!! Perhaps we're too early?

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We were welcomed by an array of lovely cakes and pastries once stepped into the cafe. They all looked delicious but our focus wasn't cakes this time, so we could only leave them for tea session if we got a chance next time...

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Bateel is actually an internationally recognised brand of premium goumet dates with branches stretching from London to Jakarta, and Cafe Bateel is their ultimate creation of blending European cafe elegance with distinctive character of Arabic heritage. The menu serves mainly European delicacies with a touch of Arabic taste, such as Caffe Dhibs below that I'm gonna talk about.

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The complimentary bread basket featured the first Middle-east-meet-West crossover, date toasts! I've tried different toasts with dried fruits like raisin, blackberry, raspberry, fig but never tried (and even heard of!) one with dates! They're beautifully browned on each side and tasted similar with raisin toasts but omitting that tinge of sourness and replaced by the full rounded sweetness from dried dates.

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This was what we came a long way for, Caffe Dhibs (AED18). Heard my friend who's working in Dubai said it's a must try at Cafe Bateel or otherwise, we'll surely be regret! What's so special about it? Let's find out what "dhibs" is... It's a molasses-like syrup obtained from condensing juices of dates, or simply speaking, a date syrup. Caffe Dhibs is layered coffee with natural date syrup and topped with frosted milk, served alongside a piece of Bateel goumet date.

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It's gorgeously served in a double-layered glass with clear layering. Date syrup sank at the bottom so I had to destroy the beautiful layers by stirring & mixing... :( The coffee was delicately flavoured with the unique sweetness of dates instead of usual cane sugar that has distinguished it from ordinary European coffee. A very special and brand new taste for me, thumbs up for this beautiful "dating" experience!

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We declared to go for a high cholesterol eggy breakfast that day, so one of us went for Eggs Royale (AED42). It's a luxury version of Egg Benedict with two farm fresh poached eggs on top of homemade English muffins with Scottish smoked salmon and sauteed spinach layered within, finally topped with Hollandaise sauce, and served with green asparagus & lettuce salad. Hollandaise sauce was a bit thick but taste was up to standard, however the two poached eggs were slightly overcooked so the yolk wasn't that runny as the one we had at PAUL. Overall taste wasn't too bad but there's room to improve.

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Umbrian Frittata (AED38) was my choice as I was always curious about frittata since I first saw it on a cook book. It's a traditional Italian omelette with diced tomatoes, Pecorino cheese, roasted bell peppers, sauteed potatoes and fresh mushrooms. The texture was harder than normal omelette and the heavy cheese content did fill me up soon after finished half of it.

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Egg Omelette with Sauteed Fresh Mushrooms (AED35) was probably the most ordinary dish in that meal and the taste was not remarkable as well. It would be a lot better if the egg could be less cooked and fluffier in texture...

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We might be a bit over-expected on its Western dishes as they're originated from Middle-east afterall. Maybe it's wiser to focus on their sweets with a touch of date next time!

Website : http://www.mirdifcitycentre.com (Mirdiff City Centre) / http://bateel.com/05_cafe.html (Cafe Bateel)

Address : Level 1, F68-70, Mirdif City Center, Dubai, UAE

Google Map

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Right after our dinner in Day 3 and without wasting any of our precious time, we took a stroll to this amazing Souk Madinat Jumeirah, which is a place where you could enjoy all-in-one shopping, dining and entertaining experience. The word "Souk" means an open-air marketplace in Middle Eastern countries and so the design here was built to mimic a traditional souk but air-conditioned to enhance the shopping experience.

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You can find all sorts of Middle Eastern stuff there and it's a good place to hunt for souvenirs to bring back home. These colourful Shishas below are always popular items among Western tourists but unfortunately, not my cup of tea...

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Arab styled lantern is my favourite and I did buy a small one with stained glass back home~ :D

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My eyes were soon attracted by the enchanting light from these beautiful hanging lamps! Too bad that my home has no extra space for them! >_<

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Stalls in the outdoor area brought me to the scene in 1001 Arabian Nights.

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Sand Art Bottle is another popular souvenir there. Craftsman was demonstrating his talented skill to make a small sand bottle resembling a picture of camels in the desert.

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More stalls and casual alfresco cafes at the centre outdoor area.

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It's a good place to take a break and have a shisha~

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The souk is fringed by a great selection of bars & restaurants offering more formal dining experience beside the waterway that meanders around the whole Madinat Jumeirah Resort.

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Row, row, row your boat, gently down the stream~~~ Care for a boat ride? Don't worry, surely you don't need to row the boat yourself, haha...

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Isn't it great to dine or just chill out with a glass of wine by the waterway and having Burj Al Arab as the backdrop?

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Look, it's full house in every restaurant! Gotta book a table in advance or be there earlier if I were to have dinner there next time!

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The whole place is full of charm and glam.

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There is also an outdoor lounge that you can stretch and relax on their large bean bag sofas while having a drink and chat, cool!

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If you're looking for a place to spend a relaxing evening or nightlife, and perhaps a little more shopping spree, this is the one!

Website : https://www.jumeirah.com/en/hotels-resorts/dubai/madinat-jumeirah/facilities/souk-madinat-jumeirah/

Address : Madinat Jumeirah, Al Sufouh, Dubai, UAE

Google Map

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There is always a saying, a trip is not complete without a taste of local cuisine, and here we were so lucky to have 2 friends in Dubai to arrange such a pleasant dinner of Yemeni cuisine for us on Day 3 evening. When I first heard about Yemeni cuisine, I was totally clueless on what to eat and so basically, we relied fully on their choice (and the staff recommendations too, hehee...). Sometimes, it's great to just sit back and relax without digging into the menu and thinking of what to order... :D

The restaurant is located on the ground floor of a shop lot by the roadside next to the Mall of The Emirates. I'm not pretty sure if this is a popular restaurant there but one thing for sure, I wouldn't have dine-in at this restaurant by looking at its appearance. It is very local and we were the only Orientals in the restaurant. I was hesitated to take pictures on the surrounding just to avoid any cultural conflicts. During our meal, we saw a table at the corner covered up by folding screen and out of our curiosity, we asked the waiter and he said, it's a local practice for ladies' dining as traditional Arabic females should not uncover their faces in public.

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Once order was placed, we're served a plate of raw cucumber, onion, lemon wedges & rocca leaves together with plain yogurt and a bowl of salsa-like sauce that again made us clueless on how to relate all these ingredients to each other. Would it be a mix-it-yourself salad as starter or anything else? Checked with staff again and found out they were all condiments to the main dishes, and what's even more interesting was the yogurt is to eat with rice! The friendly staff also told us the salsa was actually called Sahawaq, which is a blend of chilli peppers, tomatoes, garlic & various herbs and it's a common condiment in Yemeni cuisine.

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To wake our taste buds up, we had 2 salads and this typical Yemeni salad, Fatush (AED15/approx. HKD32), has won our hearts over the other because of the deep-fried pita bread pieces, you know, crispy stuff is always welcoming! The salad was a mix of lettuce, green pepper, radish, tomatoes, onions, cucumber, mint leaves, and dressed with olive oil & lemon juice. Its taste was close to what we normally have elsewhere, except for the dark sauce spread on top, which brought a bit sweetness to the overall sourish salad.

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Under the hot dry weather in the Middle East, we absolutely needed more refreshing food and so there we had our second salad, Arabic Salad (AED15/approx. HKD32). It's rather ordinary salad with lettuce, cucumber, tomatoes seasoned with lemon juice, olive oil, pepper and salt. For me, both were more or less the same except that the focus of dressing on this dish was on pepper/salt and lemon juice, which tasted tangier and instantly got up our appetite!

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During the meal, we were told that Mandi is a traditional dish of many Yemeni cities and also a must-try in this restaurant. As such, we ordered 2 different Mandi dishes, lamb and chicken, just to make sure everyone has enough. Also, the plate of condiments and sauce that served beforehand were for these Mandi dishes. Meat Mandi (AED40/approx. HKD85) was lamb served on basmati rice with a mix of spices and the meat used was of a young lamb (or goat?), so the smell was pretty light and texture was tender and delicate even it's cooked in a tandoor.

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Chicken Mazbi 1/2 (AED 20/approx. HKD43) was another Mandi dish with grilled chicken served on basmati rice. Personally, I prefered lamb than chicken as lamb tasted more compatible with the strong spiced Arabic dish.

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Hamour Fish (AED 30/approx. HKD64) was similar to other Mandi dishes with basmati rice served underneath but instead of meat cooked in a tandoor, it's a fried fish lying on top. Just for your knowledge, the main thing to differentiate a Mandi dish is that the meat (lamb or chicken) is cooked in a tandoor. I can say the fish was just awesome and the taste was great with crispiness but not too dry. I like the basmati rice very much as it was cooked to the perfect texture and slightly spiced. Oh one more thing, remember the yogurt served in the first place and we were told to eat it with rice? I finally tried and found the taste was totally unacceptable (or rather unbearable? :P ) as if we're eating something rotten... -_-

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It's always ideal to try everything in one go so we've ordered this platter, Mixed Grill Plate (AED50/approx. HKD106) that included Teka Kebab, Kofta Kebab, Lamb Chops, Chicken Kebab and Shish Taouk served with French Fries. The whole dish was meat, meat and meat but all of them were very delicious. The pita bread was a little dry but good enough to go with all the meats and the salsa. Highly recommended!

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A very interesting meal, I would say. It's great to try out a Middle Eastern cuisine in proper Arabic-styled restaurant rather than those fancy restaurants in shopping malls, and we should have eaten all those Mandi with hands just like the locals do! :D

Website : N/A

Address : Al Barsha 1 (Near Mall of the Emirates), Dubai, UAE

Google Map

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Here we came to the Mall of the Emirates again on Day 3 morning to do some more shopping, and we found this top favourite cafe of mine, PAUL. PAUL is a French based bakery & cafe with over a hundred years of history, serving traditional baked French breads & viennoiserie. I fell in love with this small rustic cafe when I travelled to London a few years back and since then I must pay a visit to PAUL in every trip to London or whichever city that have a branch of it~!

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Every PAUL features an open kitchen that you can see how the bread & pastries are baked, and all the branches around the globe are decorated under the same vintage rustic theme, which I love very much. It made me feel like having breakfast or tea in a French village house!

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The bread basket was unexpectedly large in portion! Initially we decided not to finish the whole basket in order to leave some room for the main dishes, but we ended up eating all the breads as they were just too delicious!

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Cafe Viennois (AED19 or HK$40) is one of my favourite coffee but too bad, it's not always available at the cafes in my city. Yes, I know it's fattening simply by looking at that thick layer of fluffy cream, but its extra smoothness added to the aromatic coffee was just irresistible! The petite madeleine served along with the coffee was too cute and made it even more "French"!

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Then we had Oeufs Benedict au Saumon (AED45 or HKD95) to share. Two beautifully poached eggs lying on top of smoked salmon and bread served with Hollandaise sauce were absolutely gorgeous and like a luxurious version of usual egg benedict. Eggs were poached to the optimal stage with lava yolk and the smoked salmon was fresh and nice too. The dish was accompanied with potato wedges (my fave!) and huge pile of mixed greens that definitely scored extra points for the overall look & healthiness.

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Crepe is another must-try in French cuisine and so we picked Crepe Chevre Tomates (AED49 or HKD104) as another breakfast dish. Goat's cheese, Emmental, and fresh cream were enveloped in the thin pancake and created a very creamy & cheesy taste, which was fairly satiating indeed. The sun-dried tomatoes, nicely seared Provençal tomatoes and refreshing mixed green salad that served along have definitely helped to better off the satiating feel.

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I do really hope PAUL could open a branch in Hong Kong so I can enjoy their lovely French food in daily life~

Website : http://www.paul-international.com/

Address : Central Court, Mall of the Emirates, Dubai, UAE

Branches :

  • Ground Floor, New Burjuman Extention, Dubai Burjuman Center, Dubai
  • 1/F, Unit No.H34, Deira City Centre, Dubai
  • Ground Floor, Mercato Mall, Dubai
  • Wafi Center, Oud Metha Road, Dubai

Location

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The Middle East is always a place that full of mystery to me and since my first encounter with the artistic Abu Dhabi Airport that full of colourful Arabic mosaic during a transit over a decade ago, I've been telling myself that I must make a trip back to this mystic place one day. By opening its gate to the world, the UAE has now turned into one of the newest popular travel destinations today with all those innovative futuristic buildings and well-developed infrastructure that made travelling easier for foreign tourists like me. With all these positive factors, I finally made it and set my foot in this best-known city of UAE, Dubai.

Thanks to the one who thought of the crazy idea of doing winter sport in desert, the Mall of Emirates, where the ski resort is located, becomes one of the must-visit spots for tourists & expatriates alike and also the first destination in my Dubai trip. The ski slope built upon the mall was absolutely stunning and I just couldn't wait to pick up my beginner skiing skill there!

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I could only think of one word to describe the mall, big! I got lost all the time in the mall and every corner just looked the same to me!

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The mall is decorated in Arabic theme and created a kind of Middle Eastern elegance.

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It's also houses over five hundred international brands and most of them are Americans. Some of them even have yet to open a branch in Hong Kong such as Victoria's Secret Lingerie and Bath and Body Works, just to name a few. It's also interesting to see the translation of brand name in Arabic language outside every shop, which is like an art rather than meaningful words in an eye of foreigners.

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Here it came to our main purpose of visiting Mall of the Emirates, skiing down the slope at Ski Dubai! It's the first indoor skiing resort in the Middle East equipped with indoor chairlifts, slopes cater for beginners to skilful skiers and also a snow park for kids & non-skiers.

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Don't know how to ski? No worries! You can choose to slide down or row down the slopes on snow slides and giant ball run. Otherwise, sign up for a session of discovery class to discover the fun of skiing.

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It's an easy breezy experience to ski there as they provide every necessary equipment to have you well prepared to enter the ski area. Winter clothing, ski boots, skis, ski poles and even socks are offered for free except gloves, so basically you don't need to bring anything but money~ :D

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As we are not a sophisticated skiers and my one and only skiing experience was back in a Swiss ski trip long time ago, we only joined the 2-hour Ski Slope pass for only AED200/adult (about HK$422/adult).

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Yeah~ Let's go!

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We spent our whole Day 2 shopping, eating and having fun in the mall and really had a great time there. Oh yeah, forgot to mention there is a large Carrefour supermarket inside and it's a good place to get local snacks like dates & dried figs as souvenirs at friendly price~

As we were in Dubai for about a week, so stay tune for more interesting food and attractions in Dubai on my travel blog here.

Website: http://www.malloftheemirates.com/en

Access: Dubai Metro - Mall of the Emirates Station

Google Map

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最近較忙所以一直都沒時間寫這一篇剩下的台北 blog... 好了,台北之旅最後一天我們來到這家在當地人氣十足的 Cafe "米朗琪咖啡館",聽說在假日和晚飯後那些繁忙時間,等候的時間可以達兩小時以上,真厲害!我們草草吃過酒店早餐後,就來到這家位於中山站附近一條寧靜小巷裡的本店。看到它店面明亮又雅致的裝潢,就不禁舉機拍下了不少照片~

Sorry folks, it took me a long while to finish this last episode of my Taipei food blog, and here we go to the end of our Taipei trip 2012. On the last day of the trip, we went to this Melange Cafe with super high local popularity and the average queuing time could be up to 2 hours during peak time like holidays and after dinner! The cafe is located in a small quiet lane near Zhongshan Metro station, and the bright & simple design of entrance looks really cool and I couldn't hold myself from snapping quite a few of pictures on it.

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Cafe 分地面和地下兩層,地面主要是用餐區,cafe 的設計用上木材作主調,給人一種和諧舒適的感覺。

There are 2 stories in the cafe with the main dining area on ground floor, and the wooden decor did create a very cozy and comfy ambiance for diners to enjoy their time there.

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地下一層為用餐和展覽區,一下樓梯就看到一間透明的玻璃室,裡面展示了各種和咖啡有關的用具和機器,特顯了店主對研究咖啡的熱誠。

The lower ground floor is another dining area with a showroom displaying a collection of tools and machines for coffee making. We can see how passionate the owner is about coffee from this room and I am sure their coffee will not be disappointing~

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地下室另一個觸目之處就是那一排冰滴咖啡壺。

A row of Dutch water drip coffee maker outside the showroom is another eye-catching point.

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因為全餐廳就只得這四個,而製作冰滴咖啡是要靠上層容器內的冰融化,濾過中層管道內的咖啡粉,最後才一滴一滴的聚集在底部的咖啡壺,要裝滿一整壺需要很長的時間,所以冰滴咖啡每天都是限量供應的啊~

Iced Dutch Water Drip Coffee is one of the must-try in Melange Cafe but there are only limited stock everyday as it takes a long time to have iced water drip through the coffee tube. Be there early or you gotta miss it!

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侍應安排座位後就奉上一份 "報紙",看清楚一點原來是餐牌耶!這個把咖啡店閱報文化融入餐牌設計的點子也算很有創意吧~

Waiter served us a newspaper when seated, oops no, it was a menu instead! What a creative idea to incorporate the cafe's newspaper reading culture into menu design!

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來這裡的首要目的就是要一試他們的冰滴咖啡!所以當天特地早點起床吃酒店的早餐,也特地不吃得那麼飽,可以早點到米朗琪繼續吃早餐的 part 2!看到那四台冰滴咖啡壺空空如也的,本來以為這趟一定撲空了,跟服務生查詢過後原來還有最後一杯!我們當天走運了~

We were there earlier before noon in order to try their renowned Iced Dutch Water Drip Coffee (NT140) but when I saw the empty water drip coffee makers, I was almost sure we were going to miss it this time. I still tried to check with the waiter if any left for that day and yes! We were lucky enough to have the last glass of it! Yay~

服務生端著一盤冰滴咖啡(台幣140元)過來,那高貴得像喝威士忌的賣相已經令我未喝先興奮!銀盤上有一瓶冰滴咖啡,兩個小銀酌分別裝著奶精和糖水,還有一杯混合了普通冰塊和一大塊黑咖啡造成的咖啡冰,這樣就不會讓冰塊融化的水把咖啡稀釋得太過份了。

Wow, I was surprised when the waiter served us a set of Iced water drip coffee on a sparkling tray! It's so elegant and cool as if I was going to drink a glass of whisky instead of coffee~ Haha... What we had on the tray were a flask of iced water drip coffee, a glass with ice cubes and 1 large coffee ice, and 2 little jugs of syrup & coffee cream.

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咖啡味道圓潤,酸味和苦味適中,帶有強烈的咖啡香,不懂是否因為冰滴的關係,無論加了多少奶精,喝下去口感依然清爽,一點都不黏喉嚨。在炎夏的早上呷著一口冰咖啡,感覺真的棒得不得了。

The iced water drip coffee was light in body, very aromatic, smooth and it had a clean finish no matter how much coffee cream I've putting in. I was so satisfied and just felt there were nothing better than sipping a glass of nice iced coffee in a sunny summer morning.

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一瓶其實是兩杯的份量,雖然冰塊佔了大部份,但還是覺得很化算。

A portion of iced water drip coffee was good enough for 2 glasses of it and I still think it's value for money though the glass was mostly filled with ice cubes...

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米朗琪除了冰滴咖啡是必喝之外,那裡的精品咖啡也是不容錯過的。第二杯咖啡隨意選了屬於精品咖啡的巴拿馬聖塔拉眼淚 (極少豆)(台幣160元),全因為看到餐牌上寫著"極少豆"(笑),還有那名字看上去好像很凄美浪漫的關係... 有時要做女生的生意真不難,只要把商品冠個美麗的名字再將它說得有多罕有就成了,哈哈!以巴拿馬產的微量批次咖啡豆沖泡出來的這杯咖啡,如餐牌介紹帶有一點點果醬風味的酸,但就沒有預期中的花茶香氣。苦味程度比冰滴咖啡為低,是一杯容易入口和接受的咖啡。

Specialty coffee is another drinks that shouldn't be missed in Melange Cafe. We randomly chose this Panama Honey Micro Lot Sertara #4 (NT160) just because of the words "Micro Lot" and its beautiful Chinese name (means Sertara's tears). See? Sometimes you just can't imagine how easy to earn money from girls only by giving a fancy name to your product and telling them how scarce it is, right? :D The coffee carried a medium body and a tinge of jam-like sourness, however, it's lacking of the floral tea scent that was stated on menu.

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食物方面我們點了那裡最有名也最受歡迎的草莓奶油鬆餅(台幣150元)。份量不少,建議一份兩人分享就剛剛好~

Strawberry Cream Waffle (NT150) was the signature dish with highest demand there. A portion with 4 pieces of waffle, a bunch of fresh strawberries, a scoop of strawberry ice-cream and custard cream should be enough to share between 2 people.

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鬆餅外酥內軟,外層有點香脆的口感,內裡就很鬆軟,咬下有點嚼勁而充實,完全沒有軟趴趴的感覺。味道清淡只帶一點甜味和蛋香,讓配搭的草莓醬,卡士達奶油和草莓冰淇淋在味蕾上發揮最大的影響力。

Waffle was thick and fluffy with a slightly crispy crust, mild in taste which only brought a light sweetness and aroma of egg that best to match the stronger taste of strawberry sauce, custard cream and the strawberry ice-cream.

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吃的時候塗上草莓醬,卡士達奶油和草莓冰淇淋的混合醬,意外地沒有甜膩的感覺!草莓醬味道不會死甜而帶有天然酸味,剛好中和了奶油的油膩感,整體味道很清新,難怪可以成為該店的鎮店之寶!

Filled every little holes on the waffle by spreading a mixture of custard cream, strawberry sauce and ice-cream all over the top when eating and the buttery vs. refreshing taste was unexpectedly delish! No wonder it became the no. 1 must-try item in the cafe!

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最後叮囑一點,這店是台北的排隊名店,而且是不能預約的,所以要輕鬆悠然的喝咖啡就得平日早上來到,可以省卻排隊的時間,心情也好一點~

A final tip, remember to arrive on weekdays' morning before lunch to avoid long queue because the cafe is on top of the high popularity list in Taipei and no reservations accepted.

Website : http://www.melangecafe.com.tw

Address : No. 23, Lane 16, Section 2 Zhongshan North Road, Zhongshan District, Taipei City, Taiwan

台北市中山區中山北路二段16巷23號 (麥當勞巷子進去,遇第一個巷子右轉)

Branches :

  • No. 17, Lane 16, Section 2 Zhongshan North Road, Zhongshan District, Taipei City 台北市中山區中山北路二段16巷17號
  • 6/F, Lane 45, Section 2 Zhongshan North Road, Zhongshan District, Taipei City 台北市中山區中山北路二段45巷11號6F
  • B1, A11 Hall, Shin Kong Mitsukoshi, 11 Songshou Road, Xinyi District, Taipei City 台北市信義區松壽路11號(新光三越A11館B1)

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每次去台北都想吃烤肉,可是每次去都因為實在有太多其他的美食要吃,所以一路以來都沒有機會嚐。這次一方面為了替老公慶生,出發前已經向朋友打聽並鎖定了這家田季發爺,聽說餐廳在周末假日經常爆滿,因此還特地托台灣朋友替我們打電話去預先訂位,這樣就可以省卻等候的時間了~

It's been a long time that I wanted to try barbeque buffet in Taipei but I was attracted by other gourmet on my previous trips. This time I decided to make it a special dinner for celebrating my honey's birthday so I have done some research early before our trip commenced, and a friend of mine recommended this Hito BBQ, which is one of the popular barbeque restaurants in Taipei. As it was on Sunday and to avoid wasting time on queuing up for a table, I asked my Taiwan friend to make reservation in advance just for a peace of mind.

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晚上大約七點,我們準時到達位於西門町的分店,位置不難找,就在 UNIQLO 旁邊。因為已經訂了位的關係,我們馬上就被安排了位子,一分鐘都不用等!看現場幾乎全店滿座,店子在當地都應該蠻受歡迎的吧?

We arrived at its Ximending branch, which is just next to a big UNIQLO store. It's around 7pm when we're there and wow, it's full!! Luckily I've booked a table in advance!

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每張檯上都有獨立的抽氣系統,所以完全不用擔心油煙的問題。我們吃完都不會在身上衣服嗅到燒烤味,只是拿抽氣口實在太低了,跟坐在對面的人說話有點不方便和有時烤得投入時還會碰到頭...

individual ventilator is installed above every table, so smoke & smell wouldn't be a problem at all and we could still enjoy fresh air while having barbeque right in front of us. However, the ventilator is just too low that made conversations a little difficult with someone across, and I even knocked my head a few times while barbequing...

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這裡不設散餐,是吃到飽那一種,我們坐下安頓了之後就有一位服務生來為我們講解價錢和點餐流程等等,服務還不錯。餐牌上有兩種價錢,分別在於包含食物種類的多少。反正兩者不是相差很遠,我們就點了貴一點的餐,可以有多一點選擇。

A friendly staff came over to explain in detail about the menu and ways to place order after we've settled down. The restaurant only offers buffet at 2 different prices, with the higher one includes more food items on the list. We picked the most expensive one as there isn't much different in price and at the same time we could have more choices on food.

在點餐紙選了我們想吃的東西後,服務生再來為我們 set 爐和送上點了的食材,詳細介紹了桌子上七種不同的調味料,最後還即場示範烤肉的過程與技巧,替我們烤了兩塊很美味的牛肉片~感覺他們的服務真的很貼心和專業哩!

A while after placing the order, another staff came over to deliver our food, set the charcoal grill and introduce every bottle of seasoning & sauce on the table. Before he left, he even demonstrated how to grill nice pieces of meat and the beef slices he grilled were superb!! We were really impressed with his hearty and professional service!

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可以選的食材實在太多,有些是我們點了也不知道如何烤是好的,例如這條忘記了名字的魚,幸好有一位很好的服務生過來為我們換烤網的時候,看烤網上的燒焦程度猜我們是新手吧?就特地替我們烤好整條魚,去皮去骨兼切成一口咬完的大小,還調味得很好,真的很讚!!

There were just too many choices on the menu and sometimes we didn't even know how to handle the food we ordered, like this fish. Fortunately, a helpful staff grilled the whole fish for us when she came to replace our burnt grid. We were really amazed by her professional skill on making the fish nicely grilled, seasoned, deboned, skin peeled off and even cut in bite-size upon serving! Applause!!

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選擇肉類的時候,沒有注意到原來很多種都是醃製過的,味道還好,可是口味頗重,把肉類天然的味道給蓋過了。我還是比較喜歡自己調味的生肉片,下次再去的話要小心選擇了。

Didn't aware that some of the meat choices were pre-marinated but I preferred the raw original one without any flavourings. Tasted wasn't that bad though it's too heavy that overwhelmed its natural taste.

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醃製了的肉類每一塊都差不多顏色,真的要到吃下去的一刻才知道是什麼肉,哈哈... 還有烤肉的時候很容易燒焦黏網,服務生示範時教我們要不時用夾子敲打鐵網邊,令肉片一跳一跳的就不會太黏網,我們覺得過程真的很有趣,可說是寓美食於娛樂,一舉兩得!

Look at all these pre-marinated pieces of meat in similar colour that we just couldn't tell what kind of meat it was until putting it in our mouth! :D To be frank, it's not an easy task to have them well grilled without sticking on the grid. The staff taught us to hit the edge of grid while grilling so the "jumping" meat wouldn't stick on the grid and got burnt. What an interesting process that kept us entertained while enjoying our meal~

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海鮮類的食材就多數都是天然沒有醃過的,這幾隻蝦也很新鮮,味道甜美,沾一點醬油或者灑一點鹽巴就已經很好吃!

Unlike meat items, most seafood items were original without seasonings like these shrimps, which were fresh with natural sweetness. They tasted heavenly good with just a pinch of salt or a dip in soya sauce!

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大家猜到這一條是什麼東東嗎?這是一條烤好了的蔥抓餅!上這道食材時餅皮跟所有餡料都是分開的,我們正想著應該怎樣烤的時候,服務生又來幫我們烤好這個餅,他們細心的服務態度確實值得一讚!因為服務生技巧純熟手法好,這條蔥抓餅真的烤得很好吃,外脆內軟,中間的肉和小黃瓜也烤得很香,難怪成為該店的推薦必吃食品之一!極力推薦!

Picture guessing time: What is the name of this roll? It's Scallion Pancake Roll! When this item was delivered, all the ingredients were uncooked and separately served. The moment when we're figuring out how to assemble and grill the roll, a staff came again and cooked the pancake roll for us. It's another interesting show and the roll was extremely delicious with slightly crispy crust that wrapped the yummy meat slices & shredded cucumber inside! It's a must-eat and highly recommended!

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除了餐單上的食材之外,還有冰淇淋和飲料可以自由添吃,真的是吃到飽,吃到挑戰人體極限的地步!不過我們覺得兩小時不太足夠,又要選食物點餐,又要熟悉燒烤技巧,又要吃,又要拍照,又要聊天,那兩小時真的很忙很充實。我想如果下次再來的話,一定要好好熟讀餐牌,選定想吃的東西,那就可以吃得更輕鬆自在了~

Except the food items on menu, they also provide unlimited ice-cream and non-alcoholic drinks at the self-serviced corner. It's truly a satisfying meal with wide variety of food choices in good taste and heartfelt service. But 2 hours was a bit too rush for us to fully enjoy the meal as it took time to place order, manage our grilling skill, at the same time to eat, to take pictures and to chat! Busy enough! Haha...

Website : http://hito-bbq.stonebbqtw.com

Address : 3/F, No. 42 Hangzhong Street, Wanhua District, Taipei City 台北市萬華區漢中街42號3樓

Branch : Please refer website

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吃完和逛完永康街之後,我們就到了西門町走走。聽說那裡有一間很有名的店專門賣白苦瓜汁的,幸運地一找就找到了。店前面掛了一個很大的假白苦瓜,櫃台上放滿一排排真的白苦瓜,還有很多冒名而來一手拿著苦瓜汁一手拿著苦瓜拍照的遊客,一看就知道這一間準沒錯了。

Finished eating and shopping around Yong Kang Street, we headed to a very popular spot, Ximending, for another round of shop and dine. Heard that there is a famous juice shop specialising in quality white bitter gourd juice, so there we were to try it out. It's not hard to find the shop with such a gigantic fake white bitter gourd hanging right in front of the shop.

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擺在店面的白苦瓜,雪白無瑕,又大又脹鼓鼓的,看上去好新鮮哩~

The white bitter gourds looked fresh in clean white colour and round chunky body.

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我們要了一杯加蜂蜜的鮮榨白苦瓜汁,喝第一口就知道為什麼這家那麼有名了!跟士林夜市的那間比起上來,這杯的苦瓜味濃郁得多,完全沒有被水稀釋的感覺,但是又不會苦,味道清甜回甘,真材實料!強烈推介!

We had a cup of Iced Fresh Pressed White Bitter Gourd Juice with Honey. Had our first sip, no wonder they're dare enough to declare themselves as The King of Bitter Gourd! Compared with the one we had in Shilin Night Market, the taste of white bitter gourd in this cup was more intense and concentrated without being diluted by water. It's not bitter at all and the honey has added a very refreshing sweetness to the drink. I can say it's a perfect cup of white bitter gourd juice and a must try in Ximending, highly recommended!

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Website : N/A

Address : No. 21 Hanzhong Street, Wanhua District, Taipei City 台北市萬華區漢中街21號

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到永康街,除了超出名的鼎泰豐總店和度小月之外(這趟沒打算去,前者因為人多得很,後者則因為上上一次吃過覺得不外如是...),永康牛肉麵也是其中一家不能錯過的食店。

Besides those big names like Din Tai Feng and Du Xiao Yue in the famous gourmet street Yong Kang Street, there is this popular Yong Kang Beef Noodle located on Jinshan Road, which is just a stone throw away from the main Yong Kang Street.

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店內客人如鯽,我們等午飯時間稍過才去吃,一進店就有位子了。那裡大多數都是四人或以上的桌子,搭檯是難免之事,還好座位之間的空間尚可接受...

We deliberately delayed our visit to after lunch time so as to avoid the crowds, and there were plenty of seats available when we arrived. Similar to Hong Kong's tea restaurant culture, sharing table is inevitable here as most tables are large enough to seat up to 4-6 people.

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我們二話不說就點了鎮店之寶紅燒牛肉麵。先不說味道,單看那湯頭的色澤和牛肉的紋理已經十分吸引,再加上撲鼻的香味,差點忘記拍照就忍不住要吃上一口了!

Their signature Red Braised Beef Noodle Soup is definitely the dish that shouldn't be missed! Look at that beef broth in deep brown colour with fragrant spicy aroma, I almost forgot to snap a pic on it before sipping the first scoop of soup!

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湯頭是用牛大骨和秘製川味豆瓣醬廿四小時不停火燉煮而成,喝下去滿口濃郁的牛味和川香,一點都不油膩,要嫌的就只有味道過鹹,快吃完整碗麵時才看見店家早有提示貼在牆上:

「敬愛的顧客,本店是"重口味"。如顧客要清淡少油,

麵條要軟,硬,標準,肉筋要軟,硬,標準,

請告知服務人員,謝謝。」

好在店裡近廚房位置有熱茶和開水免費供應,可以即時解渴一下。

The broth was braised non-stop around the clock with beef bones and their homemade Sichuan soya paste, no wonder it was so rich in beef taste and aroma of spice. It wasn't greasy at all but the only complain I could raise was the over doze of saltiness... Too bad that I only found the notice on wall stating the following after it has arrived:

"Dear customers, our food tends to be heavily seasoned. For any requests of less greasy & light seasoning broth, specific request on texture of noodle and beef, please do not hesitate to inform our staff, thank you."

Fortunately, they offer self-serviced free flow of hot tea and water to instantly quench our thirst.

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牛肉方面,店家採用有筋有肉的牛腱子肉,據說是用上四五個小時烹煮而成,難怪肉質柔軟兼帶嚼勁,吃得出不是以化學鬆肉粉來增加軟度那種。味道也很入味,鹹味適中且帶點川香,和湯頭可謂首尾呼應,是我所吃過最好吃的牛肉!至於麵條,因為湯和牛肉實在太美味,所以沒有注意到麵條的質地,沒有留下印象的東西應該不是太差也不特別好吧...?(笑)

The beef was another highlight that the texture was superb with balance of firmness and tenderness, proved that it wasn't chemical treated but well cooked by long hours of slow stewing. It was also well flavoured with moderate saltiness and a hint of Sichuan spices, and was no doubt one of the best beef I've ever had! Talking about the noodle, what a shame that I haven't had much impression on it as the soup and beef was just too outstanding that I have neglected its quality, haha... Shouldn't be too bad though~ :P

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聽說這裡的粉蒸肥腸也不錯吃,可是因為豬腸膽固醇太高,所以點了另一味粉蒸排骨。一開始不大清楚粉蒸是什麼東東,以為是類似蘿蔔糕的食物吧?送來了才知道原來是排骨跟少量米飯一起蒸的小食。看上去好像蠻好吃,只是一看到那不知道用了多少年,沾滿千年污蹟的小蒸籠,我對這一味招牌菜真的有點猶豫...

Another recommended dish here was the Steamed Pork Intestine, but due to the high cholestrol, we decided to let it go and picked a similar dish, Steamed Ribs with Rice & Sweet Potato. We were a little bit shocked about the cleanliness of the bamboo steamer and hesitated about eating it...

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既然點了就不要浪費,硬著頭皮吃吧。排骨肉質鬆軟,加上被零碎的飯粒包圍著增加了柔滑的口感。味道則帶點香辣,不至於不好吃,只是與我本來預期的純醬油味有落差而已。舖在底下的蕃薯吸收了排骨的油脂和精華,變得出奇的好吃~

Anyway we just didn't wanna waste the food, so we tried it at last... Ribs was tender and its texture was further enhanced by the rice that bringing some stickiness and smoothness to every piece of rib. It carried a slight spiciness but taste wasn't too impressive. The sweet potato lied at the bottom of dish was unexpectedly delicious after absorbing all the essence of the ribs.

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台幣兩百塊錢一碗麵,當地來說實在不算便宜,但是他的牛肉卻是值回票價的。台灣朋友如果有其他又好吃又便宜的推介,盡管在這裡留個言,等下次去台北時有多一個選擇~

Price wasn't at the cheap side but I can say the beef was worth the price. If you've any restaurants selling nice and cheap Red Braised Beef Noodle Soup in mind, please share with us so we could have more choices when we visited Taipei in the future~ :D

Website : http://www.beefnoodle-master.com

Address : No. 17, Lane 31, Section 2, Jinshan South Road, Daan District, Taipei City 台北市大安區金山南路二段31巷17號

Branch : 1/F, No. 9, Lane 75, Section 1, Daan Road, Daan District, Taipei City 台北市大安區大安路一段75巷9號1樓

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吃罷劉華推介的君悅排骨,我們就步行去永康街繼續這天的美食之旅。徒步不到十分鐘,這樣的運動量當然不足以消化那頓排骨飯,所以還是選一些比較清新的輕食來吃吧,我腦海裡第一個閃過的就是永康街 15 號的冰店。到了後發現跟前兩年去的不大一樣哩... 賣的仍舊是冰,一樣的黃色店面和戶外的座位,唯一不同的是那個思募昔招牌吧??以前好像是沒有名字的冰店耶...

Finished the Pork Chop Rice, let's move on to Yong Kang Street where all the delicacies located. Just a merely 10mins walk from Emperor Pork Chop, we arrived with a full stomach, too bad... so something light and fresh would be perfect, and this ice dessert shop at the corner was the first came up to my mind.

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正值炎夏的星期天,生意好到不得了,員工都沒停過手的忙得不可開交。開放式的櫃台和工作區可以清楚看到他們的衛生環境蠻好的,可以放心的吃啊~

We could see their activities from the open kitchen, cleanliness was well-maintained that hygiene shouldn't be a problem.

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我們叫了那裡人氣 No. 1 的新鮮芒果雪花冰。好大的一盤,一個人肯定吃不完!堆到山一樣高的雪花冰質感細緻綿滑,透著清新的芒果味道,還好那味道不算太人工化。旁邊的新鮮芒果切片也大大塊的,味道鮮甜,只有一兩塊是帶點酸的,程度尚可接受。至於那頂頂的雪糕球也不錯,味道與雪花冰一致,不太假和不會太甜,整盤都很"芒果"!

We ordered their most popular Mango Snowflake Ice and wow! It's such a big pile of ice with plenty of freshly cut mango and topped with a large scoop of mango ice-cream that I couldn't finish all by myself. The snowflake ice was very fine and smooth with a refreshing flavour of mango that wasn't too artificial at least. Fresh cut mango was generally ripe and sweet except a few pieces that was still a little bit sour. It was totally a mango indulgence from top to bottom and a must-eat for anyone who loves mango!

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下次夏天再去的話一定會再光顧,試試其他的口味,聽說七夕情人節他們還會推出期間限定的玫瑰雪花冰,好吸引,好想試啊...

Will definitely come back to try out other flavours if I visit Taipei in summer again. Heard that they will serve Rose flavoured snowflake ice that is limited to Chinese Valentines' Day in July of lunar calendar only, will see if I have a chance to try it next year!

Website : http://www.smoothie.com.tw

Address : No. 15 Yong Kang Street, Daan District, Taipei City 台北市大安區永康街 15 號

Branches : Please refer website

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搭公車到永康街找美食的途中,無意中看到這家旅遊書上介紹的餐廳。不要看它店面小小裝潢毫不起眼的樣子,來頭可不小。據說它的排骨飯是香港著名藝人劉德華每次到訪台北都必定要吃的美食之一!

On the way to Yong Kang Street for our food hunt, here we found this little humble eatery, which has been mentioned in a Taipei travel guide book. Its Pork Chop Rice was said to be a must-eat food by the Hong Kong celebrity, Andy Lau during his every trip to Taipei.

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我們去的那天是星期日的中午,店子意外地少人... 除了我們以外就只有一位伯伯和一兩位進來買外帶的客人。可能那一帶不是血拼的集中地,所以放假的日子就異常的少人吧?

It was noon time on Sunday when we were there, but the restaurant was surprisingly empty, with only a few take-away business and 1 occupied table besides us. Maybe that area is not a prime location?

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餐牌上的選擇不多,主要都是排骨飯配搭不同的小菜,價錢在台灣來說算是中上價位,這也可能是較少本地人來吃的原因吧。

There isn't much choices on the menu and what we could order was this Pork Chop Rice with variety of side dishes. Prices are not cheap comparing with average prices in Taiwan, perhaps this is another reason why there were only a few locals dining in.

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貫徹我們去旅行要少量多餐務求吃得最多種美食的宗旨,一來也因為早上在酒店吃完的自助早餐還沒消化完,我們兩人只點了一客排骨飯分著吃。想不到這一客的份量也不少!除了主角炸排骨,還有一大碗白飯,上面舖滿五款小菜,再配上一碗清湯,真慶幸我們只點了一份,不然下一站的永康街美食之旅就要泡湯了!

Our stomach was still filled with the buffet breakfast we had in the hotel, therefore we only ordered 1 set of Pork Chop Rice for sharing. The portion was unexpectedly big that included a bowl of soup, a huge piece of pork chop and a large bowl of steamed rice with 5 garnishes.

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先說那五款配菜,全部都是台式冷盤的開胃菜,有豆腐乾,魯肉,酸菜,大豆芽菜和菠菜。豆腐乾和魯肉最好吃,前者帶丁點辣味,後者味道濃郁,配飯一流。酸菜無甚特別,大豆芽和菠菜味道像韓式前菜,但麻油味不足,略嫌清淡了一點,但也不失為健康的配菜。至於那碗湯,不提也罷,只是一碗味精湯而已。

The 5 garnishes made the boring bowl of rice looked more appealing and tempting. They were all typical Taiwanese side-dishes, which included spicy dried bean curd, Taiwanese braised pork, pickled cabbage, soya bean sprouts and boiled spinach. All of them were nice especially the spicy dried bean curd and Taiwanese braised pork, which were flavourful while the other veggie was a bit bland but still a healthy and refreshing side-dishes. Basically, the bowl of clear soup was tasteless, it's only MSG+water! >_<

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輪到主角炸排骨出場,說是排骨其實是豬扒,因為在台灣和上海等的地方都叫豬扒為排骨。大大的一塊,面積可以比美豪大大雞排。厚度不夠日式吉列豬扒厚,吃下去有點不夠實在的感覺,但很入味,也挺 juicy 和嫩滑。味道上最突出的是胡椒黑椒的辛香味,加上炸得香脆的外層粉漿,還算是不錯吃的一餐。

It's time to talk about the star, gigantic pork chop!! Its size was almost the same or even bigger than the Hot-star Chicken, but thinner than a piece of normal Japanese katsu pork chop. The tender and juicy pork chop was enveloped in a layer of thin crispy batter deep fried to a beautiful golden brown. Taste was great with the spice of pepper taken the lead but not overpowered.

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我不是懷疑劉華的品味,只是我個人覺得那排骨飯也只不過如此(華仔粉絲們不要生氣啊!),下次再到台北應該都不會再光顧的了...

I have no doubt on Andy's taste but to me, the pork chop just didn't impress me much. Sorry but I think it's my first and also my last visit to this restaurant...

Website : N/A

Address : No. 285, Section 2, Xinyi Road, Daan District, Taipei City, Taiwan 台北市大安區信義路二段285號

Branches :

  • No. 447, Section 4, Renai Road, Daan District, Taipei City 台北市大安區仁愛路四段447號 (Main Branch)
  • 2/F, No. 188, Section 1, Dunhua South Road, Daan District, Taipei City 台北市大安區敦化南路一段188號2樓
  • No. 135, Section 5, Zhongxiao East Road, Xinyi District, Taipei City 台北市信義區忠孝東路五段135號
  • No. 199, Zhuangjing Road, Xinyi District, Taipei City 台北市信義區莊敬路199號
  • 1/F, No. 2, Lan 155, Dunhua North Road, Songshan District, Taipei City 台北市松山區敦化北路155巷2號1樓
  • 1/F, No. 23, Qingcheng Street, Songshan District, Taipei City 台北市松山區慶城街23號1F
  • No. 37, Hengyang Road, Zhongzheng District, Taipei City 台北市中正區衡陽路37號
  • No. 38-1, Tianmu West Road, Shilin District, Taipei City 台北市士林區天母西路38之1號

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到台北的旅客,逛夜市可說是一個指定動作,而當中不可以錯過的就一定是被稱為市內最大最多元化最有名的士林夜市。夜市位置相當方便,對遊客來說也很好找,從台北市中心出發,只要搭捷運到劍潭站下車(記著不是士林站啊!),出站後向前走過一條大馬路就是了。

Night market is always the popular tourist spot in Taiwan and Shilin Night Market is all-time regarded as the biggest and the most well-known one in Taipei. It's conveniently located within walking distance from Jiantan metro station, which is not far away from downtown Taipei.

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夜市主要分三部分:吃的,買的,還有玩的!在靠近捷運站的一帶多數是商店和走遠一點會看到很多玩遊戲的攤檔,感覺很懷舊好像回到了七八十年代的遊樂場!再走到大約中央位置就會看到比較多賣吃的還有賣潮流商品的攤販和店舖及新修建的士林市場,那才是士林夜市的中心地帶。

This highly diversified night market covers all your leisure needs including food & drinks, shopping and even entertainment with those nostalgic classic arcade games.

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那晚天氣熱到不行,到達後第一件事就是找點喝的來降溫。檸檬愛玉冰是夜市必喝之一,每次去都要買一杯~

It was a steamy hot night and the first thing that I could think of was having a cup of Iced Aiyu Jelly with Lemon, which was used to be one of my favourites in the night market!

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可是這次的愛玉冰有點太淡的感覺... 不懂是冰加得太多還是檸檬汁泡得太稀,喝下去只有不酸不甜的味道,而愛玉本身是不帶任何味道的,所以整杯冰就像是融化了大量冰塊的檸檬茶一樣,淡而無味... 蠻失望的!

This time the Iced Aiyu Jelly was however less satisfying with its overall flavour being too light. In general, the aiyu jelly was naturally unsweetened and flavourless so the overall taste rely heavily on the lemon juice and syrup, but obviously the lemon juice and syrup content of this cup was not up to standard and made it tasted more like a diluted ice tea by the melting ice...

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跟著人潮走著,就到了新修建的士林市場。那邊一帶都是比較有名的食店,例如豪大大雞排和忠誠號蚵仔煎等等,所以到處都是長長的人龍或是大群等候座位的食客。

Walking towards the central area of the market, there it is the newly revamped Shilin Market building. Eateries around there are mainly those big-names like Hot-star Large Fried Chicken and Zhongchenghao Oyster Omelette...etc. You can see how popular they are with all those long queues and crowds!

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豪大大雞排是士林必吃之一,當然無論多長的隊都要去排一下!

Hot-star Large Fried Chicken is one of the must-eats, it's definitely worth the time waiting on the long queue!

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到我們了~到我們了!店家很有效率,我們只是排了少於十五分鐘的時間就吃到了堪稱全台灣最美味的雞排。

With their highly efficient production line, it took less than 15mins to get our fried chicken. We're so excited and impressed!

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好大大的一塊耶,難怪名叫豪大大!形狀像地圖上的澳洲,面積比我的臉還大的雞排,每一塊都是新鮮炸起,表面包著薄薄的一層粉漿,香脆非常,算不上很油膩,屬煎炸品可接受的程度吧。肉質鮮嫩多汁,主要的骨都被除去了,只剩一小排肋骨在下方,所以吃得很方便,一路走一路吃亦全無難度。有辣味和原味可供選擇,我們選了辣的,那只是在原味雞排表面灑上辣椒粉而已,對我們來說辣味不算強,但都足夠為味蕾增添點刺激。

Shape of the large deep-fried chicken chop was like the Australia continent with its size larger than my face! Every piece of chicken was coated with crunchy batter and freshly deep-fried to a golden brown crust. Meat was no doubt tender and juicy, and the best part was it has been de-boned with only small ribs left at the bottom part for easy eating while walking around. There are choices of non-spicy original and spicy flavour with chilli powder sprinkled on top upon serving. Level of spiciness was quite mild to us but it's enough to give a little kick onto our taste buds.

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吃過雞排,繼續向前"掃街"去~ 開在豪大大旁邊的這間店真的會挑好位置,人家吃了熱氣的炸雞排,當然想馬上喝杯冰飲涼水下下火。我們順利成章地在這店買了杯苦瓜汁,也不管它出不出名了。

After having the heaty greasy fried chicken, it's common for people to find some cool or iced drinks and this particular store owner is smart enough to run the beverage business just next to the Hot-star Fried Chicken store!

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白苦瓜汁也是台灣名物,有些人(包括以前的我在內)可能會怕苦而不敢嘗試,其實是不苦的喲!與其說苦,我會用"甘"來形容那股味道,加上有蜂蜜的甜,喝下去完全沒有苦味,反而是滿口清新甘甜的味道。

We bought a cup of White Bitter Gourd Juice with Honey, which is a famous and popular Taiwanese drinks other than bubble tea. Some may hesitate to try due to its bitterness but believe me, it's not bitter at all! The white bitter gourd is different from those regular one in green colour and it only carries a very light hint of bitterness that is even lighter than a cup of black coffee. The sweetness of honey has covered up the bitterness and it was so refreshing to have it washing down the heat and oil of fried chicken.

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果汁店旁邊就是大名鼎鼎的忠誠號,專賣各種充滿台灣古早味的道地小吃,食客絡繹不絕。店內有少量位子可以坐下享用,但因為天氣實在太熱和等候的人太多,我們還是外帶好了...

The next snack hunt was another popular eatery Zhong Cheng Hao, which is renowned for its Oyster Omelette and other classic Taiwanese hawker snacks.

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外帶的人都滿多的,等了大概十分鐘才買到我想吃的蚵仔煎。

They have a few tables inside the store but were fully occupied that night. It's wiser to have it take-away but still, we had to wait for about 10mins to get our take-away oyster omelette.

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在等的期間目擊了整個蚵仔煎的製作過程,挺有趣的。本以為他們是一個一個的煎,原來是一大鍋的一次可以弄上七八個!(我也未面太天真了吧?逐個煎的話,應該到天亮都未輪到我吃了... haha)

It's fun to watch the making of oyster omelette while waiting for our order (a great way of diversifying the attention of those hungry impatient customers, haha... :D)

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差不多可以上桌了~ 這批有我的份兒嗎?

Done! Was my order in this batch? I was so exciting!

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我們的蚵仔煎終於到手了。新鮮熱辣,面層淋上大量橙紅色的醬汁,味道難以形容。有點蕃茄醬的味道,酸酸甜甜的,但蕃茄味又不太強烈,所以說不出具體的味道。

Yay~ Here it was our oyster omelette! It was wholly covered by a kind of Taiwanese sauce with taste that was hard to describe. It's generally sweet with a bit of sourness like tomato sauce but not too strong.

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蚵仔煎用上蠻多新鮮的蠔仔,全部都大大顆,包裹在煎得很香的蛋汁裡,每一口都可以吃到剛好熟的蠔仔,鮮甜多汁,加上那些用太白粉造成的芡水增加了 Q 軟彈牙的口感,讚!

There were quite a lot of baby oysters within the omelette, which were cooked just right to retain freshness and juicy texture. Omelette was made of beaten egg and mixed with thickened sauce to create a very chewy texture. It's the best Taiwanese oyster omelette that I've ever had!

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走到夜市的中間位置,無意中看到這間賣一種外形有點"色"的小食叫大雕燒。

OMG, what kind of shop was that in the middle section of the night market? Shop selling some kind of "adult" toys?!?!

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員工很熱情的叫我們試試看,但其貌實在是不敢恭維,所以最後都沒有試吃到...

Walked closer, oh I see~ It's a store selling penis shaped cake... :blush:

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據員工介紹說有多種味道,看上去有點像港式雞蛋仔或是 Waffle 的質感,味道應該不會差到哪裡去的,可是一想到一路走一路拿著那支東西放進口中吃著的那種又好笑又尷尬的情景,還是擱下想試吃的念頭...

Staff was so friendly and eager to introduce their "invention" to us. He kept asking us to try it out but owing to the awkward shape, it would be so embarrassing to eat it while walking in the crowds and therefore, we gave up trying it...

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哇塞!周末的士林也太多人了吧!好不容易才擠過了這條小街... (累)

The night market was incredibly packed at weekend night, it took us so long to walk through this narrow street.

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到靠近大街的一邊有這間賣烤臭豆腐的,也是我每次到台北士林必會光顧的攤子。跟香港臭豆腐不一樣的是烹調方法,港式是炸的,口感香脆,而台式的是烤的,中間還夾些高麗菜和台式醬汁,吃下去有炭烤的香味,也不會乾,別有風味。

My another favourite in Shilin Night Market is this hawker selling Taiwanese Smelly Tofu. Different from Hong Kong styled smelly tofu, which is deep-fried with crunchy crust, this Taiwan version is grilled to provide moderate crispiness and a slight chargrilled taste. Each piece of smelly tofu was stuffed with some cabbage and sprinkled with Taiwanese sauce, it's a totally different way to degust smelly tofu~

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台式香腸也是我的至愛和必吃之一!在台北很多地方都可以吃到,這間士林的大花香腸倒是第一次吃。

I love sausage! There are many sausage stalls in Taipei but it's my first time trying this brand.

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所有香腸都是現烤的,保證吃到都是新鮮烤好的,熱辣辣很美味啊~

Freshly grilled Taiwanese sausage, yummy!

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我點的是蒜苗口味,每一口都充滿淡淡的蒜香,跟香腸的味道很配合哩!

Tried the one with garlic leaves stuffing, it added a light garlic aroma to the mild sweeten Taiwanese sausage, which was a perfect match to me~

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在這裡有點小建議給打算到士林的朋友,去之前最好留一個餓著的肚子,如果是情侶或者是跟家人去,不妨每樣食物都買少一點分著吃,那就可以試多一些不同的美食了~

A friendly reminder to all of you, it's better to starve yourself before getting to the night market and share every food if you're going with family members or partners, so you can taste as much food as you can! Bon appetit! :D

Website : http://www.shilinmar...index/index.php

Address : Near Taipei MRT Jiantan Station 台北捷運劍潭站附近

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除了天仁茗茶,在走去台北車站途中另一家我必吃的店就是福州世祖胡椒餅。這家始創於饒河街夜市的胡椒餅專門店,我每次經過都看到大排長龍的場面,可見她的受歡迎程度是多麼的高!

Besides Ten Ren Tea, my another must-eat is this Fuzhou Shiju Pepper Cake located near Taipei Station. The shop is originated from Raohe Street Night Market and is so popular among locals that I always see long queue outside the shop on every of my visit to Taipei!

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這天運氣比較好,竟然沒人排隊之餘,胡椒餅還是新鮮出爐的耶!馬上要了一個,邊走邊吃,美食當前,也顧不著儀態了,嘻嘻...

Surprisingly, there were just a few customers at this time, and we were lucky enough to be right on time for their freshly baked batch of pepper cake out for sale.

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剛烤好的胡椒餅熱騰騰的,如果馬上吃一定會燙到嘴巴的 (試過幾次的經驗所得...),所以最好等一下才吃。

Freshly baked pepper cake is too hot to eat right away! The juice inside is steaming hot and I really meant it, so better be patient!

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一個比手掌大又渾圓的餅也蠻飽肚的,所以這次只買一個跟外子兩人分著吃,讓肚子留點空間來裝陸續有來的美食!

The cake is about a palm size, which could be quite satiating for one to consume, so we just bought one for sharing in order to leave some room for all those yummy Taiwan delicacies that came up next!

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胡椒餅其實有點像上海生煎包,都是包著肉餡的,不同之處是外層比一般生煎包來得薄而且酥脆,還有就是製法好像印度 naan 一樣貼在一個底部加熱的鐵鍋內壁烤熟。

Fuzhou Pepper Cake (NT45 each) is like a Shanghainese Pan-Fried Bun, which is a kind of savory bun with meat filling, but with much crispier crust as it baked inside an iron drum that is quite similar to an Indian naan baked inside a tandoor.

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福州世祖的胡椒餅 (NT45/個) 出名在皮薄餡多,肉是用手剁而不是機器絞碎的,因此很有嚼頭又不會韌,而且很多汁,肉汁多到吃的時候要小心會噴出來!當中還有大量的青蔥和胡椒,辣味四溢,齒頰留香,甚是惹味。

Their pepper cake was fully stuffed with delicious hand-chopped minced pork that brought an extremely juicy and tender texture (mind the juice burst out from the other side on every bite!). A generous amount of spring onion and ground pepper were used to create a spicy and exotic combination of flavour, yummmm!

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因為店家位置靠近台北車站的國運機場巴士站,每次台北遊的最後一天必然會特地經過這店,買下幾個胡椒餅帶回香港,放進冰箱冷凍可以存上一個月,想吃時只要用微波爐加熱一下就可以了~

As this branch is not far from the Kuo-Kuang airport bus station next to the Taipei Station, I used to buy a handful of them from there on my last day of every Taipei trip to enjoy at home. It could last for about a month if storing at freezer and just heat up in microwave whenever I am craving for it~ :D

Website : N/A

Address : No. 13, Sec. 1, Chongqing South Road, Zhongzheng District, Taipei City, Taiwan

台灣台北市中正區重慶南路一段13號

Branches :

  • No. 249 Raohe Street, Songshan District, Taipei City, Taiwan (Inside Raohe Street Night Market)
    台北市松山區饒河街249號 (饒河街夜市內)
  • Behind Eslite Department Store, Banqiao Station, Banqiao District, New Taipei City, Taiwan
    新北市板橋區板橋後站誠品百貨後方
  • No. 15, Section 5, Nanya South Road, Banqiao District, New Taipei City, Taiwan
    新北市板橋區南雅南路一段5巷15號

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距離香港只有短短一個多小時航程的台灣,有無數驚艷動人的美景,也有食之不盡的美食,絕對是一個百去不厭的地方。七月底難得有幾天突如其來的假期,因為沒有時間也懶得去計劃,所以想也不想地選了去過幾次的台北為目的地。只想把腦袋留在香港,飛去台北渡過三天不用思考,沒有行程,一切隨心的周末遊。

Taiwan, a place with countless scenic spots & endless delicacies, which only takes one and a half hour flight from Hong Kong, is always a hit getaway destination for Hongkongers. It was an unexpected or rather a last minute vacation that I got at end of July, there was no time for my planning, so the best is to leave my brain to rest and get out of the hustle bustle life of Hong Kong to relax. There we went to one of the closest destination, Taipei.

台北的夏天,就是不敢想像的熱。中午到酒店放下行李後,便迫不及待到附近的天仁茗茶買下兩杯冰涼飲料一解暑熱。

It was so hot that I couldn't stand the Taipei's summer heat at noon, we went to a Ten Ren Tea branch located nearby the hotel after leaving our luggage.

店內主要是賣茶葉,另外闢出一個角落叫喫茶趣,供應現造現賣的茶飲。

The shop mainly sells various types of Chinese loose tea with Cha for Tea To Go as kind of their side business selling freshly made tea beverage.

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因為是周末,又是午飯時間的關係,客人好像都比平時的多...

As it's about lunch hour on weekend, there're more customers than usual.

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有別於其他的台式飲料店,天仁用的是紙的外帶杯,感覺上比較環保一點,喝下去都覺得天然和健康一點,起碼少了塑化劑的疑慮吧?!

As compared to other Taiwanese bubble tea stores, Ten Ren's Cha for Tea To Go uses paper cup instead of disposable plastic cup even for iced drinks. Feel like more environmental friendly and much healthier~

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看過餐牌,決定要了一杯正在促銷中的鳳梨冰茶 (左,NT70 減到 NT55) 跟一杯冰的金桔綠茶 (右,NT70)。鳳梨冰茶對我來說不算是什麼新意,之前都常常喝甚麼鳳梨紅茶綠茶之類的,但這一杯卻是我喝過之中最 "真" 的!"真" 的程度不僅是味道上,還有是口感上都能嚼到一些鳳梨的果肉碎片,每一口喝下去都滲透著淡淡的茶香,也不太甜,絕對是消暑佳品!反而金桔綠茶就相對的茶味略嫌不足,可能是金桔本身的味道太強而蓋過了茶味吧? 但在那麼熱的天氣下,也不失為一杯生津止渴的飲料。

We picked Pineapple Iced Tea, which was on sale (left, was NT70 and now NT55), and Iced Kumquat Green Tea (right, NT70) to quench our thirst. Pineapple Iced Tea was surprisingly good with really "real" pineapple flavour and full of pineapple pulp, not too sweet and carried a light hint of Chinese tea, it was a very chilling drink for us walking under the hot sun! For Iced Kumquat Green Tea, it was not that outstanding as the taste of Kumquat was too strong that overwhelmed the taste and aroma of green tea. Anyway, any iced drinks would definitely be a good refreshing drinks in such a steaming hot day.

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以前要喝天仁的茶飲一定要到台灣,最近在香港都能喝到了啊!位於銅鑼灣最新開的商場 Hysan Place,裡面的誠品書店內就開了一間天仁茗茶賣茶葉和飲料,以後要是想念天仁的茶就不用等到去台灣才有得喝了~

In the past, we had to go all the way to Taiwan whenever we missed the Ten Ren's drinks, but now we can taste it at the Ten Ren's counter inside Eslite Bookstore at the newly opened Hysan Place in Causeway Bay, yeah~ :D

Website : http://www.chafortea.com.tw/togo_e.asp

Address : No. 3, Sec. 1, Wuchang Street, Zhongzheng District, Taipei City 100, Taiwan

台灣台北市武昌街一段3號

Branches : Too many to be listed, please refer official website

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Again thanks to KS Ng for her highly recommendation to this creative mall, Publika, which was newly opened with many shops that are still vacant. Initially it wasn't our plan to have lunch here but look at the rustic interiors and the lovely welcoming mascot, my mood was instantly cheered up and was so tempting that I couldn't hold myself back from trying. From its menu and appearance, I don't think anyone could tell it's really a Korean cafe...

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Modern design that emphasis the use of natural materials are the accent of the decor here, which creates a comforting and cozy dining environment for customers who can take time to chill out and enjoy their food. And if you prefer a much open atmosphere, they do have alfresco dining section out there.

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Ever thought of holding a menu with a hanger? It's so creative and cute~!

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Other than coffee, I couldn't think of any drinks that is most suitable to have in a cafe! Cappuccino (MYR8.90) was served in a cup bearing Musetti logo, not sure if they are really using Musetti coffee but this cup of joe was really aromatic but a pity that the froth wasn't firm enough.

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Sweet Potato Latte (MYR9.90) was completely new to me that I never heard of it in my life! My first sip has proven it to be an interesting drink that worth exploring. Basically, it's a cup of blended sweet potato that carried really strong aroma & natural sweetness of fresh sweet potato with well-balanced taste of milk. However, the only drawback was the thick consistency in texture, that could hardly quench my thirst.

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Kimchi Beef Taco (MYR19.90) came in a surprisingly big portion, which I would think it's enough for 2 girls! Options are available in burgers or taco and we opted for taco to add a bit of Mexican touch to our lunch. Mixed veggie and sliced beef with kimchi that firmly stuffed in the lightly grilled tortilla roll provided a fairly healthy diet and good taste! Beef tended to be a little sweet, which is typical Korean taste that I am quite fond of, however the taste of kimchi didn't stand out as if I was just having a Korean BBQ Beef Taco...

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Bibi Rice Burger (MYR19.90) was in a relatively "regular" portion and again with generous amount of salads and potato wedges. Char-grilled chicken breast coated with Korean bibi sauce sandwiched within was tender and juicy in spite of some burned edges. The mixed grain rice buns were kind of too sticky and moist but with a rather loosen texture that made it hard to eat with bare hands.

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Apart from the main dishes, we were served with a small cup of Korean pickles as side dish for each main course. Nothing really outstanding here but if the pickles could be more vinegary then it would be perfect.

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Facebook Page : http://www.facebook.com/namoocafe

Address : Publika, Lot 4A, Level G3, Solaris Dutamas, 1 Jalan Dutamas, 50480 Kuala Lumpur

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My recent visit to Kuala Lumpur was truly a meaningful trip as we managed to catch up with a few friends who haven't seen for years. Even with the freaking hot weather those days and traffic jam being the characteristic of Kuala Lumpur, indulging in a wonderful dinning experience is always something that we couldn't leave without. First of all, would like to take this opportunity to thank our beautiful lady friend, KS Ng for her generous treat to this gorgeous Thai restaurant, it was indeed a memorable one!

A very brief intro, the restaurant is owned by Sea Cuisine Sdn Bhd, a popular Thai restaurant group that operates across West Malaysia & Singapore. We were really excited and anxious for this moment as we were told that Busaba is one of premium restaurants of the group that offers the finest authentic Thai cuisine.

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On our arrival, the place was quite packed that we have to wait for about 30mins before they could arrange a table for us. When we first entered, the interior looked sumptuous under the dim lights with a touch of designers' furnishings and yet not overwhelming its simplicity. The cozy environment definitely gives customers a warm dining ambiance.

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Before moving onto the food part, customer service was excellent as expected! A few staff who served us were generally friendly and attentive.

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As recommended, Ice Blended Coconut came in the right time to cool us down from the heat :P. It was very refreshing with really strong natural coconut flavour from freshly juiced coconut water of young coconuts. And it wasn't too sweet as well to my surprise! Yummy!

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However, Thai Iced Tea was lacked of unusual factor in my opinion. At the first glance, I was expecting a pleasant hint of spice from a so-called Thai-styled milk tea, no doubt it was silky smooth in texture but tasted quite similiar to a glass of normal milk tea composed of merely black tea and condensed milk.

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We started off with a simple-looking but interesting appetiser, Khao Tang Na Tang, Rice Cracker with Homemade Peanut & Minced Chicken Sauce. The ordinary rice cracker was fresh & crunchy and topping a tiny scoop of peanut sauce, which was the essence of the dish, made the world of difference! The sauce was sweet in taste and its texture was further enhanced with the great pairing of minced chicken.

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Yam Pla Duk Foo (Mango with Crispy Catfish Salad) was definitely a perfect starter to arouse our appetite! I guess using shredded green mango as a salad dish is common in most Thai restaurants? However mixing with super crispy catfish was something fresh to me. The dish was expected to carry a heavy mix of sweet & sour taste by the green mango that overpowered the rest of the ingredients. In fact, the catfish didn't really stand out in taste!

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Bai Kra Prow Gai (Minced Chicken with Holy Basil Leaf) is one of the classics in Thai delicacies. In this dish, generous amount of holy basil leaf is the key ingredient in bringing fragrance while the fish sauce gives the main savoury taste to the dish as a whole. Sweetness was carefully controlled to balance out the spiciness & saltiness that made it a very pleasant dish indeed. Not to forget mentioning, watch out for the tiny green chili!

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The familiar Tom Yam Goong is always the must-try dish in any Thai cuisines. We ordered 2 versions of Tom Yam Prawn soup, one with a clear soup base and the other one cooked with milk carried an opaque appearance. The clear Tom Yam soup base tended to be spicier than the other and both were well-prepared with delicate balance of sourness & sweetness. The prawn was fresh and firm in texture!

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To me, Nuae Sear Rong Hai, also famously known as "Weeping Tiger" was a love at first sight! Just the presentation itself impressed me very much. Basically, it's a sizzling sliced beef strip loin served on hot plate with the Northern Thai sauce separately served, so do mix it well while the plate is still hot. The sauce is the key player to the dish and also, it has a wide combination of salty, sweet, spicy and sour that may really caused confusion to your taste bud. Although the beef was thinly sliced, it wasn't too dry at all but in fact soft & tender. Along with the unique sauce, it was well matched.

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Phak Bung Ka Pi (Stir Fried Morning-glory with Shrimp Paste) is another ordinary Thai dish and Busaba's chef has made it so outstanding with his well-managed "wok hei" (heat from extremely hot wok) that retained the "liveliness" of the greens.

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A great dinner shouldn't end without any desserts! Also, we were told not to miss the dessert here. Upon our order for desserts, we were so impressed that the staff actually presented us a plate full of dessert samples for us to select. Too bad that we were quite full by then, otherwise, I would be very greedy to have them all... :lol:

Khao Niao Ma Moung, Fresh Mango with Sticky Rice, is truly a must-try here. The sticky rice was aromatic and it wasn't just sticky but chewy enough. Having it with the Water Lily Mango, which is naturally sweet, and a little bit of coconut milk, it was just heaven~!

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Tab Tim Krob, Water Chestnut with Fresh Coconut Milk & Jackfruit, is another highlight. I quite like the way it was served... Definitely a cheering dish for kids. The fresh iced coconut milk wasn't overly sweetened and water chestnut that wrapped in tapioca flour created a very interesting combination of chewy and crunchy texture as a whole.

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Website : http://www.seacuisine.com.my

Address : F15, First Floor, Bangsar Shopping Centre, 285, Jalan Maarof, Bukit Bandaraya, Bangsar, Kuala Lumpur 59000

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