Wifey was at a meeting nearby so we decided to drop by The Populus for dinner. We had walked past on Tuesday but it was closed. We had wanted to try out this place since it opened in Oct 2015 but had not been able to. Lucky for us, it was a Thursday today and they closed at 10:30pm!
The Populus is just a few shops away from The Lokal along the same Neil Road. It has quite a large seating area with a simple, modern deco. Warm lights on a high ceiling creates a homely atmosphere where friends can just gather and chit-chat over food and coffee.
Plain water is self-serviced and they accept credit card payments for totals above $50, which is quite steep in my opinion. Lower than that, you can pay by cash or NETS.
Back in 2013, we were utterly lost trying to find 公館夜市 Gongguan Night Market, and ended up rather disappointed. This year, we decided to try again 🙂
The maps in the subway station still did not show where 公館夜市 was, but we just followed the instructions online, and got out of Exit 1.
We then realized that as this was more of an area with many shop fronts, it is known as 公館商圈 Gongguan Shopping District. And this time, we were at the correct starting point, and the push cart food stalls were actually spread out across 4 lanes, including that one lane which we went to previously.
We were caught in the rain after lunch!
While taking shelter under a not-very-big canopy, we FourSquare-d for cafes near us so that we could rest the rain away, and picked 微客棧-人文空間 Waker Coffee!
This cafe is opened by a social enterprise, 微客國際服務團隊 Waker Group of Taiwan who focuses on child education around the world as their cause. This cafe was opened as part of a gathering point for their volunteers as well as a retail outlet for their handicrafts. Their HQ is located just above the cafe. 🙂
Apparently they had just opened for an hour or so, and there were no other customers. So we occupied the sofa and made ourselves comfortable.
We have been to Taipei many times but seemed to have missed this popular braised pork rice every time. So today we made it a point to die-die-also-must-go!
It was easy to find, and we located it quickly once we came out of station’s Exit 2. From afar we could already saw a queue forming. In out hearts we were thinking “Got so nice meh?” Haha…
As we approached, we realized the queue was for take-outs, because they are popular during lunchtime. But we were here to dine in, and got our seats quickly.
- 魯肉飯 Braised Pork Rice (NT30) – The rice was the best we had in this trip, fluffy and 粒粒分明 not mushy. The gravy was very addictive, and the minced meat was a good mix of meat and fatty bits.
- 焢肉 Pork Belly (NT35) – The meat had a slightly chewy texture, and could be easily torn off; yummlicious!
- 人蔘雞湯 Ginseng Chicken (NT50) – This was very value-for-money, as the small bowl of soup was packed with chicken meat and ginseng.
- 燙青菜 Green Vegetable (NT20)- We ordered this to feel less sinful, haha 😛
Overall, a very enjoyable lunch 🙂
- Location: 台北市中正區羅斯福路一段10號, No. 10, Section 1, Roosevelt Rd, Zhongzheng District, Taipei City, Taiwan 100
- Nearest MRT: Zhongzheng Memorial Hall Station 捷運中正記念堂站 (Take Exit 2)
- Hrs: 8am – 1am
We arrived at Taipei rather late, after our long lunch at 羅東 Luodong. We were still very full by dinner time, so we decided to swing by the nearby 寧夏夜市 Ningxia Night Market for some small bites.
We recalled in our previous visit, we tried 2 oyster omelettes. This time, we decided to try from 圓環邊蚵仔煎. In addition to 蚵仔煎 Oyster Omelette (NT65), we also ordered 蛤仔湯 Clam Soup (NT65). The oyster omelette was fluffy with some chewy but light bits. It had at least 11 fresh juicy oysters, which was definitely way more than the non-existent version that we tried previously. We also like the sauce, as it was not overly sweet, and the amount was just right. The clear clam soup was light and sweet, and filled with plump clams.
Happy with our first bites, we went to revisit an old stall for 豬血湯 Pig’s Blood Soup (NT45) and 鲁肉飯 Braised Pork Rice (NT25). There were plenty of huge pieces of pig’s blood :D. The gravy of the braised pork was very delicious, but the rice used was just alright.
Finally, we decided to pack some vegetables from 李家鄉滷味 back to our hotel to eat. The queue was slow-moving, as the lady was rather meticulous in weighing the items to ensure fairness. For NT160, we had a huge bag of 杏鲍菇, meat balls, broccoli, beancurd, white bamboo shoots. We enjoyed every bit of it and went to bed very satisfied with the entire day!
- Location: 台北市大同區寧夏路, Ningxia Rd, Datong District, Taipei City, Taiwan 103
- Nearest MRT: Zhongshang Station 捷運中山站 (Take Exit 1 and walk westwards along Nanjing West Road for 10mins)
- Website: www.nx-yes.tw
- Hrs: 6pm – 12am
We have not been to 士林夜市 Shilin Night Market ever since we first visited Taiwan in 2009, so we thought why not revisit it since it was renovated some years back.
士林夜市 Shilin Night Market was set up way back in the early 1900s and remained at the same location for many years until it had to be demolished and rebuilt in 2002 because of sanitation, electricity and safety considerations. It took the government a long 10 years to rebuilt the night market and the new market officially opened on Christmas Day in 2011. It remains the most popular night market for tourists and you can find so many tourists walking towards it the moment you exit from 捷運劍潭站 Jiantan Station. The market has now divided itself into the street level stalls and the basement food stalls (although some food stalls are still found on the street level).
After a most satisfying big feast, we definitely needed to walk the calories off.
So we just walked along the area and chanced upon 晴光市場 Qingguan Market. This is a local market with food stalls in the open and daily necessities in the shops in the alleys, and I somewhat found it to be strikingly familiar to the one which we went in 2009 when we were in Taipei to shoot for our wedding.
We were walking and shopping along the many alleys when we past by this red bean biscuit stall. I didn’t notice the queue until wifey pointed to me that the queue had snaked into a small alley! 排隊美食 famous queue-ing snacks alert (although I must admit at that time, I had totally no idea this was famous)!
We didn’t join the queue because we were still very full from the big lunch earlier on, so we just walked on to other parts of the market. After a few turns (and a visit to the washroom), our stomachs were sufficiently emptied to share a piece of biscuit!
Wifey queued while I went to the front to observe and snap pictures. There were 3 flavours, 紅豆 Red Bean, 奶油 Custard and 蘿蔔絲 Raddish (which was already ran-out). We got ourselves a freshly-made 奶油紅豆餅 Custard Biscuit for only NT10 (~S$0.42)!
The filling was incredibly overflowing and not overly sweet. We do not like overly sweet stuff so this was just nice for us. The skin was crispy and the combination was just heavenly. We left the stall fully satisfied!
- Location: 台北市中山區雙城街12巷16-1, No. 16-1 Lane 12 Shuangcheng St, Zhongshan District, Taipei City, Taiwan 104
- Nearest MRT: Zhongshan Elementary School Station 捷運中山國小站 (Take Exit 1 and walk along 民權東路一段 Minquan East Road Section 1 and turn right into 雙城街 Shuangcheng St)
- Hrs: 11:30am – 9pm
We woke up late this morning (we wanted to sleep till we wake up naturally 睡到自然醒) and naturally skipped breakfast because we intended to go for a big Japanese feast early!
So we were on our way to 捷運台北站 MRT Taipei station, and we passed by this little cafe which was not there the last time we were in Taipei (which was not all that long ago). The brightly-coloured cafe attracted us and of course I also needed my morning coffee so we stopped by for a cuppa.
I ordered my usual 拿鐵 Latte (NT60) and wifey had a 威士忌巧克力奶昔 Whisky Chocolate (NT65).
We were quite satisfied with our drinks and started Googling about this new addition to the neighbourhood. So cama 現烘咖啡專門店 cama cafe started with just one shop in 2004 and now has franchisees all over Taiwan. They pride themselves as using premium coffee beans and performing the entire Bean-To-Cup process in the shop, from selecting beans, roasting beans, grinding beans to brewing the fresh coffee.
The result was not bad at all – I enjoyed the latte which provided much boost for a great day (of eating) ahead!
- Location: 台北市大同區承德路一段30號 (承德華陰店), No. 30 Section 1 Chengde Rd, Datong District, Taipei City, Taiwan
- Nearest MRT: Taipei Station 捷運台北站 (Opposite 台北轉運站 Taipei Bus Station)
- Website: www.camacafe.com
- Hrs: 7:30am – 8pm (Mon-Fri), 9am – 7pm (Sat-Sun)
Our first night in Taipei in 2016, and we decided to visit this little local night market (because this was one of two night markets in Taipei that we have not yet been to)!
We have read many blogs and reviews of this night market and had more or less decided on what to try. Nevertheless, we took our time and strolled along. Our first impression was that this night market was not as crowded as the rest and there were plenty of walking space for everyone! We liked that there was a slight breeze and that the weather was not too hot or humid, thanks to a passing shower which provided much of the coolness.
This location is called 南機場 Nanjichang or South Airport because this area used to be an airport used by the Japanese during the Japanese Occupation. Because this was situated on the south of the main 松山機場 Songshan Airport, locals called it South Airport. 🙂
We were back in Taiwan again!!
This trip was planned, or rather the air tickets were bought, as part of our crazy planning when budget airlines were having sale. Haha… But Jetstar had to change their flight details and we ended up landing in Taipei only in the afternoon. So we took our time (and rest) and only wandered out in the evening to a local night market 南機場夜市 Nanjichang Night Market. En route to the night market, we chanced upon this very interesting coffee and roaster cafe just along the road. The cafe front was nondescript, the kind that you would missed and just walked past it without even realizing. But it so happened that someone just walked out with a paper cup in hand and I turned my head, and the signboard attracted me – 無名 Nameless. It’s like a certain No Signboard seafood in Singapore! Haha…