Tuesday, May 2

vacation highlight #1: the food

instead of chronicling my vacation from day 1 through day 8 i've decided i'm only gonna go w/ the highlights, like a vacation's greatest hits sort of thing. so this one's gonna be about all the amazing food we had while traveling:

1) ahh, beard papas. probably one of the MOST amazing pastries i've had in a very long time. ahjima saw them for the first time at the Mongkok MRT station in Hong Kong. after that Cousin and i couldn't stop raving about them and then Ahjima just knew she had to have some. the day we left Hong Kong to come home we stopped at the Beard Papas station in Sogo at Causeway Bay to pick up a box for our flight. We ended up buying SEVEN of them. o god were they good. i'm salivating just thinking about it. i might have to stop at Cafe Zaiya to pick some up...

2) i knew Ahjima couldn't go to Taipei w/o trying MaLa Hotpot. so on our 3rd day in Taipei Harry, Athena and Island took us for a hotpot lunch. you don't know how much effort it took to get it. every place we went to was closed! on a tuesday! i felt like it was fated that we would not eat hotpot for lunch until we found this place. we got to pick 3 different soup flavors: curry, MaLa (medium spiciness thank you, not everyone's got Korean taste buds like Ahjima) and sour cabbage (those who eat real Asian food would appreciate this). it was an amazing experience that Ahjima really enjoyed. i, on the other hand, only picked at my food b/c i'd had an insane breakfast from my grandma and Island's presence at lunch made it so that i didn't want to oink out on all the food. damn him... btw, those are harry & ahjima's chopsticks in the pic.

3) on our 3rd day in Hong Kong my aunt ended up my Cousin and i out for a sort-of dim sum brunch. i say sort-of because there were no carts or anything like that but the food was very dim sum style. the restaurant was located in Causeway Bay Plaza and it's specialty is the Shanghai xiao long tong bao (Shanghai soup dumplings). Each dumpling is individual sized so you only get one per person and comes w/ a straw for you to drink the soup inside. it was such a surreal experience. Cousin and i took lots of pictures of the dumplings b/c we'd never seen anything like them. overall it was pretty good, but i still prefer the traditional ones (which are much smaller). either way it was definitely an experience.

here's a pic of me and Cousin enjoying our Shanghai soup dumplings. let's ignore my i-just-woke-up-after-a-night-out-in-Lam-Kwai-Fong appearance as well as the fact that Ahjima & O weren't there w/me b/c they couldn't wake up for it (this was around 11:30 am).

honorable mentions: there were certain foods i would've felt stupid taking pics of tho of course in retrospect i wish i had.
the best was when my aunt took me and Ahjima to Cafe Kool at the Shangri-La hotel in TsimTsa Tsui East. OMG the buffet there is insane. my aunt couldn't believe how much Ahjima and i ate. the highlights of the buffet is the sushi bar and the dessert bar featuring a chocolate fondue fountain. AMAZING.
our first day in Ximending Ahjima discovered a stand selling scallion pancakes which she fell in love w/. everyday she would talk about going to "her guy" to get one.
then there's Ah Zong Mein Xein, a famous chain making amazing stewed thin noodles. we ate at the one in Ximending. usually Ahjima's not too adventurous on the food (she's got some crazy allergies and won't eat anything that resembles the animal it came from) but i managed to get her to eat this b/c there were hordes of people standing around this place eating the noodles. Ah Zong is so good that they don't have to offer a place to sit and eat their noodles nor do they offer anything else on the menu. people just stand around w/bowls in hand eating them. and they're always busy.
of course i got Ahjima to eat some of those custard desserts found everywhere around Taipei. not like Beard Papas, the outside's more doughy. still good nonetheless. phew good thing it's almost lunch time here b/c now i'm really hungry.

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