December 10, 2012

Taipei 101: Basement Food Court Adventures

If you go to Taiwan, you HAVE to go to Taipei 101.  It's kind of like the Eiffel Tower of Paris, but Asian style!  While I was in Taiwan, I stayed literally 10 minutes walking distance away, so I came here quite often.  On the first couple floors, there's high-class shopping (window shopping is always fun).  Then on top of that, there's fine dining.  And then above that, it's just offices.  Kind of lame, but the floors that are open to the public keep you coming back.

And don't forget the basement level!  It's just as popular as the top floors (if not even more crowded).  There's a full-blown food court down there, with super yummy and much cheaper food...which means you can eat even more!  

Combo Meal
Combination Meal

OHOHO, so much food!  Starting from the top left:  minced pork with rice, fried tofu, meatball and fish ball soup, and veggies!

Taipei 101 Basement

You get the idea, right?  And this is just one corner of the food court!  Imagine standing in the middle of the floor, being surrounded by food 360°.  I had such a hard time deciding what I wanted to eat.  I swear, there were probably 50 food vendors!  Knowing how indecisive I am, I walked around the floor at least twice.  Got my pre-food workout of the day 

Noodles and Soup
Noodles with Beef Soup

This was kind of like a dissected version of a beef noodle soup, with the noodles and beef/broth in separate bowls.  I have to say, the noodles were the best part.  It was served with a little bit of broth for that extra flavor and slurpilicious fun!

Minced Pork Rice
Minced Pork Rice

This is one of my favorite dishes of all time.  So simple, but so yummy!  It's basically minced pork (they added some mushrooms here), served with a soy-sauce braised egg and a slice of pickled radish.  I'm so easy to satisfy haha.


Sizzling Seafood Noodles
Sizzling Seafood Noodles

OMG See that sexy piece of squid?  It was the biggest squid I've ever seen in my life.  And it was so juicy and tender, you didn't have to fight with it at all.

And oh man, the presentation was so pretty.  There were so many toppings, you could barely see the noodles!  And being the indecisive person that I am, I didn't know where to start eating.  Squid?  Mushrooms?  Fish balls?  Egg? Corn?  GAHH, someone just feed me please!

Green Bean and Peanut Douhua

You can't call it a meal without getting dessert!  There are many choices to choose from in the food court, but one of my favorite dessert places is 小南門 (literally, "Small South Gate"....don't ask my why), who specializes in Douhua.  "Douhua" is a sweet tofu/soybean pudding.  It's super soft like extra-extra-silken tofu, but it has a nice, mellow sweetness.  Perfect for a hot day!  Aka every day in Taiwan.

You start off with the douhua, and then you add on as many toppings as you like!  You can choose from peanuts, red bean, green bean, grass jelly, boba, etc...ya know, the usual Taiwanese shaved ice toppings, but with so many variations.

Then they add sweetened soup with a ginger base (ohoho ginger, my love), then top it with ice cubes to keep it cold all the way til the last spoonful!  So considerate of them  

Peanut Douhua
Peanut Douhua

For this bowl, I chose Douhua + peanuts.  In the US, they have canned versions of these, which you can get at any Asian supermarket.  They're pretty good, but you can't compare with the fresh bowls here!  The douhua is so soft, it just falls apart in your  mouth.  

Scoop of Peanut Douhua
Scoop of douhua and peanuts

Red Bean and Jelly Douhua
Red Bean with Jelly

If you're not a big fan of tofu, they also have jelly instead of the douhua.  The yellow jelly here is made from a flower (chrysanthemum, I think?), so it has a very distinct floral sweetness.  The name "jelly" is misleading... well, I guess it's like jelly, but a SUPER DENSE jelly.  It's really chewy, so you gotta work out those jaw muscles.  Once you chew it, it bounces back as if you never chewed it at all.

I really liked the flower flavor, but it was a bit too chewy for me.  Towards the end of the bowl, my jaw was a bit sore.  Gotta stick with my silky tofu... or go work out those jaw muscles by eating more HAHA 

Peanut and Red Bean Douhua
Peanut, Red Bean, and Jelly

Scoop of Peanut, Red Bean, and Jelly
Peanut, Red Bean, and Jelly

Taipei 101 at night
Taipei 101 

So pretty!  It lights up a different color each night, and for holidays, it even shoots out fireworks!  

Taipei 101, basement
No. 7, Sec. 5, Xin Yi Rd.
Taipei, Taiwan


Candy C. said...

Waaaaaaaa~~ So prettyyy and the food looks sooo yummmyyy*** I wish I could try TT__TT

Nantinee said...

OMG is that ONG CHOY?