4 days in Taipei with non-stop eating and walking and it has been exhausting. No regrets, even as I sit here at the desk in the pretty amazing Sato Castle Hotel typing this out. My cousins who organised this trip booked us rooms in different nights that we are in Taiwan and as cool as it is trying out all these different rooms, it can get pretty tiring, but it does create content for a blog post.
The first night, I booked a room at City Inn Plus in Ximending and I really do love it. It’s clean, it’s pretty, the staff are friendly and helpful and they have a laundry room and drinks area with free coffee, tea and hot chocolate. It’s conveniently located across the street from the main Ximending area and Ximen Station (very near Ah Zong Mian Xian!) and the FreeGo bus service drops people off at Ximen Station, so it’s just a matter of crossing the street to get to the hotel. I booked the Elite Room for about $90 per night and I do really think it’s well worth the money.
That day, I had a hodgepodge meal of swordfish sushi at Meiguanyuan (美觀園) near the Ximen Station because I was craving Japanese food. Reading the menu was a huge hassle though as everything was in Chinese and the names are not the same in Japanese as they are in Chinese. I ordered what I thought was the Chirashi-don, but turned out to be swordfish sushi instead, but no regrets because the swordfish was amazingly fresh and the portion was huge. That cost me 350NT and together with the asari shiryou, the meal was 400NT, not too bad for sushi that fresh.
Then as I walked around Ximending, I was continuously assaulted by the delicious scents of street food and even though I had just finished a huge meal at Meiguanyuan, I could not resist buying various food from the stalls all around. Of course I had to have the Ah Zong Mian Xian (50NT for a small bowl), which luckily didn’t have a scary queue. I liked it, but I might be willing to queue for too long for that. The sauce was delicious and had pieces of pig intestines in it (the intestines did not have any foul smell to it at all). No oysters though, I’d assumed that they did, but they didn’t :(. I then came across a street hawker selling egg scallion pancakes and couldn’t resist, but that was just ok, nothing to shout about. Next was deep fried chicken bits and deep fried abalone mushrooms. Now I really liked the mushrooms. I’d packed all these food back to my room and the fried stuff were still nice and crispy when I got back. The fried chicken shop is located at the entrance to the Ximending area at exit 6 of the station.
That’s it for day 1, folks!