Frozen Prisco sour, lomo saltado, and ceviche. Overall, the food was ok, but what really stood out to me were the prices. Lomo saltado, a staple of Peruvian food, was more than $20 in China when it would be no more than $3 in Peru. Would I go here again? Probably not. Hard to justify the prices and quality of the food compared to the real thing during my time in Arequipa. Had good interior design and good salsa music - although I wish it had more of a grittier style restaurant feel instead of trying to be “high-class” Peruvian food.
Chinese food is delicious and anyone who disagrees is a liar
Despite not taking any pictures of food, there really was a food festival. Everything outside just seemed better to take pictures of.
This was an event held by the Italian Chamber of Commerce and it did not disappoint. Meats, cheeses, wine, bread - it was perfect.
This is one of my favorite dim sum places in Beijing
Burger from Blue Frog in Beijing. Monday’s are buy one get one free - easy choice for Monday dinners
Crawfish in a spicy garlic sauce, sliced pig lungs over chopped cucumbers topped with peanuts, and clams in spicy garlic sauce
This was at a nice Italian place in Beijing called Mercante
The lanterns went up right around Christmas, so although they were in preparation for Chinese New Year in February, one couldn’t help but think they were there to combat the Western holiday just a bit. Chicken plate on top was from a Mexican restaurant in the hutongs called Pebbles, which isn’t too shabby considering how far from Mexico China is.
It’s weird not being back in America for Thanksgiving. In Beijing, I know the holiday is approaching, and I know I’ll do something that involves turkey, but I think the biggest difference is the lack of atmosphere. Not a lot of people are talking about it beforehand, there aren’t any window decorations or annoying advertisements talking about “Thanksgiving specials!” I also don’t have an oven in my apartment, so cooking my own Thanksgiving dinner was out of the question. Ended up going out with a friend to a nice Mexican restaurant who did their spin on the classic turkey meal.
I like this dish because it’s sort of a Mongolian BBQ style food, where you choose the ingredients you want, then they cook it up and serve it all in a giant bowl.
Taiwan was great. The food, the people, the weather, the public transportation - everything was just so nice. Maybe I’m easy to win over having come from Beijing where things are loud, noisy, and not so clean, but having spent a week in Taipei, I was really impressed with the city
As everyone kept telling me, the food was amazing. The city has a large Japanese and southeast Asian influence, especially on the food. There were a ton of Japanese restaurants, as well as curry places, fried chicken, and tons of street vendors selling an assortment of both sweet and salty snacks.
In addition to Taipei, I also took a day trip to Jiufen, a small village situated in the green hills of Northern Taiwan, overlooking the ocean. It’s especially popular with tourists as it resembles the village from the anime Spirited Away. There are lanterns, tall staircases, and shops packed together selling tasty treats to the throngs of tourists. It was windy, beautiful, and somewhat serene when imagining where exactly I was.
Whatever preconceived notion I had about Taiwan before I went there was shattered as soon as I landed. When walking through the streets, I imagined my life living there and of all the places I’ve traveled in Asia, I could see myself starting a life there. Lots of people speak English, there is a good mix of cultures, there’s no need for a VPN, and it’s an island, which ticks off my “close to the ocean” box for potential places to settle down
As expected, the controversy or “sensitivity” concerning China and Taiwan is alive and well. Both Taiwanese and Chinese have opinions about the island, as do I. However, since I work for Xinhua and was told to keep my blog “appropriate” and refrain from controversial opinions, I’ll keep it to myself. Regardless of the political nature concerning Taiwan, I can’t recommend it enough. I spent a week doing the sightseeing thing and there was plenty to do, including memorials, temples, night markets, and food/bars.
Now I understand that Taiwan is unique, but here’s how I would describe it: a cleaner Hong Kong, a less busy Tokyo, a more fun Singapore, and a more polite mainland. There are less people than the aforementioned places, which obviously makes things easier, but the combination of culture, unique architecture, and the people make Taiwan a must-see travel destination.
“The food in Taiwan is great!” was repeated to me almost immediately after saying I was headed there. And they had a point - the food in Taiwan really is super tasty. There’s a big mix of Taiwanese food, Japanese food, Southeast Asian food, and Chinese food. Since it’s an island, there’s also a lot of seafood, which was a nice change coming from Beijing where you constantly question the freshness of anything from the ocean.