Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Taiwan on a Whim

I flew to Taichung, Taiwan on Sunday morning and returned to work on Monday morning.  The brilliant thing about the Hong Kong airport is that it really is quite seamless.  My plane touched down at just past 9 AM and I was in at work by 10:05 AM.  That's pretty amazing, no?

It does mean that I am quite tired though.  Probably not the best way to start off the week -- fresh off of a weekend running around and shuttling back and forth on planes.

But it was so worth the trip and I am so glad I went.  My parents are in Taiwan seeing family as they wind up their vacation (well, my dad anyway) and it seemed like too good of an opportunity to pass up.  I wanted to see them, see my relatives, and just spend some rarely found quality time together in our hectic (or just very geographically distant) lives.

No joke, my trip consisted of my flying in on a small plane (flew Mandarin Airlines this time), a joyful reunion at the airport, heading to a restaurant, eating, walking around, heading home, talking, watching the Golden Horse awards on TV, eating persimmons and oranges and drinking tea, shopping, drinking coffee, and then heading to another restaurant and eating some more, going to sleep, then waking up and getting to the airport, then flying back on a small plane.

The food, though, is so damn good that it is my standard trope now to groan that I am still too full from my last meal, then proceed to eat everything in sight.  I don't know how to explain it.  It's not even the fancy stuff that gets me.  This time, it was a humble little "canteen" style family business that serves simple, fresh food in generous portions with great flavor.

Here is the old school airport at Taichung.  It is a tiny commercial airport but huge in size and scope because it is still an active military base.
A view out over the parking lot.
 Speaking of military bases, before we went to eat lunch at the canteen restaurant, we wandered into a park containing old tanks brought in by the US military.

 The poles surrounding the park are leftover shell casings.

This whole area was really charming.  Look at this old house with a scrappy metal door.  With all these red banners, this house surely must be lucky.

We sat down to some old school pickled vegetables and no frills plastic silverware.
 The place was bustling.  We had to wait a while for a seat.
 My first course was pig intestine soup with pickled vegetables.  It was really delicious, but I completely understand that it may not be everyone's first choice.
 Next came chilean sea bass with tofu stir fried in a lightly spicy and sour sauce.
Then the chicken (the most tender, delicious chicken!) came.  They called it kung pao chicken, but it did not look like your typical greasy spoon kung pao chicken.  The dish contained barely any peanuts or filler - just straight up delicious chicken with the perfect balance of numbing spice.
This was a delicious crispy pancake that I loved.  The crispy exterior and the molten center was perfect.
I was so caught up in eating that I forgot to take pictures of the squid dish, the string beans and a few other dishes that we ate.  What a shame!  It was all so good.

Here are the pickled vegetables, prepared in huge glass jars.  I love it!
Here my aunt is slicing a pomelo.  This was hands down, bar none, the most delicious pomelo I have ever had.
Seriously.  It was.

I have more food pictures from our delicious dinner but that will have to come in another post.  Stay tuned.

No comments:

Post a Comment