Thursday, July 31, 2014

Savoury Squid Ink Waffle + Sweet Buttermilk Waffle @ Waffle Slayer


Savoury waffle?

Just looking at the mere words were sufficient for me to turn the menu to the next page. In my honest opinion, a waffle should belong rightfully to the 'sweet' category and any attempt to classify it otherwise would be sacrilegious! 

Hence, i wasn't that delighted when friends suggested ordering a savoury waffle from Waffle Slayer. On one hand, i was really curious to know how it would turn out to be; on the other hand, i am rather stubborn when it comes to adhering to my food principle. 

Passionfruit White Chocolate 
Let's talk about the buttermilk waffle first! I stand by my first review of Waffle Slayer where non-waffle ingredients highlighted as the saviour to the dull, could-be-improved waffles.

The passionfruit sauce was a tad too sour for our liking and i honestly could find any trace of white chocolate (blame it on my inexperienced taste buds)! The strategy to manage the sourness was to eat it with the sweet-based vanilla ice cream. 

Squid Ink Waffle w Dijon Maple Bacon
The taste of the squid ink waffle was quite acceptable with a slight acrid aftertaste but the star for this savoury waffle has to be the bacon! Yes, i never did know bacon can taste so absolutely delicious! Those who love gourmet bak kwa would find the taste similar although the texture for this dijon maple bacon was much softer and juicier! 

On second thought, this would be great to go with plain congee! I was so excited about this new discovery; i was already contemplating in my mind then if it would be easy to make my own dijon maple bacon! Knowing my dismal cooking skill, Kon said he would check out the recipe and attempt to make it. 

Thanks in advance, Kon! 

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Location, Map, Menu
Check out my previous post here

Price
Passionfruit White Chocolate Buttermilk Waffle - S$14.90
Squid Ink Waffle w Dijon Maple Bacon - S$18.90

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Raohe Street Night Market (饒河街觀光夜市) @ Taipei [Taiwan]

With so many night markets in Taiwan, it's amazing how i could still remember each and every one of them! There were similarities yet enough differences to set one apart from the other. 

Today's focus shall be on the second most popular night market in Taipei; Raohe night market! 

We reached close to 9.15pm and the first stall that would no doubt catch your attention would be the above selling pepper buns (福州胡椒餅). Don't play play okay; the fame of Raohe is synonymous with these pepper buns. 

As an individual who doesn't enjoy the taste of pepper, i wasn't that keen to buy one especially when it was past dinnertime! However, friends have told me well beforehand the delicacy is classified as a "die die must try" on any glutton's food list.

So i got one at NT$50! Sigh.... i was hoping that Alex could help to share the carbo-heavy burden but that asshole had a great disdain for peppery stuff! 

Nonetheless, i am glad i bought it! Its spicy aroma was damn alluring on a cool night and i could not help liking the thin crust, the fragrance of toasted sesame seeds and the delicious spice-infused meat that was incredibly juicy! 

Given that hot and sunny Singapore could not be compared when it comes to cool weather, i am of the opinion that queues would not form if pepper buns would to be sold in the little red dot. Of course, i might be wrong since peppery bak kut teh is one of Singapore's national specialties. 

Time to start the night market walk proper!

The 600-meter long Raohe night market was in a very simple sense, a straight road down. Shop houses lined up on both sides of the road while a secondary line of temporary stalls was set up right in the middle of the same road; literally splitting the road into two separate sections! 

I would suggest entering from the entrance next to Ciyou temple, go one way down, reach the end and u-turn to explore the other section. The best thing about this route is that Songshan train station would be just across the road. 

As with all night markets in Taiwan, there were way too many food stalls!!! It's a great pity i only have one stomach and it isn't a bottomless pit, contrary to popular belief. 

Getting a cup of traditional winter melon tea to quench the spiciness in my mouth. Besides being a healthier alternative to the all popular milk tea, winter melon tea helps to reduce the heatiness in the body and is a great thirst quencher! 

Kiosk selling hats and caps more suitable for kids and ladies. It's kind of fascinating how the operator managed to display so many of them in that limited space she was given. 

Silver accessories, i think. 

These were all the rage in Singapore a few months ago! I first saw them in Jonker Street @ Malacca and they were so expensive then! At Raohe, they were for sale at only NT$40-50 and there were close to sixteen types of fragrance to choose from. 

Should have gotten the face masks as July / August is the haze season with predictions of bad haze conditions in the coming month! For those who could not remember how bad it was last year, click here

Hot dogs galore!

This was another must-try although its standing was much lower than pepper buns. I am regretting my decision for not buying a serving of this stinky tofu (下港名彭臭豆腐) as the ones in Singapore can no longer satisfy me! 

My younger sister and mother would gleefully get their hands on a large packet of roasted Chinese chestnuts if they were with me in Taiwan! I kid you not; both of them are unstoppable when it comes to gao-lak. 

Have i ever mentioned that shoes in Taiwan are very cheap?! 

Was so tempted to get this flowers-in-glass-container as i remember the flowers are supposed to 'bloom'. I eventually gave up the idea as i didn't want to risk bringing in glass in case i break it. 

Fishing for the kids. If you have been following my blog, you would have noted this is pretty common and you can find it in many night markets. 

Magical shoe-lace! Once again, another product i regretted not buying! Damn, i think i better bring more money for my next overseas trip. Ya, more baggage allowance too! 

Tea-pots! Taiwanese are crazy about tea (note their fascination with bubble teas) and it's obvious even from their soap operas where the elder generation would brew the tea using traditional tea set that came equipped with a drainer. 


Remember the flaming beef dices!?!?!? Those who did not have sufficient time to order a serving from its branch at Yizhong market can consider buying it from Raohe! One thing for sure, the queue was much shorter. 

Appetising steamed crabs - not trying any seafood in Taiwan after that disappointing crab episode at Keelung Miaokou night market.

Fireworks for sale~!!!!! Now you know where to get them in Taipei! By the way, safety is of paramount importance and to let off the fireworks in your hotel room is plain stupidity! Check with the vendor on a suitable place; my bet is he / she would recommend the nearby riverfront. 

Umbrellas - do buy one if you didn't bring any! Anyone can advise if the pricing for the brollies is of a high side? I have been getting free umbrellas for the past few years and am unsure on its current market price. 

Please don't tell my mom i saw these in Raohe! King kong peanuts are highly sought after by my mom and in Singapore, the only time i could purchase them was during the Chinese New Year bazaar in Chinatown. 

Glass chambers for shisha i think! I used to be a smoker and i am really curious about shisha smoking; read that it is worse than normal smoking though. For more information, click here

You can find braised meats in any Taiwan night market! 

End of Raohe night market. Wait, wait! As i mentioned previously, there are two sections and we covered only one! Time to re-enter and explore the other section! 

Leopard-print bag, leopard-print hot pants - that's the section we would be going through. 

A pet shop! In the past when Rubee was still around, i would definitely step into a pet shop whenever i see one. Nowadays, i try not to do it just in case the impulsive bitch in me decides to buy one! 

It's easier to play with a dog that belongs to someone than actually owning one; the responsibility, the time, the money and eventually the heartache that follows after it passes away.

Socks in Taiwan were so economically priced; 6 pairs for less than S$5! Having said that, no one can deny Alex had a much better deal; 10 pairs for less than S$5 at Guangzhou Street night market! 

Photographs of stalls selling leather products, kid's stuff and pretty hair clips; i am running out of words to describe each stall as there is only so much i can say about hair clips (to quote an example) since i don't use them.

Time: 11.15pm. The night market was still crowded with people after we had a 45-minute foot massage (p.s. it wasn't fantastic so i didn't take any picture).

Bags! After a bad experience in Kuala Lumpur where a bag i bought for close to S$20 had its zip torn apart after a second use, i will buy bags only from reputable retailers in shopping centers. 

Want to guess what these were? It's surprising i didn't know what they were even though i saw stalls touting the same brand in other night markets! 

This chanced occurrence in Raohe was different; the lady just pushed one sample cup and asked us to try! They were in fact similar to the coral seaweed i blogged on before; albeit of a much smaller piece, with more flavours and basically laden with a heavy brown sugar content. Yummy!! 

Have time? Patronise for a session of fortune telling at only NT$100! I think i mentioned before i am not into fortune telling; it tends to make one either too hopeful or too despondent. 

Hello Kitty stuff! 

Alex had a blastful night at Raohe and basically spent more time at each stall as compared to me. With this vendor that offered wall stickers, he used more than 20 minutes to select the patterns / designs! 

By the time we were done, i was as dead as the pig in this picture. Those interested to give it a bite may note that it hailed from a store known as 豬頭雄. 

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Location
The landmark to note is the Ciyou temple; picture taken from Songshan train station! 

Entrance to Raohe night market is next to the temple on the left of this picture. Those who are paying Raohe a visit should consider putting aside one day for the following places of attraction; Taipei 101, Wufenpu and lastly, Raohe night market. 

Map
As above.


For an overview of my 9 Days, 8 Nights Taiwan Trip [Cingjing (清境) - Sun Moon Lake (日月潭) - Taichung (臺中) - Taipei (臺 北)], click HERE.

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