Sunday, 29 December 2013

Travelogue: Taiwan Day 5 Part II, Hualien (Ziqiang Night Market 自强夜市) ☼

Back to my travels in Taiwan heh oops I know I take forever to blog(Christmas 2013 week post coming up soon too!). Here's my continuation on Day 5, after visiting the Taroko National Park and moving to Hualien (:

We reached Sunrise Bed and Breakfast, settled in and headed off to Ziqiang Night Market 自强夜市 which is about a 7-10mins walk away from our place of accommodation (: The room's really clean and spacious, very very worth for the price of about $55 SGD a night for 2 people! The owners were really friendly as well, and they helped us out on directions/attractions that we wanted to visit too (: They provide day tour packages as well!

On the way there

Ziqiang's lanes of food stalls

This night market is actually pretty small, and they are mainly only food stalls with a couple of arcade stalls around where you can play some games and win prizes (:

What we tried(we had dinner here the next day as well, so I'm just gonna lump it all together in this post and talk about the must-try food items!):

1. Barbecued skewers from 第一家烤肉串

How the stall looks like

The locals all recommend this stall as a must-try, and it's evident from the queue that it is very popular! Waiting time was up to about when 20mins when we were there. They have a wide array of choices, and all you've got to do is to just pick the items you want and the store helper would ask if you'll like it to be spicy or not. 

Beef wrapped with Spring Onion :9

The skewers were pretty yummy! We ordered for the spicy ones, but the chili flavour was not very overpowering, so I thought it was rather delicious. But it's more like a street snack, so it's not like gonna be very filling. 

2. Fruit Juices

We tried two stalls on both nights, and picked different fruit juices to have. Although one was said to be better than the other (妙不可言 is apparently the more popular stall), I felt that they were both pretty nice and there wasn't much of a difference though hahaha. 

Rock Melon Milkshake 

Dragonfruit juice

Mad crazy array of selections and choices over at the Ziqiang Night Market! Thirst-quenching, cooling and muchhhhh more affordable in comparison with prices of fruit juice in Singapore for sure (:

3. Shanghai Paos

We were pretty much starving and while waiting for the BBQ skewers, we decided to buy one of their paos to try cause they looked super yummy! 

The 招牌which only cost 12 TWD(which is like 50cents?!)


And it was pretty good actually for it's price! Lots of meat filling in it and served piping hot :9

4. Coffin-Shaped Bread (棺材板)

The stall to try! (蔣記花蓮式棺材板)

Basically, Guan Cai Ban is crispy toast in which the top layer has been cut off to create a "hole" where different fillings can be added in according to your choice. There's lots of different fillings to choose from like chicken, beef, pork, potatoes etc! We chose Black Pepper Beef for ours to try, and it was SOOOO GOOD.

Oozing with goodness

5. Oyster Pancake/Omelette (蚵仔煎)

It's fundamentally just starch fried with eggs and oysters;  finished off with a ladleful of sweet sauce. I thought this was just average though! Preferred the Singaporean version of "Orh Lua" more. But one thing is that, the oysters are extremely fresh (: Doesn't carry the unpleasant taste/smell that sometimes comes with oysters at all!

6. Hot Plate Steak/Chicken Chop

Ate this on the second day, and there were lots of stalls selling this dish, so we just blindly picked this stall hahaha. 

I ordered the chicken, while Tzu got the steak! The choice of protein is served on a sizzling hot plate with a bed of egg noodles and a sunny-side up egg. Sides of bread buns and free flow cream soup (YAY) comes together as well! ALL of these for only 130-150 NT (Y)

The Beef Steak

The Chicken NOM

This is probably, one of the boyfriend's favourites of Taiwan's street food(we ate this again in Taipei later on as well hahaha). The portion's rather big and quite yummy! Definitely worth the money paid (:

7. Chun Juan (春卷)

There was a crazy queue for this stall, and we decided to join the queue for it to try it! The Chun Juan sold is sort of like Popiah, but it's a much larger version of it(kinda close to a Subway Six-inch if I'm not wrong) and contains many other ingredients inside the roll. 

There's 5 different sauces to choose from, and a vegetarian version available as well! (We picked Original)

Making in process

Mad generous amount of filling in the Chun Juan!

A must-try for sure, cause it's really delicious and very different from the usual Popiah! The queue moves pretty fast as well, so no worries about long waiting time (: 

8. Porridge: Lee's Cantonese Porridge (李记广东粥)

Ordered the Lean Pork with Century Egg Porridge (takeaway) cause we were pretty full from the hot plate beef steak and chicken. I just couldn't miss eating from this stall cause I'm a fan of porridge so I insisted on dabao-ing it back heh!

It was still piping hot since the Minsu was only about a 7-minute walk away, and it's srsly one of the best porridge(s?) I've eaten! It was thick, smooth and very flavourful, and topped with lots of century egg and pork bits. AH, and I'm craving for this right now as I'm typing this post at 2am ): 

This pretty much sums up my experience at Ziqiang Night Market (Hualien), and it's one of my favourite night markets for food in my entire Taiwan trip heh! I'm gonna head to bed now and am probably gonna be dreaming about all the fooooooood. -drools-

Sunday, 15 December 2013

My love for Love, Bonito.

This is waaaaay long overdue post, but I've gotta write it down so I'll remember it!

I've always been a huge fan of Love, Bonito ever since when they were known as BonitoChico loooong ago(I still have that label's items in my wardrobe till today! Heh). It was my second sister who got me addicted to online shopping, and since then, I've been hooked.

About 5 other girls were invited as well to a short tea session at the Love, Bonito office with the owners and some of their lovely staff, and it was a splendid afternoon spent talking about clothes and fashion.

How the Love, Bonito studio looks like

The bags in the studio used for styling shoots

Can't explain how much I'm in love with this rack of shoes! (I really love shoes)

Some of the cakes and pastries served

Group shot with everyone (wish I had taken some pictures with the staff too!)

Cleo and I with the gorgeous owners! 

The staff and the owners (Rachel and Viola), were very nice and friendly, and it was really easy to make conversation. And I must say, I was rather starstruck to be able to meet Rachel and Viola hahaha (fan girl mode). I love how fashion and social media brought me to meet the other girls as well, so yay I'm really so thankful to have these new friends!

Ending off this post with what I wore that day: 

Love Bonito's Giselle Top in White, Love Bonito's Miranda Skirt in Sunshine, Clutch from ASOS and Ohvola's Delilah Heels in Apricot (: 

Gonna head off to bed now x