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In order to escape from the hustle and bustle city life, my family and I decided to go to Yilan to embrace the natural beauty last weekend. Yilan county, a county in Northeastern Taiwan, has crowded in a large number of tourists when the Hsuehshan Tunnel officially completed in 2006. It only takes about 45 minutes, commuting from Taipei City to Yilan. That’s why Yilan has become one of the popular vacation places.

We’ve been to Yilan several times, and this time we chose Tayrio House to stay according to the recommendation from Business Weekly . It’s said that Tayrio House plants vegetables and go fishing by themselves; therefore, if you curious about their food, you have to stay over a night there because Tayrio offers food only for its guests. However, bad news came one day before we set off to Yilan. We just learned that Tayrio House would not offer dinner due to the insufficient fish caught  in the morning.

In addition to no dinner, Tayrio House provided customers with poor service. They had guests to clean up the dinning table and take dishes out to the kitchen. Even though the host was friendly, I know that I would not come here again nor  recommend this hotel to others.  I guess the host forgets that people come to your place to relax not to do labor works.

Anyways, let’s forget about the nightmare at Tayrio House. There is one place that I highly recommend foodies to visit: Shen Yen Restaurant. Shen Yen means abundant food.  It features Tanppenyaki cuisine. The chef takes advantages of local fresh seafood and traditional seasoning, bringing a series of visually tasty abundant food. There were some dishes that I’d like to highlight.

Wild oyster soup.

First one is wild oyster soup. Wild oysters are rare in Taiwan. The chef used only slice ginger and green unions to lift up the fresh taste of oyster. This soup a great light soup suitable to enjoy in hot summer.

Wild Oyster in Chinese is called 石蚵, which sounded like ten pieces of oysters. Thus, chef made a joke saying that if you found that there were more than ten pieces oysters in the soup, please return to him. Our chef is so humorous.

Heavenly tasty. The cheery duck with seasonal salad.

The dish, cheery duck with seasonal salad, was amazing. Skin-peeled red p

epper and thin slices pumpkin showed the chef’s serious attitude to treat each ingredient with a careful and respectful heart.

The succulent duck breast went perfectly with the fresh flavored salad. I wrapped a piece of duck breast with salad. In one bite, I sensed the sweet and fruity sour from the salad as well as the gravy duck breast danced mutually in my mouth. This is the taste from Heaven.

Sizzling Lushan eel.

Lushan Eel and its abundant collagen.

Lushan Eel, a precious ingredient which is noted for its abundant collagen. Women love it, treating it like an upscale natural make-up, which could turn wrinkles face into a beautiful tight face. Seeing me taking photos of the Lushan Eel, the chef said ” you should take a photo of your face but not the eel because you are going to witness its legend. ” In the end, I still didn’t take photo of myself, but after eating Lushan Eel, somehow I felt that my skin was better than before. If you doubt it, you are very welcome to come to  Shen Yen to witness it.

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Black Sesame Sauce with Chicken Breast - Nobo

It’s my great privilege to share a recipe from Nobu. The black sesame sauce that I was so amazed and then emailed to the Nobu restaurant to ask for the recipe. Gratefully, I got a kindly response from Nobu revealing the mysterious ingredients of the black sesame sauce.

What makes the black sesame sauce unique is Nobu’s own version Teriyaki sauce.  Since each restaurant has its special method and the restaurant manager could not divulge it, Nobu manager gave me the ratio to make our own black sesame sauce. Continue Reading »

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Nobu New York, the flagship restaurant of Chef Nobu Matsuhisa, received three stars from the New York Times and a Michelin star. With such a fame and reputation,  Nobu was undoubtedly to be one of my Top 3 restaurants during the restaurant week. Continue Reading »

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NY restaurant week, the most celebrated food festival, is coming.
This summer from July 11th to July 24th, lots of NY popular restaurants offer a 3 courses lunch at $24.7 or $35 for dinner promotion.

New York City has been considered the Mecca of gourmet food by gourmand. From street vendors, food trunks to Michelin star restaurants, it embraces the most dynamic and energetic food cultures. Therefore, as a foodie, I undoubtedly have to make good use of the restaurant week to explore the taste of this big apple.  Continue Reading »

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This weekend I was invited to go to Avalon’s sweet apartment and enjoyed the great fireworks on July 4th. Avalon and I have known for each other for about 15 years since we went to the same elementary school in Taiwan. The world is quite small; I’ve never imaged that we would met up again in New York City and live here.

Afonso, Avalon’s boyfriend, is a freestyle great cook. He doesn’t need to read the recipe; or say, he remembered all the measurement and ingredients already in his head. The Brazilian Salty Cake was one of the desserts he made during my stay at their apartment. This recipe is really simple and could be as creative as you desire. Once you know how to build up the frame of the cake, you could free style the ingredients and make your own salty cake. Continue Reading »

Juicy Scallops with Garlic Cheese Sauce

Few days ago, whole foods had a special deal for the fresh sea scallops and they offered tasting for food shoppers. I was in line with high excitement to taste the fresh and subtle texture of sea scallops. The way they cooked scallops was marinading sea scallops with greek herbs/Mediterranean herbs, which tasted good but not really impressive though. I felt bad to be so honest and I knew that whole foods’ recipes always offer good and simple alternatives to cook a meal. Coupled with the food of highest quality, it’s hard to make something you don’t want to taste. Continue Reading »

I have a bunch of foodie friends who love to eat and also cook so well. Sometimes, we would think about the menu for a dinner set. We had an appetizer, soup, main course and one side dish. And we carefully picked up a wine, which best matches the dishes. I had the dinner with Lilian, an smart and easy-going Taiwanese girl. She loves pot luck a lot that she has a long pot luck guest lists on which she includes not only foodies but also good cooks. I was so honored to be on her list.

The main course was black truffle risotto. Risotto was Lilian’s favorite dish. She had tried various risotto recipes such as lemon risotto and mushroom risotto. When she heard me saying that I’m gonna cook black truffle risotto for my mom when I go back to Taiwan, she was so excited and was like why didn’t we plan a dinner for that. So we started to design the menu from appetizer to dessert.

Menu

Light Onion Soup

Cherry Tomato Summer Salad

Black Truffle Risotto

Chocolate Mousse with Fresh Berries

Spanish Sparkling Wine


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Continue Reading »