And We’re Back!
My apologizes for not updating anything over the past 2 months. I have been interning in Taiwan and have been quite busy.
Lets just say that this is a revival of sorts, as I try to keep this blog more well-rounded. AKA: Not a Food Blog.
For that, here is a wonderful picture of a Darkstar Headphone Amplifier and DAC, plus some wonderfully engineered headphones. See, not food!
THE BEST BUBBLE TEA EVER!
The above comment is not an exaggeration, as situated in Taipei’s Shilin area is Ching Shin Tea, and they make the best bubble tea of all time.
In the Bay Area, the only time I’ve encountered a beverage which included those chewy tapioca pearls was in Japan Town. There, the pearls, hardened from being undercooked, are submersed in a fruity, sugary drink. In Beijing, the situation isn’t much better, as the bubbles are still undercooked, and the milk tea, made from milk powder and sub-par tea leaves, is bellow average at best.
In Taipei, things are completely different. The pearls are amazingly chewy, or QQ as the Taiwanese call it. They also have been sweetened slightly, which is a detail that many shops down bother with. Finally, the tea is much milkier, as well as simply tasting more like tea. My only complaint would be that the drink, even at “half sweetness”, was still far too sweet. I guess I’ll just have to try quarter sweetness next time.
Pho the Greater Good
Pho, with its spicy, steamy broth, is a comfort food of mine. Throughout High School a trip to a authentic Vietnamese restaurant in San Rafael, a journey which almost happened weekly, was guaranteed to bring joy and happiness to an otherwise stressful day.
This bowl of Pho was something different. Cooked at the restaurant Golden Bull, in Hong Kong’s time square. Severed with wagyu beef, freshly made rice noodles, a beautifully clear beef broth, and a side of Chinese barbeque pork, the ingredients of this bowl would suggest a dish far superior to the pho in San Rafael.
Don’t get me wrong, this bowl of pho was most definitely excellent. The beef was tender, succulent, and full of flavor. The rice noodle were perfectly al dente and had a wonderful texture. The chili peppers and basil leaves were a perfect compliment to the broth, much more sophisticated than handfuls of beansprouts. The Chinese BBQ pork was some of the best I’ve ever had.
Yet, if you asked me too choose, I would choose the San Rafael bowl over the high-end Hong Kong bowl in a heartbeat. There is just something magical about the almost over-spiced, oil broth, the hand fulls of bean sprouts, and the cheap cuts of beef tendon. Even though some of this may be due to my nostalgia, I still think that high end and expensive ingredients, even with great cooking, doesn’t necessarily make the best possible dish.
Tonkatsu Ginza Bairin, Hong Kong IFC
This isn’t just the best Tonkatsu I’ve ever had, this is the best cut of pork I have ever had. Juicy, succulent, and fried with Japanese magic, making it crispy yet not oil drenched. The plum sauce, which is usually sweet, has a strong Umami flavor this time, overloading the taste buds with savory goodness. All this served with rice, piping hot Miso Soup, a selection of vegetables pickled to perfection, and a simple shredded cabbage salad with a cream vinaigrette.
This goes to show that the Japanese can master more than just raw fish.