The day after Moon Festival, my husband and I went to Taipei to meet a friend and go to a Korean restaurant. I had never really officially had Korean food, other than a bit of kimchi on occasion, so this was a real treat. Especially interesting was the fact that there are many Korean foods that are not spicy. This was a great discovery, as I currently have to avoid spicy foods. Luckily, with our expert guide, it was quite easy to have a wonderful tasty meal with no heat.
Our friend, Jean, took over the ordering. For the three of us, she ordered four dishes (pictured below). She was very efficient about it, giving us a great variety of dishes to try.
Yukgaejang 육개장 Spicy beef soup. OK, obviously this one is spicy, but it is a favorite of our friend, so she gave Dave some of it to try as well. I skipped this dish, but my fellow diners certainly enjoyed it..
Bibimbap (비빔밥, “mixed rice”). This was definitely my favorite. It is served in a stone bowl and when it is served, you leave it undisturbed for about five minutes so that the rice can continue to cook, making it quite crispy and flavorful. Then you take your chopsticks and mix all the ingredients (vegetables, egg, rice, and small pieces of meat) together for a great blending of taste and texture. This was my favorite!
Pajeon (파전): pancake made mostly with eggs, flour, green onion, and seafood. Jean kept encouraging us to eat this one while it was hot! She was right. It was good when we ate the last slice at the end of the meal. But that first slice while it was hot was quite delicious.
After lunch, we wandered through Taipei City to Molly’s used books, where they had quite a collection of books in English. Although I only bought a book related to English teaching, it is a place I would certainly return. Our final stop before heading back for the MRT and the bus home was a wonderful coffee shop. As all my friends know, no trip is complete without a coffee stop. And even though we had coffee, Jean insisted we stop and get some of the best bubble tea in Taipei to take home with us for later. I’m so glad she did! It was fabulous!
The only downside of our outing was that the rain from Typhoon Usagi really put a damper on things (if you’ll excuse the pun). Sometimes, it would just be barely drizzling; the next minute we’d be in a major downpour. The worse moment was when our bus was arriving. I couldn’t believe how hard it was raining! But we made the bus back to Taoyuan. When we got off the bus, we opted for a taxi to take us back to the apartment. Probably a good idea, because even with a drop off at our apartment complex, we got another drenching.
It was a fun day, but we will save our trips for days when they are not typhoons moving through the area. But the bookstore, the Korean food, and the possibility of more coffee shops will certainly bring us back on a sunnier day.