The Husband and I just came back from our short trip to Taipei, Taiwan. It was our first trip together without our little ones and my first time to leave the kids behind. Spell M-A-J-O-R S-E-P-A-R-A-T-I-O-N A-N-X-I-E-T-Y, but thankful for Lolos and Lolas and our efficient household staff, who are all too willing to watch over the kids and just as excited for us that we are finally, finally able to spend “just us” time.
We were not able to see much of Taipei and the famed southern part of Taiwan, but goodness, we tasted as much as Taipei could offer!
Our flight to Taiwan was delayed so, we checked in at The Howard Hotel Plaza Taipei past midnight. We wanted to walk to the Beef Noodle House near Howard Hotel, but the heavy downpour discouraged us. We opted to order in instead. The Howard Beef Noodle Soup was a winner!
Taiwanese noodles is firmer and the beef chunks are portioned bigger than the usual beef brisket noodles that we are used to. The soup is really tasty, with a peculiar citrus-y aftertaste, but oh so yummy! The fried rice is so, so.
Breakfast was at Howard Hotel’s Rainbow Terrace The Atrium, where an Asian buffet is served. I particularly enjoyed their meat dumpling, which was covered with rice. Their multi-grain steamed bun was also really nice. It was refreshing to eat cuapao that was not white and had texture from the grains. Why don’t Chinese restaurants here serve those? Really good!
Lunch was at Le Louvre at Howard Hotel. My heart, the shrimp cake, steak and scallops were divine!
These chocolate-covered nuts were also top-notch.
For dinner, we had a 14-course meal. We were served traditional Taiwanese dishes at Howard Hotel’s Formosa, which were not outstanding as the other dishes we tried. They were too bland for my tastebuds, I suppose. I cannot recall any dish that I liked, but what stood out was a really weird (in a not so good way) clear soup that had noodles, pork, mushroom, and apples.
Their mochi, which was served for dessert, is another story! Warm, oh-so-soft, round mini rice cakes, dusted with delicate peanut powder. Ang sarap!
Breakfast the next day was at Howard Hotel’s Champs Elysees. Breakfast served was a hodgepdoge of international fare. I recall getting 3 servings of corn with ham and cream. It was yum! Sorry, no decent photos.
Lunch was at Wang Steak. We were unprepared for this heavenly indulgence, but no complaints! Just so you are forewarned, the post from hereon will make you book the soonest flight to Taiwan.
We were first served a melts-in-your-mouth multi-grain bun and perfectly butter-y croissant with butter and (goose?) liver – a preview to a wonderful lunch.
Notice the adjectives peppering my sentences! Haha!
Next up, was the the most delightful alcohol-free sparkling wine.
The salad was served shortly.
The Husband ordered the Romaine Lettuce and Salmon with Beef Gratin
while I opted to try the Sauteed Scallop and King Oyster Mushroom.
Oh. My. God! Both beyond good.
The soup followed. The Husband’s Red Shrimp Bisque and my Truffle Mushroom Bisque were gorgeously plated and the warm broth was served straight from a pot to the bowl. Fancy schmancy!
The salad and soup were champions. Naturally, we had high expectations on the main course. We were definitely not disappointed.
The Husband’s Pan-fried Scallops and Grilled Veal Chops was served with equal flair. The server sliced The Husband’s veal chops and then placed a foil at the end of the rib so, you can happily eat the rib and devour it sarap to the bone way.
My Wang Steak, on the other hand, was sliced in half, lengthwise and then cut into serving pieces. I actually saw the juices coming out of the perfectly cooked 2-inch steak.
The scallops, veal chops, and steak were flawless! The Wang Steak is a refreshing take on steaks. It had a distinctly Taiwanese flavor, very similar to the beef in their noodle soup. I wonder if it was marinated in tea?
The Husband’s Chocolate Fondant with Ice Cream
and my Creme Brulee with Apple Rose Tart
were the perfect ending to a satisfying, beautiful meal. Yes, I am now talking Gordon Ramsay, using “beautiful” to describe food.
Fly me back to Taiwan for another Wang Steak experience! And maybe for another plateful of peanut mochi!