Summer 2015: Taipei!

I visited Taipei again this July, with my friends – it’s gonna be a long post ahead about my experiences there 🙂 I’ll post my beauty haul (really now, mostly masks) sometime soon!


Our day trip out to Yehliu, Jiufen, and Shifen. Absolutely beautiful seas – they were a joy and certainly provided some respite from the scorching sun!


Once again, we visited Addiction Aquatic on our first day – amazing, as always. You can read my previous review of the 立吞 restaurant here. We actually also visited the grill restaurant!


The freshest oysters, ever. Creamy, melt-in-your-mouth goodness. I’d definitely recommend that you try some grilled fish at Addiction – we had some grilled 紅喉魚 inside, and had some tuna jaw outside. The flesh is so tender and sweet as it’s grilled with shio, enhancing the sweetness of the fish :’)


Ah yes, back to Shifen here – this teahouse, known as 阿妹茶樓, is supposedly the teahouse that looks like Yubaba’s teahouse from Spirited away!


This is called 青蛙撞奶, basically – the classic bubble tea! While I typically don’t eat black pearls in Singapore because my mum thinks that it’ll give me cancer, these were truly delicious – although I couldn’t finish them all :p



This is Ximen, where our apartment was. We stayed at an Airbnb apartment about 5 minutes away from the MRT station from Emei street, and it was soooo convenient. We could easily head back to the apartment at around 11-12.30am and it’d be totally cool and mostly safe 🙂 Lots of people around the area, the photo above was taken at about 9pm! I’d definitely recommend you visit Ximen for shopping – all the Korean beauty shops are there (TFS, Innisfree, Etude, Skinfood, Tonymoly, etcetc) and there are quite a number of general beauty stores (Mirada, 86 Shop, Watsons, Cosmed, Sasa) that you can visit!


We also visited the Hello Kitty Cafe :> While it is a cute experience and an opportunity to take photos with so many Hello Kitty things, the food… isn’t the best. Cute though!


Hide from Dad was amazing as always as well! I chose to order the same dish, while my friends ordered the Premium Sashimi Don, Basic Sashimi Don, and Halibut Don. We also shared a prawn-head miso soup which was greeaaaaaat 🙂 Sweetness galore – the prawn heads were soooo sweet! My previous review here.


One of the things I’ve bought without fail every year from Taipei are these Made in Taiwan shoes – you can find them for about 190-199NT throughout the night markets! So comfy, and they never gave me any blisters 🙂

That’s all for now! Beauty post coming up soon 🙂


The Sushi Bar: New Outlet at Ngee Ann City

If you haven’t tried The Sushi Bar, you’ve totally missed out on some pretty damn good Japanese Food. (also you must be a suaku because this has been super popular over the past couple of years)

No really – after travelling to Japan almost yearly from 2006-2010, I must admit that I got a little picky with my Japanese food. In Singapore, no sashimi was just as fresh, and just as creamy as the ones I’d tried in Tsukiji fish market, and I had to settle for NTUC sashimi!

But a few years ago, my parents discovered this gem in Far East Plaza, nested on the third floor of the hidden mall that marks the start of Orchard Road. (unless you headed there every week for lunch after school, *ahem*).

Pardon the poor photos, these are pretty old phone photos – thank goodness my dad took pictures during our first visit anyway! Their very first unit in FEP was really small, and all my mum remembers was that the green tea tasted funny :p They did move to a larger location on the 4th floor of Far East Plaza (#04-28) in 2013 (if I’m not wrong!).

I can’t count the number of times I’ve eaten at The Sushi Bar now – it’s truly the only place in Singapore that I’d head to if I want some fresh and reasonably-priced sashimi/sushi. Too bad that you’ve got to queue/make reservations in advance – if you’re craving for some sashimi on Saturday noon, you’re out of luck! I’ve had to queue for one full hour before we were let into the restaurant before – bearing in mind that a queue snaking around the corridors of FEP typically already forms up to half an hour before the restaurant is open at 12.30pm.

I think I’ve brought practically all my groups of friends and family here to eat heh – and most of us agree that this is (arguably) the best Aburi Salmon Roll you can get in Singapore 🙂 In case you’re not sure what aburi isaburi is flamed and seared – the top of the fish is lightly seared with a blowtorch, enhancing the flavourful fish oil. For me, this light aburi completely changes the way the sashimi tastes – it’s this rich, umami flavour that leaves a lightly charred (but pleasant) aftertaste. It may however be a little jelak for some, so you might not be able to down that 10th slice of sashimi you thought you could finish.

Over Chinese New Year, my family brought my cousins’ family (who live in Shanghai) to eat there, and the only gripe my cousin had was that there was too much 料 and too little rice (he was absolutely dying by the time he got to the last 8 slices). C’mon – is that even an issue?!?! Their slices are thick and creamy, and served at the perfect temperature – I really hate it when sashimi is served freezing cold, or warm and droopy at room temp! (I did however find that their tuna was slightly dull; in general, I find tuna one of the most tasteless kinds of fish you’ll find in Singapore, so it wasn’t that big of a surprise/deal to me.)

Yesterday, we visited their new outlet on the 5th floor of Ngee Ann City (#05-34/35). It’s nestled in a corner, along the stretch of restaurants (near Best Denki!). This outlet is a ton more spacious than the FEP one, and the chairs/booths are a ton more comfortable than the stools at FEP to be honest! I was itching to visit the new branch as I’d heard that there were new dishes available – my favourite aburi don :’) :’) and a wagyu don. They were golden, by the way – I’d definitely recommend that you try them out.

Lynette, one of the 老板s, was truly warm and pleasant and shared with my dad (who’s super, super talkative) the Sushi Bar’s beginnings. My mum really likes their selling ethic – “This is the way you do business! You sell delicious food at reasonable prices, and people will keep coming on their own. If you keep overpricing and cutting the quality of your food (like that restaurant next door *ahem*), you’ll close down in no time”. I certainly hope that this place sticks around for good – if you’re ever in Singapore and craving for some Japanese food, you should definitely head down to The Sushi Bar!

上引水產 | Addiction Aquatic Development

Warning: do not scroll if you’re starving for sashimi!!!!!

This is another one of those 80% images, 20% text mini-reviews 🙂

When I was in Taipei in December, I visited Addiction Aquatic Development – a fish market! As you already know, I looooove sashimi/japanese food – especially if it’s fresh! My family also visited this place the year before, and we’ve been craving this place so bad. The food here and the atmosphere just blows me away!

Also, oh man! Thought I should let you guys know – I’ve recently taken on an internship, and I’ve been completely consumed by it :< Posts for these three months, until late June, will be quite a bit less frequent. I’ll still try to post at least once every two weeks!

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This place is a new addition (ha ha addiction) to Taipei’s fish market district, and it’s very modern! Black/white and wood all around. It’s bustling with people all the time! :O They are there with gooooood reason.

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Outside the main building, there’s a barbeque restaurant, and a small supermarket.

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And into the restaurant we go! The chefs prepare your dishes right in front of you, so if you’re up for it / you can’t speak the language, you can just point at the fish – and the chefs will prepare it for you!

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While you wait for your dish to be prepared, you can gaze longingly at all that fish…..

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Above/behind the chefs, there are specials of the day available to order. This fish is not on their regular menu, and tends to be ‘fresher’.

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But yes, this is what the restaurant looks like. You may have noticed that everyone is standing – there are no seats available in this restaurant! All patrons stand and eat (is this a tactic to get the customers to leave more quickly?). When I visited this place in 2013, they gave 7 of us counter seats in 1 row… (my kid cousins had tiny step stools to prop themselves up!)

(These are some dishes that the chefs were preparing, but not dishes we ordered. My dad was too excited for us to start eating, so he went around drooling at other people’s orders instead)

Marinated Tuna Salad / Part of 980NT or SGD$43 set

This salad came as part of the set we ordered, and it was divine. I love the combination of sashimi slices and fresh salad leaves – and this was seasoned perfectly. A light yuzu-soy sauce glaze, and the marinated tuna – an amazing starter.

2014-12-23 11.00.14Canadian Uni/Sea Urchin and Grated Yam / 150NT or SGD$6.50

One of the things that we rarely get to eat in Singapore is Uni / Sea Urchin. One tray costs like $80 in Singapore – and this was definitely a treat! You mix the strong-flavoured uni with the neutral grated yam or shān yào (山药), and it balances out to this flavour you probably can’t describe – umami.

Monkfish Liver / Part of 980NT or SGD$43 set

o m g! The first time I tried paté as a kid, I fell in love. It was this creamy, flavourful spread that just melted in my mouth… and Monkfish Liver is almost the same. Garnished with chopped spring onions and a light drizzle of soy sauce, this needs no spreading or what – take a bite, and it melts in your mouth. This was most definitely one of my top picks for the meal!

2014-12-23 11.11.42Assorted Sashimi / 330NT or SGD$14.50

While extremely fresh and extremely delicious, I found that this assorted sashimi (above and below) was chilled a bit too much for my liking. The sashimi was truly creamy (top pick: Salmon Belly! o my god), and my goodness the amaebi was…. to die for.

2014-12-23 11.11.46Ootoro (Fatty Tuna) and Scallop / 170NT or SGD$7.50 + 360NT (for 3) or SGD$15.80

I actually felt that the Ootoro was a huge letdown. I was expecting something with the consistency of fatty pork belly, but instead it was much closer to the bland, fibrous texture of normal tuna flesh. I was really looking forward to this 😦 (but thank goodness the other dishes made up for it!)

2014-12-23 11.12.40Assorted Sushi / Part of 980NT or SGD$43 set

More or less the same fish that came with the sashimi! We probably wouldn’t have ordered this, but it came with the set so.

2014-12-23 11.13.41Fish-bone Miso Soup / Part of 980NT or SGD$43 set

Another one of my top picks for this meal!!! What’s so special about this miso soup, you may wonder? Miso soup tastes all the same to me! BUT NO this soup is boiled with fish bones, and KING PRAWN HEADS!!!!!!! The sweetness of the prawns is in the base of the soup and it’s so, so sweet, flavourful, and hearty with the fish bits-and-ends in the soup. A MUST TRY!

2014-12-23 11.17.54Grilled Mackerel / Part of 980NT or SGD$43 set

I’m not a fan of grilled fish, but my parents loved this. The mackerel was crispy, and tender on the inside. Japanese grilled fish, if cooked perfectly, is uber flavourful and goes perfectly with a steaming hot bowl of gohan / rice.

2014-12-23 11.43.08Salmon Belly Sashimi  / 120NT (for 3) or SGD$5.30

To finish our meal, we ended off with another serving of salmon belly – mmmmmm! It’s like savoury dessert for us :> Our tummies were filled to the brim by the time we left the restaurant.

In total, we spent 2497NT / SGD$110 for our meal – that’s including sake!!

Other than this main restaurant in the building, there are takeaway dishes available for purchase (which we did buy for supper one night!), and other restaurants serving different dishes.

Across the road, there’s also a fruits/veggies market selling amazingly fresh produce! We bought some fruits back to eat as well 🙂

….And we missed it so much we had it for supper again 2 nights later… on Christmas night 🙂 My parents taxi-ed there (THE ROADS WERE SO JAMMED) and dabao-ed (takeaway-ed, in Singlish) back food for us to eat.

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Somehow I felt like this was more fantabulous than eating at the restaurant itself – oh my god!!! We got to handpick what we wanted, and eat it in the comfort of our hotel room. I just want you to note – the uni is double-layered. There are two pieces of uni per. slot. THIS WOULD COST LIKE $80 FOR HALF THE TRAY IN SINGAPORE?!?!

What we picked:
1. Salmon + Salmon Belly Sashimi (214NT / SGD$9.40)
2. Uni / Sea Urchin (813NT / SGD$35.70)
3. Assorted Salmon Sushi Set (~250NT / ~SGD$11)
4. Seasoned Seaweed Rice(~50NT / ~SGD$2.50)

…Which comes up to around $1,300NT / SGD$60 TOPS. For 3 people!!!! Sushi Tei is like the basic average standard of Japanese food in Singapore, and I’m telling you when we spend $60 there we can’t get anything like this. (Also, on the other end of the spectrum, Chotto Matte. You spend a bomb (like $100 per person) and you don’t eat anywhere near this much nor at this quality.)

My family doesn’t care for roast chicken, baked potatoes, and pumpkin soup for Christmas dinner – we much prefer having our fill of sashimi 😀

Quality: 4half (cmon, it’s fresh from the fish market)
Environment: ★★★★☆ (You have to stand. There are no seats available + most are counter tables)
Price: ★★★★★ (You really can’t find sashimi of this standard in Singapore, and at this price point.)
Overall: 4half

Addiction Aquatic Development can be found at:

台北市民族東路410巷2弄18號 / No.18, Aly. 2, Ln. 410, Minzu E. Rd., Zhongshan Dist., Taipei City.
Hours of Operation: 06:00 to 24:00
TEL. 886-2-2508-1268 FAX. 886-2-2508-0268

Taipei’s 瞞著爹 (‘Hide From Father’ (?))

One of the main reasons we decided to travel to Taipei in December, was of course, the amazing Japanese food! Taiwan is fairly influenced by Japan considering its proximity, so there’s quite a lot of high-quality Japanese food available 🙂

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Hidden in a corner of Songshan District, near Breeze Centre is 瞞著爹/ Mán Zhe Diē / ‘Hide From Father”s third branch. To be honest, it doesn’t look special at all…. But sashimi awaits inside!!

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“嘜歹勢,甲己来”, i.e. don’t be shy, go ahead! There’s a large pot of ‘soup’/tea outside for waiting patrons to drink!

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2014-12-24 13.07.53The menu

2014-12-24 12.22.51The chefs in the kitchen

2014-12-24 12.18.58The first floor; we were seated on the second floor

2014-12-24 12.20.34Sake dad ordered. It was… strong.

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Mentaiko 過貓/Wild Veggie Salad (??)

Works fine as an appetizer, but not a must-try. Was well-seasoned, with generous chunks of mentaiko.

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King Crab Miso Soup, 60NT (SGD$2.60)

While we loved the Shrimp Head Miso Soup our previous visit, we decided to try the crab-based soup this time. It was however, fairly disappointing, and tasted like any other miso soup.

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荒海蝦散寿司 (Mixed Sashimi-Shrimp Chirashi Don), 350NT (SGD$15.00)

Sashimi Lump, Rouge Shrimp, Halibut Fin Meat, Minced Tuna, Sea Urchin, Salmon Roe, Conger Eel, Squid

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海膽月見軟絲丼 (Mixed Sea Urchin Chirashi Don), 520NT (SGD$22.30)

Sea Urchin, Squid, Minced Tuna, Egg Yolk, Salmon Roe

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特选综合海鲜丼 (Premium Mixed Chirashi Don), 520NT (SGD$22.30)

Salmon, Conger Eel, Scallops, Rouge Shrimp, Halibut Shrimp Meat, Minced Tuna, Squid, Sea Urchin, Salmon Roe

The don that I ordered (the first one) happened to come with a mini-grill and seaweed to roll sushi in! Grill the seaweed over the fire until it’s crispy, and wrap the rice and sashimi inside. The seaweed is free flow – if you run out, simply ask for more 🙂

There’s really not much for me to review the individual dishes here – each dish is spectacular in its own way, and it’s simply a matter of what fish you prefer. Definitely a must-try if you love Japanese food, and happen to be in Taipei.

Quality: 4half
Environment: ★★★★☆ (The Taylor Swift music playing on repeat wasn’t very fitting for the Japanese atmosphere; you’re also forced to share tables, which may not be comfortable)
Price: ★★★★★ (You really can’t find sashimi at the quality in Singapore, especially at this price.)
Overall: 4half

瞞著爹三店  台北市 八德路二段 346巷 9弄 17號 1楼
Third branch, No. 17, Alley 9, Lane 346, Section 2, Bade Road, Songshan District, Taipei City, Taiwan