Fear Not Food Lovers

When I talk to people about life in Taiwan I am often bombarded with questions about food.

“But…. what’s the food like over there?”

“What do you eat everyday?!” 

“Is it mainly just rice??”

It’s true that I eat a lot of rice and noodle based dishes, (which I am more than okay with because frankly they are delicious) but I have also found plenty of alternative meal options, that are healthy, scrumptious, and most importantly, diverse!

Taipei is a city with a population of 2.7 million people, so naturally there are restaurants of almost any cuisine one could possibly desire! I’m talking Spanish, Italian, Indian, Thai, Mediterranean, Vietnamese you name it, this city has it.

Recently I decided to try a German restaurant called Oma Ursel’s and it was one of the best meals I have had in a long time!

Oma Ursel’s German Restaurant and Bakery has operated in Taipei since 2004. It’s safe to say they definitely know what they’re doing when it comes to serving freshly cooked food.

oma-ursels

The exterior of the building has an old fairy-tale feel to it and the outdoor patio is extremely quaint and makes you feel as if you are visiting your grandmother’s home. Waitresses dressed in traditional German outfits add to the cultural experience.

Their menu is filled with authentic dishes, with lunch and dinner specials ranging from approximately $300-600 NTD ($13-$25 CAD). Oma Ursel’s offers great value for the freshness, high quality, and accompaniments of their dishes see for yourself and check out their menu here!

When I visited I had fresh fish and spaetzle noodles for dinner; it was delectable.

img_7954

The restaurant has homemade vegetable and chicken soups, in addition to fresh salads for appetizers.

For myself, and my fellow dessert lovers out there, the real winner is their dessert selection.

With fresh pastries and pies made each day, your choice of dessert is included in most lunch/ dinner specials and they are all to die for. Don’t forget tea or coffee is also included!

Apple pie and caramel ice coffee. Is there a better way to end a meal? Maybe. But this way is pretty darn good. 

img_7956

Coming from an Italian background, most of my family and even many of my friends always have food on the brain. Some firmly believe that they could not survive over here because they believe the food is so “different.”

What they have yet to see is that there are SO many fantastic food options to choose from, even for the pickiest of eaters. So to help debunk this myth I’m going to start writing more about the meals I have and the new foods I indulge in.

Hopefully I’ll provide some knowledge about how delicious authentic Taiwanese cuisine can be while showcasing how diverse the restaurants of Taipei are!

Stay tuned for updates on traditional Taiwanese restaurants, and look out (be glad you are nowhere near my kitchen) for a personal attempt at making a few authentic recipes!

Until then, stay hungry friends!

Oma Ursel’s Restaurant and Bakery Taipei

Menu

Facebook Page

Review by The Taipei Times

 

 

 

A Golden Day in Jiufen

This past weekend I explored the former gold mining town of Jiufen! With one day to visit I decided to peruse its well known Gold Museum and Old Street.

Located approximately 70 minutes from Taipei, this quaint town and its Japanese influence are definitely worth seeing during your stay in Taipei.

You can take a taxi or uber (YES they have uber in Taiwan and it is quite cheap!!) However, beware of additional charges to your Credit Card or PayPal account.

If you’re on a budget, bus or train is the way to go!

I met my friends Sandra and Helen at the MRT exit 1 of the Zhongxiao FuXing station and we got a little lost trying to find where to catch the Keelung Transit #1062 bus that goes to Jiufen…

Cue super detailed bus stop finding instructions:

Walk out of exit 1 and take a sharp right out of the exit stairs, (walk in the opposite direction you came out of) towards FuXing S. Road, Section 1.

Fashionistas, you will notice an ESPIRT on the corner if you look to your left.

Take the cross walk past FuXing S. Road, then continue past another side street and a Watson’s (both to your left). Walk beyond MRT Exit 4 for Zhongxiao FuXing station and keep on trekking until you see an area with multiple bus stops. Remember: fellow travellers will be a sign that you’re in the right place.

FYI: DaAn Road, Section 1 and Zhongxiao East Road is the closest intersection visible from the stop.

It will cost you $90 NTD to get to Jiufen or if you have an Easy card (another thing I highly advise getting as it provides use to Taipei’s subways, buses, and bike systems) it charges $45 each way.

  • Travel tip 1: If you’re staying awhile and will have a cell phone plan with data, download the app “Bus Tracker”for Taipei. It will save you so much stress and time.
  • Travel tip 2: Once the 1062 bus comes (approx every 10 minutes during the day time) try to snag a seat on the left side of the bus, you’ll be able to catch some amazing views (and even pictures with a good enough camera) on the way up to Jiufen!
  • Travel tip 3: You’re going to want to take pictures ALL day so buy or bring a portable charger for your phone, your future self will thank your current self for this.

When I arrived at the museum I can say it honestly wasn’t what I was expecting. My newfound friends and I quickly realized that it was not your typical museum set up but for us, this was extremely refreshing! We paid $80 NTD (or $3.25 Canadian) and off we went!

The exhibits had interactive components and my favourite had a large piece of gold you could touch in addition to a lot of fascinating information about the city and its mines during World War Two.

My favourite aspect of the day was wondering around the grounds and looking at all of the natural beauty this bird’s eye perspective provided.

After a nice lunch at a cute cafe on the museum grounds we headed back to the bus stop where we waited for a bus ($15 NTD) to take us to the heart of Jiufen to stroll through the Old Street.

Travel tip 4: If you don’t enjoy crowds or have serious claustrophobia it will be best to visit this street in the early afternoon on a week day, or avoid it all together. The street is busiest on weekends at night.IMG_6672

Personally, I loved Jiufen’s Old Street. Visit and you will find vendor after vendor selling different types of tea, meats, treats, and so much more! The shops ranged from selling post cards to fine jewellery; it was quite impossible for your eyes to ever be bored.

After browsing the streets we stumbled upon a delicious restaurant where we enjoyed pork dumplings, beef with vegetables and fresh shrimp fried rice (not pictured because we were so hungry there was no time). This had to be my favourite meal I have had in Taiwan so far!

To find it, take the Old Street road and when you come to a point where you can go up or down, walk down and it will eventually be on your left, shortly before the end of the stairs!

Travel tip 5: On a weekend it is difficult to get back to Taipei by bus due to the amount of tourists. SO If you don’t want to wait amongst the restless crowds hop on a bus to Keelung and take the train back to Taipei. Keelung also has it’s amazing Miaokou Night Market, a great way to end your day!

It’s safe to say, with its breathtaking views, interesting shops, and delicious food Jiufen stole a piece of my heart this past weekend.

Where did this information come from? See for yourself! 

Taiwan bus route (1062)

http://www.taiwanbus.tw/information.aspx?Lang=En&Line=4479

MRT Taipei

http://english.metro.taipei/

Jiufen Gold Museum

https://www.travelking.com.tw/eng/tourguide/taipei/museum-of-gold-jiufen.html

http://eng.taiwan.net.tw/m1.aspx?sNo=0002091&id=4135

City Of Sadness Restaurant

http://tour.ntpc.gov.tw/page.aspx?wtp=3&wnd=338&id=E3_382000000A_008629

http://ilovedino.blogspot.tw/2009/01/lets-go-to-jiufen.html

Movie:A City of Sadness

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/A_City_of_Sadness

Miaokou Night Market

https://www.travelking.com.tw/eng/tourguide/taipei/keelung-miaokou-night-market.html