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Ming Fu Restaurant 明福台菜海鮮 @ Taipei

1 Michelin star and possibly one of the hardest to book to date. No email addresses only phonecalls and the Hubba made countless calls to the line that never gets picked up. You can only call 2 months ahead of time so when the call was finally picked up and we secured a date, it was jubilation. 

We were definitely looking forward to this meal.

Only if...I did not screw my dates up. Panic is standing in the cramped restaurant searching for your reservation and they only have 2 seatings and 6 tables...all on a Saturday night. What are the odds of having an available table on a rainy Saturday evening? Zilch. Turns out, I forgot the date, was supposed to be 1 day later and I already made reservations at another restaurant and paid my deposit. Clearly in a fix but thankfully there was an available table over lunch 2 days later - thank goodness! 

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Appetisers of marinated black fungus and clams in vinegar were charged at NT$ 80 each and both so good! 

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Tender black fungus with copious amounts of garlic and those clams were the best I have eaten. So small yet juicy and the surprise sour finish makes it absolutely appetizing. 


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一品佛跳牆 NT$3600

We pre ordered a number of dishes and the Buddha Jump Over The Wall was one of them. The highlight of this mini cauldron of goodies is the chicken testicles, abalone and shark's fin whilst the other cheaper ingredients like bamboo shoot and chestnuts fill it up considerably. 

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Very nourishing and comforting and I even tried the testicles - chewier than tofu otherwise it really just tastes like a stiffer version of beancurd. 

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Glutinous Rice Chicken 糯米雞

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Another pre order of a whole chicken stuffed with steamed glutinous rice and served with red dates and chicken broth. 

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Yet another soup here except this was thicker in consistency and was collagen laden. The threenager enjoyed this tremendously, I love how the meat still had some bite to it, as opposed to being so tender it barely has a bite. 


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Steamed Glutinous Rice with Crab 紅蟳米糕 (seasonal price) 


More glutinous rice came our way with crabs. This was less stellar though, the rice and crabs somehow did not work its magic being cooked together. 

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Fried Intestines

I'm not quite an offal fan and ordering this was more of because its a Taiwanese specialty and I was not disappointed. Fried till crisp without any of the offensive smells, this dish was really competent and truly representative of taiwanese street food. 

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Ngoh Hiang (NT$ 240)

This goes by price per piece and these prawn rolls were rather ordinary. 


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Garlic Soy Oysters (NT$ 300)

The taiwanese do their oysters very differently, comes with fried egg omelette and some starch and the key is in the ratio of egg, starch and oysters. These juicy bulbs were on point - the fine line between cooked perfectly and undercooked.

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Stir Fried Seasonal Vegetables (NT$ 300)

So good, we had two servings of these crunchy greens. 


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Fried Taro Balls (NT$210)

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These crispy delights store a red bean surprise within, yum! 

This is worth more than a visit and thank goodness we managed to pay this a visit this trip.


Ming Fu明福台菜海鮮
18-1, Lane 137, Section 2, Zhongshan North Road, Zhongshan, Taipei, 110
中山北路二段137巷18之1號
Tel: +886 2 2562 9287
Opening Hours: Lunch 12:00pm – 2:30pm, Dinner 6:00pm – 9:30pm (Mon – Sun)

SuperGreek @ Raffles City

~Invited Session~

SuperGreek is our island's first Greek casual food kiosk and with a limited menu of just eight items created around souvlaki.

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These bowls come straight off their grain bowl menu and promise nothing but satisfaction. Both were recommended flavours for first timers.

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Grilled Chicken Steak ($9.90)
Quinoa, Spinach, Mixed Salad, Roasted Pumpkin, Grilled Capsicum, Avocado Sauce, Hummus, Cucumber, Coriander, Sesame Seeds, Greek Vinaigrette, Chicken Breast

Avocado sauce and hummus made my bowl sing - creamy and tasty with the medley of ingredients. Not to mention, hearty chicken breast that makes this more than a gym bunny's food.

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Fresh Norwegian Salmon ($14.90)
Quinoa, Spinach, Lettuce, Roasted Sweet Potato, Roasted Pumpkin, Mashed Potato, Beetroot Sauce, Onions, Cherry Tomato, Greek Vinaigrette, Dill, Sunflower Seeds, Salmon

If chicken is not up your alley, there's also omega 3 packed salmon bowl. My grilled salmon is moist and well seasoned with dill (you either love or hate your dill!), goes well with quinoa in this healthier version to salmon don.




Hercules Smoothie ($6)
Greek Yogurt, Banana, Avocado, Soymilk, Honey

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Superfood Special ($7.90)
Greek Yogurt, Blueberries, Bananas, Chia Seeds, Walnuts 


Their greek yogurts are made from scratch and these smoothies and yogurt bowls are a must try! They taste very different from storebought versions - for one, the high sugar levels are out of the window and I get a very satisfying greek yogurt.

SuperGreek
Raffles City Basement

CNY 2020: Crystal Jade

~Invited Session~

Crystal Jade has plenty to offer this Year of the Rat and all the more attractive because they have so many dining concepts and there is something for everyone. I was in for a treat with their concepts showcased in a meal.

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Prosperity Golden Lobster Yusheng ($168 for large, $98 for small)
Available at all outlets, dine in and takeaway


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Lobster and ikura joins the other ingredients like pickled cherry tomatoes, lily bulbs and red dates for a tossing good time. I loved the crunch of the various ingredients and the team has ventured beyond julienned carrots, cucumbers and radishes.

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I love how thoughtful the team is, with every purchase of their loheis get you a placemat to contain the mess.

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Double boiled abalone with conpoy, sea cucumber and fish maw soup served in a teapot ($24.80 per person)
Crystal Jade Jiang Nan

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Word has it Chef had these tiny tea pots customised and the main reason for using a clay teapot to contain the soup goes beyond aesthetics, mainly to keep the temperature of the soup constant and every slurp is warm. Nourishing and comforting broth, dig deep to unearth baby abalone, fish maw, sea cucumber and conpoy!

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Hakka yam abacus seeds with Boston Lobster ($15 per 100g)
Crystal Jade Palace

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算盘子 gone luxurious with Boston Lobster and really slurpworthy yam abacus seeds. Chewy like mochi with a well greased finishing, tasty morsels of a Hakka dish done right. Boston lobster too was appetizing, this is worth ordering! 

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Braised cod fish sphere in golden thick soup with Iberico Ham ($28)
Crystal Jade Pavilion

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狮子头 was probably the influence for this large meatball in pumpkin soup, topped with an iberico ham chip. This handmade cod and chestnut ball disintegrates with a slight prod, I prefer mine with more bite. 

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Crispy herbal 'dang gui' duck ($38 for half, $68 for whole)
Crystal Jade Pavilion

Their herbal is one of the better ones around, love the crisp skin and succulent meat perfumed with herbs.

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Braised whole 10-head abalone with homemade black moss 'gold' bar beancurd ($28.80)
Crystal Jade Hong Kong Kitchen

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Hitting all notes of auspicious in this dish, the homemade beancurd bars do resemble gold bars to some extent with its crispy golden brown exterior. Be sure to hawk the braised 10 head abalone that is placed atop, bite into a chewy burst of flavours. All that braising rendered this so tender and tasty.

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Classic ClaypotRice with Duck, Cured Meat and Chinese Preserved Sausage ($118 for 4-6 pax, $188 for 7-10 pax)
Crystal Jade Dining IN



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I've had many claypot rice dishes and this is the first time I've had it two ways. Doused in a special shallot oil and lard bits as well as superior soup stock for the second course.

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Both were equally comforting and gets really filling with the amount of rice and soup consumed.

CNY 2020: Cherry Garden @ Mandarin Oriental

~Invited Session~

Back at Cherry Garden to check out their CNY menu, they're known to luxe up and size up dishes just for this festive season. We began the meal on a different note this year - mocktails!

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Mocktails courtesy of MO Bar, this pairing ain't that bad! Refreshing and sweet, just what I need instead of chinese tea.

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Luxurious Pen Cai
Whole head abalone, lobster, scallop, king prawn, sea cucumber, dried oyster roll, conpoy, dace fillet, black moss, chinese mushroom, tientsin cabbage, yam roasted pork belly, roasted duck, chicken and wolfberries

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Every year Cherry Garden wows with the sheer size of their pen cai course and this year is no different. The basins are usually large enough to feed 6 or even 10 comfortably. One gets a whole balanced meal and more, I got lost in the whole universe of sea creatures and actually relished the broccoli and cabbage towards the end, sometimes the most humble ingredients are the most comforting. Great with rice, and may I caution against over ordering if pen cai is on your agenda.

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Salmon Yusheng
Alaskan crabmeat and black truffle

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Truffle makes this yusheng tick, the earthy fragrance that greets with each toss made for good luck. Smoked salmon and crabmeat actually works - instead of the usual toppings.

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Stir Fried Green Vegetables
Mushrooms and black garlic

Five Grain Fried Rice with Sakura Dried Shrimp
Cantonese pork sausage and vegetables

Both dishes riding on the wave of auspicious had plenty of good luck associated with the choice of ingredients. They can be complemented with Cherry Garden's signature XO sauce.

Set menus start at $198++ for 2.


CNY 2020: Paradise Teochew @ Vivocity

~Invited Session~


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CNY is just round the corner and as we bid farewell to the Year of the Pig, it's the time of the year to book those tables early or reserve the takeaway sets and avoid disappointment.


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Prosperity Abalone Yu Sheng (Dine-in and takeaway: $46.80/8pax ; Dine-in only: $66.80/12pax)

Paradise Teochew's yusheng prices are really competitive and for really decent yusheng, I'd say have a toss!

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Auspicious Black Truffle Kampong Chicken

Doubling up as a soup course, this is perfumed with black truffles and comes with a decent portion of tender chicken.

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Grandeur Treasure Pot ($258/5pax; $398/10pax for dine-in and takeaway)

Grandeur would suit this pencai's name, we start with oysters, scallops and even abalones before the other layers of ingredients surface. I found this a tad too salty when eaten on its own, pairing with rice would be the next best alternative.

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Fortune Lotus Leaf Glutinous Rice

Have your lotus leaf rice and eat it, Paradise Group's version had mushrooms and preserved sausages. Absolutely like a humongous bak zhang!


Paradise Teochew Exclusive Dishes

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Steamed Abalone Siew Mai -$12.80/4pcs

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Steamed Prawn Dumpling with Mushroom - $12.80/4pcs

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Crispy Radish Pastry with Ham and Diced Celery Bits $9.80/3pcs

Dimsum is available all day starting 13 January to 9 February 2020. I enjoyed all three and liked the radish pastry best.

(Dim sum available 13 Jan- 9 Feb 2020)

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Braised Eight Treasures Duck ($108; only pre-orders)

Fall off the bone duck that reminded me of a Fatt Choy dish with the black moss and mushrooms also used.

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Teochew-style Yu Sheng ($68/5pax; $138/10pax) 
(Purchase for dine-in or takeaway 1 Jan - 9 Feb 2020)\

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Teochew style yu sheng would be what I expected as a chinese salad and this was surprisingly tasty. Healthier than the usual yushengs with more fruit than preserved condiments, paired with candied cashews, this was a joy to eat except the "fish cakes" that had an interesting texture.