Kanpai Cafe

February 27, 2012 § Leave a comment

Kanpai Cafe
Taiwanese Grill Restaurant

3466 Holcomb Bridge Rd.
Norcross, GA 30092

(770) 840-8999
http://www.kanpaicafe.com/

Writing about my experience in Taiwan and staring at many pictures of food has left me with the desire to seek out some authentic Taiwanese food in the Atlanta area.  It’s certainly not a style I’ve seen or noticed much in my experiences eating out, but it does exist.  Unfortunately, it often exists mixed in with other more approachable styles to cater to a wider audience.  A large part of what made the food in Taiwan and Japan so awesome was that many places only really focused on a handful of related items.  Their dedication and expertise established over time reflected in the quality of the product.  I was willing to set aside my general bias against large, scattered menus to see what I could find.

After a positive experience making my own Taiwanese beef noodle soup (niú ròu miàn/牛肉面) at home, I figured it would still be nice to try to find something nearby for those days when I don’t feel like simmering down broth and bones all day.

 

Click here to read more about Kanpai’s Taiwanese food in Atlanta

Wulai: Waterfalls, Hot Springs, and Deep Fried Bees

February 15, 2012 § Leave a comment

One of the side ventures I was most excited about involved soaking in a hot spring as it was something I had never experienced before.  Not to mention after being held in cramped quarters on the flight over, walking around most of the time, and then having my muscles relentlessly worked through during one of the most intense 2 hour Thai massages that I’ll probably ever have, a desirable steaming soak to relax and ease tension was indeed in order.

There are a large variety of places to soak in hot springs in Taiwan and they even vary greatly in type from sulfuric volcanic springs to mud springs to sodium bicarbonate springs.  The type in Wulai (烏來區) that we visited are sodium bicarbonate which makes them one of the more odorless varieties.  The town of Wulai is also a great place to experience a bit of the local Taiwanese aboriginal or Atayal (泰雅) culture which is why we chose it as our destination.  While we went at the end of November, it is to be noted that in the spring, the area is alight with bright pink sakura blossoms as well which I’m sure adds to the beauty tenfold.

Traveling to Wulai from Taipei was fairly easy but it did take a bit of time to get into the town.  You can take the MRT green line all the way south to Xindian Station, and from there you can take a bus to Wulai.

This is the last you’ll see of the big city before departing the bus to Wulai.

Click here to read more about the food and sights of Wulai

Taipei Side Trip to Tamsui & Hunan Dinner

February 1, 2012 § 4 Comments

We took a ride on the MRT north on the red line to check out Tamsui (淡水) towards the end of the day.  Most of this MRT ride is above ground, so this long route to the northernmost point  gives you a great scenic overview of Taipei.  We found ourselves walking along a very long promenade along the water that was lined with food and carnival games and quickly becoming packed with people as the late afternoon gave way to evening since most people.  This place seems to be one of may refuges for those out looking for some fun at the end of their Monday.  Still full from all the eating we’d already done and knowing we only had another large dinner waiting for us, we could do little more than stare helplessly at the food available. There were tiny quail eggs grilled in little molds and skewered for easy transport, salted/pickled plums lacquered red with sugar like candy apples, beautifully grilled squids pressed flat on skewers, little bowls of fish balls swimming in broth, and promises of very large soft serve ice cream cones towering a foot tall in a variety of mystery pastel flavors.

Also, there were plenty of carnival games where you could win giant inflatable bottles and cans of beer along with other silly inflatables or fluffy animals.  There were plenty of machines packed down with piles of cute toys all in this box for you to try to win as well.

Click here for more of Tamusi & some delicious Hunan food

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