Category Archives: 5 hearts

mexican: eddy’s cantina (艾迪墨西哥餐廳)

date March 5, 2010

contact No. 151-1, Zhong Shan Road, Danshui, Taipei/台北縣淡水鎮中山路151-1號/02.2628.2638

hours CLOSED ON TUESDAYS/ Weekdays 11:30-14:30, 16:30-22:00/ Saturday & Sunday 11:30-22:00

price 150NT-300NT (excluding drinks)

rating ♥♥♥♥♥ (5 out of 5 hearts)

website http://www.eddyscantina.com

nearest MRT Danshui MRT (淡水捷運站)

Read my updated review for Eddy’s Cantina.

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UPDATE

The Danshui location of Eddie’s Cantina is closed, but don’t fret, they have a second location in Tianmu!

1. No.1, Alley 3, Lane 450, Sec. 6, Zhongshan N. Rd., Shilin Dist., Taipei City/台北市士林區中山北路六段450巷3弄1號/02.2873.7612

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For most my life I hated Mexican food, but within the last year, I found a love for it (of course right before I moved to Taiwan). I had heard of Eddy’s Cantina from Hungry Girl’s blog and have been wanting to try it since according to her it is the best Mexican in Taipei.

Eddy’s Cantina is located in Danshui (淡水) about a 10 minute walk from the Danshui MRT station.

inside of eddy’s cantina.

Walking into Eddy’s is like walking into any Mexican place in San Diego. Brightly colored walls, mariachi music in the background, and the smell of yummy food in the air. Eddy’s probably seats a max of 30 customers, and they do take reservations, so make them if you can, just to be on the safe side.

menu.

Eddy’s menu has lots of different options, even an entire section for vegetarians. They have appetizers and main courses, which for 85NT more you can add 3 sides and a soda. The menu is in English and Chinese with pictures to help those who like visual aids.

homemade salsas.

Right after ordering the waitress, who spoke English and was very nice, brought out dishes of homemade salsa: from left to right, homemade chipotle salsa, sour cream, and habanero salsa and on the top, pico de gallo. All of the salsas were delicious, I particularly loved the habanero salsa which was not tongue numbingly spicy, but spicy enough to be spicy. All the salsas were fresh and a perfect addition to all the dishes we got.

eddy’s nachos 250NT

We decided to order Eddy’s Nachos (250NT) under the appetizer section. The portion size is pretty big, definitely something to be shared. The nachos had two kinds of cheese, jalepenos, tomatoes, onions, and ground beef. I do wish the cheese was melted better, but other then that, the nachos were great. The meat was well seasoned, and the combination of all of the ingredients was great.

fish tacos 200NT

I miss $1 fish tacos from Rubio’s so I ordered fish tacos. For 200NT you get two fish tacos of a decent size. The tortillas, according to the menu, are made to order and tasty, although a little thick. Inside the taco was battered fish, cilantro, cabbage, onions, tomatoes, and some sauce. The fish was tender, and not oily which is always a big plus, and I could taste a hint of lime, although I wish there was fresh lime for me to squeeze. Without adding salsa the taco is a little dry, but I fixed that by adding a lot of tasty habanero salsa. Overall, pretty good, definitely satisfied my craving for fish tacos.

carnitas wet burrito 260NT

My boyfriend opted for a carnitas wet burrito (260NT). Upon first glance it probably could have been more saucy, but we did have other salsas to add to it. When he cut into it he was disappointed about how much rice was in it, so next time we know to ask for less rice, but was really happy with how amazing the carnitas were. Being from San Diego, California there is definitely not a shortage of amazing Mexican food, that being said, the carnitas at Eddy’s were better than some of the carnitas we’ve had back at home. Super tender and seasoned really well, the carnitas made up for the fact that there was a little too much rice in the burrito. Next time, we want to try the carnitas tacos.

Drink wise my boyfriend went with a beer, Belhaven’s Scottish Stout 500ml (220NT), on the recommendation of the waitress. It wasn’t bad, not great, but he liked it so that’s really all that matters. I opted for some horchata (80NT a glass or 300NT for a pitcher), which was really good, not too sweet, thick or watery.

daily specials at eddy’s.

We also noticed on the table that there was a list of daily specials. We weren’t interested in the Friday special which were fajitas, but the Saturday special 110NT Stella’s sounds appealing.

Basically, Eddy’s is probably the best Mexican food you’re going to get in Taipei and honestly, it’s better than some of the stuff you get back home. Service is great and it seemed like all the waitresses speak English. Sure it might be more expensive, but at least there is some Mexican food in Taipei that can help those who are homesick for it. I know I’ll be back!

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american: toasteria cafe.

date 12. 23.2009

contact No. 1, Lane 72, YunHe Street, Daan District, Taipei/02.2365.3051/台北市大安區雲和街72巷1號

hours Monday-Thursday 10am-11pm; Friday-Saturday 10am-2am; Sunday 11am-9pm

happy hour Monday-Friday 3pm-7pm

price 100-200NT

rating ♥♥♥♥♥ (5 out of 5 hearts)

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UPDATE

While walking around Shida Night Market I noticed that the Shida location of Toasteria closed on June 04, 2012! Not to worry, they still have two other locations in Taipei.

1. No.2, Lane 248, Sec. 4, Zhongxiao E. Rd., Taipei/台北市忠孝東路4段248巷2號/02.2731.8004
2. No.3, Lane 169, Sec. 1, Dunhua S. Rd., Taipei/台北市敦化南路1段169號3號/02.2752.0033

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A good friend of mine found Toasteria Cafe and decided with our love of salads and paninis we had to try it. Toasteria is located inside of Shida Night Market (師大夜市) off of YunHe Street (雲和街). The cafe itself is really cute and open; go on a nice day and enjoy the open patio-like feel.

The menu has a wide variety of grilled sandwiches, at least 20. They boast proudly on their business card that they are “Taipei’s home for the grilled cheese”. While I don’t necessarily know if that’s true, they do make a pretty mean panini. The average sandwich ranges from about 100nt to 170nt and for an extra 70nt you can add fries and a drink (coke or grape fanta). My friend and I opted to share a sandwich, salad, and add the fries and a coke.

grilled jack chicken 160NT

We finally decided on the Grilled Jack Chicken sandwich, grilled jack cheese, chicken, and caper aioli for 160NT. First off, the fries were really good. They were really cripsy without being hard or oily. I’m sure they came out of a bag from Costco or something, but still they were very good. The sandwich was great. There was a nice spicy kick to it from the jack cheese which I’m pretty sure was pepper jack. The chicken was also well seasoned and not dried out. Another awesome thing about this sandwich, the caper aioli sauce on the side, SO GOOD. We didn’t put it on the sandwich, instead we just dipped the fries in it. Highly recommended.

gouda salad 170NT

For salad we had narrowed it down to either the Toasteria salad or the gouda salad. We decided to go for the gouda salad because both of us love cheese. Unfortunately the first salad that was brought out to us had a worm, like full on slug/worm, in it. We took it back to the counter and they apologized and made us a new one. Usually something like that would turn me off from a restaurant, but they were very apologetic, made us a brand new salad and gave it to us free of charge. Back home in the US you would expect this kind of service, but in Asia I’m more used to just picking certain things out and eating around it. So the free salad was a nice surprise. After that issue was taken care of, the salad itself was actually pretty good. The vinaigrette was some sort of balsamic red wine mix that was pretty good. Other then that there was three slices of gouda, red onions, watercress, and some toast. The salad is a little pricey considering its size, but in my opinion it’s pretty worth it considering how tough it is to find good salads in Taipei.

Overall, Toasteria is a great place to grab some lunch or maybe even dinner. There are definitely plenty more of the panini’s that I want to try and they have Stella Artois on TAP! I will definitely be going back for that. I read on the happy hour menu that all beers are 90NT during happy hour, so maybe I’ll go then. Also, they have buy one get one free margarita’s Monday and Tuesday according to the chalk board inside. I think next I’ll try the Spicy Grilled Cheese or the Eggplant one.

japanese/sushi: sashimiya (三四味屋)

date 12.06.09

contact 3F, No. 1, Lane 126, Fuxing South Road, Section 1, Daan District, Taipei/02.8773.4888/台北市大安區復興南路一段126巷1號3F

hours 7 days a week lunch 11:30am-2:30pm/dinner 5:30pm-11:00pm (11:30pm on Friday and Saturday)

price depends. 300-1000NT

rating ♥♥♥♥♥ (5 out of 5 hearts)

website http://www.sashimiya.tw

Best sushi I’ve had in Taipei up to this point. I had seen Hungry Girl’s review for sashimiya a while ago and wanted to try it, so for our one year anniversary my boyfriend decided to take me.

inside sashimiya.

Sashimiya is big. Two floors, a full bar and they play movies while you eat. We went on a Sunday night and it was pretty empty, so we were promptly sat. On every table there is a small appetizer, be waned, it’s not free. We didn’t touch ours because it looked weird, but when the waiter came to take our order he asked if we wanted the appetizer, we said no so he took it away.

the menu.

The menu is awesome and extensive. There are pictures for every item on the menu, along with Chinese and English descriptions. Sashimiya is an Izakaya restaurant, so they have lots of small dishes to choose from so you can try lots of different things. I went straight for the sashimi and sushi.

smelt egg hand roll 120NT (蝦卵手卷)

I love smelt egg/masago, so when I saw the smelt egg hand roll (蝦卵手卷) I had to get it. Everything tasted fresh. The seaweed was crisp and they didn’t put too much rice in it. Definitely made me happy.

salmon belly nigiri 70NT (鮭魚肚握壽司)

Each order of nigiri is one piece, so be aware of that. The salmon belly nigiri (鮭魚肚握壽司) was great and only 70NT per piece. The fish was really fresh tasting, the cut was great, and there was a perfect amount of rice. They put a little bit of wasabi on the rice under the fish, so if you don’t like wasabi make sure you tell them to not put any on.

special sashimi combo 980NT(特級盛合生魚)

I can’t even tell you how amazing this was. We were deciding between the special sashimi combo and the large sashimi combo. We ultimately decided on the special because the cuts were better and there was more. You get 4 pieces of 6 different types of sashimi: salmon belly, tuna, sweet shrimp, hokkaido scallop, cobia, and mackerel. The waiter told us that the special combo cuts were mostly belly cuts, and they did taste pretty fatty and delicious, so we assume he wasn’t lying. Everything was amazing and fresh. The sweet shrimp was delicious. I’m always afraid that sweet shrimp will be slimy, but these weren’t. Overall the fish was fresh and the slices were the perfect thickness.

soft shell crab roll 280NT (軟殼蟹壽司)

I was excited to see a roll that didn’t have 肉鬆 (dry pork) in it. The soft shell crab roll (軟殼蟹壽司) was pretty good. I loved the big chunks of avocado and the lettuce and cucumber were nice and crisp. I also liked that there was a good amount of soft shell crab inside. My only complaint would be that there was a little too much rice and because of it, it made me full faster. Overall though, I would get this again.

agedashi tofu/fried tofu 80NT (日式炸豆腐)

The fried tofu (日式炸豆腐) was amazing and was is only 80NT. It looked like they had dipped it in benito shavings before frying it which is awesome. I love benito and the the crispiness of it after being fried made it even better. It was also topped with some seaweed shavings, daikon and chili powder. The sauce was great too and everything together made it perfect. Would highly recommend this.

chocolate shake (巧克力冰沙)

Lastly we ordered a chocolate shake. I was hoping this would be a little more chocolaty, but it wasn’t. For some reason it tasted like Bailey’s Irish Cream to me, even though it was non-alcoholic. It was good, but not great.

Overall our experience at Sashimiya was great. The service was good, people kept our table uncluttered, and our glasses were never empty. The quality of the food for the price is also great. For two people our bill was under 2000NT and we were full. You could definitely eat here for much cheaper if you wanted, but seeing how we love sushi, we couldn’t resist, besides everything we had was really fresh tasting and wonderful. Bottom line: Sashimiya is a must for sushi lovers in Taipei.

taiwanese: stinky tofu at shen keng old street (深坑老街)

date 12.05.2009

contact Shenkeng Old Street, Shenkeng Township, Taipei County/台北縣深坑鄉深坑老街

rating ♥♥♥♥♥ (5 out of 5 hearts)

If you love stinky tofu you have to make a trip to Shenkeng Old Street (深坑老街). I’ve heard a lot about Shenkeng’s famous tofu street so I had to go. From anywhere in Taipei, Shenkeng is easy to get to. Just take the MRT to the Taipei Zoo Station (台北動物園站) and then get on a bus to the 深坑 stop (we took the 237).

shenkeng old street (深坑老街)

From the bus stop just go follow where the people are coming from. Overall, Shenkeng is rather empty and there are no real signs pointing to the stinky tofu street. Shengkeng street is lined with stands and restaurants that not only sell stinky tofu, but regular tofu as well. We didn’t know which restaurants were famous for which ones were better than others, so we just chose at random.

steamed garlic stinky tofu (蒜泥臭豆腐)

Our first stop was 王水成臭豆腐店. There were a lot of people inside so we figured it was a safe bet. We ordered the steamed garlic stinky tofu, bamboo and fried tofu. We liked the garlic stinky tofu except it wasn’t stinky at all, which was disappointing. The flavor was nice though and the chunks of garlic good. You could also tell that the tofu was fresh because it was the right sponginess, just needed to be more stinky.

fried tofu (炸豆腐)

The fried tofu was good, but it was just fried tofu. Nothing that special.

lugui bamboo (魯桂竹筍)

The best thing at this place, that we had, was the bamboo. It was well seasoned, tender, and just plain good. I probably wouldn’t come back here for the tofu, but I’d definitely come back for the bamboo.

japanese style green tea tofu ice cream 30NT (日式抹茶豆腐冰淇淋)

We saw this and had to try it. Bad decision. It definitely took you back to the days where you were a kid and eating play-doh cause that’s what it tasted like. I could not taste green tea and it didn’t taste like tofu. The minute my friend said it tasted like play-doh it dawned on me, and yes, it tasted like play-doh.

fried stinky tofu 50NT (炸臭豆腐)

Our second stop was at 好鄰居 (Good Neighbor). They sat the four of us down at a huge table and we ordered our one tiny portion of the fried stinky tofu. It was pretty good. Nothing that spectacular, but good. The pickled cabbage (泡菜) was pretty good, and if you got a bite with the tofu, the sauce, the hot sauce, and the cabbage, it was even better.

fried stinky tofu 40NT (炸臭豆腐)

This place had my favorite stinky tofu. I have no idea what the name of this shop was, but it’s the first sit down shop on the left when you enter the street. The pickled cabbage was really good as was the sauce. The tofu as actually stinky too, which was nice. The rest of my group thought the sauce was too salty, but I loved it. Definitely my favorite.

bbq stinky tofu(串烤臭豆腐)

Since we had already gotten fried and steamed stinky tofu, all that was left was barbecued. We chose this stand at random because the stand we wanted to go to was already closed. The stinky tofu here was really good. The sauce on it had a peanut sesame taste that was unique and tasty. The stand guy sliced the tofu down the middle and put some cabbage in it as well which added the crunchiness it needed.

Overall, Shenkeng is a great place to just walk around and snack. If you like stinky tofu Shenkeng is a must.

japanese: katana-ya.

date 11.09.08

contact 430 Geary St (at Mason)/San Francisco, CA 94102/415.771.1280

hours Mon-Fri 11:30 a.m.-2:00 a.m./Sat-Sun 12:00 p.m.-2:00 a.m.

price <$10 for ramen

I’ve been here several times before and must say, it’s probably my favorite ramen place in the US. I came here for the first time probably about a year ago. A friend brought me and ever since it’s been one of the places I had to go when I came up to visit. Now that I live up North I very happy to be closer to Katana-Ya’s delicious ramen.

Katana-Ya is a small restaurant with only maybe eight tables and a small sushi bar that seats six or so. Last night we went with a party of six so we had to wait a while to get a table, but the wait was well worth it.

Inside Katana-Ya.
Inside Katana-Ya.

The reviews posted on the window at Katana-Ya are all for it’s ramen, so I always get ramen. My favorite is the kimchee ramen with rich miso soup ($8.50). When ordering ramen you can choose from three different soup bases: miso, soy sauce, and salt. You can also choose whether or not you want it rich or light. If you don’t specify rich or light they just make it regular. I was told to get the miso base rich and I’ve stuck with it ever since. The rich miso soup base is just right, not too salty and just so good. The ramen also comes with a slice of pork, green onions, seaweed, and bamboo. Since I got the kimchee it obviously came with kimchee as well. The pork is always good and tender and the kimchee adds the perfect crunch. On a cold night in the city, this is hands down my number one choice of food.

Kimchee Ramen with rich miso soup ($8.50).
Kimchee Ramen with rich miso soup ($8.50).