May 19, 2016

[She Travels: Taipei #2]

"Whoever said that money doesn't buy happiness, didn't know where to shop." - Blair Waldorf

And truer words have never been spoken...well, except by Bo Derek, who might have said it first and then Blair quoted her, or should I say the writer quoted her.  Oh well, never mind my blabbering.

Back to the topic at hand.  So, my second day at Taipei, as you all can guess already, was spent shopping, and my dear friend knew just where to take me.  She took me to a shopping area near my hotel, right behind Shin Kong Mitsukoshi 新光三越, which is located around the Zhongshan area, as I have mentioned in my previous post.

Our first stop of the day was of course for breakfast.  A girl needs her energy before going to war (read: shopping), doesn't she?

My friend suggested a traditional Taiwanese breakfast for my first breakfast in Taipei, which was just fitting.  We went to JSP 甲尚寶 for some dan bing 蛋餅, fried turnip/carrot cake 蘿蔔糕, and breakfast milk tea.  It was about 7 minutes walk from my hotel and right across MOCA Taipei.

That  ripped-off Anpan Man logo tho'

Dan bing 蛋餅 is an egg crepe wrap, just in case you are wondering.  Bacon n' cheese and tuna n' cheese dan bings were our choice that morning.  Each dan bing came with a bit brownish salty and sweet sauce on the side.  Although the sauce went perfectly with the dan bing, I preferred to eat it sans sauce so I could taste both the melted cheese and the bacon wrapped in that perfectly cooked egg crepe.  Have I sounded like those "expert" foodies yet? Nah, I'm just kidding, I'm just not fond of salty sauce with a hint of sweetness.  It was such a bummer that I didn't bring some tabasco or chili sauce with me to Taipei, I bet the dan bings will taste exceptionally more delicious with some chili.
(Note: for you who love spicy food, you may want to bring your own chili sauce to Taipei, because I don't think chili sauce is Taiwanese best forte)
As for the milk tea, why did I call it breakfast milk tea?  It is because, as explained by my friend/tour guide/local, the tea consistency of breakfast milk tea is not as thick as those you drink at a boba store.  So this one won't give you nauseating effect after drinking it.  Moreover, it also pairs beautifully with the dan bing, just the right combo if I may say.
Spent NT 175 for breakfast and I was like "Whaaaaa, only NT 175!? Value!!!"

Tuna n' Cheese dan bing 

Bacon n' Cheese dan bing *we love *

After breakfast, the shopping spree started and all hell broke loose.

First of all, let's talk about the shopping scene in this area.  The stores were scattered on different alleys, kind of reminded me of the scene at Shanghai's Tian Zi Fang 田子坊 (see my previous post about this spot, click here).  Lots of small cool stores and cafes spread across the area, each with its own characteristics, adding some "colors" and attraction to the area.  It was really refreshing to do some shopping outdoor sometimes, instead of hopping from one shopping mall to the others.  You could really feel and breathe in the city's vibes.

Sneaked in a couple OOTD shot session whilst shopping

With la partner-in-crime 

Here are some of the stores that got me all riled up upon entering the premises:

S3 Beauty Store 小三美日 

A beauty store chain selling all these japanese, korean, taiwanese cosmetics brands and other related stuffs.  Something like Sasa and Sephora.  Speaking of Sephora, they don't have store in Taipei, none, zilch.  And I was so shocked when I found out about it, it was Hongkong all over again.  Nonetheless, I was quite content with this S3 store and the other one called The 86 Shop 86小鋪, they have all these kinds of Asian beauty products with affordable price and great quality.  I came out of the stores one happy kid with ample amount of beauty products.  By the way, I'm totally obsessed with this Chateau LaBiotte Wine Lip Tint that I bought three colors at once.  Will talk about it on my next post alright.


Bought this eye ring at a nearby accessories store, lovin' it!

Knew I would love this store before I even stepped in.  Dominated with black and white clothing, this clothing store had me like WAM bam alright mam.  
Almost bought an oversized T-Shirt with unreasonable pricing but luckily my friend stopped and reminded me that it was only my second day and that I shouldn't splurge right away.  I gotta say, a wise one, she is. 
However, you know when you have that kinda feeling when you must buy something from that very store and you won't back down until you find at least one item, well that happened and I scored myself a long denim vest from the sale rack for NT 700 only *cue evil laugh*  Yay me!
Will show you the denim vest on my next post, because I wore it for my trip to Shi Fen 十份.
And I have to mention the pristine white steam-punk industrial interior that had me wishing if only I get to decorate my room just like that, it was awesomely dope. 

Decided to get some coffee after the first round of exhausting yet exhilarating shopping spree to replenish our energy.  My friend took me to this hidden coffee house nearby, which is located at the second floor of a hair salon if I'm not mistaken, called Light One Cafe 光一咖啡.  My friend told me it will become a music lounge once the sun sets, with bands performing live music.  We didn't stay for the cafe transformation tho', 'cos there were still a lot of shops to cover.

The ambience of the cafe was really cozy, a waft of coffee welcomed you the moment you entered the cafe.  It has native tribe theme going on, with dimmed lighting and lots of Tiki masks decoration laying around.  As for the coffee, I had a cup of Ethiopian Yirgacheffe brew that costed me around NT 300.  It was excellent, sadly I couldn't say the same for the lumpy lemon cheese cake.  It was supposed to taste great if only it was chilled properly.  Overall, I had a great time at this spot, totally recommend it if you're looking for a quite place to hang out.

That poor-looking lumpy cheese cake LOL 

Fast forward to dinner time, where we enjoyed an excellent 90-minute all you can eat ma la hot pot at 馬辣頂級麻辣火鍋 for NT 699/person.  And here is the best part, our reservation was at 10:30 PM.  Diet? What diet?
We got the half-half soup, half chicken stock and half ma la, just to spice it up a bit.  This was #1 on my list because I've been craving it like crazy.  Moreover, my friend always tells me about how good the ma la hotpot at Taipei is, it intrigues me a lot 'cos I'm a sucker for spicy soup dishes.  Alas, my craving was fulfilled.
The menu at this restaurant is extensive, I'm talking about wide selection of meats, seafood, and other side dishes that worth your NT 699.  The condiments and beverages counters also offer quite a selection that won't disappoint.  They even have several selection of teas, starting from the instant one to the one with real tea leaves, not the tea bag kind.  They have beer as well if I remember it correctly.  And last but not least, they serve Haagen Dasz and Movenpick ice cream in various flavors, which my friend still managed to gulp down after all that hot pot bonanza.
By the way, so sorry that I have no pictures to back up my argument since my camera decided to die on me, and silly me didn't bring back-up battery.  But, I have some Instagram pics.  If it's still not enough, I guess you better go and try it yourselves :)

A photo posted by 鄭姍姍 (@triyanakardianto) on

My second day had finally come to an end, and the best way to end it was with some Chinese vampire and scary Japanese ghost sheet masks we got earlier at The 86 Shop 86小鋪.  These character sheet masks are absolutely the cutest 

Psst, put it in the freezer for a while for that chilled refreshing effect.  'Til next post, lads!

A photo posted by 鄭姍姍 (@triyanakardianto) on