Pai Toronto

PAI PAI PAI! FINALLY! I’ve heard so many good things about Pai, a Thai restaurant located near the financial district.  I took my mom here on Saturday around 3pm and it was quite busy. We both didn’t have a proper lunch, so it was lunch and dinner combined (we had a shopping date planned for later on), it was dunch or linner for us.

Photo 2017-05-06, 3 11 37 PM

We hardly have fancy meals together, so I kinda treated myself to a lemongrass tea. The lemongrass flavour was subtle and definitely too much simple syrup.

Photo 2017-05-06, 2 53 07 PM

We couldn’t decide what to order and I didn’t do research before arriving, so we asked our waiter what the popular dishes were. We got Grabong (fried strips of squash), Pad Thai (stir fried noodles) and Khao Soi (curry noodles).

Photo 2017-05-06, 2 46 58 PM

Grabong: it was too much for two people. Lots of squash fritters with a sweet tamarind dipping sauce…I was bored of eating it when we devoured half.

Photo 2017-05-06, 3 02 43 PM

The Khao Soi was the most disappointing. There were lots of beef in the curry and little noodles and they anything special. It was just wide wonton (egg) noodles and very salty. The curry did have coconut flavour, but I don’t remember any other flavours that stood out.

Photo 2017-05-06, 3 11 02 PM

The Pad Thai was ok. The presentation was nice, everything seems to be served on a banana (?) leaf.  The lime helped bring out the flavour and cut some of the spiciness (we got medium).  The Pad Thai was salty.

Photo 2017-05-06, 3 11 15 PM
The atmosphere here is lit. The restaurant is located downstairs,  having minimum natural light from windows, it was a low lit restaurant, with lots of banners and flags hanging in the dining area. Along the wallk, at the bar, it reminds me of my dad’s workshelf in the garage, just filled with bottles and whatnot. Friendly vibe and surprisingly, many young families too. 

Looking in to the restaurant…

Photo 2017-05-06, 2 42 20 PM

You can opt to sit on the floor.  I wish I’d seen that when we walked in.

Photo 2017-05-06, 3 34 18 PM

So what’s the big deal? I don’t even know myself, but I’m guessing that people like the vibe and of course the food. What a perfect match!
Click here for Pai’s website.

Raohe Night Market (饒河街觀光夜市) – Taipei Part 8

To be (very) honest, I thought all of Taipei’s markets were the same (at least, from the ones that I’ve been to). With all that being said, I really enjoyed my last night market, and that was on the very last day before going home.

This particular market, Raohe Night Market, greeted us with a bright sign… I knew this would be one of the best memories I will have from Taipei.

IMG_1156

Within one meter of entering the market’s invisible ‘gates’ there was already a line lineup, and yes of course, we had to peep our heads to find out what on earth was going on. And it was a line for Taiwan’s famous pepper buns.

IMG_1161

We went on Thursday night, which was disappointing because there weren’t as many people as I thought there would be, but every night’s the same, so I guess people are bored of hanging out at the same place?

This market is one of the bigger markets, in terms of area. There were so many food choices to choose from; the typical Asian food market staples (fresh juices and fruit, grilled corn, grilled seafood, skewers, etc).

IMG_1165

IMG_1167

IMG_1168

IMG_1170

IMG_1171

IMG_1174

IMG_1177

IMG_1179

IMG_1181

IMG_1184

IMG_1185

IMG_1189

IMG_2741
IMG_2743

IMG_2744

These potato balls are bomb! We bought a bag and instantly ate it all. So we HAD to go get another one. The potato balls are light, fluffy and sweet. It’s like snacking on potato chips, but 100 times better! (I found a video that is similar to the potato balls).  Anyone know what the official name is for this unbelievable snack?

IMG_2751

IMG_2753

IMG_2755

But Raohe does have its distinctiveness, which was a first for me. There were caucasians selling tarts and desserts. But what a bummer, their stalls weren’t busy and hardly anyone glanced over to see what they had to offer. The tarts and desserts sure looked delicious!  One stall was even selling macarons!

IMG_1166

IMG_1186

One of my favourite parts of this night market is enjoying the music. Even though some stores had music blasting from their speakers, nothing soothes the soul by listening to a harp . What surprised me more, was that people actually stopped to enjoy an old man playing, the harp is so unappreciated.

IMG_2754

But the main purpose for visiting this night market is to try  Ay Chung Flour Rice Noodle.  At first, I wasn’t keen on trying the noodles, but there’s a ‘crunch’ to the noodles that I find very interesting and I never had anything like it. 

IMG_2756

Click here for more information for Taiwan’s Raohe Night Market.

Taipei style, dinner on a rooftop – Taipei Part 7

IMG_0725

Imagine sitting on the second floor, on a short stool that sits ontop of unsteady floors. That’s what it was like for this dinner. It was somewhat uncomfortable the stools had shorter legs and the table was basically like an Ikea’s kids table. The food was undoubtedly enjoyable, but when the winds blew our way, the roof and second floor supports were literally shaking.

八仙炭烤 (Eight Immortals Charcoal Grill ) serves fried and stewed dishes (小炒).  We had a big feast that night; local vegetables, oysters, fish, shrimp and stinky tofu. We even had to order an extra plate of fried noodles because the table beside ours had one.

As the night progressed, there were more people coming to eat. This is a sign…you know you made the right decision to dine here.

IMG_0724

IMG_0726

IMG_0732

IMG_2730

IMG_2731

IMG_2736

IMG_2737

IMG_2732

IMG_2734
Thanks to Google and Google maps, I was able to find the restaurant name (八仙炭烤) and location (No. 28, Section 2, Xinsheng South Road, Da’an District, Taipei City, Taiwan 106). This website gives a quick summary of the restaurant’s style and dishes it offers (the address of the restaurant is out of date).
I would definitely recommend eating here, it was a new experience for me (eating at a low table, sitting on a stool and being worried that the structure might collapse).