Wufenpu (Taiwan)

It’s getting close to a year since my trip to Taiwan and I’m determined to finally finish posting the highlights of my trip. One of the must stops when we visit is a trip to Wufenpu (五分埔), a shopping heaven for women who like getting cheap deals on clothes.

Taiwan is full of day and night markets where you can get bargain clothes, shoes, and accessories, but all those vendors actually get their clothing supply from the suppliers located at Wufenpu, a wholesale garment market which is the largest clothing market in Taiwan.

The open market is full of hundreds of vendors and encompasses several streets. I’ve spent hours there on each trip but never been able to walk the entire market. After a while it does get repetitive because many of the vendors carry the same merchandise.

It’s especially great for women, as most of the vendors carry women’s clothing. I’ve found skirts, shirts, and dresses in the past (ranging from $3-8), many of which I still wear. You’ll see a lot of racks with clothes priced at 100NT which is about $3.

Like any market, there’s good food too.

Steamed Squid

This is one of our favorites. Freshly steamed hot squid pieces are served with a spicy dipping sauce. It’s so simple yet really delicious, even on a hot day.

Yes it’s another microwave mug cake. It’s hard to do anything else with the current heat wave we are having but I’m definitely itching to turn on the oven. Maybe I will have a chance to this weekend as it is supposed to cool down.

I love the color of this cake. Such a bright spring green from the avocado. I previously made an avocado brownie cake which was very chocolatey and fudgy and completely masked the avocado flavor. This time around, I wanted the avocado to shine.

Le Chateaubriand

Le Chateaubriand is ranked No. 15 on the 50 World’s Best Restaurants 2012 Guide. During my trip to Paris, I was most excited to check out this neo bistro, with food prepared by a young self-taught chef, Inaki Aizpitarte.

There’s no set menu. Instead, diners eat the chef’s inspired menu of the day. The setting is quite sparse and minimalist. Definitely not what one would expect for one of the world’s best restaurants. But I liked the simplicity of it. There was no stuffiness, no intimidation, and welcomes patrons from all walks of life.

Chef Inaki Aizpitartey was easy to spot. He’s extremely tall, with a stubble and a devil-may-not-care attitude about him.

Once seated, we were given the menu of the day which was written in French. The waiter gladly translated everything, asked if there were any food allergies, and then whisked the piece of paper away to give the same presentation to the next table.

We watched the hot loaves of bread being cut and served to us. It was a little bit burned and probably my least favorite bread served during our Paris trip.

Poppy seed gougères

We were served five amuse bouches before the main courses began. Light airy pastry shells topped with tiny poppy seeds started the series.

Tuna ceviche

Artichoke with anchovy sauce

Raw clam with toasted sesame

This was my favorite of the five amuse bouches. Cold clams could be slurped up in one bite.

Watermelon soup with cucumbers and lima beans