Taiwanese pepper buns - 胡椒餅. Another famous street food in Taipei. A doughy bun is filled with heavily peppered ground pork, then baked in a clay oven. Crispy, flaky outside with a juicy, meaty interior. This eclipses the Japanese 肉まん meat buns I am used to. This shop, near Ximen Station is quite famous, but I'd like to scour the city for all the best one day.
Braised pork rice at Jing Feng in Taiwan. Taking a break from beef noodles to try some of Taipei's other B急 - B level gourmet. This lu rou fan - 滷肉飯 - is quite oily, so maybe don't go for the big size. The oil makes a nice sauce for the rice. Word on the street says this is the most famous braised pork rice spot in the city.
The alcohol pairing at Ryugin in Taipei is full of quality wine and nihonshu, but the 鮎 - a kind of freshwater trout - gets beer. This particular beer is made specifically for Ryugin by a Taiwanese craft beer brewer to go with the ayu, and is unavailable for sale anywhere. A rich saison with citrus notes.
Silks Palace won the 2012 International Beef Noodle Festival, and you can try both their styles on one bowl. Both were legit. Spicy braised beef is dark and rich. 'Champion' is clear but deep. Located next to the National Palace Museum, you can get your slurp after checking out the art.
Yong Kang Beef Noodles is probably the city's most known and popular shop. Personally, I didn't enjoy this one so much. The soup lacked impact, and the beef wasn't so tender. The salt version - 塩味 - was slightly better. This shop has been around since 1963.
Let the 牛肉麺 - beef noodle hunt begin. Many people consider this the national dish of Taiwan, and popular shops command massive lines. First up is Lin Dong Fang. Of the few I've had so far, this was my favorite. Light soup with an herby taste, tender meat. None of the places I visited had stellar noodles, they are all too soft and doughy in my opinion, but I think that is just a characteristic of this dish. The condiment on the table, spicy beef butter, is dangerous.
Collaboration bowl between Nagi and NYC's Mighty Quinn's Barbecue. Smokehouse brisket and smoked oil go into a soupless bowl of thin noodles. Intense bowl available only in Taiwan for a limited time. I shot a YouTube video here, and hope to have it up and online next week.
A very photogenic desert at RAW in Taipei. Poached pear covered with burnt marshmallow. The little pink bits are from finger limes, a super bitter Taiwanese citrus that would be too much on its own, but adds a nice kick in this dish.
Fika Fika Cafe in Taipei won the 2013 Nordic Roaster championship, and came recommended by my friend @susumu0shimizu, who did a collab with them just a couple days ago. Food looks good here, but I'm already having trouble overeating in Taiwan. Forecast is monsoon level rain with flood warnings, so I'll probably be back here a few times to just chill.
I was told not to post this, but now that they are open to the public I think it's cool. The Wagyu Mafia is an exclusive, members-only beef group (cult?) operating in Tokyo and around the world. They recently crowd-funded a 牛かつサンド - deep fried beef sandwich only restaurant in Nakameguro. The cuts of beef are from Nagano apple-fed cows for the cheaper options, and premium Kobe beef for the priciest sandwiches. It was my birthday, so I treated myself to the best one. I'm not gonna say how much it cost, but it was the most expensive single piece of food I've ever seen in my 39 years on the planet. Perfect execution, and that first bite was something special.
Oyaji is an amazing miso spot with a convenient shop in Machida and a not-so-convenient head shop in Sagamihara. Finally made it to the head shop. Good, honest bowl of Hokkaido style miso ramen, made with their original miso blend. More on my website.
Some of the nigiri from lunch at Tsuruhachi. I've been told it's actually tough to book here, so you might want to just roll in on a weekday and try your luck for their 5000円 lunch. The building has some bomb looking old tonkatsu and om-rice restaurants that you could line up for if the sushi is full.
Tsuruhachi is located on the sketchiest floor of a sketchy building in Shimbashi. An overflowing uni gunkan maki and massive tuna roll made with 3 cuts of fish between adult DVD stores and massage parlors. Good food for Instagram, but the massive size of these pieces turned me off.
仙禽✖️Sugalabo✖️Bon Dabon collaboration put on by Japan Craft Sake. This was their 5th event in the series, where they challenge a top chef to pair a meal with a top sake brewer. Chef Suga served up his signature monaka filled with 生カラスミ - raw mullet roe and egg yolk. Paired with Senkin's refreshing かぶとむし - Kabutomushi, which was my favorite sake of the day. Very light and zesty, a perfect drink for summer. I hope to come back to Sugalabo in the future. Chef Suga sources most of his ingredients from small, local producers around Japan and usually pairs it with fine wines. Reservations are, as far as I know, limited to members only.
Yuji Ramen has opened at the Raumen Museum. My review and video are up on the site. Tuna ramen made from excess bones and awesome mazesoba at this place. It's uncommon to use a lot of fish in ramen, so the taste is super unique.
55 month aged 生ハム - Parma ham - held by 多田昌豊 - Tada Madatoyo. He is the only certified Parma ham maker in Japan, a country that serves the stuff at thousands of restaurants and bars. Amazing stuff that tasted of miso. From Bon Dabon in Gifu Prefecture.
Awesome to hang with metal band #bornofosiris last night. They are big ramen fans, and hit up a bunch of shops in their limited time in Tokyo. Japanese mosh pits are fairly tame, but I still got some superficial injuries. Tailbone and 2 fingers in a lot of pain the next day. 🤘🏻🤘🏻🤘🏻. Thanks for shouting me out onstage!