Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Kaiju Sakaba

One of the must do highlights for me during my recent Japan tour was to go to and eat at Kaiju Sakaba which is an Ultraman themed restaurant.  Words, pictures nor video can properly explain this place and the only way to get the full experience is to go for yourself (which might be difficult to do since the restaurant was only scheduled to be opened for 1 year and closes in the next month or two). The restaurants entire decor is of course Ultraman / Kaiju themed from the booths to the display cases, the monitors showing episodes of Ultraman and even the food and drink menu are Kaiju specialties. There is even a souvenir shop to purchase figures, plates and other collectibles.

Because of the dim lighting it was rather difficult to get good pictures but like I said, it's a place that you need to experience first hand to get the full experience.

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Dumplings at Din Tai Fung

Whenever traveling people will tell you that whatever cuisine you are trying is the best in the world, but that only holds true for certain things.  The Philly cheesesteak of course is #1 in Philly, no other place in the world compares! You can have one that's good or a slight variation of an authentic Philly steak, but nothing compares truly than having one here in the 215.

But dumplings on the other hand is a quite different story. I've had great dumplings in various parts of the world but I might have just had the best dumplings in all my life recently in Taipei Taiwan at the legendary Din Tai Fung restaurant.  Founder Yang Bingy was born in Shanxi China but moved to Taiwan in 1948 as a result of the Chinese Civil War. Together with his wife Lai Penmei started a cooking oil retailer Din Tai Fung in 1958.  Around 1980, the cooking oil business became prevalent and business diminished drastically. In order to survive they turned over half of the shop to making and selling steamed buns (xiaolongbao).  The buns were so popular that the store stopped selling cooking oil all together and became a full fledged restaurant in 1980.

While at the restaurant we had various versions of the famous dumplings, some filled with soup, others with crab meat, shrimp, pork and other things. All of the ingredients are fresh and each dumpling is made perfect.  Even the service was so on point that it makes it hard to eat at restaurants with average customer service.  Eating here just opened up an entirely new craving for dumplings but it will definitely be hard to top what I experienced here at Din Tai Fung.

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Doin' it In The Park (Taipei Style)

While in Taipei earlier this month, I had the pleasure of taking it back to the essence of Hip Hop culture and DJ'ing in the park for Beat Square 4yr Anniversary.  Beat Square is a monthly event that was started by the first Hip Hop DJ in Taipei, DJ Chicano who wanted to bring a classic Hip Hop feel to the people by throwing a park jam.  Each month DJs, dancers, artists, BMX'ers, skaters and everyday people attend Beat Square to enjoy and feel the positive vibes and hear good music.  It's been a minute since I've experienced something like this and it really took me back to when everything was simple and enjoyable with no stress.

Hometown Burger Since 1979 Taipei

Of course during my Taipei trip the promoter knew that I was a burger connoisseur and needed to get me fix so he decided to take me to a place called Hometown Burger which had been in business since 1979.  Although the burger was really good, I was even more impressed with the owners toys and KAWS collection that he had on display in the shop.  #OnlyInAsia

Food, Culture and People of Taipei

One of the most important things for me when traveling and making sure that I visit the places that mean a lot to the locals, define who they are and of course eat where they eat.  None of that typical touristy shit, locals know exactly where to go.  While in Taipei I was given the tour treatment by the homie Aya who took me to the first street that was built in Taipei, several temples and a restaurant that he had been eating at since his childhood.