Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Salt & Bread Russian Doll Babuschka Ice Cream, Taipei

Meandering down Yongkang Jie frequently for our month plus stay in Taipei, we kept coming across the super cute Russian Doll Babuschka ice cream parlor, thinking how adorable and out of place the shop seemed. We were intrigued! 

Later on, when we braved inside one late evening we learned this restaurant is called actually called Salt & Bread. 

With the precious façade and cute signage we really didn't know what to expect on the inside...

Inside did not disappoint. The Russian theme continued inside in a very modern / elegant way (loved the painting wall decor and a nice number of the Russian nestled my dolls adorning strategic areas of the shop. It felt cozy and cool at the same time and my littles ones had tons of fun looking at everything with wonder. 

Some Russian ice cream in the freezer.  

Cakes and other desserts tempting the eyes and belly. 

The ice cream we went with was: 1. A mix of green tea and vanilla; 2. All green tea and 3. An ice cream cake (top & inside are both ice cream!). That one had nuts and coffee so was definitely for the adults. 

As for the green tea - I think our children wanted it only because it was green. It turned out being too powerful a flavor for them to eat too much, so Viking Bear offered to finish theirs. 

Doesn't that all look so yummy? 

Thanks Salt & Bread for the lovely family dessert night! 

Photos by Jules at Quirky Wanderlust 

Din Tai Fung locations around Taipei

Unbeknownst to me as I began my love affair with xiao long bao at Din Tai Fung in Taipei, there are multiple locations of this fabulous, famous culinary establishment around the city. 

Above is a queue forming outside Din Tai Fung at the original Taipei location in the Da'an District, No. 194, Section 2, Xinyi Road, Taipei City, 106. This is a tiny queue compared to others we have seen. Both times we have visited this location, we came at 9:45 am to be there for the 10 am opening and haven't had to wait in line. 

Here (above) is an outpost of Din Tai Fung in the Shin Kong Mitsukoshi's A4 Store / Buildingmall food court! << Taipei Hsinyi Place>> How wonderful to see the chefs at work. Being able too see these xiao long bao masters as they create reminds me of my time at Paradise Dynasty. Plus, you can order take away. 

Viking Bear and I've also seen the Din Tai Fung restaurant at Taipei 101 on the B1 level // main entry point straight across from MRT Taipei 101 exit 4 (photos below). When we first arrived there wasn't too big of a line but after spending some time in Taipei 101 and getting ready to exit, there was a huge crowd forming! 

Getting out of the metro station and more than ready to visit the Taipei 101 building

Here is the outdoor signage of Din Tai Fung when you come out from the metro. Enter Taipei 101 to get to the restaurant entrance. However, you can view the chefs at work and dining room from the glass windows outside. 

Signage 1. 

Signage 2. 

Just as you step in the entrance of Taipei 101, you see the restaurant and it's cute xiao long bao mascot. 

This was around 3 pm. 

When we left around 5:45 pm, the crowd was "wow"! 

Photos by Jules at Quirky Wanderlust
Photos taken in July 2016. 

Monday, July 25, 2016

Eating at Oma Ursel's German Restaurant, Taipei

To see the charm of Oma Ursel's façade, check out my photos here; these were from when we first found Oma Ursel's German Bakery at Yong Kang Street, No. 8, Lane 10, Da'an District. We discovered it after coming off Dongmen metro stop number four and walking around a bit. What a delightful discovery.  

This is part of the little courtyard in front of the restaurant and bakery. So cute! 

Here's a chalkboard outside like cafes and restaurants in Europe, but with Chinese characters - we are still in Taiwan after all. 

Inside is equally as quaint and cozy. Entering the first floor from the terrace, you come across this selection of delicious looking bakery goods (I think in German you say "lecker lecker!") and assorted <<tempting>> spreads. 

Hello breads! Hello cakes! Hello sweet delights! I'd love to try you all. 

Hello herbed butter! 

Hello sauerkraut, gherkin, and hazelnut goodness. I ❤️ all of you. 

Once we made our way to the second floor, we came across this dining area, which had sketches showcasing German towns and architecture. The setting was elegant and cozy at the same time. 

Waitress frock. And a room that was pretty much filled up by the time we got to the main entree. 

Potato and leek soup. Very light and flavorful. Enjoyable start to the meal. 

The super delish bread. Viking Bear went wild with the herbed butter.

Our pretty side salad. Loved the touch of walnuts and alfalfa sprouts for extra crunch and texture. I haven't been eating a lot of walnuts lately due to that being a severe allergy for one of my children, so it is a rare treat to have some. When we are eating together at home or out & about, I never select anything with walnuts. 

Our waitress, Lisa, was most helpful and patient, answering questions about the menu and making recommendations. 

Despite not being a big meat eater, I went with the following instead of the falafel, which jumped out as a yummy item for me. I would have enjoyed the falafel greatly but would have felt like I missed out on a true German experience, so I went with this with Lisa's recommendation: Meatloaf & bratwurst with fried Spätzle noodles. Of the two meats, I especially liked the meatloaf, loaded with mustard and sauerkraut. And the Spätzle were yummy too - with the chewy, doughy feel that is characteristic of these types of noodles. So unique! 

And here is a German pork knuckle dish. The bone is where the meat was pulled; it was played this way upon arrival to our table. This also came with mashed potatoes and sauerkraut. 

Bier time. Liking the Oma Ursel logo! 

And of course, you must finish off such a meal with coffee and dessert! 

Examples of the previously mentioned sketches of charming Village scenes in Germany: 

And downstairs in the bakery area, cute display items in one of the windows:

We left Oma Ursel's with a special treat. Because we filled out the survey at the end of our meal, we were given a pretzel! It was so sweet of them and the Brezel was delicious. I shared it with my little ones after we picked them up from school. 

Photos by Jules at Quirky Wanderlust