Saturday, July 30, 2011

Jean-Paul Hévin

People who have a thing of chocolate must know Jean-Paul Hévin because it's the mecca of chocoholic.I'm glad that it opened the first store in Taiwan before I lost my mind for craving it.My first acquaintance with Jean-Paul Hévin was some chocolate bonbons brought back from Hong Kong by my aunt like years ago.It was my first time fall in love with chocolate bonbon.I have no idea that chocolate bonbon can be so good until I take a bite of Jean-Paul Hévin.

To bring back my sweet memory,I get several different chocolate products.This time I don't buy their chocolate bonbon,because,first,I would love to try something new,and second,Jean-Paul Hévin is not cheap,after imported to Taiwan,the price does cost an arm and a leg.So I guess it's wise to try new things as much as possible.

Upon glancing the display cabinet,"Sucette lait caramel salé"catch my eyes right away.It tastes just like how it looks,impressive and full of layers of tastes.You can feel the saltness of sea salt,the sweetness of caramel,and of course,the pureness of cocoa.Yet,to be frank,the lollipop appearance gives it nothing but a fancy look.

This is "Palet fin rond noir,"which is a crispy cookie covered with a thick layer of dark chocolate.I really like it because dark chocolate is my favourite,although I like to explore various kinds of chocolate.

Speaking of macaroons,Jean-Paul Hévin's amazes me so much!

Petit macaron mangue coriandre

Petit macaron super amer

Petit macaron caramel

Petit macaron crème brûlée

Petit macaron banane

What I like about their macaroon is the surface and the stuffing are equally good.I have a to tell you all,please go get the crème brûlée one right now!It is so good,literally the best!When you eat it,you are like having a crème brûlée.I bet you would be taken in by its smell and texture but when you have a second thought,you'd come up with a macaroon.I can't figure out how they invent this trick.

The box contains"Guayaquil",which is a dark chocolate cake,is very simple and elegant.

I read some reviews about this cake on the Internet,there are good ones and bad ones.But here,I'm going to tell you my whole thinking of it thoroughly.At first,I think OMG it's Jean-Paul Hévin's chocolate cake!It must be heavenly good.Then,when I'm back home and unpack it,I was like OMG are you kidding me?The size is so small,it's like a child's portion.Okay,maybe you don't believe that,because the photo I take looks like quite big.The truth is the length is about 7.5 cm and the width is about 2 cm.Now I'm sure you know what I'm talking about.But hey the most important thing is how good it is,right?Cuz I'm sure that if it's good enough,the price and the size are definitely not going to be a problem.That's the point,it tastes kind of normal,yeah you can tell that the cocoa is premium.To my disappointment,the cake has an overprice,like 16$USD,and an unsatisfying size.

Despite the minor unpleasant experience,Jean-Paul Hévin does have amazing chocolate.Try one and you can relate to what I'm saying!

Jean-Paul Hévin

The Regent Hotel (G Floor)
Add:No.41,Sec. 2,Zhong Shan N. Rd,Taipei City

Pâtisserie Sadaharu AOKI Paris ll

Sadly,my grandfather just passed away the other day.My relation with my grandfather was hard to describe,we were not close but he was still my family member.I do feel a little bit sad because I know my grandpa was really nice.Well,he liked to talk a lot about his past life in china in his childhood and how he evacuated to Taiwan with my great-grandparents during the civil war between Nationalist Government and  the Communist Party.Ah!The most important thing is he made the best steamed buns and dumplings.I love his vegetable dumplings the best,so I think I'm going to miss him so much!

The taoism funeral has lots of rituals,which takes about a month until the official funeral ceremony.It's complicated,I even don't understand that.It involves long and repeated sutra recitations.As the ritual going,being children and grandchildren of the deceased elder,we have to sometimes stand up,sometimes sit down and sometimes kneel down to show our respect.Indeed,it's really tiring,that's why after the first funeral  ritual and my French class today,I immediately grab a cab and head straight to AOKI to get some nice desserts to comfort my exhausted mind and body.

Due to the fact that the "Trio" cake is only sold at the Regent Hotel,which is the second branch store of Pâtisserie Sadaharu AOKI Paris in Taiwan,I've been thinking of it since it opened.I finally made it today!

"Trio" is composed of several different elements,topped with a slice of chocolate,the second layer are some passion fruit jelly between two strips of milk chocolate mousse,the third layer are three strips of white chocolate mousse,then followed by a layer of hazelnut crunch chocolate,finally the base is chocolate cake.Mixing of different forms of chocolate,Trio is just like a grand chocolate symphony,you have to taste it with your heart and use your palette carefully to distinguish the slight differences.

Oh la la!The surface of the chocolate is just gorgeous!

I also get a "Chilboust mâcha azuki,"which is the latest dessert.It combines red bean and macha mousse,also the icing is caramel.The base is a chocolate tart and stuffed with mashed red bean.Macha,red bean and chocolate can't go wrong and once again,it shows Sadaharu AOKI's specialty,macha.

"Fleur de sel&caramel tart" is also on my must-eat list.I've had this one for more than five times and the quality has its consistency all the time.On the contrary,"Saya" is a delicate and impressive cake;however,the one I just had recently was too moist,excuse my French,it was like a shit.

Pâtisserie Sadaharu AOKI Paris

Add:B2,No.28, Songren Rd., Xinyi Dist., Taipei City

Add:No.41,Sec. 2,Zhong Shan N. Rd,Taipei City

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Trattoria di Primo

Honestly,I'm not that into celebrating my birthday.Yeah,it's a special day,then I'll usually have a great time with my friends.But I don't make it a big deal,if you know what I'm saying,like a Hollywood movie style..I've spent some birthdays abroad by myself.Even though I was not with my home friends and family,I really appreciate that I made sweet friends there,and they had a delightful meal with me and made me birthday cards.

Aw right!Speaking of great times,I did have lunch date with my besties Poki and Jessie,and that day was also my birthday.It's time to be nineteen years old and I can barely believe that I'm almost not a teenager!Pheeew,gotta seize the time!

We went to an Italian restaurant,Trattoria di Primo.The restaurant also sells various kinds of cheese and some kitchen gadgets.

Once again,caeser salad surprised me!As I mentioned before,caeser salad rarely impressed me.To my surprise,this one is a light dish,dressed with Italy oil vinegar sauce,covered with a thick layer of parmesan cheese.Well,I guess it's time to change my weird stereotype of caeser salad.

I don't remember the name of this dish,but the dipping was an egg yolk sauce.

The salmon risotto was properly cooked.Combined with a pinch of lemon peel and an abundance of salmon,the risotto gave our senses of smell and sight a nice stimulation.

The penne with tomato sauce and meatballs amazed me.The pasta was definitely al dente and had totally well-mixed with the sauce.I'd love to try again next time!

The pizza we had two flavors together,one was cheese with honey and the other was vegetable&grape,topped with parmesan cheese again(oops,I don't really remember the name.)The cheese one would be better without honey;somehow,it made me feel like I was eating a dessert.The vegie one was better,but it was just ok because I prefer a crispy dough and this one was so soft.

Add:No.14,Lane 104,Sec. 1,Fuxing S. Rd,Taipei,Taiwan
Tel: 02-2711-1726

Monday, July 11, 2011

Whoop!Let's Off To Hong Kong!

Last week,my mom asked me if I wanted to go to Hong Kong and I said yes right away.Since I don't have a big travel plan this summer,I guess a short trip would be great.After all,hey it's summer time!To be honest,I have little acquaintance with Hong Kong.Despite the fact that my mom has frequent business trips to there,those are just some short stays.So the truth is me and my mom only bring our luggages and our general impressions to Hong Kong.

Even though I didn't get a tourist guide with me,I randomly googled for some information before this sudden trip and of course it was mainly about the local food.However,I have to confess that it's inevitable that I spent the other half time on shopping.Come on,I'm a girl and what I'm talking here is Hong Kong,the well-known shopping paradise.Who can resist that?

A three-day trip is far not enough for getting know a place well.But I'm glad that we took an early flight in the morning on the first day and took the last flight back to Taiwan.So I think it was short but enriched and it's definitely better to have quality rather than quantity.

The following are several dishes from all the restaurants I've tried this time.

This is our first meal in Hong Kong.We walk for half hour and we can't decide where to eat,then we choose a small restaurant nearby Causeway Bay.Generally,those dishes are not bad but a little bit over-priced.

First,we have the chicken green bean noodles,which is a cold dish,served like an appetizer.The chicken is cooked well,tender and moist,and the dressing is quite tasty,it's like peanut butter but in a salty way,mixed with some crunched peanut.Sadly,the green bean noodles is cut too thin and over-cooked. 

Second,this's water spinach,dressing with fermented bean curd.Judging from its smell,color and texture,it's a nice one.

Third,this is seafood rice crisps.I like the way they mix the shrimps,mushrooms,pork and the crispy rice together.But the chicken gizzards are over-cooked,they are too chewy and hard to bite.Overall,they taste nice but definitely don't deserve that price,which is about 220 HKD.

The second day in Hong Kong,we sleep until 10 o'clock,so we basically skip breakfast and have the lunch.We walk around Lan Kwai Fong and I can't find the restaurant I want to visit.The hot weather is just like Taipei,making me frustrated and annoying.Walking under that kind of temperature for more than    one hour with nothing in my stomach really tortures me.I' glad that despite being in that kind of condition,I don't forget my way of living in foreign country,which is "DON"T HESITATE TO ASK THE LOCALS!"

On seeing a young girl,who just came out from a stationary store,I walk toward her and ask if there is any restaurant around there that offers crispy buns served with sweet condensed milk or butter.In a short time,she comes up with a restaurant and tells us that there is one few blocks from there.She asks us to follow her,she can show us where it is.Aw she is super sweet,just like the young lady who showed us the way to our hotel,after we got off the bus,having no sense of direction on the first day.Soon,we arrive in front of the restaurant.It's called "Tsui Wah Restaurant."

The crispy bun with condensed milk tastes really good,hot and crispy.But I'm a little disappointed that I can't find the one which is served with ice butter,according to people who tasted before,that is heavenly good.What a shame!

The borsch is very fresh and sweet,but not particularly good.

 My mom loves this dish so bad,she says she is going to make this on her own soon.It's spinach dumplings with tomato sauce.

This is Thai style chicken feet salad.It's freaking spicy,if you don't like spicy dish:DO NOT ORDER IT.I do enjoy its sourness and crispy texture but the truth is I have to finish it with two glasses of ice lemon tea.Phewwww!

This lovely lunch proves my theory can't be more true.The locals are bound to lead you to the right place!

In the evening,after we struggled through the endless stream of people,losing their mind in H&M sales,we are exhausted and need to find a place to eat something and take a break.It's a cafe&restaurant around the corner of Queens Road Central and Stanley Street.The best one we have there is definitely the fried chicken!They are so crispy and tender but they are not too oily!Woop!I would love to try some more!

The best meal I've ever had during this trip is the last meal I have in Hong Kong.The restaurant is called "Modern China Restaurant",located on the 10th floor of Time Square.Ever single dish is unbelievably good!Yes,I am serious!

The chicken dipped in Xaoshing wine tastes just like the way it smells.The taste of alcohol is really strong,but there's actually a bit of sweetness in the chicken.Without doubt,this is the best one in my life!

These egg yolk buns are THE BEST I've ever had in my like.Aw I know I say it once again.But it's true!In Taiwan,I had plenty of the egg yolk buns before,the egg yolk stuffing is awesome,but it's really hard to find one which also has a great dough.And this one is a perfect combination,it's made well inside out.I can't get enough of it hahha.In hope that we'll still have some,we pack two boxes back to Taiwan.

 Look!Isn't it amazing!

This's fried vegetables with bean curd sheet.A very simple dish,but it just makes me have a bite after another.

I  love to order this kind of red bean pastry in chinese restaurants.The surface is crispy and the stuffing is very dense and moist.I heart this : )

 The vegetables dumpling is a surprising one as well.The dough is very thin,stuffed with lots of mixed vegetables.This's a light and refreshing dish.

As I mentioned above,I don't know Hong Kong well,so I just want to share with you all what I saw,what I felt and what I love.Hope you enjoy this visual tour with me!

Tsui Wah Restaurant
Add: G/F,84-86 Des Voeux Road C.,Central,Hong Kong

Modern China Restaurant
Add:Shop 1002,10F,Times Square,1 Matheson St.,Causeway Bay,Hong Kong
p.s. There are also branch stores of this restaurant.For more info,please click the link above.

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