Field Trip: Jane Doe’s Kitchen 新莊區的 無名女孩廚房 

Information:  Address: No. 516-34, Zhongzheng Road, Xinzhuang District, New Taipei City, 242| Hours: 10AM–3PM and 5PM – 10 PM| Closed on Mondays| Phone: 02-2904 0321

Most days at the office, I just have time to gulp down a (lukewarm) bento before heading back to work.  However, one lucky day, I came to the realization that I was a tiny bit ahead of schedule, and I actually had time for a real lunch. Like one that involved non-disposable silverware.  So my assistant and I decided to pop into Jane Doe’ Kitchen for a bite and chat.  The interior of the cafe is simple, yet inviting.  Make sure to check the blackboard for the specials of the day.

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Hello Tokyo! Hotel Recommendation: Sunroute Plaza, Shinjuku, and breakfast ideas at Gontrain Cherrier and Blue Bottle Cafe

In this post, I thought I would write about some of the basic amenities that made my trip so enjoyable. I’ll give you a quick review of the hotel that I stayed in, and my two recommendations for breakfast. I learned from a previous trip, that I am not one of those people who likes surprises when it comes to hotel rooms. I like to know exactly what the room will look like and what is nearby. That’s why if I find a suitable hotel, I usually will stay in the same one whenever I’m back in the country.  During my first trip to Tokyo, I stayed at Sunroute Plaza, in Shinjuku based on the recommendation of my friends, Carol and Laura, whose advice I trust with my life.  They were right, the hotel was perfect for my needs. First of all, there is an airport shuttle that goes directly to the hotel, from both Haneda and Narita airports.  The ground staff and driver help you with your luggage, and each piece is tagged and labeled before being placed in the trunk of the bus. The hotel is the last stop on the route, so you don’t have to worry about missing your stop.  At the end of your stay, you can book and purchase your airport shuttle ticket at the front desk, and that’s one less thing to worry about on your day of departure.

Once you arrive, the check-in process is smooth and efficient.  The staff is professional, friendly and bilingual.  I always want to see the inside of the hotel room when reading reviews, so here is a shot of my room:

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The room is small, but adequate.  I had to think a moment about how to open my suitcase, but after trying a few angles, I finally figured it out.  There are no drawers and just a tiny closet in this room, so you have to basically live out of your suitcase. There is a desk that faces a big window, that lets in plenty of light.  The window sill is also nice and wide, so you can store some items on it. All the electrical outlets in the room are located on this desk, so if you have a lot of gadgets that need to be charged, you might want to bring your own surge protector, or power strip.  There is free wifi in all the rooms, and also downstairs in the hotel lobby.

And the view from the window!  The glass is double-paned, so even with all that is going on inside, you don’t hear any street traffic or noise.

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Hello Seoul! Exploring the Mart

In Asia, convenience stores are an essential part of our daily lives.  So, I always take my friends from overseas to convenience stores in  Taiwan, so they can ogle the vast selection of products, and experience an important part of local culture.  One friend asked me, “how is it that you’re not late for work everyday, when you have so many decision to make?”  Good question!

I also love going into convenience stores during my travels, just to see all the different items. On my first day in Seoul, I arrived in a state of exhaustion. (Note to self, don’t take the 7 am flight, because that means you have to wake up at 3 am and that pretty much wipes you out for the rest of the day),  Luckily for me, there was a Mart near the place I was staying for me to explore.

The Mart was very small, but it didn’t stop me from spending almost a half an hour in there exploring all that it had to offer, much to the amusement of the two aunties that were working there.

One food item that was on my list of things to try was the banana milk.  I absolutely adore the shape of the bottle, because it looks so cute and friendly to me.  The banana milk is available in Taiwan, but it comes in a regular juice box, which is probably why I’ve never been tempted to try it before.

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Field Trip: Savour Cafe

Information:  Xin Yi Road, Section 4, Number 115-2 | 台北市信義路四段115-2號 Tel: (02) 2701 2498| Hours: 11:30am-10pm

Recently, I stumbled upon this lovely cafe amidst the busy streets of Taipei. It’s located on a busy street corner, and it’s easy to miss because there is only a tiny discreet sign on the side of the building and on the front door.


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Savour Cafe is the size and shape of a shoebox, but I think that just adds to the coziness factor. The full length windows let in a lot of natural light, and the interior decor is simple, yet full of interesting details.

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Field Trip: Finding kitchen treasures at Woolloomooloo’s WXY Yakka~ 讓我找到回憶跟創意的小店

Many of you know that Woolloomooloo is a hip urban gastropub in Taipei that serves Australian-style lattes and a wonderful variety of Western style entrees and appetisers.

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But, to me, the best part about Woolloomooloo is the desserts.  My most heartfelt love goes to their strawberry tart.  It is perfection on a plate. The organic strawberries are ripe, sweet and juicy, and the creamy smooth tart base has just the right hint of tanginess.

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學生時代的時候, 我在澳洲住了將近四年。 那時候, 最enjoy的是澳洲的咖啡。 那裡的咖啡就是小小的一杯, 但非常濃郁。 喝完了那一杯真的會讓你精神百倍。 回想一下, 我那幾年加起來大概喝了上百杯的小小杯咖啡吧! 後來時透過好朋友 Janet 才知道 Wolloomoolo 也能喝到澳洲 style 的咖啡。

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Field Trip: Dami Cafe (來水木喝咖啡)

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Dami Coffee
水木咖啡

It’s always hard to find your new “favorite” coffee shop when you have moved to a new neighborhood.  Two years ago, I found Dami Cafe about a week after I moved into town, and started my new job.  The owner, Dami, was the first person I had a conversation with, outside of work.  He was also new to the area, and had just opened up shop a few weeks earlier.  I remember I ordered a latte on my first visit.  Why do I remember it so vividly? Well, two reasons really. One, because I always drink lattes.  Two, because I left without paying for it.  Halfway through the latte, I was called back into work for a meeting.  During the meeting, it dawned on me that I had left the cafe without paying my bill.  I spent the rest of the meeting on edge, thinking about my criminal behavior.  When the meeting was (finally) over, I walked back to Dami’s. The second I walked into the shop, he started laughing.  He said “I knew you would be back!”     And he was right. This cafe became one of my favorite places to drink coffee, my mobile office, and my extended living room.

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兩年前是第一次來到水木咖啡   到現在印象都還很深刻。第一, 是我來到新竹喝到最好喝的 Latte,  第二, 是我人生第一次喝了霸王咖啡。 我還記得那一天 我剛好在學校的書店 在買文具的過程 聞到很香的咖啡味。 我 “followed my nose”  找到了水木咖啡。 老闆跟我一樣, 剛來新竹  店也剛開始營業。 聊著 聊著 突然接到辦公室的電話, 要我回去開會。 我就匆匆忙忙的離開了。 開會中, 才發覺我既然 忘。了。付。錢!!!  天啊。   後來回咖啡店的時候, 老闆笑著說, 我知道你會回來的” 我好奇的問他 “你怎麼知道?” 他回我說 “有緣分就會回來”

For the past two years, Dami’s cafe has been located inside National Tsing Hua University’s campus bookstore.  When you walk towards the building from the front campus gates, you can see the lights twinkling inside from a distance, welcoming you from afar.

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The cafe is small and cozy, and most of the activity happens around the coffee bar.   This is where everyone hangs out to talk to Dami about coffee, and life, in general.

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All the beans are roasted daily,  in-house by Dami.

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Dami roasting coffee beansThe beans arrive in huge burlap sacks, and Dami picks them over three times, to ensure that only the best beans are selected to be roasted.

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Green coffee beans —–> Roasted coffee beans

This meticulous attention to detail results in some pretty amazing coffee. (I know, true coffee connoisseurs drink their coffee without milk, but I can’t do it. Call me an impostor, if you will).

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Iced Cappuccino

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In addition to serving up a variety of coffees, teas and juices, Dami also serves homemade vegetarian dumplings made by his mother.  His mother selects all the ingredients for her dumplings with the greatest of care.

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Dami’s mother’s homemade vegetarian dumplings

Each dumping is filled to bursting with six different kinds of chopped vegetables and is lightly flavored with fresh ginger and sesame oil. 誰說咖啡跟餃子不配? 其實吃完老闆媽媽親手包的味道清爽,又有營養的素餃子, 再喝一杯濃郁的咖啡 會讓你整天都很滿足的感覺。

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You might be wondering, what are are dumplings doing  on a cafe menu? But as soon as you are absorbed into the atmosphere of this cafe, you will realize that there is nothing that goes better with this coffee.  Both dumplings and coffee are created with quiet determination, with only the best, freshest and healthiest ingredients.  With each bite and sip, you will realize that both Dami and his mother consider their customer not as an anonymous person, but as a friend of their family.

我平常生活是忙碌的, 總是有一堆做不完,“應該” 要做的事情。可是每次來到水木喝咖啡會讓我暫時把生活的步調放慢,享受當下的 moments.  Dami 每次看我慌慌張張, 急急忙忙的, 都會說 ”慢慢來最快“  我一直覺得這句話很有道理。 按步就班   一步一步的,是最踏實, 有效率的方式。

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At the time of posting, Dami’s Cafe has closed down, because he is going abroad to follow his dreams of learning more about coffee.  Do not despair, he will be back in Taiwan after a year, filled with new ideas and recipes to share.   老闆最近要出國經修 追求夢想 一年以後會回台灣繼續的跟大家分享好喝的咖啡!

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