Ximending Taiwanese Cuisine, Vivo City

I’ve been playing with ISOs recently.

My weekend trip to Bandung, Indonesia a few weeks ago had been a whirlwind tour – activity-packed, rushed but exciting nonetheless. Therefore it shouldn’t come as a surprise that just seconds before we left the room for the final time to check-out, I spotted a perfectly working iPhone charger just hanging around. One couldn’t be too careful, and we still had to conquer Tangkuban Perahu in less than four hours, so I took it, and before I knew it, it slipped my mind completely. Turns out the charger belonged to Titus, so ever since that realization, we’ve been trying to schedule a meet up, albeit half-heartedly. That opportunity finally presented itself this afternoon when he invited me to join him as a guest at Fitness First. We’d do this from time to time, and I relish the invite, especially since I suspended my California Fitness membership for three months three months ago to stem any “unnecessary” financial losses during my unemployment phase. After that, I tagged along for dinner with him and his friend as they discuss their travel plans for the US East Coast in October. I didn’t know his friend, but tagging along was better than going home. I mean, it was a Saturday night after all.

We had dinner at Ximending at Vivo City. Contrary to what you might think, it wasn’t actually our first choice. We visited many eateries only to find snaking long queues, and finally settled at the one with the least individuals waiting. Having worked out for a whole two hours (well, I’m a firm believer in short high intensive workouts, so I gave it my all the first 45 minutes, then eased off for the rest of the time to the chagrin of my friend, who thought it a waste to bring me in as a guest), I was famished, and by the looks of it, so was everybody, so we ordered the cheapest set menu, and got on with it.

Stir-fried Asparagus with Beef

It’s white asparagus season! Oh well, it’s clearly not white asparagus, but it’s nice to get into the spirit of it. Overall, the taste was alright. I don’t quite expect much from presentation, but the array of color was adequate. The only criticism I’d have is that the beef was woefully lacking in any amount.

Seafood with Tofu Soup

Taiwanese-style soups have never quite been the most interesting of the lot, often lacking in layer and exciting flavors, and it’s sometimes often a little bland, but it’s a great comfort food if you’re having it piping hot in the bone-chilling winter.

Tofu with Black Bean Soup

I was a tad disappointed when I had this dish because instead of the soft variant of tofu, Ximending opted for the firm variant (tau kwa). It felt a little meaty, and the flavors just didn’t gel together with the black bean sauce.

Deep-fried Spring Chicken

TOO SALTY.

Salt and Spice Prawns

Again, too salty, which was a real pity because the prawns were fried really well.

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