With fellow food media personalities, my friend GiGi Dubois (GiGi Eats Celebrities), Lynn Chen (The Actor’s Diet), her husband Abe Forman-Greenwald (Buzzfeed), Ronnie Chen (Taiwanese Media) and her husband George, I experienced lush green landscapes, accommodating people, sky high views and meals that I will never forget. Many thanks to the Taiwan Tourism Bureau, our five day culinary tour of Taiwan left me surprised, appreciative and mostly full.
At our table were plenty of xiao long bao: pork, pork & crab, and the most spectacular -- pork & truffle. There was also the cucumber salad, shao mai (steamed dumplings) stuffed individually some with fish, vegetable, shrimp and pork. There was also vegetarian fried rice, sautéed spinach with garlic, hot and sour soup and the red bean rice cake with flecks of rainbow sprinkles for dessert. It looked much sweeter than it tasted.
If you visit Din Tai Fung, in Taipei or any other worldwide location, the only things you need to order are the traditional pork xiao long bao, the pork and truffle xiao long boa and the cucumber salad. I say the simpler the better. All of these things are incredibly delicious and will fill you up to completeness. If you still have room I would try a red bean bun for dessert. (Sugar addicts beware, Taiwan is not a culture of refined sugary sweets. Eventually you will appreciate the mild sweetness of the traditional pineapple cake or red bean steamed buns.) Before or after dining specifically at the Taipei 101 location, as our troupe did, be sure to ride the world's fastest elevator to the top for incredible views of the city (ground to 89th floor in 37 seconds).