21 2 / 2012
We visited on a cold grey morning but the complex wasn’t as sombre as you might expect a memorial site to be. There were kids lined up in the courtyard (school trip perhaps) and joggers up and down the steps.
Chiang Kai-shek was a military leader who moved his government to Taipei after defeat at the hands of Mao Zedong. He was never able to take back mainland China and died 26 years after coming to Taiwan. According to the Taiwan Tourism Bureau, it is the attraction most visited by foreign tourists.
[Main memorial hall]
Inside the main memorial hall you can watch the changing of the guard.
The statute of the man himself I quite admired because he is not heavily adorned. He’s made of a simple painted bronze, is dressed real casual and he has a great smile. A lovely sincere and gentle smile.
National Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall: No 21, Zhongshan S Rd, Zhongshan District, Taipei City.
28 1 / 2012
During our week long trip I had fried chicken five times.
I’m a bit of a fried chicken fiend (a huge supporter of the controversial double down) and Taiwan did not disappoint.
In Taiwan fried chicken takes on a whole new meaning, while they do have what I would call ‘the regular stuff’ ie KFC, the night markets and some smaller stalls take on an even better fried chicken product: the fried chicken steak.
Frank best described it as deep fried chicken the-size-of-your-face. Tasting it quite quickly became the most anticipated event of our trip.
The first place we tried was Hot Star in the underground part of Shilin Night Market.
I was pretty stoked on first bite, this chicken was thick, juicy, HOT and tasty with a little bit of spice. However Frank was unconvinced and I soon realised why.
Upstairs and outside there was another Hot Star with a really long line! I’ve noticed Asians love to queue for food — its a sure sign the grub’s good. We went back the next night and yes this chicken was better. It was crumbed and that made all the difference.
I had several variations of the steak: where it was cut into pieces, where it was more like fried chicken clumps (that was too borderline k-fry for me) and a variation where they barbecued the chicken after deep frying. But I would recommend the outdoor Hot Star Stand at Shilin over all that I tried.
Warning: They call it a chicken ‘steak’ but it does have bones.
Apparently there’s a Hot Star here in Singapore I’m yet to try. I’m pretty sceptical but here’s the details anyhow!
Hot-Star Large Fried Chicken
City Square Mall #B1-K7 (Farrer Park MRT)
Tel: +65 6634 8032
Opening hours: 10.30am – 9.45pm Daily
20 12 / 2011
The smell hits you as soon as you turn the corner by the Little India MRT exit. Frank found it gross, I found it somehow exciting; its like a mix of incense and curries and is hot and sticky.
Markets line the streets, including gorgeous (and very affordable) costume jewellery as well as silk saris. I would also go just to check out the cute mechanical toy shops along the way.
But we came for the food really. I regret not being adventurous enough for the smaller street stores, instead Frank had looked up a restaurant online - Khansama - that we found on the main road.
[Chicken tikka entree]
Khansama is a franchise that advertises itself as ‘Probably the best North Indian restaurants in Singapore’, and wouldn’t know to argue with that. There were plenty of tourists inside so it probably wasn’t extremely authentic Indian but it was air conditioned and the toilets were clean.
It was around ten SG dollars for a curry, but by the time we’d ordered entrees, naans, mango lassis and rice as well (I’m Chinese, can’t go without my white rice!) it all added up.
Was a quick introduction to Little India really. Somehow we didn’t see Mustafas, the famous 24 hour department store so I definitely be returning.
18 12 / 2011