Taiwan : [Food] Alishan/Fenchihu

Travel Period : 30th Oct – 6th Nov 2012

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[  BREAKFAST  ]

Bento from 7-Eleven at Taoyuan HSR Station

We had initially expected food to be sold on board the HSR train itself but was told by the station staff that they were only available on trains during lunch and dinner hours. As a result, we decided to buy our breakfast from the 7-Eleven convenience store at the station instead.

Unlike Singapore’s 7-Eleven, there was quite a variety of food available for takeaway in the store, ranging from rice, noodles and pasta sets. There were also some hot local delicacies known as the 關東煮 where you can choose your desired foodstuff from quite a wide selection of things like eggs, meat and vegetables and put them in the hot prepared soup (somewhat like Yong Tau Foo but with dark brown saucy soup). In the end, I bought Salmon Bento for Dar, Chicken Katsu Don (Chicken Cutlet Rice) for Cat and Chicken Katsu Curry Don (Chicken Cutlet Rice with Curry) for myself.

After paying for the items at the counter, the staff heated them up for us using their four microwave machines. There would then place them into a plastic bag (no extra charge for the bag, unlike when buying other items) together with wooden chopsticks, plastic spoons and paper servettes.

Our instant food was nice and tasty and tasted almost the same as what we had eaten locally. Prices were very reasonable too and we were remarking to ourselves that it’s difficult to find such cheap prices for Japanese food locally! [Salmon Benton (NT 55 / SGD$2.30) | Chicken Katsu Don (NT65 /SGD$2.70) | Chicken Katsu Curry Don(NT70/SGD$2.90)]

By having our breakfast during our 40-minute HSR train ride, we had saved ourselves time.

[ LUNCH ]

Yu Shan Yuan Restaurant 玉山園餐廳 (near Alishan National Forest Recreation Area- Tourist Visitor Center)

201210_Day1Lunch

Upon arrival at Alishan National Forest Recreation Area at noon time, we decided to have our lunch first since the next train for the Alishan Forest Railway would only depart at 1pm. We were also starting to feel hungry after our cab journey since our breakfast.

An obvious signboard with the restaurant’s name caught our eyes and we decided to give it a try, remembering that we had read about it from one or two travel blogs before our trip (but we couldn’t remember if they had given negative or positive feedback at that time).

Upon entering the restaurant, we were asked to move up to the second floor where the view would be better. The place was relatively crowded but finding vacant seats shouldn’t be a problem at all.

They served steamboat but as we didn’t want to spend too much time eating, we decided to order two plates of fried rice and a large bowl of soup instead. I noticed the face of the waiter (or boss) did turn black a little when he realised we were not as big as spender he had expected though (steamboat would cost more).

The fried rice was delicious but the same couldn’t be said for the soup (can’t remember the name but there was some seafood and veggie), which was tasteless.

[  DINNER  ]

 Railway Bento (鐵路便當) at Fenchihu 阿坤老師傅特產專賣點 (2nd Storey)

201210_Day1DinnerRailwayBento

We had originally wanted to eat steamboat at Mr Xu’s (Tea Garden Homestay owner) friend’s place but had to cancel the plan due to time constraint, since we would have to arrive by 5pm+ at the homestay if we were to have our dinner there.

Our alternative plan was then to have steamboat dinner at Fenchihu or at a neighboring town but dropped that idea too, knowing that it would take us quite a while to travel and eat at a neighbouring town. We also didn’t want Mr Lin to wait for us for too long since it could be inconvenient and dangerous for him to drive down Alishan too late in the night.

So in the end, we decided to try out the famous Railway Bento (鐵路便當) which basically consisted of rice, pork, chicken and some vegetables. Earlier, Cat even came face-to-face with the founding father of the bento. Her impression of him was that he was still very energetic and youthful despite his old age.

Anyway, we returned to the shop where we had our tea earlier, as it had a restaurant area on its second floor. We were then served the Railway Bento at NT$120 each, with free flow of soup that we could scoop at the counter ourselves. Despite the bento’s fame, the food didn’t suit our taste so we didn’t really enjoy the meal. Most of the preserved veggies were left untouched and the pork had a taste unfamiliar to us. Guess the locals would have liked it better than us. ^^|

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