Hai Di Lao? Try Elixir Health Pot (Wu Lao Guo) at Taipei

Elixir Health Pot (無老鍋) Wu Lao Guo @ Taipei

Address: No. 36-1, Section 2, Zhongshan N Rd, Zhongshan District 台北市中山區中山北路二段36-1號

Opening hours: 11.00am to 2.30am daily

Online Reservation: http://partner.eztable.com/booking.php?page_name=wulao

Introduction

Wu Lao Guo is a renowned Steam Boat Restaurant owned by the Tripodking Group (鼎王国际餐饮股份有限公司). Elixir Health Pot (無老鍋) or Wu Lao Guo, is an brand expansion of the famous Tripodking Spicy Hot Pot and opened it’s door in Year 2009.

22981176744_cfccb46326

This place was recommended by a friend who sworn that this is his number 1 for Best Steamboat, even better than our Singapore’s Hai Di Lao (海底捞). I went to their Taipei branch at Zhongshan Station (中山站) which is about 7 minutes walk from MRT. I wouldn’t be able to get a table without reservation as it’s full house on a Sunday evening.

22981304174_4fb7369a23

The dining ambiance is little different from a typical Chinese style restaurant. The dining floor is dimly lited with most of the light coming from a pair of bright dining light overhanging the hot pot.  Each and every table is spaciously partitioned into a semi-private dining area.

Ice Cream Tofu Soup Base

I opt for their Ice Cream Tofu soup base that is boiled in ingredients like pork bone and ginseng. Honestly, this broth is best thing at Wu Lao Guo. It’s definitely satisfying for people that like Tonkotsu broth but this broth is like three times more flavourful. The ingredients in the soup is refillable as well.

22981201804_061d633aef

I can say that I have never tasted a steamboat base with such a strong flavour before. And that is when I understand why there are only three items at the condiment counter, because there is no need for it. Everything that you dumped into the pot comes out tasty.

22981232824_e634d5752e

I’m quite satisfied with most of the items that i’d ordered. Items like the thinly sliced Shabu Shabu Pork, fried dough stick and bean curb skin are very enjoyable thanks to the robust soup base.

22982335353_496451f38b

The pork dumpling is very well flavoured, it’s like as if you are eating the fillings of some pork bun (肉包) found in Singapore with a typical meat ball texture.

22982362333_baf91b9108

The cooked Scallop Paste also has a fish-like fibery texture, with a blend of sweet and savoury taste. This is something that I will order again if I’m back next time.

23500830942_1e3d2a2647

23313706490_b36021d058

The texture of the ice cream tofu is very fluffy and soft and unlike this name suggest, it doesn’t has a sweet taste. It doesn’t exactly melt in your mouth but it’s pretty interesting as I never had anything similar in Singapore before. However it’s not something that I will order if it doesn’t comes with the soup.

22982356323_06282eca56

Here’s a summary of the damage:

Soup Base per pax NT$159 (S$7.3 x 2 )
Shabu Shabu Pork Shoulder NT$288 (S$13)
Scallop Paste NT $268 ($12.2)
Bean Curd Skin NT$88 (S$4)
Pork Dumpling NT$128 (S$5.8)
Fried Dough Stick NT$68 (S$3.1)
Mixed Mushroom NT$168 (S$7.6)

23526988751_231b2dfe02

23500854632_81d211f01b

Conclusion

Apart from the food, I’m rather impressed with Wu Lao Guo’s service. The waitresses are very attentive to my requests and always bow at 90 degree whenever she attended to a request. Talking about VIP treatment.

23609393225_8b3952dfca

If you want some variety instead of just whacking the cheap and tasty Taiwanese street food, Elixir Health Pot (Wu Lao Guo) may just be the place. On top of providing comfort and great service, their food is pretty outstanding too.  Looking for a nice restaurant to bring your parents I hear?

The price is not exactly economical, but if you are ok with price of Singapore’s Hai Di Lao (海底捞), you will definitely be ok with this. Personally, i feel that this is more bang for your bucks than Hai Di Lao.

If you intend to visit this place, i would suggest to make an online reservation ( http://partner.eztable.com/booking.php?page_name=wulao).

Map and Direction

Going to Wu Lao Guo Zhongshan Brunch is very simple and straightforward.

  1. Alight at Zhongshan station and come out from Exit 3
  2. Continue walking straight until you come to Zhongshan North Road. You won’t miss this. It’s a main road.
  3. There is no need to cross the road. Turn left and continue walking for about 200m and you will see Wu Lao Guo

Advertisements

Hello Kitty Cafe @ Taipei, Zhongxiao Fuxing

Hello Kitty Kitchen and Dining (凱蒂貓餐廳)

Address: No. 90, Section 1, Da’an Rd, Da’an DistrictTaipei City, TaiwanTaipei, Taiwan (台灣大安路一段90號台北市)

Opening hours: 11:30am to 9:30pm daily

Facebook Page (For reservation): https://www.facebook.com/Hello-Kitty-Kitchen-And-Dining-260853043946112/

Introduction

Opened in Year 2008, this Hello Kitty Cafe at Taipei finally underwent a major renovation and reopened in July 2015 and I’m just in time to catch a glimpse of this brand new cafe. It’s situated in Taipei and is nearest to the MRT station Zhongxiao Fuxing (Exit 3) which takes only about 3 minutes of walking.

23431026672_18d147566e1

At the restaurant, the rice is Hello Kitty, the bread is Hello Kitty, the Napkin is Hello Kitty, the cake is Hello Kitty. Basically everything is either in Hello Kitty shape or decorated with the Cat’s signature bow tie. For those that has phobia of pink, please do not ever step into this restaurant.

23411860361_88c05203421

As a man, naturally (fortunately) I did not experience the exhilaration of dining in such a restaurant however I have to agree that the interior is very well thought of and I’m sure the Fans of Hello Kitty will definitely enjoy the dining ambience.

23385826732_458849bd70

22867190853_99f25a8acb_n

Menu 1 of 2. Click to enlarge.

 

23468206446_dc2e03ee64_n

Menu 2 of 2. Click to enlarge.

Food

Among the menu, I ordered the two safest choice which is their Japanese Style Curry Pork Chop Rice at NT$500 (S$22) and their Mushroom Bacon Beef Burger at NT$450 (S$20). These main courses come with bread, soup, choice of drink and a choice of dessert.

23468209336_2c411f50c81

As I have almost zero expectation of the food here, I was surprised that the two main courses are actually quite decent, and I especially love the fries that come with the Burger.

The bread and rice come in a shape of Hello Kitty, which I think it will be an interesting meal to have especially for young kids.

23198576680_7c1eacae2b

However, their soup is quite a disaster which I gave up the whole bowl after having a mouthful.

23494354685_8b413ee8d22

The dessert, the Golden Chocolate Pie’s crust is a little too stiff and hard but I find the fillings quite delicious. The taste of their Cheese Cake is good but it’s a pity that the texture is a bit too dry. Oh well.

22866036174_39f1c87eca

Did I mention that there is a minimum spending of NT$300 (S$13.60) per person?

23411861571_9cfce905a5

If you are coming here for a meal, fret not because it will definitely cost more than that (not sure if it’s a good thing). There is also a dining duration of 1.5 hours, although the whole restaurant is relatively empty during my visit (Monday 8.00pm).

22866037204_d03972065e

Conclusion

I think if the purpose of visit to this café is to enjoy the best meal in Taipei, then you should give this place a miss. However, if the purpose is the indulge yourself in a fun and pretty dining environment, and also to take a lot of pretty food photos as if they are some sort of attraction, then this place is probably more suitable for you.

23198573660_1638e3dbaf

Again, the two main courses that I ordered are actually quite decent, not disgusting. For some, I believe just looking at the dishes already made some people happier and in a better mood for dining.

23385826052_90854a11a6

If you are looking for a place that your kids may enjoy, and not ridiculously crowded (unlike the newly opened Rilakkuma Café) this may just be the place.

23411860891_801ac0cf6b

They do accept online reservation via Facebook and you can find the URL at the start of my post. This café is conveniently located within minutes of walking from the MRT station. On google map, you won’t be able to located the exact Location of Exit 3 of Zhongxiao Fuxing station so I did up one for you here. Basically, when you come out from the exit, just go straight and turn right:

23539489165_ce2377f3e0