Croatia – a basic guide to food!

How to visit the Balkans: Introducing Croatia – the dream of Game of Thrones!

And so it’s here!

The last post that I’ll be writing about Croatia.

For now!

But what a most important post!

It goes without saying that my stay in Croatia was a delight. It was my first time to go to the Balkans, but it certainly, won’t be the last. If you’re just tuning in, here’s what you missed:

10 reasons why Zagreb is a family destination – A great place for teenagers!
Game of Thrones – Season 7 – Kristofer Hivju as Tormund Giantsbane & Gwendoline Christie as Brienne of Tarth
©Helen Sloan – HBO

Honestly speaking, most people have never previously heard of Croatia.

Before Game of Thrones!

I’m a great fan of the show and can’t wait to see Series Seven (7).

And Eight (8)!

I know. I’m a freakish nerd!

A traditional Busker in Zagreb – Croatia!

Isn’t Croatia somewhere in Eastern Europe?

Yes.

And No!

It can’t be both surely?

The Music Producer in Split. Geographically, Croatia is one of the previous communist states!

Well, geographically, it’s one of the previous communist states.

Don’t worry.

Breath!

However, in recent years, Croatia has managed to re-invent itself, so that even though it is actually in Eastern Europe, it’s marketed as Central Europe too!

Croatia isn’t crowded in the Spring – Locals in Zagreb – Croatia!

In truth, it has the vibe of the Mediterranean, and you’d be hard pressed not to think that in certain parts of Croatia, you could actually be in Italy, or dare I say it. Austria!

And this is reflected in it’s food!

Book your hotel here!

So let’s get started:

WHAT IS CROATIAN FOOD?

Croatia – a basic guide to food!

Croatian food is defined by it’s regions, towns and villages, and has its own distinct culinary tradition rooting back to ancient times!

The best way to experience how a nation really lives, is to go to the market place and sample street food.

I adore street food as it’s ultimately the best way to get to the culture of a nation. I’ve been to many countries, and sampled many a nations’ cuisine, and Croatia was no exception!

The differences in the selection of foodstuffs and forms of cooking are most notable between those on the Croatian mainland, and those in coastal regions.

Croatia – a basic guide to food!

Mainland cuisine is characterized by earlier Slavic and neighboring cultures such as Hungarian and Turkish, with the use of pork fat such as lard, and spices such as black pepper, paprika, and garlic, while the coastal regions are influenced by ancient Greek, Roman, and modern-day Mediterranean cuisine, with the use of olive oil, and herbs and spices such as rosemary, sage, bay leaf, and citrus rind.

Rustic traditional food is derived from the former Yugoslavian nations and use the same basic ingredients such as grains, dairy, meat, fish, and vegetables, with similar cooking styles such as stewing, grilling, roasting and baking.

We spent a lot of the time in coastal regions.

Take me to Dubrovnik right away!

Most ingredients used in Croatian food would be:

  • olive oil
  • courgettes
  • cabbage
  • aubergine
  • tomatoes
  • mushrooms
If you’re looking for traditional ingredients, you can get everything you need at a local street market!

Croatia has an abundance of fresh, local, seasonal foodstuff such as olives and honey, joined in recent years by a plethora of health and ecology-conscious food stores selling organic vegetables, pure fruit juices, gluten-free bread and all manner of boutique deli grocery items!

In fact, there’s absolutely no need to visit a supermarket at all!

Take a look below:

CROATIA – A BASIC GUIDE TO FOOD!

Lamb on baby green pea puree - Croatian food is most delicious!
Lamb on baby green pea puree – Croatian food is most delicious!

I could write pages and pages of what Croatian food consists of and how they make it, but instead, I’ll let the pictures do the talking and if you have further insight, let me know in the comment section below!

BRUNCH:

Booking an apartment in Croatia is by far better, than booking a hotel!

We stayed in various apartments which I found courtesy of booking.com. All were pretty huge, centrally located, and cost between €45.00 – €60.00 per nights. As a result, we didn’t really go out for breakfast, but rather for brunch!

You can opt for:

This plate of Cevapcici was certainly pretty cheap. Ho! Ho!
  • Cevapcici – a type of grilled lamb sausage dish traditionally found in many Balkan countries and actually, the national dish of Bosnia,  Herzegovina, and Serbia! It’s usually served on a plate or in flatbread, with raw chopped onions, sour cream, kajmak, ajvar, feta cheese, ground red pepper and salt. The service was slow but the food was quite delicious. Bought at Kitchen & Gruill PLAC – Cost: 39kn or €5.25
  • Soparnika (chard filled pastry)
  • Zrnovo macaroni
  • OMG! Truffles in Štrukli!
A popular traditional Croatian dish composed of dough and stuffed with cheese – Štrukli Truffles in Zagreb – Croatia!

Štrukli is a popular traditional Croatian dish composed of dough and filled with cheese, various types of filling and then cooked or baked. We found ours at a popular place where you can have a wide variety of štrukli, ranging from traditional cheese to blueberry. We had ours with truffles and sat in the very pretty summer garden. Great service. Fantastic food! Bought at La Štruk restaurant in Zagreb. Cost: 35kn or €4.70

  • Quiche
  • Scrambled eggs with prsut, mushrooms and cheese
  • Smoked-salmon platter
An Egg Benedict brunch, at a unique restaurant within the Square of the City Walls in Split-Croatia!
  • We had brunch at this rather wonderful unique restaurant within one of the Squares of the city walls of Split! In fact, we liked the restaurant so much that we went back twice! The Music Producer & The Tall Young Gentleman both had a meal of Egg Benedict which consisted of poached eggs laid on top of crunchy whole wheat toasted bread, creamy avocado, rocket, tomato and olive oil. Bought at the cute restaurant Bepa! in Split. Cost: 30kn or €4.00
A Croatian-style “English breakfast,” at a unique restaurant within the Square of the City Walls in Split-Croatia!
  • I had the Croatian-style “English breakfast” of scrambled eggs, crispy bacon, Croatian sausage, grilled tomato, and spicy baked beans! Again, bought at Bepa! above, in Split. Cost: 59kn or €8.00
A “Club Sandwich” beef burger, a fried egg, bacon, lettuce, & tomatoes, served with a portion of chips in a red polka dot mug and a tureen of ketchup!
  • We went back again for lunch and both The Music Producer and The Tall Young Gentleman had burgers. Here’s the “Club Sandwich” which actually consisted of a beef burger, a fried egg, bacon, lettuce, and tomatoes, served with a portion of chips in a red polka dot mug and a fancy tureen of ketchup! Once again bought at Bepa! above, in Split. Cost: 65kn or €8.80
  • Porridge with an array of snazzy toppings
Ham and egg foam pâté with horseradish cream, for Easter brunch, in Dubrovnik – Croatia!

We were invited to a complimentary press Easter brunch, along with journalists from Italy! Our brunch was at a restaurant which was opposite the Gate of the Old City of Dubrovnik.

  • The restaurant serves only Croatian food as a matter of policy, and includes both seafood and meat dishes. We had a three (3) course brunch meal and a separate dessert was made for me ‘cos of my allergies! Our ham and egg foam pâté with horseradish cream was most delicious, and something I had never had before! Eaten at GUSTA ME restaurant in Dubrovnik – press lunch – As part of an Easter brunch three-course menu – retail price – 160kn or €21.00
  • Cololino (Croatian pap)

SNACKS:

Pork sandwiches bought at the street market in Zagreb – Croatia
  • Pork sandwiches made from Istrian and Dalmatian Pršut – dry-cured ham, tucked into thick slabs of fresh crusty bread from Vis! Bought at the Zagreb Street Market on the Ban Jelačić (main) square. Cost: 21.20kn or €2.85
Mmm! Fritule – Croatian doughnuts – are quite yum!
  • Fritule – Croatian doughnuts – can be found everywhere in Croatia. Bought at the Zagreb Street Market on the Ban Jelačić (main) square. Cost: 15 kn or €2.00
A Croatian sandwich made from thick slices of mozzarella and thinly cut Miljevci prosciutto, in Zagreb – Croatia!

A Croatian sandwich made from a bread roll with thick slices of mozzarella and thinly cut Miljevci prosciutto. Bought at the cafe next door to our lovely apartment in Zagreb. Cost: 12kn or €1.70!

Book your hotel here!

DINNER:

I can't remember where ate this meal, but it was lovely! Croatia - a basic guide to food!
I can’t remember where ate this meal, but it was lovely! Croatia – a basic guide to food!

For dinner, we always strive to patronise interesting traditional-inspired restaurants. For this, we don’t scrimp, but use the opportunity to sample all that is good in Croatian cuisine.

We wanted to eat in Gornji Grad – the Old Town – The restaurant that we had our eye on was situated between the church of St. Mark, the Natural History Museum, the Museum of the City of Zagreb, and not far off from the Museum of Broken Relationships!

However, without a reservation, or a large number of heads, it proved extremely difficult to get a nice seat, or any seat at all! Of course, if you’re happy to be tucked in the outside patio, far from the action, or where you couldn’t see a thing then…

Er. Nope! I didn’t come all this way to be hidden away.

We decided to come again the next day, and this time we succeeded!

Dalmatian uštipak – fried doughnut balls – served with kajmak – Croatian clotted cream cheese ‘cos of the less-than-stellar service!

It’s a tavern-like place that is influenced by a mixture of Bosnian-Herzegovinian and Mediterranean cuisine. Sadly, the service wasn’t the best and neither was the food. Both The Music Producer and The Tall Young Gentleman enjoyed their dinner, but I didn’t!

  • The above dish of Dalmatian uštipak – fried doughnut balls – served with kajmak – Croatian clotted cream cheese was served On the House, ‘cos of the less-than-stellar service! Bought at Konoba Didov San – Gornji Grad, in Zagreb. Cost: 0.00kn or €0.00
Grilled eel with a nice side dish of roast potatoes, in Zagreb – Croatia!
  • The meal above was a dish of grilled eel with a nice side dish of roast potatoes. Bought at Konoba Didov San – Gornji Grad, in Zagreb. Cost: 130kn or €18.00
  • Wild asparagus
  • Dried pork loin and sausage with pickled cabbage
I'm not a fan of burgers so I had a chicken club sandwich consisting of chicken, bacon, grilled ham, onions and tomatoes, with a "cup" of roast potatoes!
I’m not a fan of burgers so I had a chicken club sandwich consisting of chicken, bacon, grilled ham, onions and tomatoes, with a “cup” of roast potatoes!

I’ve become quite European in nature so that I’m quite picky. In Zagreb, this could lead to not finding a place to eat!

  • Luckily, we found a nice little outfit which was small, and had a trendy bar and bistro menu. I’m not a fan of burgers so I had a chicken club sandwich consisting of chicken, bacon, grilled ham, onions and tomatoes, with a “cup” of roast potatoes! Bought at Otto & Frank, in Zagreb. Cost: 42kn or €5.60
  • Wild boar
  • Chicken in a wood-fired oven
  • Vitalac – skewered lamb offal
Eating frogs – Croatia – a basic guide to food!
  • Eels and frogs
  • Lamb tripe
  • Artichokes with fava beans

SEAFOOD:

A full seafood lunch of Frigadura, at a unique restaurant within the Square of the City Walls in Split-Croatia! We liked it so much, we went twice!
  • I had a “trayful” of seafood samples or Frigadura at this rather wonderful unique restaurant within one of the Squares of the city walls of Split! In fact, we liked the restaurant so much that we went back twice! My meal consisted of prawns, shrimps, mussels and sardines, served with a portion of french fries and a fancy tureen of whitefish sauce! Bought at the cute restaurant Bepa! in Split. Cost: 95kn or €12.80
  • Crab
  • Oysters

I adore seafood so we went to a little sailing harbour in Split and found a lovely place. It was packed with Croatian locals, Italians, and lots of families with their teenage children! I was already impressed as teenagers can be so picky, but discerning!

Pasta and seafood in Split. Oh my!
  • We all had pasta seafood dishes. My Tagliatelle came with mussels, shrimps, prawns and bits of lobster in a tomato sauce. Delish! Bought at the sailing restaurant Konoba – Barkarola in Split. Cost: 75kn or €11.00
Pickled seafood – Croatia – a basic guide to food
King Prawns – Croatia – a basic guide to food!
St. Jacobs scallops with spinach risotto – Croatia – a basic guide to food!
  • Scampi
  • Butarga – salted, cured fish roe
  • Spiny lobster

DESSERT:

Croatia – a basic guide to food!

On our second night in Croatia, we went to a restaurant that is located in one of the oldest streets in the city’s old centre. In a basement that is over 300 years old! Unfortunately, the lighting was too “soft” to take good photos so I only have a picture of dessert!

Istrian custard or flawn, presented with berries & cream in Zagreb – Croatia!
Chocolate cake in Dubrovnik – Croatia. Eww!
  • I hate chocolate cake, but if you like it, help yourself in Dubrovnik. Eww!! Eaten at GUSTA ME restaurant in Dubrovnik – press lunch – As part of an Easter brunch three-course menu – retail price – 160kn or €21.00
Ice cream in Zagreb – Croatia!

Who doesn’t love ice-cream? I’m always having to be careful ‘cos of the liberal sprinkling of nuts that I seem to see everywhere these days, and the combination of chocolate! The former ‘cos I have a nut allergy, and the latter ‘cos I don’t like chocolate! I read about a trendy ice-cream parlour in the Time Out Zagreb magazine, so off we went.

  • The ice-cream parlour didn’t let us down. Bought at Millennium in Zagreb. Cost: 9kn per ice-cream scoop or €1.25!!!
  • Sweet pastries

DRINKS & REFRESHMENTS:

This glass of beer was quaffed on our Dubrovnik apartment terrace, and was a gift from our Croatian landlord!

The food culture in Croatia, as in many other Mediterranean States is that of outdoor, al fresco dining. The weather generally tends to be warm and summery, and the lifestyle in the country tends to be more relaxed.

You can, and should, take little breaks, have a snack, or a drink. The cost is relatively peanuts, and the quality is great. In fact, I found  that in many places, the cost of a taxi-ride was even cheaper than three (3) glasses of wine and a cup of coffee!

Al fresco dining in Croatia is great. So why shouldn’t you indulge?

So why shouldn’t you indulge?

Croatia has a variety of freshly – squeezed juice. Be careful when you order “lemonade” as The Tall Young Gentleman was surprised to receive freshly squeezed lemon, when actually what he wanted was Schweppes!

A refreshing jar of ginger-ale in Split – Croatia!
  • Here’s a refreshing jar of ginger-ale. Cost: 25kn or €3.40

Have a beverage at the many bars, restaurants and cafés that can be found on the very long street packed shoulder-to-shoulder!

NOTE! In the daytime, stroll around and take your pick, but by nightfall know that if you’re in Zagreb and you’re as picky as I am, you’ll probably not get to eat!

The establishments have different names but tend to belong to the same group. There might also be a very long wait for service. Make sure you keep the waiter in view so that he can keep the drinks coming. It’s expected that with each order, you pay on the spot, then order again.

A cold glass of coca-cola in Zagreb – Croatia!

You can also have:

  • Lovran chestnuts. Yuck!
  • Pag cheese
You can go to the lake in Split-Croatia, and have yourself a Karlovacko beer!
  • Home-grown Karlovačko beer
  • Staro Češko – from the Czech minority living in Croatia
  • Riječko pivo
  • Tomislav
How to visit the Balkans: Introducing Croatia – the dream of Game of Thrones!
  • Ožujsko
  • Velebitsko pivo
  • Pivo Toceno
  • Osječko: from the Osijek – the oldest brewery in Croatia!
Wine at lunch in Zagreb – Croatia!

Croatian wine has a history dating back to the Ancient Greek settlers, and many traditional grape varieties still survive. However, at first glance, many restaurants would offer me Italian or French wine instead! Insist on the local variety, which I found perfectly up to par.

  • The glass of red wine bought above at Kitchen & Gruill PLAC was cheaper than a (15kn or €2.00) glass of Schweppes!!! Cost: 9kn or €1.25!!!
  • Teran wine
  • Zlahtina from Vrbnik wine
  • Maraschino liqueur
  • Babic wine
  • Marastina wine
Semberg Rosé wine in Split-Croatia
  • The Semberg Rosé wine above was bought at restaurant Bepa! Cost: 45kn or €6.50
  • Debit wine
  • Plavac Mali wine
  • Dobricic wine
  • Vugava wine
  • Bogdanusa wine
  • Prosek wine
  • Posip wine
  • dubrovnic malvasia wine
  • Grk wine

I could go on and on, but I ought to leave something for you to discover, don’t you think?

That’s it for now.

See you next week!

Book your hotel or apartment here!

CROATIA – A BASIC GUIDE TO FOOD!

Croatian beer & Croatian coffee – Croatia – a basic guide to food!

This article is not sponsored and all opinions and the wonderful traditional food that we sampled, are my very own!

In May & June, I’ll be visiting Sweden and Slovenia!

From May 17th – May 20th, I’ll be at the Berlin Music Video Awards.

From July 4th – July 7th, I’ll be at Berlin Fashion Week. It’s going to be awesome!

I’ll be there. Will you?

If you’re not in Berlin in May, you’re crazy!

Save the Date!

May & June are going to be thrilling!

Croatian cold cuts & cheese – Croatia – a basic guide to food!

Watch this space!

Note! I never travel without insurance as you never know what might happen.

I learnt my lesson in Spain. And obviously, in countries like Qatar, where technically the risk is higher, I can’t imagine going that far beyond, WITHOUT INSURANCE. No siree! You can get yours here, at World Nomads!

Please note that there are now affiliate links (for the very first time) connected to this post. Please consider using the links, because every time some sort of accommodation or travel insurance is booked via my links I get a little percentage, but at no extra cost to yourself!

A win-win for all!

Thanks a million!

Croatia – a basic guide to food!

Have you ever had Croatian food? Would you try lamb tripe or eels and frogs? Let me know in the comments below!

See you in Berlin.

If you have any questions send me a tweet, talk to me on Facebook, find me on Linkedin, make a comment below, look for me on Google+ or send me an Email: victoria@thebritishberliner.com

If you like this post, please Share it! Tweet it! Or like it!

Advertisements

Taiwan: Food to eat and a place to lay your head: A first-time experience – Part II

Taiwan: Food to eat and a place to lay your head: A first-time experience - Part II
Taiwan: Food to eat and a place to lay your head: A first-time experience – Part II

So last week, I introduced you to a little bit of why I went to visit Taiwan.

And this is why I did so:

Taiwan is all in the news at the moment, so visit sooner rather than later, before it gets all complicated! 

ANY IDEAS OF WHAT I SHOULD DO WHEN I GET TO TAIWAN?

Being in Taiwan was a slow cultural solo trip!
Being in Taiwan was a slow cultural solo trip!

I only went for five (5) days and based myself in Taipei, so this was a sloooooow cultural solo trip.

Taipei is home to various world-famous architectural or cultural landmarks which include:

Taipei 101 Observatory - The world's tallest building in 2004!
Taipei 101 Observatory – The world’s tallest building in 2004!
The 228 Peace Memorial Park ©Ryan G
The 228 Peace Memorial Park ©Ryan G
Making new friends under the glowing lanterns of the Mengjia Longshan Temple, in Taipei!
Making new friends under the glowing lanterns of the Mengjia Longshan Temple, in Taipei!
Tea culture in Taiwan!
Tea culture in Taiwan!
Yangmingshan National Park ©taiwan.net.tw
Yangmingshan National Park ©taiwan.net.tw
Paintbrushes, stencils, and ink, ready for the Pingxi Sky Lantern experience, in Taiwan!
Paintbrushes, stencils, and ink, ready for the Pingxi Sky Lantern experience, in Taiwan!
  • Pingxi

There really is plenty to do, and I wrote 16 brilliant reasons all about it! 

Schoolgirls in Taiwan for the Pingxi Sky Lantern experience!
Schoolgirls in Taiwan for the Pingxi Sky Lantern experience!

WHAT ABOUT TRANSPORT POSSIBILITIES?

Taipei is easy to navigate using public transport.
Taipei is easy to navigate using public transport.

Taipei is easy to navigate.

Taxis are cheap and so is public transport.

The trains were easy to navigate and use, and were cheap, costing just NT$20 (Taiwanese dollars) or €0.60 cents per short hop journey!

Single journeys in Taipei cost just NT$20 (Taiwanese dollars) or €0.60 cents per short hop journey. Plenty of room to take your cello with you!
Single journeys in Taipei cost just NT$20 (Taiwanese dollars) or €0.60 cents per short hop journey. Plenty of room to take your cello with you!

The trains weren’t crammed or packed, and the floors were clean. I used my finger, and checked lol! There were plants and mobile-phone chargers everywhere, and even boxes for you to take a free umbrella!

If that isn’t service, I really don’t know what is!

There are underground trains, mainline trains, high-speed rail, and bus lines connect Taipei with other parts of the Taiwanese island!

ANYTHING ELSE?

Taiwan’s famous xiao chi (small bites)!
Taiwan’s famous xiao chi (small bites)!

One of the biggest pulls to Taiwan is the food that you can find there at Taiwan’s famous xiao chi (small bites), at the many department stores, kerbside restaurants, hawker carts, bubble tea stalls, and the famous daytime and night markets, so here we go.

Enjoy!

THE TAIPEI HUAXI STREET NIGHT MARKET

The Taipei Huaxi Street Night Market in Taipei.
The Taipei Huaxi Street Night Market in Taipei.

Located near the Longshan Temple, the Huaxi Street Night Market is the most well-known international tourist night markets in Taipei, and has been in business for more than 60 years! Traders sell Chinese herbal food, crafts, commodities, gourmet snacks, Chinese herbal cuisine cooked with snake and other exotic meat, foot massage shops, spas, and seafood!

Fish head soup!
Fish head soup!
Squid on a stick!
Squid on a stick!
Deep-fried squid!
Deep-fried squid!

Specialities include such delights as fish head soup, and deep-fried squid, with a variety of sauces such as spicy pepper and mind-blowing wasabi!

  • Cost of fried squid: NT$10 or €0.30!
Me drinking bubble tea in Taiwan!
Me drinking bubble tea in Taiwan!

And now for something completely different…chewy balls of tapioca bubble tea at the street market. A boon for me as bubble tea is actually banned in Germany!

  • Cost: NT$10 or €0.30!

Nearest station: Longshan Temple

Opening Times : 16:00-24:00

RAOHE STREET NIGHT MARKET

Roast pig! ©House of Hao's
Roast pig! ©House of Hao’s

The Raohe Street Night Market is one of the oldest night markets in Taipei, and just across the street from my amba Taipei Songshan hotel! It’s also quite traditional, packed with snacks, quaint shops and stalls, and carnival games with prizes, and is considered to be the largest garment wholesale market place in Taiwan!

Getting lost in the Wufenpu Fashion Area of Taipei!
Getting lost in the Wufenpu Fashion Area of Taipei!

In order to get there, I found myself getting lost among the maze and alleys full of racks of clothing, and discounted fashion shops at the Wufenpu Fashion Area!

Book your hotel here!

Snails in sauce!
Snails in sauce!
Noodle soup. I did have dumplings too, but I have no idea where I put them!
Noodle soup. I did have dumplings too, but I have no idea where I put them!
  • Cost of noodles: NT$8 or €0.25 per piece
  • Cost of soup: NT$15 or €0.45 per bowl

Nearest station: Songshan

Opening Times : 17:00-24:00

SHILIN NIGHT MARKET

A local tradesman at the Shilin Night Market, in Taipei!
A local tradesman at the Shilin Night Market, in Taipei!

The Shilin Night Market is one of the largest and most popular night markets in Taiwan! It was built in 1899 and is famous for great food!

Taiwanese students and young people, outside the Cicheng Temple, having a good time!
Taiwanese students and young people, outside the Cicheng Temple, having a good time!
Fishing for live shrimps at the night market, in Taiwan!
Fishing for live shrimps at the night market, in Taiwan!
Having a meal at a kerbside restaurants, with mates in Taiwan!
Having a meal at a kerbside restaurants, with mates in Taiwan!
The Shilin Night Market is popular with Taiwanese students because of it's cheap, attractive prices!
The Shilin Night Market is popular with Taiwanese students because of it’s cheap, attractive prices!

The Shilin Night Market is famous for local Taiwanese cuisine, and spills out into several bustling streets with more than 500 stores and vendors! The night market is divided into two parts. One part is in the Shilin Market building with a food court on the underground floor. The second part centers on the Yangming Cinema and the Cicheng Temple, and consists of a cluster of shops and stores popular with Taiwanese students and young people.

Exotic vegetables for the hotpot inTaiwan!
Exotic vegetables for the hotpot inTaiwan!
Exotic Taiwanese meatballs at the night market in Taipei!
Exotic Taiwanese meatballs at the night market in Taipei!
A hotpot for me, and a hotpot for you, at the Shillin Night Market in Taiwan!
A hotpot for me, and a hotpot for you, at the Shillin Night Market in Taiwan!
Shanghai Buns at the Shilin Night Market in Taipei!
Shanghai Buns at the Shilin Night Market in Taipei!

Not to be outdone – Taiwanese Afters and desserts!

Some sort of shaved ice!
Some sort of shaved ice!
I've no idea what it is exactly, but it looked pretty! Any ideas? Aha! I've been told that the string of red balls are 糖葫蘆 or sugar gourd strawberries or tomatoes, covered with sugar!
I’ve no idea what it is exactly, but it looked pretty! Any ideas? Aha! I’ve been told that the string of red balls are 糖葫蘆 or sugar gourd strawberries or tomatoes, covered with sugar!
I had this really nice fresh cherry drink, but due to brain freeze, I had to throw it away!
I had this really nice fresh cherry drink, but due to brain freeze, I had to throw it away!

Ha! Ha! Stinky tofu!!

Ha! Ha! Stinky tofu in Taiwan!!
Ha! Ha! Stinky tofu in Taiwan!!

No thanks!

Nearest station: Shilin, but get out at Jiantan train station instead!

Opening Times : 17:00-24:00

LOCAL FOOD AT TAIWANESE RESTAURANTS

Vegetables and mountains of tofu in Taiwan!
Vegetables and mountains of tofu in Taiwan
A selection of sauces, condiments, and spices. In Taiwan!
A selection of sauces, condiments, and spices. In Taiwan!
Rice and noodles with the steaming hot pot in the background!
Rice and noodles with the steaming hot pot in the background!

I went to a local restaurant late one night and had a hotpot of noodles, beef, and tofu. I went with two Americans and we didn’t really know what to do with all the stuff, so I asked two visitors from Malaysia!

You put all the stuff in the steaming hotpot, and eat with rice, noodles, or both!
You put all the stuff in the steaming hotpot, and eat with rice, noodles, or both!

You put all the stuff in the steaming hotpot, and eat with rice, noodles, or both!

Wash it all down with cider or beer!
Wash it all down with cider or beer!
Ice cold German imported beer!
Ice cold German imported beer!

German imported Blue Girl beer!

‘Nuff said!

ORGANIC TAIWANESE FOOD & DRINK

Enhanced fresh juice
Enhanced fresh juice
Sweet potato fries with spicy chipotle mayo dipping
Sweet potato fries with spicy chipotle mayo dipping
House caesar salad
House caesar salad

I wasn’t feeling at all well when I arrived in Taiwan, so I started my day at the amba Taipei Ximending with fresh organic food, a salad, and some chips, to make me feel at home! All the nore to get that boutique feeling which you can do, if you book your hotel here!

  • Cost of fruit juice: NT$170 or €5.70!
  • Cost of potato fries: NT$160 or €4.80!
  • Cost of salad: NT$220 or €6.50!

MY VERDICT:

Taiwan: Food to eat and a place to lay your head: A first-time experience - Part II
Taiwan: Food to eat and a place to lay your head: A first-time experience – Part II

I really liked Taipei.

It’s lovely. It’s old. It’s got history, art and culture, and looks really modern. It’s not as cheap as South East Asian (SEA) countries, but is certainly reasonably priced.

If you’re looking for the next best East Asian city that’s safe, quiet, and away from the tourist throngs, you’ve found it.

WOULD I COME AGAIN?

Utterly!

Because Taiwan has the feel of being Chinese, but itsn’t!

Let’s do it!

Me being a tourist in trendy Ximending 16 brilliant reasons why you should visit Taiwan!
Me being a tourist in trendy Ximending
16 brilliant reasons why you should visit Taiwan!

This article is not sponsored and all opinions and the steaming hotpots that I plunged into, are my very own!

Next week I’ll be writing about Christmas, and then returning to the Philippines later!

I’ll be joining the office of the President of the Federal Republic of Germany, to celebrate Christmas on December 12th! I know! I’ve totally made it!!

In January, I’ll be going to Holland.

The British Shorts Film Festival will take place from 12th – 18th January, 2017

Berlin Fashion Week will take place from 17th –  20th January, 2017.

At the end of January, I’ll be skiing in the Czech Republic.

Save the Date!

December is going to be sharp!

Watch this space!

Note! I never travel without insurance as you never know what might happen.

I learnt my lesson in Spain. And obviously, in countries like Qatar, where technically the risk is higher, I can’t imagine going that far beyond, WITHOUT INSURANCE. No siree! You can get yours here, at World Nomads!

Please note that there are now affiliate links (for the very first time) connected to this post. Please consider using the links, because every time some sort of accommodation or travel insurance is booked via my links I get a little percentage, but at no extra cost to yourself!

A win-win for all!

Thanks a million!

Taiwan: Food to eat and a place to lay your head: A first-time experience - Part II
Taiwan: Food to eat and a place to lay your head: A first-time experience – Part II

Have you ever been to a night market? What do you think of bubble tea? Let me know!

See you in Berlin.

If you have any questions send me a tweet, talk to me on Facebook, find me on Linkedin, make a comment below, look for me on Google+ or send me an Email: victoria@thebritishberliner.com

If you like this post, please Share it! Tweet it! Or like it!

A 5 minute guide to German food. On the Baltic Sea beach!

A 5 minute guide to German food. On the Baltic Sea beach!
A 5 minute guide to German food. On the Baltic Sea beach!

Hey everyone!

It’s Autumn.

It’s October.

And it’s starting to rain but no matter! I’m going to tell you how Summery it was on the Baltic Sea beach.

51 reasons to go to the seaside. In Germany!
51 reasons to go to the seaside. In Germany!

It was gorgeous!

The sun was shining, the locals were smiling, and we were living it up in a five-star hotel in Usedom!

Usedom!

I bet you can’t say that really fast!

At the promenade in Zinnowitz, Usedom. ©Usedom Tourismus GmbH
At the promenade in Zinnowitz, Usedom.
©Usedom Tourismus GmbH

I’ve already spoken about Usedom and going to the seaside. I wrote 51 reasons why you should go to the seaside in Germany last week, and quite frankly, if you’re not convinced by that, then I really can’t help you!

There’s loads of things going on in October so I’ll tell you all about it. Next week!

But for now, let’s focus on food.

An organic burger and a beer at Bread & Butter. Berlin Fashion Week
An organic burger and a beer at Bread & Butter.
Berlin Fashion Week

Not just any old food you  understand, but German food.

Eeek!

I hear you say. Isn’t German food really gritty and full of stodge?

It can be.

Christmas food in Germany comprising of home-made potato dumplings, red cabbage, succulent roast goose, and gravy made from goose dripping!
Christmas food in Germany comprising of home-made potato dumplings, red cabbage, succulent roast goose, and gravy made from goose dripping!

But it can also be quite the thing. Especially at Xmas where the alcohol was so strong that I literally fell to the floor!

At a German Christmas Market.

Yum!

So would the beach be somewhat similar to seaside food in Poland, or would we get scammed, as we did in Bratislava?!

Let’s find out!

A 5 MINUTE GUIDE TO GERMAN FOOD. ON THE BALTIC SEA BEACH!

Look! It's my feet! A 5 minute guide to German food. On the Baltic Sea beach!
Look! It’s my feet!
A 5 minute guide to German food. On the Baltic Sea beach!

So let’s start with the basics.

ICE-CREAM:

You've not tasted ice-cream, until you've had it at the seaside! 51 reasons to go to the seaside. In Germany!
You’ve not tasted ice-cream, until you’ve had it at the seaside!
51 reasons to go to the seaside. In Germany!

You really can’t go the seaside if you don’t have any ice-cream!

I mean.

Come on!

The seaside without ice-cream?

And it had better be an Italian gelato, ‘cos what else?

Vanilla ice-cream scoops, wafer sticks, clotted cream and a silver jug of strawberry sauce!
Vanilla ice-cream scoops, wafer sticks, clotted cream and a silver jug of strawberry sauce!

You can even go one better and have an ice-cream sundae of sorts.

I had a huge one on our self-made cycling walking tour in Usedom with vanilla scoops, wafer sticks, clotted cream and a silver jug of strawberry sauce!

Now I don’t like chocolate.

Yuck!

Chocolate ice-cream and clotted cream chocolate chip sundae!
Chocolate ice-cream and clotted cream chocolate chip sundae!

But The Tall Young Gentleman availed himself of the very best near the Zinnowitz pier, so here’s his chocolate ice-cream and clotted-cream-chocolate-chip-sundae!

Our ice-cold Warsteiner premium German beer!
Our ice-cold Warsteiner premium German beer!

The Music Producer didn’t have any ice-cream this time and was very happy with his ice-cold Warsteiner premium German beer!

SEAFOOD:

A plate of sardines can be quite delicious!
A plate of sardines can be quite delicious!

There were lots and lots of possibilities to eat some sort of seafood. In fact, all sorts of seafood. I mean, OMG!

Here are some pictures.

Sadly, I’ve forgotten the prices, but these seafood items were between €2.00 – €4.00 a piece!

Slices of mackeral at the Usedom Palace Hotel breakfast table!
Slices of mackerel at the Usedom Palace Hotel breakfast table!

Here are slices of smoked mackerel with berries and lettuce garnish, at the Usedom Palace Hotel breakfast table!

The soused herring, otherwise known as matjes in German, coverd with lettuce and onion slices!
The soused herring, otherwise known as matjes in German, covered with lettuce and onion slices!

The soused herring above otherwise known as matjes in German or rollmops in English, can be found all over the Baltic Sea coast and is a herring soaked in a mild preserving liquid. It can be raw herring in a mild vinegar pickle or might contain cider, wine or tea, sugar, herbs (usually bay leaf), spices (usually mace), and chopped onion.

It is generally served cold either with a bread bun (brötchen) / bread roll or mixed in sour cream with apple chunks, and onions, or mixed in a beetroot chunk brine, and served with boiled or baked potatoes!

The Music Producer isn’t a fan of raw herrings so the Tall Young Gentleman and I merrily did all the stuffing down ourselves!

My fish bun (Fischbrötchen) made with pickled or Bismarck herring served on kitchen foil in a bread bun (brötchen) with pickles, lettuce and huge slices of fresh raw onions!
My fish bun (Fischbrötchen) made with pickled or Bismarck herring served on kitchen foil in a bread bun (brötchen) with pickles, lettuce and huge slices of fresh raw onions!

Here’s another photograph of my fish bun, otherwise known as Fischbrötchen, made with a pickled or Bismarck herring!

A Bismarck herring  is a delicacy in Europe, and has become a part of Baltic, Nordic, Slavic, and Jewish cuisine! It’s herring cured with salt with similarly added vinegar, peppercorn, bay leaves, raw onions, sherry, mustard and dill.

Our herring was served on kitchen foil in a bread bun (brötchen) with pickles, lettuce and huge slices of fresh raw onions. You can ask for different sauces such as remoulade, creamy horseradish sauce, ketchup, or cocktail sauce too, but we went to an extremely local food hut and we weren’t sure what most of the things were.  There were eels and varieties of fish that I couldn’t identify in German…!

What are they? ©Usedom Tourismus GmbH
What are they?
©Usedom Tourismus GmbH

Gulp!

THE USEDOM PALACE HOTEL

The Usedom Palace Hotel ©The Music Producer - Frank Böster
The Usedom Palace Hotel
©The Music Producer – Frank Böster

We were guests of Usedom Tourismus GmbH and the Usedom Palace Hotel, but we paid for all our meals and transport ourselves.

The Usedom Palace Hotel is a small 40-room traditional style 5-star seaside hotel about five (5) minutes from the sea itself, and a 15 to 20 minute walk to the local train station!

The hotel although modern-ish from the inside, has the look of an antiquated classical German castle, complete with steeple top roof, huge windows, and a white sandstone finish!

We were put in a Gold / Silver Category sea view room.

Our Gold/Silver Category double sea-view bed at the Usedom Palace Hotel!
Our Gold/Silver Category double sea-view bed at the Usedom Palace Hotel!

Our room was huge with a European-style double bed for us, and a single bed for The Tall Young Gentleman with enough space in the room for him to feel that he wasn’t near us!

Our room also had two armchairs, a small glass table, a standing lamp in the corner, and two bedside tables with two more bedside lamps.

The window was huge and you could actually (safely) sit on the window sill and take in the view of the sea, which was clearly in front of us. You can never be entirely sure when hotels describe the view as “sea,” but in this case, it was!

Air-conditioning - Just say No!
Air-conditioning – Just say No!

I don’t like air-conditioning in bedrooms.

In fact, I don’t like air-conditioning at all, so it was quite nice to be able to sleep with the windows wide open, and the curtains billowing in the wind!

There was also a huge wardrobe that had fluffy dressing gowns and fluffy slippers for us each, a safe, a mini-bar, a flat-screen TV, a writing desk, plenty of plug holes, and free WiFi!

The bathroom was very nice and had underfloor heating and loads of fluffy towels, a bath, a shower, and hair and body wash items and body lotions.

The bathroom was quite nice, but be careful with the shower!
The bathroom was quite nice, but be careful with the shower!

Be careful with the shower though because the glass covering wasn’t really long or wide enough to prevent water from splashing everywhere, and as The Tall Young Gentleman is indeed quite tall, we soon found ourselves with a bit of a puddle!

The hotel also included a nice swimming pool.

A very nice swimming pool, and a hot tub and sauna free of charge, which I completely forgot about, until a few hours before we had to leave…! And a paid-for spa and massage unit.

I certaintly won't be going to the sauna European style. Don't forget, I'm British!
I certainly won’t be going to the sauna European style. Don’t forget, I’m British!

I really regret not trying out the spa as it really looked nice.

But then again. Maybe not, as this was FKK – Free Body Culture – Nudist territory!

No!

Pleeeeeeeease!

A generous breakfast buffet of both Baltic and Nordic origin, at the Usedom Palace Hotel.
A generous breakfast buffet of both Baltic and Nordic origin, at the Usedom Palace Hotel.

Our hotel stay included a generous buffet breakfast of both Baltic and Nordic origin.

A generous breakfast buffet of both Baltic and Nordic origin, at the Usedom Palace Hotel.
A generous breakfast buffet of both Baltic and Nordic origin, at the Usedom Palace Hotel.

You could sit either indoor or outdoor. For dinner we ate outdoor, but for breakfast, we ate indoors.

A generous breakfast buffet of both Baltic and Nordic origin, at the Usedom Palace Hotel.
A generous breakfast buffet of both Baltic and Nordic origin, at the Usedom Palace Hotel.

For breakfast, we had delicious cold cuts, a variety of seafood, vegetables, sauces, caviar, pickles and cream, scrambled eggs on order, sausages and bacon.

A generous breakfast buffet of both Baltic and Nordic origin, at the Usedom Palace Hotel.
A generous breakfast buffet of both Baltic and Nordic origin, at the Usedom Palace Hotel.

As well as a wide variety of cereal, fruit, bread, cake, pastries, tea, coffee, juices, and help-yourself glasses of champagne!

All this from €225.00 per night in the Gold/Silver Category room (high season) and €145.00 (low season) which for three (3) people wouldn’t be too bad at all!

The thing that really stood out for me was the evening restaurant service. They were quick, full of smiles, and impeccable.

The food was good too!

FANCIER SEASIDE FOOD:

Apart from all the rustic local food that we had above, we also had fancier food which we either had at our hotel, or at a nice restaurant nearby.

Take a look:

Grilled salmon served on a bed of lettuce, cocktail tomotoes, avacado, and a dribble of balsamic vinegar!
Grilled salmon served on a bed of lettuce, cocktail tomatoes, avocado, and a dribble of balsamic vinegar!

Grilled salmon with avocado. Interesting!

A traditional fresh fish lunch at the famous Fisch Domke restaurant in Ahlbeck! 51 reasons to go to the seaside. In Germany!
A traditional fresh fish lunch at the famous Fisch Domke restaurant in Ahlbeck!
51 reasons to go to the seaside. In Germany!

A traditional fish lunch.

A plate of pasta and shrimps at the famous Fisch Domke restaurant in Ahlbeck!
A plate of pasta and shrimps at the famous Fisch Domke restaurant in Ahlbeck!

A delicious plate of pasta and shrimps!

Cream of tomato soup with mozarella, and basil ©The Music Producer - Frank Böster
Cream of tomato soup with mozzarella, and basil
©The Music Producer – Frank Böster

A well-known summer starter of tomato soup.

Honey-melon with Parma ham, rucolla lettuce, and a drizzle of balsamic vinegar - ©The Music Producer - Frank Böster
Honey-melon with Parma ham, rucola lettuce, and a drizzle of balsamic vinegar –
©The Music Producer – Frank Böster

A healthy fruity starter of melon and ham.

Magnificent grilled fish over saute vegetables, covered in tomato and a cheese sauce, sprinkled with edible flowers! ©The Music Producer - Frank Böster
Magnificent grilled fish over saute vegetables, covered in tomato and a cheese sauce, sprinkled with edible flowers!
©The Music Producer – Frank Böster

Freshly-caught fish, grilled to perfection.

Breaded fish over marinated beetroot chunks in a sauce, served with roast potatoes sprinkled with edible flowers. ©The Music Producer - Frank Böster
Breaded fish over marinated beetroot chunks in a sauce, served with roast potatoes sprinkled with edible flowers.
©The Music Producer – Frank Böster

More fish and with one of my favourite vegetables – beetroot!

Grilled steak with roast pototaoes, a cucumber covered with lemony creamy butter, served with herby sour cream! ©The Music Producer - Frank Böster
Grilled steak with roast potatoes, a cucumber covered with lemony creamy butter, served with herby sour cream!
©The Music Producer – Frank Böster

A rather too well-done steak, but The Tall Young Gentleman wasn’t complaining lol!

Crème brûlée or burnt rich custard, served with sour red berries! ©The Music Producer - Frank Böster
Crème brûlée or burnt rich custard, served with sour red berries!
©The Music Producer – Frank Böster

Look at that temptingly delicious crème brûlée. That’s all I’m saying…!

Panna cotta dribbled with raspberry sauce and black and white peppercorns! ©The Music Producer - Frank Böster
Panna cotta dribbled with raspberry sauce and black and white peppercorns!
©The Music Producer – Frank Böster

A most enticing Panna cotta.

All washed down with a chilled glass of white wine!
All washed down with a chilled glass of white wine!

All washed down with a chilled glasses glass of white wine!

Enough said!

The Music Producer and "The Tall Young Gentleman" about to cycle off in Usedom, Germany.
The Music Producer and “The Tall Young Gentleman” about to cycle off in Usedom, Germany.

As you can see, most of the fancier food items were taken by my husband – aka – The Music Producer – as my camera decided at that moment to run out of battery!

Thankfully, my husband stepped in and took the photographs himself!

Wow! I couldn’t have asked for better, so now you have it, no need to thank me.

You’re welcome!

A 5 MINUTE GUIDE TO GERMAN FOOD. ON THE BALTIC SEA BEACH!

A 5 minute guide to German food. On the Baltic Sea beach!
A 5 minute guide to German food. On the Baltic Sea beach!

Even though I was invited on this trip as a guest of Usedom Tourismus GmbH,  all opinions and the delightful time that we had devouring seaside nosh in Usedom, are my very own!

In the coming weeks, I’ll be writing about travels to Bremen, art and films in Berlin,  as well as a comprehensive post on how to use the train in Europe!

In a few weeks, I’ll be travelling to the TBEX ASIA travel conference in the Philippines, and revealing the extra Chinese-speaking country. It’s a new one!

In November, I’ll be travelling to Austria and starting a new job!

Save the Date!

October is going to be astonishing!

I’ll be there. Will you?

As usual, you can also follow me via daily tweets and pictures on Twitter & Facebook!

If you’re not in Berlin in October, you’re lost!

Watch this space!

A 5 minute guide to German food. On the Baltic Sea beach!
A 5 minute guide to German food. On the Baltic Sea beach!

Have you ever eaten German food? Have you ever been to the Baltic Sea? Have your say!

See you in Berlin.

If you like this post or if you have any questions send me a tweet, talk to me on Facebook, find me on Linkedin, make a comment below, look for me on Google+ or send me an Email: victoria@thebritishberliner.com