Category: eat

Vegan burgers at About Animals in Taipei

This great burger shop is located close to the Wanlong MRT station in the Wenshan district of Taipei. About half a dozen asian-fusion burgers are served in healthy whole wheat buns with fries and additional sides. We tried the onion and mushroom burger as well as the fried wasabi burger, here they are. Both burgers were served with fresh tomatoes and lemon slices. They were super yummy, as well as the extra kimchi. The place is very laid-back with just about a handful of tables and a very relaxed cat chills on the gate. The only caveat is that About Animals

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First fall mushrooms

The fall mushroom season seems to be a bit delayed this year due to the very dry summer. Despite a few patches of chanterelles in early August, not much else was ready to be picked and the strolls through the forest were a little disappointing. With the recent rainy days, very slowly the mushrooms are coming out. I found the first patch of bay boletes (Braunkappen) last Sunday. They were still very young and smallish but very firm and untouched by snails and worms. They ended up in a risotto and the next couple of weekends are now planned for further mushroom hunting trips.

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Half a day in Zagreb

We started our one week vacation in Croatia with half a day in Zagreb. That is definitely not enough to see everything, but with an average temperature of 35C in summer, we put the focus on places closer to the water. Early in the morning, the central market was lots of fun and we used the opportunity to stock up on fresh fruit and berries, nuts, and lavender oil for the trip. We did a short walking tour through the old parts of the city passing windy Stone Gate with its candles and old plaques further on to St Mark’s

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Smoked tomato soup, ghost peppers, and goat cheese

It was time to use the smoker again since I ran out of hot sauce. I put in a few dried ghost peppers from last summer’s harvest and added a goat cheese, mozzarella, spring onions, and a layer of tomatoes cut in half intended for a tomato soup. Here is everything just before I started the smoker. And after about 45 minutes, the results looked like this. The spring onions came out a bit softened and were very nice for sandwiches. The cheese melted a little bit even though I put it far away from the stove but kept its shape.

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Lins Stinky Tofu in Taitung

Coming back to Taitung from Green Island, we had just enough time to stop at Lin’s Smelly Tofu eatery. The tofu comes on either small or large plates (50 or 100 TWD) and we started with sharing a small one. The tofu was delicious, very soft in texture and the fresh basil and garlic sauce rounded up the taste perfectly. So in no time, we ordered more and more until we were full and happy and ready to go back to the train station to go back to Hualien. These were the leftovers: Picture gallery

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Around Green Island in Taiwan

Our first stop after Taipei was a trip to Green Island, a small paradise east of Taitung with great snorkeling spots, rare saltwater hot springs (Zhaori), and a few hiking trails and sights to visit along the 20 km long road around the island. We took the ferry from Taitung, which only takes about 45 minutes nowadays. Even though the waters were not too rough, there is still some truth in the infamous tales about the Vomit Barge. Once we arrived, we were picked up by our hotel and drove the 500 meters to the hotel.  Then, appointments for snorkel trips were made and

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Easy House Vegetarian Cuisine in Taipei

On our first evening in Taipei, we went to the Easy House Vegetarian Cuisine, a popular small chain of vegetarian restaurants around Taiwan. The interior has several Zen elements with lots of wood, flowing water over a black marble wall, and a little stone garden. The menu is quite big and most prominently are many diverse vegetable stews and soups. In October, there were also many specials with pumpkins and different kinds of mushrooms. We went for the option of a set meal with salad, soup, a main course (mostly stews), and dessert. Here is the salad that came out first: Shortly

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Balcony harvest 2014

Here is the first harvest from the balcony this year. The tomatoes are the same kinds as of last year’s season – Rutjes (red), yellow date and purple cherry tomatoes. The black jalapenos came from the same plant as last years as it moved into our living room for the winter. New this year are two chili plants – Bhut Jolokai and Trinidad Moruga Scorpion, the two hottest chilis currently known. I am pretty sure they will be too hot for us to enjoy, but I wanted to grow them at least once. Both plants have currently about 10 green

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Early season mushroom hunting

Since this year everything is a bit early in nature, we decided to give hunting mushrooms a try on the last weekend in July. We went to my hometown in the middle of Germany for the weekend and my parents organized a get together with some of their friends who own a beautiful ancient forest lodge from the late 1800s in the middle of a remote forest. So we could start looking for mushrooms right off the front porch and it did not take 15 minutes before we found the first porcini waiting for us. From there on, we found

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Braufest Berlin

On Friday I went with a couple of co-workers for a Feierabendbier to Braufest Berlin, where about half a dozen microbreweries from Berlin presented their latest brews. We picked up a beer map, marked the most-interesting sounding beers and proceeded to the tasting. Overall, (Indian) Pale Ales were most common and offered by almost every brewery which was very exciting because they are still hard to find if you go to a random bar in Berlin. Here is our map with our tour markers. All the Pale Ales we tried were really nice, outstanding for me were the Wedding Pale

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Balcony harvest: Tomatoes and Chilies

This year we had a very tasty tomato and chili harvest, despite the late start. When we came back to Berlin in April, it was still pretty cold so we decided to grow the plants from seeds and don’t get seedlings. Well, it worked pretty well, but we may have missed a month of fruits and some of the chilies are still struggling to get ripe. Here are the tomatoes we harvested from July on. Since some of the chili plants don’t like the cooler weather, we already put them inside since they started to kick off their leaves. The

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MANIAC Pale Ale – A special batch for the MANIAC BBQ next weekend

I just finished preparing the batch of MANIAC Pale Ale for the BBQ of the MANIAC Challenge next Saturday! This year’s challenge is designed for students to experimentally implement and evaluate cooperation strategies for mobile data offloading. The challenge is co-located with the 87th IETF/IRTF meeting in Berlin and takes place in the institute of computer science of the Freie Universität Berlin. I am sure it will be lots of fun, since 6 teams have signed up and the DES-Testbed will function as the backbone network for the challenge. More information is available on the MANIAC Challenge website. For the beer, the MANIAC

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Devonshire Tea: Making apricot jam and fresh scones

On our road trip on the Hinterland Drive in Gippsland, we met David, who runs the Fernholme campsite with a small cafe that offers his multiple-awards winning scones. The scones were indeed lovely, they were much lighter than the usual ones and almost melted on your tongue. We liked them so much, that we eventually researched the secret of such light scones. We found an interesting recipe, that lacked any butter or oil. I am unable to find it again on the Internet, but here are the ingredients 100g self-raising flour 25g caster sugar 150ml thickened cream a bit of

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Watermelon harvest & Rainbow lorikeet party in the apricots

When we came back from a little trip to Wilsons Prom and the Gippsland Hinterland, we found the watermelon ripe and ready to harvest in the garden. We expected it to take much longer and feared that we would not be able to taste it. Luckily, the watermelon plant had decided to grow only one fruit and this one got ripe in time! It weighed roughly 4kg, tasted very delicious, and had lots of seeds. We ate a good kilogram instantly! Also, the apricots on the tree in the garden went ripe and were almost immediately devoured by several rainbow

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Mountain Goat Brewery: Delicious ale and an awesome tour

The Mountain Goat brewery is located in a factory district in east Richmond. Every Wednesday, they open their bar at 5pm and offer at least one free guided tour around the brewery at about 6:30pm. Taking this tour gave some great insights into the brewing scene of Melbourne. I grew very fond of the Australian beers (still remembering my first Little Creatures) and most likely the only good outcome of the high tax on alcohol is that brewing small batches of beer is a very common hobby. On my first visit to the Australia, I was amazed that you can buy

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Prahan Market: Coffee cupping and portabello mushroom burgers

Every Saturday, the Market Lane Coffee place at Prahan Market offers a free coffee cupping with 5 different roastings. We arrived just in time, the Prahan Market is on the other side of town and the tasting starts around 10am. The cups were already set up in the tiny tasting room, there were 2 sample cups for each coffee on a beautiful wooden table. Anthony followed us through the tasting and started grinding the beans. He then poured hot water in all cups and then it was time to wait for 3-5 minutes to extract the coffee. After the little

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A wonderful dinner at Attica

So we finally decided to try out the delicious food at Attica in Melbourne. They serve an 8-course vegetarian menu that sounded really, really great and so it was! It was almost our last week in Melbourne, and we felt like a treat after a week of overnight hiking and car camping. We were lucky to get a table since we just called two days ahead and they were able to confirm a space for us a day later. Bettina already wrote a great review of the food, thus I will spare my energy but link to her post instead

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The first eggplant on the veggie patch

It took almost 3 months, but finally the first eggplant is growing in the veggie patch! The color looks already fine, now we just have to wait for it to get bigger and bigger! Hopefully it takes up the speed of the watermelon which has grown in the last weeks to the size of a football. I am pretty sure it is not yet ready to harvest, but it looks great already! If you look closely, you will see lots of fingerprints of curious people on the watermelon. Picture gallery

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Kuala Lumpur – Batu Caves + delicious food

On our way to Indonesia, we met halfway in Kuala Lumpur and had a day there. In the late morning, we took the subway to the Batu Caves, a collection of natural limestone caves that house several Hindu temples just 30 minutes north of the city centre. The entrance of the caves line two massive statues, a green Hanuman and the world’s tallest statue of Lord Murugan being 42.7m high. The stairs are quite steep all the way up, but there are lots of monkeys that entertain you and try to steal your food. On the way down, there is

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The first watermelon!

Coming back to the garden after two weeks of vacation, it was great to see all the changes. Most plants did really well, thanks to our lovely neighbors who gave them a good water every couple of days. Especially the watermelon has been working hard – it developed the first tiny fruit, just as big as a marble. And the eggplant developed its first flower as well, hopefully the fruit will grow a bit faster than that! Still, so many different vegetables were ready to harvest, among them tomatoes, broccoli, jumbo zucchinis, corn, rocket, strawberries, and green beans. Additionally, the neighbors helped out

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