Sunday, March 4
鼎王麻辣鍋 Ding Wang Mala Hotpot, Taipei
Oh I almost forgot, after that crazy meal at Shida Night Market, we bought supper back home - chin chow with yam and sweet potato mochi balls, and other with red beans as well as some smoked braised chicken wings and duck innards from 老天祿 (http://www.laotienlu.com.tw/).
It was a drizzly three days we had in Taipei, almost as if it had been predestined since we had a mala hotpot lunch reservation at Ding Wang (http://www.tripodking.com.tw/). Infamously famous, 2 locals - the concierge at grand Hyatt and our taxi driver - asked if we had reservations before guiding us there; it was almost as if they were all prepared to cushion us from dastardly disappointment if we said we didn't.
We went for the Yuan-Yang Guo (鴛鴦鍋), which consists of their traditional spicy broth that comes with duck's blood and tofu, and a non-spicy sourish broth that comes with pickled cabbage. Both soups were refillable but we loaded up on the mala soup big time and the servers kept throwing in more duck blood.
Oh man, those chunks of blood couldn't be any fresher or delicious despite what you might think. They were smooth and soft like tofu but the thin casing had a slight snap that made them playful to eat them. I downed more duck blood throughout this meal than I ever had in my entire life, which made sense since such blood stuff are banned in Singapore.
We ordered a whole bunch of stuff to throw into the bubbling tripod cauldron. Among some of the more unique items were their uber crispy dough fritters (an awesome idea to weave into our reunion dinner), fish paste, beef tendons and all sorts of hugeass handmade meatballs.
Best of all, you can even ask to pack up the remaining soup when you are done for the session and they would throw extra tofu and duck's blood (!!!) if you wish for more (the blood fairy is in da house, yo).
It goes without saying that the service at Ding Wang was impeccable. Each time a server attends to you, she would make it a point to bow 90 degress - talk about being at our humble service!