Easy come, easy go…

Well, I guess it’s not exactly an accurate description of things, but I’m no longer with netbooknews.com…

Still, I’ve got more work on right now than I’ve had in a while and hopefully I’ll also make some money on it all, it’s just that I seem to be sitting around waiting to get paid by a bunch of people/companies that owe me money.

Life’s been a bit rough as of lately, but it seems like things are getting better once again. I guess you never really know what to expect, no matter what you get yourself involved in.

Now I’m working on something on my own on the site as well and hopefully with the help of a few friends, it’s not going to take too long to get it all sorted out. I guess it’s not hard to figure out what it is that I’m working on if you know what I’ve mostly been doing for a living over the past few years. I really should’ve done this years ago, but I guess I just never got around to it.

Tomorrow is “Typhoon holiday” here in Taiwan, as we’re about to be hit by a rather large typhoon up in the northern parts of the island. This means that most local will be haning out in the malls, as I have yet to be here during a typhoon that’s bad enough to close up the malls…

I’ll try to be a bit more of a frequent blogger as well. I know I keep saying this every time after I’ve been absent for a while, but I guess this is just my little personal thing and not something I have that much time to focus on.

Until next time…

Yuma SouthWestern Grill

Ok, this was supposed to have gone up some time ago, but I’ve been so busy that we in fact have managed to eat a few at Yuma since our first time there. I guess that in itself is a good sign, as we don’t tend to go back to places we don’t like…

We’ve tried all sorts of things ranging from ribs and pasta to starters and Quesadillas. The Fajitas might not be as authentic as the stuff served up by Eddy’s Cantina, but it’s more to my taste. The tortillas seem to be freshly made by Yuma and are at least grilled before being served. I found the Peri-Peri ribs to be a bit on the sour side, but they were way better than the fatty stuff that TGI’s serve up.

The pasta was good too and the cheese Quesadillas are great. Just be aware that both the Quesadillas and Fajita’s come with a side of rice, so you get a pretty big meal, unlike what you get at TGI’s once again. The starters are also good, although a bit more dip sauce wouldn’t go amiss, as it’s not quite enough sauce to go with all of the starters on their sampler platter. Yuma also have a bunch of different sauces to go with your food which is also a bonus.

One oddity is the fact that the coleslaw comes with lingonberry jam, although I think they’ve mixed it up with cranberry sauce, but the two doesn’t taste anything remotely the same.

I suggest you head over to Yuma and have a try yourself, as the food is great. You can find their website here and the location is marked on on the FindIT map.

Update: Sadly this place has closed and On Tap, a UK style pub has taken over the location, although they’ve kept some of the menu items, or at least something fairly similar.

Gen Tei Shoku

Last night we ended up trying out a fairly local Japanese place after a terrible experience on Friday night in a really awful Japanese place that I don’t know the name of. Gen Tei Shoku is a semi chain-restaurant (six locations in Taipei, two further south), but we were pleasantly surprised.

I ordered some kind of beef with spring onion (大蔥牛肉燒) and peppers in a small skillet and it came with rice, soup, a small salad and two kind of pickles. Brenda ordered some deep fried chicken with peppers in a light sweet and sour type sauce (a limited time special) and she got the same side dishes. We also got in a side ordered of deep fried prawns which was an extra NT$30 each. The food was very flavourful and tasty and not overly expensive for what you got. As this is a Japanese place, you also get free hot green tea.

Their sushi and sashimi also looked very fresh and nice and they serve it in big pots filled with ice that look really cool. We’ll definitely be back here again, although it’s not a super cheap place, so it’s more of a weekend eatery than an everyday place. They do lunch boxes for NT$150-250 which seems very expensive.

You can find their menu here

Gambas al Ajillo

Or prawns in garlic as it’s also known as it’s a traditional Spanish tapas dish and it’s one of my favourite tapas dishes. It’s also very easy to make and you can go more or less complicated depending on what your taste is and what you got at home. I suggest using pre-fired dry garlic (in Taiwan you can get in large plastic containers from RT-Mart), as it makes the dish a lot nicer than when you use fresh garlic. Another reason for this is that you get a nice crunchy garlic that doesn’t give you the bad garlic breath. It’s also worth noting that it’s very easy to burn garlic and it gets very bitter if you do this. There are a few different ways of cooking this, but here’s my take on it, which I by no means claim is authentic. The best place I’ve eaten this in this part of the world is a Tapas restaurant in the green belt in Manila, the Philippines.

So what do you need?

To serve four people as a tapas or two as a main course you need the following:

  • 500g of raw peeled, de-veined prawns, with or without tails
  • Good quality olive oil (as you’ll be dipping bread in it)
  • Chili to taste, preferably a Spanish kind, but most chili’s seem to work as long as they’re not too spicy
  • Garlic to taste (loads!), but as I said above, the pre-fried dry garlic makes for a much nicer dish
  • Fresh bread, either something like a baugette or pita bread

You got to options of cooking this, either in an oven safe container, preferably earthenware, or in a skillet/frying pan. Slice up the chili’s. Heat up the oil with the chili’s in it in your container of choice, either on top of your cooker or in the oven (about 200 degrees C is a good temperature), until it sizzles. Add the prawns and garlic, cook for about 4-5 minutes, or until the prawns are cooked through. Make sure you stir them them once or twice while they’re cooking and if you’re using the dry garlic, I’d add some more just before it’s done, as it stays nice and crispy that way. You can put some freshly chopped parsley on top when you serve and enjoy while it’s still hot.

Is it already March?

Wow, time really flies and it doesn’t seem to be slowing down. The last couple of weeks made it seem like summer came early this year, but now it’s a bit colder and wetter again. There was talks about a draught here, as it hadn’t rained very much so far this spring which is unusual in Taiwan, but it looks like the next week is going to be wet, wet, wet, with a few thunderstorms to boot, which again isn’t common here. At least it’s been a long time since there’s been any large earth quakes which I guess isn’t a bad thing in itself, as long as it doesn’t mean it’s building up for a big one…

Right now things are just plodding along, nothing much new to report, just trying to get on with stuff and keep my fingers crossed that everything will work out in the long run. For those of you that live in Taiwan or are visiting, you might want to head to the Tavern this Thursday night, as the Taipei Tech Club is meeting up, if you’re interested in meeting up with some of the people that works in the tech industry here. We try to meet up once a month, although we’re not so well organised, so it happens a bit at a whim.

Well, I keep saying this, but I’m going to try to get better at updating this thing now when I have a proper host that makes it a bit easier. Until next time…