Nanaimo, Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada

Panorama of Nanaimo Harbor, Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada

Panorama of Nanaimo Harbour, Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada

 

Nanaimo, just across the Strait of Georgia from Vancouver, is British Columbia’s third-oldest settlement.  While the larger city of Victoria, on the southern tip of Vancouver Island may be more familiar, Nanaimo has a charm all its own.  Strolling along the waterfront, visitors find small shops and floating restaurants that have taken the place of rundown piers.  Victoria Crescent and Commercial Street are lined with old storefronts and bars — if not for the occasional car, walkers might believe they have stepped back in time to the early 1900s.  Nanaimo boasts a vibrant art and music scene and, like all of British Columbia, there is no shortage of outdoor recreation.

 

Boats tied up at Nanaimo Harbour, Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada

Boats tied up at Nanaimo Harbour, Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada

 

A typical street with shops in the Old Quarter of Nanaimo, Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada

A typical street lined with shops in the Old Quarter of Nanaimo, Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada

 

A marijuana dispensary in Nanaimo, Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada; citizens of BC can have up to 150 grams of dried marijuana for medical purposes if they get a document (lik

A marijuana dispensary in Nanaimo, Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada; citizens of BC can have up to 150 grams of dried marijuana for medical purposes if they get a document (like a prescription) from a doctor

 

The late Victorian style St. Andrews United Church was built in 1893 (designed by American architect6 Warren H. Hayes), Nanaimo, Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada

The late Victorian style St. Andrews United Church was built in 1893 (designed by American architect Warren H. Hayes), Nanaimo, Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada; the tall bell tower and steep roof make the church a prominent landmark on Nanaimo’s skyline

 

Nanaimo, like Victoria, has many beautiful hanging baskets full of colorful flowers along the city_s shopping streets, Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada

Nanaimo, like Victoria, has many beautiful hanging baskets full of colorful flowers along the city’s shopping streets, Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada

 

We had a nice lunch with friends at Asteras Greek Taverna, a restaurant that has garnered several “Best of City” awards in Nanaimo, Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada

We had a nice lunch with friends at Asteras Greek Taverna, a restaurant that has garnered several “Best of City” awards in Nanaimo, Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada

 

“The Nanaimo bar is a dessert item of Canadian origin.  It is a bar dessert which requires no baking and is named after the city of Nanaimo, British Columbia on Vancouver Island.  It consists of a wafer crumb-based layer topped by a layer of custard flavoured butter icing which is covered with melted chocolate made from chocolate squares.  Many varieties exist, consisting of different types of crumb, different flavours of icing (e.g., mint, peanut butter, coconut, mocha), and different types of chocolate.” — Wikipedia

 

The Nanaimo bar is a dessert item of Canadian origin -- a bar dessert which requires no baking and is named after the city of Nanaimo, Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada

The Nanaimo bar is a dessert item of Canadian origin — a bar dessert which requires no baking and is named after the city of Nanaimo, Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada

 

The story behind Salish Spirit by Noel Brown of the Snuneymuxw First Nation:  “Long ago there were no divisions between humans, animals and spirits.  All things of the earth, sky and water were connected and all beings could pass freely between them.  The salmon people, the kindest of them all, would pass through our village each season and leave their bodies behind to feed the humans, birds and animal people.  They then would return to the oceans without their bodies and when they reached their homes their forms would look just like human beings, and their homes would look like the villages of our people.  We change forms to help one another.  To honour and respect this cycle we always return the bones and body parts back to the sea, to respect these salmon people.  We respect these swimming people because of their kindness, determination and courage.  They also bring the healing powers to the villages.  Eagles are a source of spiritual power and wisdom that bring help, peace of mind and heart to communities.  Long ago, elders sighted eagles soaring over the harbor and Jack’s Point.  This was a sign, telling the people of the village that salmon were coming to feed the people.  In our times of need, eagles would come forward to tell us to prepare for the coming of the salmon people.  It is extraordinary that these same eagles flew over and looked onto the ground-breaking of the cruise ship terminal, during the blessing by former Chief Viola Wyse in October 2008.  Together, eagles and salmon symbolize that we all are connected and dependent on one another.  If we come together, like the eagle and salmon, we too will have a deeper understanding that will help us build strong, healthy and prosperous futures.”

 

Salish Spirit by Noel Brown of the Snuneymuxw First Nation, displayed at the Nanaimo Cruise Terminal, Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada

Salish Spirit by Noel Brown of the Snuneymuxw First Nation, displayed at the Nanaimo Cruise Terminal, Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada

 

Legal Notices: All photographs copyright © 2017 by Richard C. Edwards. All Rights Reserved Worldwide. Permission to link to this blog post is granted for educational and non-commercial purposes only.

 

Eat Local: Olo, Victoria, British Columbia, Canada

Olo (Restaurant) in Victoria, British Columbia, Canada, is a chef-family owned organic farm-to-table restaurant that transforms the freshest ingredients into sophisticated Pacific Northw

Olo (Restaurant) in Victoria, British Columbia, Canada, is a chef/family owned organic farm-to-table restaurant that transforms the freshest ingredients into sophisticated Pacific Northwest dishes

 

One of the best meals we’ve recently had was at a chef/family owned organic farm-to-table restaurant, Olo, in Victoria, British Columbia.  The Olo team transforms the freshest ingredients into sophisticated Pacific Northwest dishes.  The restaurant works with local farms and producers to acquire top-notch ingredients.  In addition to the a la carte menu, Olo offers three tasting menus, including “kitchen” (vegetables, fish and meat), vegetarian and vegan dinners. We ordered one of the kitchen tasting menus and one of the vegetarian tasting menus, both with different wine pairings (all wines were from British Columbia, including several grown and produced on Vancouver Island).

 

The restaurant is in a typical early 20th century brick building that has been nicely refurbished, Olo, Victoria, British Columbia, Canada

The restaurant is in a typical early 20th century brick building that has been nicely refurbished, Olo, Victoria, British Columbia, Canada

 

Hakurei Turnip Salad with mustard greens, cider sunflower dressing, duise, Olo, Victoria, British Columbia, Canada

Hakurei Turnip Salad with mustard greens, cider sunflower dressing, duise, Olo, Victoria, British Columbia, Canada

 

Grilled asparagus with egg yolk (sous vide), fresh pressed soy oil, crunchy millet, Olo, Victoria, British Columbia, Canada; sous vide is a method of cooking in which food is vacuum-seal

Grilled asparagus with egg yolk (sous vide), fresh pressed soy oil, crunchy millet, Olo, Victoria, British Columbia, Canada; sous vide is a method of cooking in which food is vacuum-sealed in a plastic pouch and then placed in a water bath or steam environment for longer than normal cooking times at an accurately regulated temperature much lower than normally used for cooking

 

Smoked salmon with cultured cream, beets, birch syrup and sorrel, Olo, Victoria, British Columbia, Canada

Smoked salmon with cultured cream, beets, birch syrup and sorrel, Olo, Victoria, British Columbia, Canada

 

Carrot & mascarpone tortellini with chewy carrots and pea shoots, Olo, Victoria, British Columbia, Canada

Carrot & mascarpone tortellini with chewy carrots and pea shoots, Olo, Victoria, British Columbia, Canada

 

Roasted cauliflower with roesti (potatoes), spinach, morel mushroom sauce, Olo, Victoria, British Columbia, Canada

Roasted cauliflower with roesti (potatoes), spinach, morel mushroom sauce, Olo, Victoria, British Columbia, Canada

 

Duck breast with herb doughnuts, fennel, chard, rhubarb sauce, Olo, Victoria, British Columbia, Canada

Duck breast with herb doughnuts, fennel, chard, rhubarb sauce, Olo, Victoria, British Columbia, Canada

 

Strawberries & Sorrel – sorrel ice cream, strawberry many ways, almond praline, Olo, Victoria, British Columbia, Canada

Strawberries & Sorrel – sorrel ice cream, strawberry many ways, almond praline, Olo, Victoria, British Columbia, Canada

 

Rhubarb Desset – elderflower ice cream, fennel macaron, granola and salmon berries, Olo, Victoria, British Columbia, Canada

Rhubarb Desset – elderflower ice cream, fennel macaron, granola and salmon berries, Olo, Victoria, British Columbia, Canada

 

Chocolate Dessert – dark chocolate cake, marshmallow cream, milk chocolate ice cream, chocolate crumb, Olo, Victoria, British Columbia, Canada

Chocolate Dessert – dark chocolate cake, marshmallow cream, milk chocolate ice cream, chocolate crumb, Olo, Victoria, British Columbia, Canada

 

Legal Notices: All photographs copyright © 2017 by Richard C. Edwards. All Rights Reserved Worldwide. Permission to link to this blog post is granted for educational and non-commercial purposes only.

 

Eat Local: Tartine Manufactory, San Francisco, CA, USA

The Tartine Manufactory is the sprawling concept husband-and-wife founder Chad Robertson and Elisabeth Prueitt have wanted to create since opening their wildly popular but cramped Tartin

The Tartine Manufactory is the sprawling concept husband-and-wife founder Chad Robertson and Elisabeth Prueitt have wanted to create since opening their wildly popular but cramped Tartine Bakery and Cafe 15 years ago, San Francisco, CA, USA

 

Our visit to the Heath Building in the Mission District of San Francisco, CA, included a delicious luncheon at the recently opened extension of the renowned Tartine Bakery & Café – Tartine manufactory.  “Pastry chef ELISABETH PRUEITT and her husband, renowned baker CHAD ROBERTSON, are the co-owners of Tartine Bakery and Bar Tartine in San Francisco.  They both trained at the Culinary Institute of America in New York. Elisabeth and Chad traveled, trained, and cooked in France and upon their return, opened Bay Village Bakery in Point Reyes Station, California.  Using a wood fired brick oven, they baked bread and created rustic, elegant pastries using many of the techniques they had learned abroad.  Chad’s bread garnered the attention of Alain Ducasse, who wrote about the couple in his book, Harvesting Excellence.  After 6 years of baking in the countryside, they relocated to San Francisco to open Tartine Bakery in 2002.  Elisabeth was named Pastry Chef of the Year in San Francisco Magazine.  Tartine Bakery is continually rated in the Zagat Survey as Best Bakery and Best Breakfast in San Francisco. Elisabeth and Chad were nominated for James Beard Award for Outstanding Pastry Chefs in 2006 and 2007, and won the award in 2008.  Their first book, Tartine, published by Chronicle Books, was chosen by Corby Kummer of the Atlantic Monthly in the New York Times list of selected top ten cookbooks of 2006. It was also nominated for a James Beard award for the photography of France Ruffenach.  Tartine Bread, Chad’s second book, published by Chronicle Books is in current release: Fall 2010.” – “About” Tartine Bakery on the Tartine Bakery Facebook home page

 

Loaves of Tartine Bakery bread cooling before going on sale at Tartine Manufactory, San Francisco, CA, USA

Loaves of Tartine Bakery bread cooling before going on sale at Tartine Manufactory, San Francisco, CA, USA

 

Preparing dough for baking for the delicious bread at Tartine Manufactory, San Francisco, CA, USA

Preparing dough for baking for the delicious bread at Tartine Manufactory, San Francisco, CA, USA

 

Finished bread loaves at Tartine Manufactory, San Francisco, CA, USA

Finished bread loaves at Tartine Manufactory, San Francisco, CA, USA

 

The dining room at Tartine Manufactory, San Francisco, CA, USA, is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner; we visited for a superb luncheon (our dishes follow…)

The dining room at Tartine Manufactory, San Francisco, CA, USA, is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner; we visited for a superb luncheon (our dishes follow…)

 

“After years of development, the sequel to San Francisco’s famed Tartine Bakery will finally open its doors this week.  At 555 Alabama Street, Tartine Manufactory is not far from the original Guerrero St. location, but the 5,000-square-foot space is miles away in manifestation.  With a 100-seat restaurant, ice cream shop, espresso bar and bakery, the Manufactory is the sprawling concept husband-and-wife founder Chad Robertson and Elisabeth Prueitt have wanted to create since opening their wildly popular but cramped bakery and cafe 15 years ago.  ‘We’ve been completely maxed out and overflowing at the bakery for 10 or 12 years now,’ Robertson said.  The Manufactory is located in the converted laundry factory that Sausalito-based Heath Ceramics transformed into a second factory and showroom in 2012.  Since then, Heath founders Robin Petravic and Catherine Bailey have been searching for the right tenant to fill the large, light-filled space next door.” – San Francisco Business Times

 

Our starter was two open face sandwiches (“tartines”, fancy French open-faced sandwiches topped with spreadable ingredients) – smoked trout and avocado, Tartine Manufactory, San Fr

Our starter was two open face sandwiches (“tartines”, fancy French open-faced sandwiches topped with spreadable ingredients) – smoked trout and avocado, Tartine Manufactory, San Francisco, CA, USA

 

Next was a crispy Maryland softshell crab sandwich with aioli nero, fennel, spring onion, upland cress on a grilled brioche bun, Tartine Manufactory, San Francisco, CA, USA

Next was a crispy Maryland softshell crab sandwich with aioli nero, fennel, spring onion, upland cress on a grilled brioche bun, Tartine Manufactory, San Francisco, CA, USA

 

Lemon cucumber salad with tahini, blackberry, bronze fennel, pickled rhubarb (vegetarian), Tartine Manufactory, San Francisco, CA, USA

Lemon cucumber salad with tahini, blackberry, bronze fennel, pickled rhubarb (vegetarian), Tartine Manufactory, San Francisco, CA, USA

 

BBQ lamb sandwich with harissa, breakfast radish, cucumber & yogurt on a grilled brioche bun, Tartine Manufactory, San Francisco, CA, USA

BBQ lamb sandwich with harissa, breakfast radish, cucumber & yogurt on a grilled brioche bun, Tartine Manufactory, San Francisco, CA, USA

 

A desert of blueberries atop a delicious mousse, Tartine Manufactory, San Francisco, CA, USA

A desert of blueberries atop a delicious mousse, Tartine Manufactory, San Francisco, CA, USA

 

An excellent cappuccino at Tartine Manufactory, San Francisco, CA, USA--

An excellent cappuccino at Tartine Manufactory, San Francisco, CA, USA

 

Almond brioche topped with mascarpone and fresh plum slices, Tartine Manufactory, San Francisco, CA, USA

Almond brioche topped with mascarpone and fresh plum slices, Tartine Manufactory, San Francisco, CA, USA

 

Legal Notices: All photographs copyright © 2017 by Richard C. Edwards. All Rights Reserved Worldwide. Permission to link to this blog post is granted for educational and non-commercial purposes only.

 

 

Eat Local: The Slanted Door (Vietnamese), San Francisco, CA, USA

The Ferry Building was constructed over 100 years ago and was completely refurbished and turned into retail space around the turn of the century, San Francisco, CA, USA

The Ferry Building was constructed over 100 years ago (1898) and was completely refurbished and turned into retail space around the recent turn of the century, San Francisco, CA, USA – it is the third home and current location for a top modern Vietnamese restaurant, The Slanted Door, founded by Charles Phan

 

One evening we took a group of friends from the ship to one of our favorite restaurants in San Francisco (and extremely popular with both locals and visitors) – The Slanted Door, a pioneer in modern Vietnamese cuisine.  We dined family style and ate course after course of wonderful preparations, along with some delicious wines.  The one-mile (1.6 km) walk back to the ship was very welcome and refreshing in the cool evening weather (about 55 degrees F / 13 degrees C), typical for San Francisco with the fog in the summer.  And it was Mark Twain (Samuel Clemens) who did say, “The coldest winter I ever spent was summer in San Francisco.”

“In 1995, Charles Phan and his family started their first restaurant, The Slanted Door, in the Mission district in San Francisco with an honest vision of serving vibrant home-style Vietnamese food in a modern setting.  The Slanted Door moved to a temporary location in 2002 and added one of the first craft cocktail programs in San Francisco.  The bar program received “Best Restaurant Bar Award” in 2012 from Tales of the Cocktail.  The Slanted Door has been at its current location, The Ferry Building, since year 2004 and continue to work with many farmers at Ferry Building farmers market for fresh, seasonal, and sustainable ingredients.  Charles received the James Beard Award for Best Chef California in 2004 and The Slanted Door awarded Outstanding Restaurant in 2014.  Charles wrote two cookbooks : ‘Vietnamese Home Cooking’ (2012) and ‘The Slanted Door’ (2014), both of which won IACP awards in First Cookbook and Photography respectively.” – www.slanteddoorgroup.com

 

Slanted Door spring rolls, gulf shrimp, pork, mint, shallot mayonnaise, peanut sauce, The Slanted Door, San Francisco, CA, USA

Slanted Door spring rolls, gulf shrimp, pork, mint, shallot mayonnaise, peanut sauce, The Slanted Door, San Francisco, CA, USA

 

Crispy imperial rolls, gulf shrimp, pork shoulder, vermicelli noodles, roasted peanuts, The Slanted Door, San Francisco, CA, USA

Crispy imperial rolls, gulf shrimp, pork shoulder, vermicelli noodles, roasted peanuts, lettuce and mint, The Slanted Door, San Francisco, CA, USA

 

Wood oven roasted half Dungeness crab, thai basil marinade, lime, radish, roasted jalapeno aïoli, The Slanted Door, San Francisco, CA, USA

Wood oven roasted half Dungeness crab, Thai basil marinade, lime, radish, roasted jalapeno aïoli, The Slanted Door, San Francisco, CA, USA

 

Barbecued Willis Ranch pork spareribs, scallion, cilantro, honey-hoisin sauce, The Slanted Door, San Francisco, CA, USA

Barbecued Willis Ranch pork spareribs, scallion, cilantro, honey-hoisin sauce, The Slanted Door, San Francisco, CA, USA

 

Our all-time favorite dish that we eat on every visit -- cellophane noodles, green onion, Dungeness crab, sesame, The Slanted Door, San Francisco, CA, USA

Our all-time favorite dish that we eat on every visit — cellophane noodles, green onion, Dungeness crab, sesame, The Slanted Door, San Francisco, CA, USA

 

Grass-fed estancia shaking beef, 8 oz. cubed filet mignon, red onion, lime sauce, The Slanted Door, San Francisco, CA, USA

Grass-fed Estancia shaking beef, 8 oz. cubed filet mignon, red onion, lime sauce, The Slanted Door, San Francisco, CA, USA

 

Catalan Farm spicy broccoli, lion's mane mushrooms, pressed tofu, The Slanted Door, San Francisco, CA, USA

Catalan Farm spicy broccoli, lion’s mane mushrooms, pressed tofu, The Slanted Door, San Francisco, CA, USA

 

Chicken claypot, caramel sauce, Thai chili, fresh ginger, The Slanted Door, San Francisco, CA, USA

Chicken claypot, caramel sauce, Thai chili, fresh ginger, The Slanted Door, San Francisco, CA, USA

 

All star farm yellow snow peas, maitake mushroom, The Slanted Door, San Francisco, CA, USA

All star farm yellow snow peas, maitake mushroom, The Slanted Door, San Francisco, CA, USA

 

Our dessert, along with cotton candy, included beignets (fried fritters -- choux pastry in France -- brought to Louisiana, USA, by the Acadians) with chocolate sauce, The Slanted Door, S

Our dessert, along with cotton candy, included beignets (fried fritters — choux pastry in France — brought to Louisiana, USA, by the Acadians) with chocolate sauce, The Slanted Door, San Francisco, CA, USA

 

The dining room of The Slanted Door has this terrific view of the San Francisco – Oakland Bay Bridge which has special lights at night, San Francisco, CA, USA

Our table in the dining room of The Slanted Door had this terrific view of the San Francisco – Oakland Bay Bridge, that has special lights on the cables at night, San Francisco, CA, USA

 

Legal Notices: All photographs copyright © 2017 by Richard C. Edwards. All Rights Reserved Worldwide. Permission to link to this blog post is granted for educational and non-commercial purposes only.

 

Walking Taipei (part II), Taiwan

The most well known temple in Taiwan, Lungshan Temple was built in 1738 in Taipei_s Manka district by settlers from Fujian as a gathering place for Chinese settlers

The most well known temple in Taiwan, Lungshan Temple was built in 1738 in Taipei’s Manka district by settlers from Fujian as a gathering place for Chinese settlers

 

“The most well known temple in Taiwan, Lungshan Temple was built in 1738 in the city’s Manka district by settlers from Fujian as a gathering place for Chinese settlers.  Located in the old village part of Taipei, this temple has stood the test of time and lasted through several natural disasters and wars.  During World War II, the temple was badly damaged [on 8 June 1945] by American bombers during the Raid on Taipei after an accusation the Japanese were hiding arms inside the temple.  Since the construction of the temple, Taipei residents have continuously renovated and improved the temple and the surrounding :grounds, with the temple coming to represent the pride of Taiwanese temples and worship houses, worshiping a mixture of Buddhist, Taoist, and deities like Mazu.  Lungshan Temple is one of largest and oldest temples in Taiwan.” – www.guidetotaipei.com

 

One of the annex buildings of Lungshan Temple; at the Temple worshipping includes a mixture of Buddhist and Taoist beliefs, and deities like Mazu; Taipei, Taiwan

One of the annex buildings of Lungshan Temple; at the Temple worshiping includes a mixture of Buddhist and Taoist beliefs, and deities like Mazu; Taipei, Taiwan

 

The Temple is dedicated to the Buddhist Goddess of Mercy (Guan-Yin in Chinese, or Avalokitesvara in Sanskrit).  The statue of Guan-Yin survived the bombing from the American aircraft in 1945 when the whole main hall and part of the right annex were burned – it was left intact.  The Temple’s guide pamphlet notes: “This is the most famous manifestation of efficacy of Lungshan Temple”.

 

A juxtaposition of roof lines at Lungshan Temple, Taipei, Taiwan

A juxtaposition of roof lines at Lungshan Temple, Taipei, Taiwan

 

Din Tai Fung is probably the most famous restaurant in Taiwan, where the amazing dim sum continue to draw in the masses; this is the original restaurant in the ever expanding group of re

Din Tai Fung is probably the most famous restaurant in Taiwan, where the amazing dim sum continue to draw in the masses; this is the original restaurant in the ever expanding group of restaurants across Taiwan, China, and now Japan, the U.S. and other locales; Taipei, Taiwan

 

Din Tai Fung is probably the most famous restaurant in Taiwan, where the amazing dim sum continue to draw in the masses.  While there are more than a half-dozen Din Tai Fun restaurants in Taipei, we wanted to go to the mother ship —  the original Din Tai Fung on Xinyi Road.  Reservations are not accepted; as typical, we had a 15- to 30-minute wait, but this dining experience and the sublime “Shanghai” soup dumplings (Xiao Long Bao) made it worth the wait.

 

Here is the small “army” of cooks making the sublime “Shanghai” soup dumplings (Xiao Long Bao) at Din Tai Fung, Taipei, Taiwan

Here is the small “army” of cooks making the sublime “Shanghai” soup dumplings (Xiao Long Bao) at Din Tai Fung, Taipei, Taiwan

 

The most prominent historical landmark in Taiwan, the Chiang Kai-Shek Memorial Hall was erected in honor and memory of Generalissimo Chiang Kai-shek, the former President of the Republic

The most prominent historical landmark in Taiwan, the Chiang Kai-Shek Memorial Hall was erected in honor and memory of Generalissimo Chiang Kai-shek, the former President of the Republic of China, and was opened in 1980 as part of a national park and gathering area, Taipei

 

The National Chiang Kai-Shek Memorial Hall is a very famous symbol of Taipei and the Republic of China.  The large space in front of the memorial is the site for both national celebrations and protests.   The octagon-shaped white building rises 76 meters / 249 feet and is covered with blue tiles and red accents, echoing the flag of the Republic of China (Taiwan).  The eight sides represent the Chinese cultural symbolism of the number eight which is traditionally associated with fortune and wealth.  The two sets of 89 steps represent Chiang’s age of death and lead up to main hall housing a large bronze statue of Chiang Kai-shek that is watched over by two honor guards who change shifts every hour with a rifle twirling ceremony.

 

The characters behind Chiang Kai-Shek_s statue read "Ethics", "Democracy", and "Science", and the inscriptions on the side read "The purpose of life is to improve the general life of h

The characters behind Chiang Kai-Shek’s statue read “Ethics”, “Democracy”, and “Science”, and the inscriptions on the side read “The purpose of life is to improve the general life of humanity” and “The meaning of life is to create and sustain subsequent lives in the universe”, Chiang Kai-Shek Memorial Hall, Taipei, Taiwan

 

Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Park viewed from the statue of Chiang Kai-Shek in the Chiang Kai-Shek Memorial Hall, Taipei, Taiwan

Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Park viewed from the statue of Chiang Kai-Shek in the Chiang Kai-Shek Memorial Hall, Taipei, Taiwan

 

The National Theater & Concert Hall, Chiang Kai-Shek Memorial Hall, Taipei, Taiwan

The National Theater & Concert Hall, Chiang Kai-Shek Memorial Park, Taipei, Taiwan

 

Originally founded within the walls of the Beijing Forbidden City in 1925, the present-day National Palace Museum moved to Taipei's Shilin District following the Republic of China govern

Originally founded within the walls of the Beijing Forbidden City in 1925, the present-day National Palace Museum moved to Taipei’s Shilin District following the Republic of China government relocation in 1949 with an official opening for the public in 1965, Taiwan

 

The National Palace Museum is famed for the world’s best collection of historic Chinese artifacts and is a must see for first-time (and returning) visitors to the city.  “Originally founded within the walls of the Beijing Forbidden City in 1925, the present-day National Palace Museum moved to Taipei’s Shilin District following the Republic of China government relocation in 1949 with an official opening for the public in 1965.  Over 600,000 of the most precious artifacts within the collection were moved to Taiwan to prevent their desecration during and after the Chinese Civil War.  The museum is currently celebrating its 90TH Anniversary.  A fully modern museum, the Palace Museum also participates in Taiwan’s National Digital Archives Program, using the latest in digital technology to digitally preserve its ancient artifacts as well as high technology to improve the museum experience for visitors. Spread over 4 floors and 2 exhibition halls, the museum’s exhibits continuously rotate, as only a small percentage of the museum’s collection can be displayed at a given time to prevent wear.“ – www.guidetotaipei.com

 

The National Palace Museum is famed for the world_s best collection of historic Chinese artifacts and is a must see for first-time (and returning) visitors to Taipei, Taiwan

The National Palace Museum is famed for the world’s best collection of historic Chinese artifacts and is a must see for first-time (and returning) visitors to Taipei, Taiwan

 

Eat local: A home-cooked international dinner party sailing the South China Sea in our shipboard apartment

The dining room set for a festive home-cooked dinner in our apartment on the ship as it sailed across the South China Sea, Asia

The dining room set for a festive home-cooked dinner in our apartment on the ship as it sailed across the South China Sea, Asia

 

With a day at sea after sailing from Hong Kong (on the way to Taiwan), we invited friends over for a home-cooked meal featuring foods from literally around the world.  One of the great joys of having a kitchen (and pantry) in our shipboard apartment is that we can purchase great local ingredients as we visit ports on all seven continents and enjoy dishes made from them further in our journeys.  Our South China Sea dinner began with porcini risotto with grated fresh Parmesan cheese – all ingredients were sourced at Eataly in Rome, Italy.  The main course was a fish stew with local fresh salmon, shrimp, clams and calamari sourced from the Auckland Fish Market in Auckland, New Zealand and then kept in our freezer.  Our Caesar salad (not pictured) featured Romaine lettuce from Hong Kong and croutons from Semifreddi’s Bakery in Berkeley, CA, sourced in Berekely.  Dessert was a frozen raspberry spuma with fresh raspberries from Hong Kong.  With tea and coffee, the chocolate cookies were sourced at Eataly in Rome, Italy and the dark chocolate covered almonds were from Paris, France.  Thanks to the Executive Chef, our Intrepid Explorer, for leading the cooking team — with your blogger — in the kitchen to have fun creating these tasty dishes.

 

Dinner began with porcini risotto with grated fresh Parmesan cheese, shipboard dinner, South China Sea, Asia

Dinner began with porcini risotto with grated fresh Parmesan cheese, shipboard dinner, South China Sea, Asia

 

The main course was a fish stew with local fresh salmon, shrimp, clams and calamari, shipboard dinner, South China Sea, Asia

The main course was a fish stew with local fresh salmon, shrimp, clams and calamari, shipboard dinner, South China Sea, Asia

 

Dessert was a frozen raspberry spuma with fresh raspberries, shipboard dinner, South China Sea, Asia

Dessert was a frozen raspberry spuma with fresh raspberries, shipboard dinner, South China Sea, Asia

 

With tea and coffee, we all enjoyed the chocolate cookies and dark chocolate covered almonds, shipboard dinner, South China Sea, Asia

With tea and coffee, we all enjoyed the chocolate cookies and dark chocolate covered almonds, shipboard dinner, South China Sea, Asia

 

Eat local: Spring Moon in the Peninsula Hotel, Tsim Sha Tsui District, Hong Kong, S.A.R. (Special Administrative Region), People’s Republic of China

Exterior of the Peninsula Hotel, Hong Kong, S.A.R., People_s Republic of China--

Exterior of the Peninsula Hotel, Hong Kong, S.A.R., People’s Republic of China

 

On our last day in Hong Kong we and some friends decided to splurge and enjoy a dim sum luncheon at one of the city’s finest restaurants — Spring Moon in the Peninsula Hotel, located on Salisbury Road near the Star Ferry Terminal in the Tsim Sha Tsui District of Kowloon.  As shown below, we ordered up a feast and had a light supper that night! Eating at Spring Moon this visit keeps our record intact – it’s the only restaurant we’ve dined at on every visit to Hong Kong

 

A formal British-style afternoon “high” tea is served in the lobby of the Peninsula Hotel, Hong Kong, S.A.R., People_s Republic of China

A formal British-style afternoon “high” tea is served in the lobby of the Peninsula Hotel, Hong Kong, S.A.R., People’s Republic of China

 

Beautiful Art Deco era woodwork and stained glass decorate the dining room of the Spring Moon Cantonese Restaurant in the Peninsula Hotel, Hong Kong, S.A.R., People_s Republic of China

Beautiful Art Deco era woodwork and stained glass decorate the dining room of the Spring Moon Cantonese Restaurant in the Peninsula Hotel, Hong Kong, S.A.R., People’s Republic of China

 

“The Peninsula’s Michelin-starred Cantonese restaurant presents fine Chinese cuisine in its purest form, steered by renowned Chinese Cuisine Executive Chef Gordon Leung. Specialties include an array of seafood, superlative dim sum and the restaurant’s acclaimed XO sauce made to a secret recipe.  Dim sum at Spring Moon is a timeless classic, featuring expertly crafted favourites from pan-fried dumplings filled with pork, cabbage and mushrooms to baked crispy buns with minced Wagyu beef, onions and black pepper and steamed red Sicilian prawn soup dumplings with a refined twist.” – http://www.hongkong.peninsula.com

 

Local “Hairy” Crab meat served in the shell, Spring Moon in the Peninsula Hotel, Hong Kong, S.A.R., People_s Republic of China

Local “Hairy” Crab meat served in the shell, Spring Moon in the Peninsula Hotel, Hong Kong, S.A.R., People’s Republic of China

 

Beef in pastry with sesame seeds, Spring Moon in the Peninsula Hotel, Hong Kong, S.A.R., People_s Republic of China

Beef in pastry with sesame seeds, Spring Moon in the Peninsula Hotel, Hong Kong, S.A.R., People’s Republic of China

 

Steamed vegetable dumplings in vegetable dough wrappers, Spring Moon in the Peninsula Hotel, Hong Kong, S.A.R., People_s Republic of China

Steamed vegetable dumplings in vegetable dough wrappers, Spring Moon in the Peninsula Hotel, Hong Kong, S.A.R., People’s Republic of China

 

Crab and pork steamed dumplings, Spring Moon in the Peninsula Hotel, Hong Kong, S.A.R., People_s Republic of China

Crab and pork steamed dumplings, Spring Moon in the Peninsula Hotel, Hong Kong, S.A.R., People’s Republic of China

 

Chicken, green onions and mushroom steamed dumplings, Spring Moon in the Peninsula Hotel, Hong Kong, S.A.R., People_s Republic of China

Chicken, green onions and mushroom steamed dumplings, Spring Moon in the Peninsula Hotel, Hong Kong, S.A.R., People’s Republic of China

 

Scallop and minced pork siu mai dumplings, Spring Moon in the Peninsula Hotel, Hong Kong, S.A.R., People_s Republic of China

Scallop and minced pork siu mai dumplings, Spring Moon in the Peninsula Hotel, Hong Kong, S.A.R., People’s Republic of China

 

Barbeque pork, Spring Moon in the Peninsula Hotel, Hong Kong, S.A.R., People_s Republic of China

Barbeque pork, Spring Moon in the Peninsula Hotel, Hong Kong, S.A.R., People’s Republic of China

 

Noodles with pork and the house special XO sauce, Spring Moon in the Peninsula Hotel, Hong Kong, S.A.R., People_s Republic of China

Noodles with pork and the house special XO sauce, Spring Moon in the Peninsula Hotel, Hong Kong, S.A.R., People’s Republic of China

 

Special vegetables, including cloud ear mushrooms and greens, Spring Moon in the Peninsula Hotel, Hong Kong, S.A.R., People_s Republic of China

Special vegetables, including cloud ear mushrooms and greens, Spring Moon in the Peninsula Hotel, Hong Kong, S.A.R., People’s Republic of China