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Sheraton Taipei, Taiwan [Master Thread]

Sheraton Taipei, Taiwan [Master Thread]

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Old Feb 26, 13, 12:08 am
  #241  
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Originally Posted by araknis View Post
Thanks for the feedback. Can you please clarify the name of the best Chinese breakfast spot that's by the hotel? That's the tough part with getting free breakfast from PLT status... I want to eat the good street food, but hard to give up the free hotel breakfast!
How is your spoken Mandarin?

The restaurant is right around the corner from the hotel in the Hua Shan market building, but be prepared for a long wait especially on weekends. The place is called Fu Hang Dou Jiang (阜杭豆漿), and is considered the best in the city - although you'd probably only know the difference if you'd had this food multiple times and have a baseline to compare - I usually eat this type of food in Hacienda Heights CA and there is no comparison.

You can ask the Sheraton concierge to write down some menu items to try, but if you can get these on paper from my post, try some of the following:

Fried egg crepe (like a very thin omelet) 蛋餅
A fried donut inside sesame bread 燒餅油條
Soy Milk (part of the restaurant's name, see the last 2 Chinese characters in the name above) 豆漿
Sweet Soy Milk 甜豆浆
Sticky rice 飯糰

You can ask the concierge to prepare a written order sheet for you and just hand it to the counter for your order...I would also ask for some fried taro cake, and instead of the sweet soy milk, get the peanut soy milk, which is very thick, almost like a peanut milkshake.

This is carbohydrate class 101, so hopefully you'll be doing a lot of walking around after breakfast.
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Old Feb 26, 13, 3:20 am
  #242  
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Originally Posted by bocastephen View Post
Fried egg crepe (like a very thin omelet) 蛋餅
A fried donut inside sesame bread 燒餅油條
Soy Milk (part of the restaurant's name, see the last 2 Chinese characters in the name above) 豆漿
Sweet Soy Milk 甜豆浆
Sticky rice 飯糰
Brilliant!

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Thyetus Lee | Social Media Specialist
Starwood Customer Contact Centre (AP) Pte Ltd
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Old Feb 26, 13, 11:34 am
  #243  
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Originally Posted by Starwood Lurker II View Post
Brilliant!

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Thyetus Lee | Social Media Specialist
Starwood Customer Contact Centre (AP) Pte Ltd
Did I get them correct?
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Old Feb 26, 13, 12:54 pm
  #244  
 
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Originally Posted by bocastephen View Post
How is your spoken Mandarin?

The restaurant is right around the corner from the hotel in the Hua Shan market building, but be prepared for a long wait especially on weekends. The place is called Fu Hang Dou Jiang (阜杭豆漿), and is considered the best in the city .
Although this place is good, but IMHO, it is not worth the wait (especially if the line is down the stairs (this place is located on the second floor). Lots of tourist (Hong Kong, Japan and chinese from US/Canada). Furthermore, you must really like the simplicity of this "northern" style breakfast (the opposite of the cantonese styled dim sum). For me, I prefer either dim sum or porridge with lots of side dishes.
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Old Feb 26, 13, 1:08 pm
  #245  
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Originally Posted by sink View Post
Although this place is good, but IMHO, it is not worth the wait (especially if the line is down the stairs (this place is located on the second floor). Lots of tourist (Hong Kong, Japan and chinese from US/Canada). Furthermore, you must really like the simplicity of this "northern" style breakfast (the opposite of the cantonese styled dim sum). For me, I prefer either dim sum or porridge with lots of side dishes.
The simplicity is what makes it good - and this is really the Taiwanese style vs the HK style of dim sum which is heavier - but in the end, it's up to the poster with the question. I wouldn't look for dim sum in TPE (I'd do that in HK) unless I really had a craving for it, but if someone wants a traditional Taiwanese breakfast, this is the style and place.

I've had the TW style breakfast from a local place on a side lane in a produce district, but that experience is not really best for a tourist unless they speak Mandarin and know what to order.

Having said that, I wish the Sheraton's lounge breakfast had more variety to include a couple of dumpling baskets. I had the breakfast at the Novotel TPE restaurant, and while that place was 10 times the size of the Sheraton lounge, I even had 'do it yourself' Gua Bao - so a little more focus on traditional dishes would be a nice touch at the Sheraton.

A little off topic, but I made the effort to try the dim sum at Tim Ho Wan in HK - even my friend who lived in HK never had a chance to try it, but we went there and discovered the system - get a ticket, come back in 4 hours, then get a priority number, then get in line and maybe get a table in some unknown future timeframe if we're lucky - no thanks, so we passed, Michelin star and all, and bought street food from a vendor.

Last edited by bocastephen; Feb 26, 13 at 1:15 pm
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Old Feb 27, 13, 1:01 am
  #246  
 
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Originally Posted by bocastephen View Post
How is your spoken Mandarin?

The restaurant is right around the corner from the hotel in the Hua Shan market building, but be prepared for a long wait especially on weekends. The place is called Fu Hang Dou Jiang (阜杭豆漿), and is considered the best in the city - although you'd probably only know the difference if you'd had this food multiple times and have a baseline to compare - I usually eat this type of food in Hacienda Heights CA and there is no comparison.

You can ask the Sheraton concierge to write down some menu items to try, but if you can get these on paper from my post, try some of the following:

Fried egg crepe (like a very thin omelet) 蛋餅
A fried donut inside sesame bread 燒餅油條
Soy Milk (part of the restaurant's name, see the last 2 Chinese characters in the name above) 豆漿
Sweet Soy Milk 甜豆浆
Sticky rice 飯糰

You can ask the concierge to prepare a written order sheet for you and just hand it to the counter for your order...I would also ask for some fried taro cake, and instead of the sweet soy milk, get the peanut soy milk, which is very thick, almost like a peanut milkshake.

This is carbohydrate class 101, so hopefully you'll be doing a lot of walking around after breakfast.
Awesome, thanks for the summary. I'm from SoCal so I hit up various Taiwanese breakfast spots in SGV and Irvine all the time. Wonder how big the difference will be. I'm just looking forward to cheap prices (compared to the spots around here).

Luckily my spoken Mandarin is decent.. it's the reading/writing that I'll never be able to get right
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Old Feb 27, 13, 12:49 pm
  #247  
 
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Originally Posted by araknis View Post
Awesome, thanks for the summary. I'm from SoCal so I hit up various Taiwanese breakfast spots in SGV and Irvine all the time. Wonder how big the difference will be. I'm just looking forward to cheap prices (compared to the spots around here).

Luckily my spoken Mandarin is decent.. it's the reading/writing that I'll never be able to get right
The breakfast places in Irvine is horrible...Ones in SGV is barely passable compare to ones in Taipei. Have you ever tried Taiwanese style breakfast burger / sandwich? If not , there's one on the corner of the corner, right across from McD. Try it if you haven't, its very different and worth trying.
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Old Feb 27, 13, 1:15 pm
  #248  
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Originally Posted by anchor79 View Post
The breakfast places in Irvine is horrible...Ones in SGV is barely passable compare to ones in Taipei. Have you ever tried Taiwanese style breakfast burger / sandwich? If not , there's one on the corner of the corner, right across from McD. Try it if you haven't, its very different and worth trying.
This is the place I go to in Hacienda Heights - the food is pretty decent, assuming you can find a table and don't mind cleaning it yourself, and almost no English spoken by the staff.

Suffice to say, as good as this place is considered, trying these dishes in Taipei is a whole new ballgame. Even the street-side open air corner spot where we had our first breakfast a few weeks back (my other half used to eat here on the way to school each morning, so it's been around) had tastier offerings than Four Sea...

http://www.foodgps.com/four-sea-hacienda-heights/

http://theeatenpath.com/2011/01/26/f...da-heights-ca/

I just wish the Sheraton would add even some of these items to their lounge menu - they are very low cost and would be appreciated by guests. A scoop of 肉鬆 wrapped in warm sticky rice with a little scallion and made into little bite size pieces?
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Old Feb 27, 13, 7:25 pm
  #249  
 
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Fu Hang Dou Jiang (阜杭豆漿)

Here you go: http://wiselyview.net/blog/read-978.html
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Old Feb 28, 13, 1:36 am
  #250  
 
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Originally Posted by bocastephen View Post
This is the place I go to in Hacienda Heights - the food is pretty decent, assuming you can find a table and don't mind cleaning it yourself, and almost no English spoken by the staff.
http://www.foodgps.com/four-sea-hacienda-heights/
Actually, this place just opened up in Irvine not too long ago. It's pretty really good compared to the other Taiwanese places around here. The only problem is that this place is pricey! For example, the Xian Fan Tuan is $3.50! Can't wait to make it to Taiwan...
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Old Feb 28, 13, 12:34 pm
  #251  
 
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Originally Posted by bocastephen View Post
How is your spoken Mandarin?

The restaurant is right around the corner from the hotel in the Hua Shan market building, but be prepared for a long wait especially on weekends. The place is called Fu Hang Dou Jiang (阜杭豆漿), and is considered the best in the city - although you'd probably only know the difference if you'd had this food multiple times and have a baseline to compare - I usually eat this type of food in Hacienda Heights CA and there is no comparison.

You can ask the Sheraton concierge to write down some menu items to try, but if you can get these on paper from my post, try some of the following:

Fried egg crepe (like a very thin omelet) 蛋餅
A fried donut inside sesame bread 燒餅油條
Soy Milk (part of the restaurant's name, see the last 2 Chinese characters in the name above) 豆漿
Sweet Soy Milk 甜豆浆
Sticky rice 飯糰

You can ask the concierge to prepare a written order sheet for you and just hand it to the counter for your order...I would also ask for some fried taro cake, and instead of the sweet soy milk, get the peanut soy milk, which is very thick, almost like a peanut milkshake.

This is carbohydrate class 101, so hopefully you'll be doing a lot of walking around after breakfast.
Originally Posted by bocastephen View Post
The simplicity is what makes it good - and this is really the Taiwanese style vs the HK style of dim sum which is heavier - but in the end, it's up to the poster with the question. I wouldn't look for dim sum in TPE (I'd do that in HK) unless I really had a craving for it, but if someone wants a traditional Taiwanese breakfast, this is the style and place.

I've had the TW style breakfast from a local place on a side lane in a produce district, but that experience is not really best for a tourist unless they speak Mandarin and know what to order.

Having said that, I wish the Sheraton's lounge breakfast had more variety to include a couple of dumpling baskets. I had the breakfast at the Novotel TPE restaurant, and while that place was 10 times the size of the Sheraton lounge, I even had 'do it yourself' Gua Bao - so a little more focus on traditional dishes would be a nice touch at the Sheraton.

A little off topic, but I made the effort to try the dim sum at Tim Ho Wan in HK - even my friend who lived in HK never had a chance to try it, but we went there and discovered the system - get a ticket, come back in 4 hours, then get a priority number, then get in line and maybe get a table in some unknown future timeframe if we're lucky - no thanks, so we passed, Michelin star and all, and bought street food from a vendor.
Originally Posted by bocastephen View Post
This is the place I go to in Hacienda Heights - the food is pretty decent, assuming you can find a table and don't mind cleaning it yourself, and almost no English spoken by the staff.

Suffice to say, as good as this place is considered, trying these dishes in Taipei is a whole new ballgame. Even the street-side open air corner spot where we had our first breakfast a few weeks back (my other half used to eat here on the way to school each morning, so it's been around) had tastier offerings than Four Sea...

http://www.foodgps.com/four-sea-hacienda-heights/

http://theeatenpath.com/2011/01/26/f...da-heights-ca/

I just wish the Sheraton would add even some of these items to their lounge menu - they are very low cost and would be appreciated by guests. A scoop of 肉鬆 wrapped in warm sticky rice with a little scallion and made into little bite size pieces?
Excellent work here!

I will be in Taipei later this year, so I shall try them too.

One important factor of why such simple food can taste so good is: freshness.

The perpetual long queues ensures freshness. That's why buffet-styled breakfast can't match it - they must have a live-cooking station to even come close.

I believe things like 燒餅油條 taste best when they are just served out from the pan and eaten hot. (once left for too long, especially in a buffet settings, they will turn cold, rubbery and soggy. And hence, not as nice.)

Even their 豆漿 are made round the clock, and batches will be sold within a couple of hours from production, and beans are never stored long before they are made into soy milk. (of course, they must possess the skills and technique to make huge quantity fast at a very high quality control level)

However, Sheraton cannot convert their kitchens to serve such food solely on a high freshness level: the margins are thin for the traditional breakfast, so they earn on volume. Sheraton needs to charge a premium for their ambience cost, and if low margin diners eat and don't leave (cos of good ambience), then they do not get the turnover (and hence not the volume of diners as well).

It would be really nice if I can enjoy such great traditional breakfast at Sheraton settings. Perhaps the chefs at Sheraton can think a way around it to ensure great quality control, despite the lower volume. @:-)
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Old Feb 28, 13, 1:40 pm
  #252  
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Originally Posted by ZenWorld View Post
...However, Sheraton cannot convert their kitchens to serve such food solely on a high freshness level: the margins are thin for the traditional breakfast, so they earn on volume. Sheraton needs to charge a premium for their ambience cost, and if low margin diners eat and don't leave (cos of good ambience), then they do not get the turnover (and hence not the volume of diners as well).

It would be really nice if I can enjoy such great traditional breakfast at Sheraton settings. Perhaps the chefs at Sheraton can think a way around it to ensure great quality control, despite the lower volume. @:-)
The thing is, I think the main buffet downstairs has some of these items, so the selections which are a little more shelf stable (ie, sticky rice with pork sung, fried breads) could be prepared downstairs and brought up to the lounge, even in smaller portion sizes.

I just felt the lounge breakfast was too 'western focused' and didn't really highlight any of the unique breakfast traditions of Taiwan. It's been almost a year, but I'm trying to remember if the Westin lounge had more local options - I think they had a few.

The W is more of a brunch buffet (and free to Plat guests), and the offerings there tend to be local, but more lunch and less breakfast centric.

However I do agree that every visitor should make an effort to go outside and try as much local food traditions as possible - the lounge is really more of a convenience or quick-stop breakfast spot.
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Old Apr 14, 13, 12:25 pm
  #253  
 
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Well that sucks, noticed Sheraton Taipei is now a category 5 requiring 16000 starpoints a night making more sense to just pay cash vs. redeeming. Looks like there is one less place I will be redeeming starpoints for
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Old Apr 14, 13, 6:41 pm
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Originally Posted by buylowsellhigh View Post
Well that sucks, noticed Sheraton Taipei is now a category 5 requiring 16000 starpoints a night making more sense to just pay cash vs. redeeming. Looks like there is one less place I will be redeeming starpoints for
+1

Unfortunately, starpoints are now depreciated so steep that it is no longer the kind of incentives to book starwood hotels in Taipei. Three years ago Sheraton free night was 7000 points now it is 16000 points. W Tapei was 12000 points now it is 25000 points.
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Old Apr 14, 13, 7:18 pm
  #255  
 
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Originally Posted by bocastephen View Post
How is your spoken Mandarin?

The restaurant is right around the corner from the hotel in the Hua Shan market building, but be prepared for a long wait especially on weekends. The place is called Fu Hang Dou Jiang (阜杭豆漿), and is considered the best in the city - although you'd probably only know the difference if you'd had this food multiple times and have a baseline to compare - I usually eat this type of food in Hacienda Heights CA and there is no comparison.

You can ask the Sheraton concierge to write down some menu items to try, but if you can get these on paper from my post, try some of the following:

Fried egg crepe (like a very thin omelet) 蛋餅
A fried donut inside sesame bread 燒餅油條
Soy Milk (part of the restaurant's name, see the last 2 Chinese characters in the name above) 豆漿
Sweet Soy Milk 甜豆浆
Sticky rice 飯糰
I tried all the items above and more last week. Wait was about 40 minutes (line started outside). The 油條 was VERY greasy and I wasn't too impressed. I know it's deep fried, but it was as if the 油條 was re-dipped into oil after being initially fried (if that makes any sense). I think the best items I had were the 飯糰 and "da bing" (not on your list). The 飯糰 had perfectly steamed sweet rice (texture/hardness were spot on) and the rou song used was very tasty. The "da bing" was amazing as well. This was made in a hot stone oven which creates the slightly crisp outside with doughy texture on the inside. It was also coated with a salty/sweet glaze on the outside which I guess helps adhere the sesame seeds. The other items were very good, but did not "stand out" from what I can get locally in SoCal. The best part was the price. IIRC, the 飯糰 was 40 or 45 NT (~$1.25-1.50USD). Four Star in Irvine charges $3.50 + tax.
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