This weekend absolutely rocked!
Our company had our year-end Christmas Party last Friday at one of the top hotels in Taipei. Red envelopes were given to every employee, and over NT$1 million was given out via lucky draw.
Mind you, I didn’t win a single penny, and I was stuck outside helping out in reception, but it was still a terrific party because 1) I looked great in my black, form-fitting cocktail dress which I can finally wear after months of being stored in the closet, and 2) the food was great and everyone was “high.“
Here’s a glimpse of our costume parade which kicked off a fun evening up ahead:
Afterwards, we checked out Ziga-Zaga at the Grand Hyatt’s 2F. At first, I thought the place was going to be a bore because a lot more older patrons frequent this bar. Surprisingly, I saw the entire place was just rockin’!
And no surprise, their band “Earthbeat,” was awesome!
They used various voices to sing the most popular, danceable songs there is. Some tunes that night included, “Hollaback Girl,” “Temperature,” “Don’t Cha,” and even a famous Taiwanese song that ironically, am unfamiliar with!
My girlfriend and I ended the evening camwhoring, which was equally enjoyable. Ha, never knew how many poses you can do in front of a mirror! 😉
Meanwhile, while Friday was fun, it didn’t really beat Saturday in terms of the variety of activities and duration. Saturday was simply a marathon — a plethora of a whole range of events.
Saturday, I went with my friend DT to volunteer at the Cang Gen Children’s Hospital in Taoyuan for the afternoon. It was an awesome experience and there were around 30 adults — all Taiwanese — helping out.
The theme was “Night Market,” and several booths were available.
Sick children were invited out to come and join in the revelry, and they each had a chance to play various games such as basketball, toss the ring, blowing candles among others in exchange for points, which they can exchange for grand prizes or a popsicle waffle.
It was great!
Though they were a bit shy at first, children as young as 1.5 years, to those as old as 16 (though he looked like he was merely 8) managed to wake up from their drunken stupor to join in the fun. Everybody received a prize, and I even gave my own Eeyore stuffed toy which I personally won, to a late-comer who weren’t able to win any more grand prizes.
The organizers did a great job — they even had some games which I found to be interesting. For example, this burn a whole on the cup was an ingenious idea — check out the mom on the side! She’s having fun too!
Overall, it was an eye-opening experience. As they say, “Give love on Christmas Day!” And though it ain’t Christmas yet, it’s never too early to share a bit of your time and some effort to those in need. And in return, you get a lot LOT more.
Thanks DT for bringing us there! Let’s do it again next month!
After the charity event, I headed towards Belle Fusion for a party organized by my friend GY, the most outgoing guy I know in Taipei. GY is the absolute party king and trumps me easy as the social butterfly in the expat community!
Conveniently located in Chungxiao Dunhua, Belle Fusion is a mid-priced restaurant/bar/salsa pub that serves pretty good food if only you don’t starve from waiting!
Maybe it was because there were over 50 people in our party, but the service as it turned out was AWFUL. We waited for over an hour for our food, even though we were one of the first ones to come in (they must have gotten the order of the orders wrong!). And even my hot coffee took 30 freaking minutes! By the time it came, I was already finished with dessert!
Don’t get me wrong: The food was worth waiting for.
Check out my friend Ken and his nicely-decorated lamb chops (NT$650):
Am not a lamb person, but I did enjoy getting a nibble off his plate. 😉
I also particularly enjoyed my seafood salad, which wasn’t swimming in sauce, and their spinach clam soup was both creamy and delish. I think the soup was one of the better ones in Taipei.
I excused myself from ordering their steak (NT$820 a set), because I was afraid I might be disappointed. Hence, I ordered the scalloped halibut (NT$680) instead, which was a great choice:
On both sides are the halibut scallops which is topped with smacking egg roe. In the center is some sort of egg custard, and the entire plate is filled with mouth-watering and definitely-fattening cream sauce.
Despite my concern on the small serving portion, the whole set came out just right especially after their warm chocolate cake (with chocolate syrup inside!) which I shared with another lady at the table — a must nowadays since Alexander closed down earlier last week.
My only complaint was the service. The servers were nice enough, but given that we’ve informed the restaurant way ahead of time of the number in our party, you’d think they’d ask more chefs to come in and waitresses to help manage the crowd.
Instead, there was none — which left us extra hungry by the time our honey-flavored bread arrived (which was good was well).
Good thing, the women beside me generously shared a bit of their meal while we were still waiting for hours. So on the upside, we got to taste a few more of their dishes!
Their angel hair basil and mushroom pasta was particularly good, while their pasta with stewed beef briskett tasted more like niu rou mien, with less of the soup.
So in summary, food at Belle Fusion is a hit/miss. But with prices that range from NT$400 to NT$900, it’s decent enough to bring your girl out on a date without burning a whole off your pockets, and the food is impressive enough to have a repeat.
Better come a bit full though, otherwise, you may be dead before your food arrives. 😉
I ended up the evening at a house party in Anhe Road where I had my first taste of eggnog and mulled wine in my entire life, and our party had a second wave at Barcode, where we had our usuals: Healthy and Sexy (NT$300) for me, and shots for everybody else.
Sunday had a perfect mix of relaxation and excitement to cap off this action-packed weekend.
First up, I met up with my friend for brunch at my favorite brunch restaurant: Carnegies. I’ve had my not-so-big-breakfast (NT$320) which probably packed at least 1,200 calories and over, while my friend had his steak sandwich which was so-so, though the accompanying salad and fries were still good.
Our leisurely brunch lasted till 5:00 pm because we were joined by his friends, who coincidentally shared the same idea as us. Ah, always good to meet new friends…
Then, went to watch “I Am Legend,” which was pretty interesting.
Will Smith as usual was at his best, and some scenes in the movie was seriously heart-breaking. Smith is really a great actor, and it’s amazing how he and Sam (his German Shepherd) could carry over half of the film alone.
The ending was surprising, and I was expecting something more futuristic, but overall, it was a thrilling movie, and finally glad to get it out of the way.
Studying at the Taipei Milk King near my place finished this long marathon weekend of fun and games.
With an agenda like this, who can complain? Anyway. busy day tomorrow — can’t believe how time just flies. So gotta go and sleep and talk to you all soon!