Category Archives: Recap

I Tried a DIY Bakery in Taichung

I spent Chinese New Year in Taichung with my mom, eating excessively and doing lots of window shopping. We visited the Park Lane shopping mall, which is smaller but more interesting than the gigantic Sogo across the street. The 3rd floor has a traditional market with some commonly found but well-made Taiwanese foods. You pay a little more compared to a shop on the street, but the environment is nicer, the food hygiene is better, and there’s a lot of variety all in one place.

We walked past an intriguing storefront on the 2nd floor with KitchenAids in the window and a menu full of desserts. But you don’t buy desserts here—you make them yourself!  We’d stumbled upon Dough DIY Bakery. With no plans the following day, my aunt signed us up for an afternoon baking session.

When you arrive, you choose which dessert you want to make and pay. A shop assistant will show you to your place and give you a tablet loaded with text and video directions. I had chosen to make a matcha chocolate tart, because I had never made a tart before and it’s something I would never make at home.

Dough DIY menu.

I spent the next 10 minutes reading the instructions (Chinese only; no English available) and watching the video. Then I was off, gathering up equipment and ingredients from the common areas.

To me, hygiene seems like a bit of a concern, because 1) people are responsible for washing the equipment they use, which goes back into the common area, 2) all the ingredients are self-serve, and 3) there were tons of kids running around, not all of them well-supervised (really annoying, honestly). Fellow cleanfreaks, be aware.

On the flipside, it’s really freeing to bake in a kitchen that you don’t have to clean (except for some dish washing). You don’t have to worry about buying a bunch of ingredients or any baking equipment.

Ingredient shelves.

 

Ingredient jars.

 

Kitchen tools and utensils.

 

KitchenAid standing mixer.

 

Bank of ovens.

 

My piping needs some work…

 

The instructions were pretty straightforward and there are tons of shop assistants running around to answer questions, so I think even really novice bakers would not have a problem completing their dessert. It ended up taking me about 2.5 hours to from start to finish (it took that long because I made a mistake at one point and had to fix it) but time flies when you’re having fun. I was super proud of the end result and I would definitely go back to make a different dessert.

Dough DIY (動手玩)
No. 1049 Jianxing Rd., West District
Taichung, Taiwan

Go Fourth

New York City is the most crowded city in the U.S., so it’s a magical time when it empties out, as it does during major holidays.

So, a few friends and I spent July 4 meandering around Flatiron and Chelsea, marveling at the empty streets. I did a lot of window shopping, and a little actual purchasing at Flying Tiger.

Flying Tiger is a Danish home goods/knickknack store, reminiscent of a certain other Scandinavian home goods store known for selling design-savvy products at low prices. It also reminded me of Kikkerland, another Scandinavian-esque (it was founded in NYC by a Dutchman) knickknack store. Though smaller than IKEA and more practical than Kikkerland, Flying Tiger offers items in the same style of affordability and charm. Do I need a giant clothespin, or an egg timer shaped like ice cream? Absolutely not, but the fun of the store is being delighted as you pass those items up for the more practical ones. Flying Tiger is an excellent place to find a quirky gift or party knickknacks.

We followed Flying Tiger with Fishs Eddy, a kitchen/home goods store featuring vintage Americana designs. I was unsurprised to spot several items that I’d seen in my apartment—of course E.S. owns items from this charming-quirky store! I guess you could say Fishs Eddy is affordable; however, I don’t think I’ll be able to spend $11.95 on a single plate until I’m out of my twenties. I’m still using pieces from the Corelle set I bought when I was in college. Stores like Fishs Eddy are for people who are settled down with tastefully decorated homes, people who own things like tablerunners and coasters. Adults.

Even though I’m still stuck in college-kid mode when it comes to home furnishings and decor, I liked Fishs Eddy and will probably return to get some bar supplies. Or, to pull the trigger on some ice cream cone-shaped cups.