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Having travelled across 45 countries and visited hundreds of cities, in which European cities accounts for over 50 of them . European continent covers an area of more than 10180,000 square kilometers. Even spending over a year in Europe during my fast pace ADHD life, I still haven’t been able to visit every country of the continent. Among the ones I’ve visited, Spain has always been a favorite of mine. The things that made me fall completely in love with Spain include my admiration for the legendary architect Antoni Gaudi, the discovery of where Taiwanese local celebrity Mr. Ye got his inspiration from (if you don’t know him, please watch this video:
and of course, the scrumptious food and wine.
The Spanish Empire is one of the strongest empires in history. Spain controlled many territories across the world including some in Europe and Central/South America territories.
The Latin nation has profoundly influenced the culture and diet of these places. There are not many exotic restaurants in Taipei, and there are even fewer Spanish restaurants. In the past two and a half years that I’ve been stranded on this island, the only good restaurant I found serving Latin Cuisine is TUGA Portuguese Restaurant.
My food journey has been quite tough here in Taiwan, finding decent restaurants aren’t too easy. It was the new years holiday and I usually start wonder about life when I have too much time in my hands. I took a trip down my memory lane back to Panama and decided I was feeling Spanish. I found Suiyi Niao Wo Spanish restaurant located in SanZhi in the north coast area. SuiyiNiaowo originally opened in the Banqiao metropolitan area. owner Sammi has a special liking for the Sanzhi’s natural environment, so about three months ago after being in business for 5-6 years in Banqiao‘s metropolitan area, she decided to move her business to the North Coast, where she believes the environment is closer to Europe. On a sunny day, Suiyi Niaowo’s patio will be filled with tables and seats to create the atmosphere of a local European restaurant, allowing guests to enjoy the sun and nature while dining, The Restaurant is about a two-hour drive from me. But nothing stops me when I’m craving for food. I’m insatiable.
Although pretty much all of my body functions are malfunctioning, my foraging abilities still presist. I may pick the wrong man, but I never pick the wrong restaurant. *brag*
Suiyiniaowo is a single-story building with no flamboyant signboards or too much decoration, but only a flag of Spain on top of the roof. The walls inside the building are painted in orange and bright yellow, The Latin style that we see a lot in Central/South America and Spain. Having stayed in Panama for a while, the colours brought back our memories and got us all excited to find out what more this restaurant has to offer. We nod our heads and enter the door. The restaurant is decorated with Christmas trees and ornaments, filling the place with holiday spirits. I get my fix.
It’s windy and Sammi seats us in the big room inside the restaurant, which is warmer. The room has a bookshelf with a collection of self-help series and history related books.
Sammi, the owner, first got into Spanish food when she was working with a Spanish friend. She found Spanish eating habits much healthier than those of Taiwan. Unfortunately, one of her family got sick, she visited her Spain and decided to bring the local food back to Taiwan. The two hour-drive to Sanzhi resulted in two hours of fantasizing about tapas, paella and the likes and a wet seat covered in drool. So before the menu is even handed to us, we order a paella.
After we’re properly seated, Sammi brings a pot of mint tea with lemon. The mint is organically homegrown in their garden.
The history of Spanish paella dates back to the mid-19th century and has become a custom at festivals and gatherings in Spain. The traditional way of cooking paella includes adding tomatoes, garlic, and spices such as saffron and rosemary. Suiyiniaowo’s paella is made with Spanish rice and saffron. Compared to paellas elsewhere, SuiyiNiaowo’s paella is more refreshing and less greasy. The lemon served with the pot can make it even more refreshing.
殘編西班牙小趣事。。。some fun stories in Spain
My favourite foods when I traveled to Spain include their extensive selection of tapas and the jumbo churros dipped in thick hot chocolate for breakfast. Other unforgettable moments include witnessing a super server carrying a full stack of plates with just three of his fingertips; and the diner beside me who looked terrified when he walked in on me in the washroom (I was wearing overalls!)
隨意鳥窩食物/The Food at Suiyi Niao Wo：
西班牙火腿卷 / Spanish ham and cheese rolls
The paella at Suiyiniaowo includes 2 size options: the small pot is for 2-3 people($1250) and the large size serves 6-8 people ($2700).
Spanish food is usually served with small plates tapas-style, but portions at Suiyiniaowo is generous. Our paella is topped with full of seafood: squid, shrimp, and clams; other ingredients include blood sausage, black olives, red pepper, and even broccoli. We feel like we are consuming a rainbow of nutrients.
The reason I hold back and don’t do my usual #ordereverything is that to my recollection, tapas in Spain were all soaked in olive oil. Although “Olive Oil” probably ranks the best among oil, but even pork fat can be considered gold if compared to our infamous national Taiwanese waste oil (2014 food scandal in Taiwan). Living in Italy for over a year made me terrified of olive oil. Both The “fried shrimp with wine and “wild mushroom with wine both are both tempting but sounds risky too. I don’t want my shrimps to swim in olive oil or mushrooms grow in grease. Sammi assures us that both of them are pan-fried with wine only. So we go ahead and order both.
地中海季節沙拉 （依人數計價）Mediterranean Seasonal Salad (price pp)
Our Mediterranean seasonal salad has romaine lettuce, tomato, Greek cream cheese, South African dates, anchovies, and Suiyiniaowo’s homegrown organic mint
葡萄酒蒜蓉蝦 （$380）/ Garlic Shrimp with wine ($380)
Jumbo shrimps are served on a large plate. A total of nine jumbo shrimps are served fresh and red topped with lots of garlic and sprinkled with coarse peppers The dish brings out the soul of Spanish cuisine.
葡萄酒香煎野菇（$330）/Pan-fried Mushrooms with Wine ($330)
This is also a big dish. Six large Shiitake mushrooms are placed into a beautiful mushroom flower, each piece of mushroom pedal is accompanied by an extra button mushroom. The chef cooks the juice out of the mushroom. When serving, the plate is full of fresh and delicious mushroom soup. the dish is prepared similar to the “garlic shrimp with wine” with lots of garlic and coarse pepper. The simple cooking method brings out the most original taste of the food.
Sanzhi is located on the North Coast of Taiwan, it is a beautiful place to get close to nature and see the natural landscape in northern Taiwan. Why not add a Spanish gourmet meal to your itinerary and make the most out of your travel experience?