Wednesday, 14 December 2016

🐣 SIMILAROBJECTS — ETHERIC

An esoteric world awaits in this two track release by Filipino producer similarobjects. It's called Etheric, something itself that refers to a sort of human energy field, and houses just two tracks under its title, one referring to an obscure archangel and "orb goddess", the other to a legendary place which may or may not have existed.

We descend into a dark tunnelic world through this thumping avenue of beats, the soft diamante glow of muted harps decorative and weird, and with this like-paint-running vox ghostly pervasive. The room to breathe for a minute in the middle of this 9-minute symphony and the shuffling percussion, the fizz into existence again, more sparkling shards of charged synth bounce around twinging, this whole 'Gersisa' track vibrating and pulsing in house rhythm and handclaps delicious hollow and true. It's a wormhole of uncertainty something unsettling within the confines of that driving beat.

And then we move into the glimmering submarine atmosphere of 'Blueprint To Atlantis'. Again it's a house beat, but more funky this time, accented with more of a spring in its step - combined with the smoother sound of the music, the melty glimmering synths, exotic melodic flourishes like millions of tiny bubbles, the syncopated fluttering chords and others sharper with standout flash, all of it makes for a more contended less bristling atmosphere than the previous track. Makes it feel like more lounge house for most of the track, but then sub-bass rumbles column underneath and euphoric chords grow more intense, overspilling, and then drops into slow glitchy loop, the magic of mythology over.

It feels as though these two exist as polar opposites: one claustrophobic and discordant and jittery and struck with darkness and unknown dimensions, and one a manual of discovery full of light and laid-back and earthly. Or instead the unreality of 'Gersisa' could be the strange interdimensional den through which you travel with 'Blueprint To Atlantis' as the destination, like savoury dinner and sweet dessert. The level of imagination here, the places to which similarobjects promises to take us, are bold and bright, sunk below the sea and somewhere in our thoughts.


  • Etheric is released by Kuala Lumpur-based label Botanic, which I think is pretty new and aims to "champion new music from Southeast Asia and beyond". You can download the EP from the label's Bandcamp on a pay-as-you-like.
  • similarobjects' real name is Jorge Juan Wieneke V and as well as making music he runs Manila-based Buwanbuwan collective. He is also associated with Singapore label Darker Than Wax.


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Tuesday, 13 December 2016

🌏 VISITS — HONG KONG

Hong Kong: a swarming hive of human activity tangled up in busy metro lines; street level hawkers; sprawling networks of pedestrian bridges carrying streams of people through high-rises and skyscrapers that tower over everything; multilevel malls and surges of traffic. Always alive and never dull, this urban jungle is asking to be explored. A playground for the rich, a workplace for the poor, Hong Kong is a mighty big city sandwich to sink your teeth into. It's a city-nation with the aesthetic of a sci-fi film, namely Blade Runner whose grimy glitz was in fact partly based on Hong Kong's neon madness. Although in recent years government policies mean this famous signage is gradually disappearing, the spirit of glimmering consumerism lives on. The world famous cityscape can be witnessed in all its glory from Victoria Peak, accessible cheaply by bus on Hong Kong island (and if you’re on the Kowloon side, take the cheap, iconic Star Ferry over first). The journey there takes you through the bustling Central area and out, the road twisting into the hills above the skyscrapers, past multi-million-dollar houses and hillside hangouts for the city’s elite. Take your snaps of the skyline from the top, grab a cheap coffee and sit on the terrace of the McDonald’s that’s not unexpectedly but somewhat sadly found its way up here—though it’s probably the best view you’ll get from a McD’s, ever. To fully immerse ourselves into the chasms and cracks beneath the craggy skyscraper peaks of that view we took a modern day magic carpet ride, a marvel of creative minds, a notion we only thought possible in sci-fi. The Central–Mid-Levels escalator and walkway system (中環至半山自動扶梯) that scales the heights of Hong Kong island from Central, through the back streets of Soho and up into the residential ares of the Mid-Levels are underappreciated and overlooked as a true wonder of a modern city; the longest of its kind in the world. Get on at Central, via skybridges of course, and cruise the multiple escalators past shops, bars, and cafes. You will be living our true dream if you manage to hop on and off stopping for snacks and beverages as you go. The ride all the way to the top and the walk back down is a sight in itself. Try this unusual adventure out and envisage a future where cities are connected by moving walkways, and where food and alcohol is readily available as your trundle along. But actually this is real life and it is found in Hong Kong. Also real life are the multitude of markets you’ll find scattered throughout the city. You can take a stroll to the Jade Market (油麻地玉器小販市場) in Mong Kok, Kowloon, and browse the wares: we scored a Mao watch and a jade Buddha pendant for a snip after a bit of calculator bartering. From here, if you feel up to it in the heat, you can walk up the road 30 minutes – taking in the life of the city all the way (we took in a sugary walnut cookie 合桃酥 from yet another market en route) – to the Flower Market (花墟) near Prince Edward MTR. Here you’ll find a beautiful array of flower stalls and florists selling everything from pre-arranged bouquets and huge potted palms to adorable cactus collections and airplants. Nearby up some stone steps you’ll find the Yuen Po Bird Garden (園圃街雀鳥花園), a market specialising in birds and the beautifully made wooden cages that house them. Keeping caged birds is a hundreds-of-years-old tradition still popular today, as it is to lesser extents elsewhere in the world, but still it's not a greatly palatable sight for any animal lover. You may feel sad seeing birds of all types, all sizes, all colours, cooped up in cages, because birds are made to fly right? The sounds are intense, the smells are overwhelming—it’s a small market, but it’s definitely full of life. For a less intense local experience, head down to Stanley on Hong Kong island’s south coast. Previously a small fishing village, it’s now a chilled weekend hangout for families, friends and tourists seeking refuge from the city and its business. Stanley itself is home to a market selling clothes and accessories and various etcetera, but past this is a breezy coastal area lined with expat-filled bars and restaurants, stalls selling juice, and a square (circle-shaped) on the threshold of a semi-upscale mall. Locals chilling the hell out under banyan trees are common down here, and you’ll probably appreciate the laid-back feel less than an hour’s cheap bus-ride out of the city.

Near to the square is the site of the colonial-era Murray House, relocated here from its origin in Central, which now houses an H&M and some other shops; walk past this, along a boardwalk through some tropical greenery overlooking the sea, and you’ll come across a tiny temple. Called Pak Tai temple (赤柱北帝廟), with a heft of history and gorgeous bay views, it’s a surprising slice of secluded spirituality. Hong Kong is a city of extremes, wealth, power, architecture and all things food, all things terrible and all things wondrous. People of many nations sharing a small spot on this planet and all trying to make their way upwards. The city is a like a spectacular national park for modern day society, imperfect, a magnified example of the struggles and triumphs of humanity. The architecture, the food, the people. All of it makes for a fascinating, exhausting whirlwind of an experience. You could live here all of your life and still not try every eatery nor summon the strength to know every corner or discover every sight.

What the future holds for Hong Kong as it is slowly devoured by Beijing – whether it will get chewed up and regurgitated as a lesser version of its wonderful self, or triumphs in its youthful fight for independence – is a history being written by its people and by Big China at this very moment. This madness, this freedom, this business, the jolting ramshackle shiny bubble of this techno-dys-utopia, may not exist so vibrantly, so liberally, for much longer.


THINGS THAT ARE TASTY

🦀 Spicy Crab
A nice place to soak in the atmosphere on the edge of Temple Street market. As the name suggests, you can eat spicy crab here, which the staff will eagerly try to push on you. Instead, order a couple of beers (Carlsberg, HK$22) and watch people dig into their various interesting-looking meals. The staff, yelling, joking, working hard, are fascinating to watch, as are the local characters that pop by to collect cardboard and a free drink or two; despite the tourists, you can get a real grasp on the bustling heart of the real city below the skyscrapers. (Here it is marked on Google Maps)


🍕 Paisano’s Pizzeria
With many branches, this pizza joint (www.paisanos.com.hk) is famous throughout Hong Kong and for good reason: pizza by the slice. Sure, you can pick up a whole pizza, from small-ish to monster size (24”), but you most likely won’t need to. A slice – taken from one of the aforementioned doughy monsters – is all you’ll need for an inexpensive and filling dinner. Starts at HK$25 for regular cheese; price goes up for toppings. We went to this one in Tsim Sha Tsui.


🥛 Australia Dairy Company
Mentioned all over the internet as a must-go, this place indeed is a must-go. It serves breakfast food, all day, and well into the night, Hong Kong-style: Macaroni soup, and scrambled eggs with toast are favourites here. Fast and efficient (don’t confuse for “rude”) staff seat you next to anyone in a bid to keep things moving. Ask for an English menu. Experience the salty, creamy, buttery deliciousness that is their scrambled eggs washed down with a glass of cold, fresh milk, or strong Hong Kong milk tea. Ask for the bill. Pay up. Leave. A satisfying whirlwind of taste, sight, smell and hearing: HK through and through. It has its own Wikipedia page.
🍛 Tsui Wah
Chain restaurant (www.tsuiwah.com) that you’ll recognise for the swish flashing signage outside. Reasonably priced food in healthy portions that’ll fill you right up. Brusque staff. A range of true fusion dishes is on offer here: from Katsu cutlet with spicy Malaysian-style curry, to scrambled eggs and rice topped with black truffle – it’s a big menu. You’ll be genuinely, and happily, flummoxed at what to order.


🍆 Light Vegetarian Restaurant
Want to stuff yourself silly and try out various Chinese dishes all at once? Get yourself to Light Vegetarian Restaurant on Jordan Road for 9pm and you won't be disappointed. For HK$65 per person you’ll be able to taste a range of Hong Kong specialites, all vegetarian, meaning no guessing what the strange meat is, or having to pick around bones. Mock meat in Chinese vegetarian food is utterly amazing. Alongside that, there’s vegetables, salads, soups, rice, dessert… it’s all here. Give it a go, we guarantee you won’t be able to move afterwards. Find it here.
🍚 Tak Lam Shanghai Vegetarian Cuisine
A Japanese word that’s found its way into our everyday vocabulary is おしゃれ (oshare) meaning stylish, basically, and we use it to refer to the proverbial finer things in life. This vegetarian restaurant is one of them. Take the lift to the 10th floor of the Hong Kong World Trade Centre in Causeway Bay (here) and walk into a world of Chinese families and friends eating big meals together with a glittering, high-rise view of but one portion of this huge city. Their mock meat is a miracle: order sweet and sour pork, chicken, anything meat-or-fish-like, and enjoy a meatless taste of favourite Chinese dishes. It’s expensive, but the staff are wonderful, the ambience is chilled, the food is very tasty. Splash out if you’re veggie, or scared of meat, and have the means. (Two of us ate for the equivalent of around £50).
🍔 McDonald’s
This isn’t a joke: the sometime bane of the world can be your saviour here. Looking for a cheap breakfast? A Sausage and Egg McMuffin is HK$10, and it’s served all day. A roast coffee is HK$14. It’s got WiFi. You can sit in here all day. There are none of the down-and-out places that you might find in some UK cities, for instance, all branches here seem up-to-date with McDonald’s most recent branding. And if you think you’re not being “authentic” by eating here, think again: you’ll be sitting next to Filipina friends, Chinese families, jittery businessmen, teenagers—a cross section of Hong Kong. (Our haunt was in the Pacific Building on Nathan Road)
🍺 Last but not least
Get yourself a few beers from a convenience store and head down to the front around the Hong Kong Cultural Centre, where everyone watches the daily light show at 8pm. Stay, drink, and be merry. Palm trees line the fountain, local busking kids vye to be heard; it’s vibrant but chilled. Be warned: whilst innocently sitting taking it all in, our bag was nicked from right next to us (literally: it was touching one of our legs). Whilst the police were quick to respond, the chances of the case being solved are very remote. Be vigilant, keep your belongings glued to you, and bathe in the atmosphere of this lovely city spot.

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We stayed at Simply Hostel (www.simplyhostel.com; around HK$230/£22 per night), which you'll find on the 11th floor of New Lucky House on Jordan Road in Kowloon. The lobby is a bit decrepit but that's just the Hong Kong way. Take the lifts on the left up. There are half a dozen or so rooms, all tiny but pleasant enough windowless cells (unless you get the twin room). It's clean, newly decorated, there's a TV on the wall, AC, room under the bed to stuff luggage, has an en-suite toilet/shower, decent WiFi. Jordan MTR is literally two steps from the door of the building. The guy who checks you in speaks English; he isn't the warmest of chaps but you can force him into a brief exchange if you ask him a question.

Monday, 12 December 2016

🐣 M-CUBED — ACQUAINTANCES

As soon a this track by Atlanta-based M-Cubed starts you sorta know you're in for it, in for something popping and energetic, and that is definitely what you get. What literally first came to mind was Sonic CD (a game what else), specifically the themes for some of the "Bad Future" levels, not that its reminiscent but the futuristic feel of it all, the industrial cog in the machine spirals of grandslam percussion tickety-tickety clackclackclacck thumping diagonal or like a fly bumping into a window, the dystopian flavour of the voxy chord-pads syncopating through the first section, those arpeggiating synths thoughts of digital brains. Got that dark jazzy atmosphere of that soundtrack with the same sorta speed and Sonic you know he's a fast hedgehog isn't he. Chaotic beautiful, yet also very laced with precision and mathematics.

But the track gradually slows down, morphs through a couple of phases, goes from this speedball clatterraucous mayhem into one just a little less busy from 1:25 on, adding these atonal organ chords and hyper little melodies like an injection of Bach. Then 2:07 the beat's accents and ornamentations fly away and leave only a slow nodding beat, gently wobbling electric piano chords warming out the rest of the track as things gradually fall away, the last mechanical sounds of before slowing and distorting at the very end. To arrive at that point from those stuttering robotics and shattering beatscapes of before is astounding, that change in dynamic and feel throughout making this broken beat-feeling half-footwork half-experimental track a playground of sound.


  • This arrived courtesy of M-Cubed of course but it arrives also courtesy of COMPUTER GHOST URL MUSIC, an online music collective. They release electronic computery music on their SoundCloud as far as I can tell.
  • The artwork in all its crystalline distortion glory is by ASTRAL, who also created the logo for Computer Ghost URL Music, too. The blue and pink merging in these skeletal lines fit the jagged beatisms of the track, that's for sure.


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Sunday, 11 December 2016

🐣 DJ SUPERMARKET — WIMBLEDON 1988

A song called 'Wimbledon 1988' has two things in store for someone like me because my birth year is 1988, year of the dragon, and I am a fan of tennis whenever Wimbledon is on. Maybe I'll watch the French Open too. So anyway it reached out to me on a basic level. But aside from that there is something inescapably nostalgic within even just the name of this track, and there's the name, DJ Supermarket. Things like artwork and titles and names, things that surround the music, these also bound the music, frame the music in some sort of context, inform you of what to expect stylistically, and here it is, a dream from 28 summers ago.

Like the whirring of some machine intended to implant some idealistic memories some borrowed nostalgia into your brain the track starts up with clicking and clanking and a deep subspace rumble. The wind-up toy sufficiently wound-up, in earnest we sail along with the smooth lounge-flavoured chords, additional woodblock clicks and robust drum bits added to this sample from who-knows-where* and the crowd cheers every now and again faraway and distant almost as if you are instead sitting on a beach with this sultry soft music and hearing waves crash on the sand. The rumble again into reality, to now – the end of this manufactured fragment of chill, this shard of humming melody, nonchalant walking along thought – and the music fades and reverberates into the ether just as it arrived.

*Someone in the comments of the song said it, the music sampled, sounded like Alec Mansion and apparently it is. He's a Belgian singer.


  • A recent album by DJ Supermarket that you might want to listen to is UX Design which was released 7 months ago by Roof Garden Records, owned by the musicmaker himself. By the way he is from Glasgow and he's called Jack Fawcett.


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Saturday, 10 December 2016

🐣 DTTØ — REEF BREAKS

First and foremost what I have to say or at least what I had to say was that the chords in this song reminded me of the same soft wobbly wibbly muted chords in some battle music from Earthbound. It turns out that actually the feel of the music is very different, but the spacey texture of the chords is overall the same, and that is attractive for me. I have Glasgow producer Rory Green to thank for that I suppose, who is the real name behind DTTØ and this track 'Reef Breaks', a study in sampling and broken beat style sonic craftsmanship, a collection of sounds like an exhibit of trinkets, treasure trove for your ears.

So aside from those chords which persist warmly through the song there is a wealth of rich sounds floating through and falling down into the cradle between 0:00 and 3:02, this authentic homely scientific white noise crackle, these flashes of percussion insectoid and bristling with the whole bustling rest of found sounds – the fragments of conversation and other vocal samples – bing-bing-bing somewhere along, scratching raspy snare-clap on robust body of sub, all of it combining in a fizz that whilst busy-busy is floating over you breezy casual, collage of chill and intrigue like half-drawn geometric patterns in pastel with striking blobs of oilpaints dashed on. Violin sampled refraining and amateur touches the heart, helps it to feel even more like cosy orange light in a small comfy friendly friend's house.


  • 'Reef Breaks' is from the album Botanics which came out at the end of November and there's a lot more of the broken beat-feeling rhythms and found sounds and cut-up samples and wavysmooth synths, particularly liked this track obviously and the opening track 'Azure' and 'Push Me'. You can download it for freeeee here.


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Friday, 9 December 2016

🐣 HARMFUL LOGIC — BLADE

It's nice to hear a little bit of garage sound. Because it's such a specific thing, or at least was when it was most popular, the genreless feeling of modern day music that allows a natural exposition of different atmospheres whilst using this garage shuffle as a jiggling tapfoot backdrop is all the more interesting. Irish producer Harmful Logic does it here with a new track called 'blade' and he's used a picture of Yoshimitsu from Tekken series etc. and you know artwork is always a thing, always an influencer on how a track comes across, so here I guess it's like a soundtrack to the futuristic bossness of this fighting character. I always thought Yoshimitsu was a robot; is he?*

Anyway so the track has this rapid skipping offbeat that goes with garage as natural as you wouldn't have cylindrical french fries would you, cutting sheaves of lo-fi hi-hats and smart snare clacks with that kiltered out kick. So there's that, keeping athletic pace, set upon by elastic lead sounds that bounce around in high pitch gliding from one note to the next, and this then industrial sleeve of synth grumbling and painting metallic atmosphere whilst trance icicles crystalline lance through it, your very own ice cavern, the whirling dirvish of a circuitboard.

*he is not, he just has a robotic arm?


  • Harmful Logic kindly once made a guest mix specifically and exclusively for YES/NO, it's true. Check it out!?


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Thursday, 8 December 2016

🛩VISITS — TAICHUNG

Remember when all your cutlery was 'Made in Taiwan'? All your toys and other household trinkets? They came from Taichung. But this former home of light industry has morphed into a city of refreshed modernity. Ugly urban architecture has been cleverly, knowingly transformed to house all manner of present day amenities with cafes, restaurants, shops, salons and even boutique hotels now occupying ex-industrial edifices.
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  1. ANIME ALLEY
  2. DADUN CULTURAL CENTER
  3. NATIONAL TAIWAN MUSEUM OF FINE ART
  4. THINGS THAT ARE TASTY

The spread of Taiwanese urban regeneration slots naturally and most successfully into progressive Taichung, maybe because its factories turned out knives and forks and die-cast toys and nothing much heavier. The factory-filled landscape and production lines of its past very consciously, not sleekly or seamlessly, house the youthful urban buzz of today's Taichung. Don't take our word for it; according to the CommonWealth Magazine 2013 City Happiness Survey, Taiwanese people feel like Taichung is their nation's most liveable city. Food, shopping, friendly residents and more add up to a not so unfounded claim. The weather, an unsweltering average temperature of 23°C and less rainfall than the rest of the island, is also attractive. The result of the 3-year-old survey was bolstered last year by a post on Taiwanese site ET Today expounding the same love for Taichung. Like in other cities in Taiwan, travelling around on foot is rewarding, leading you to stumble upon pockets of unexpected cool and quirk. Take for instance the Anime Alley (動漫彩繪巷), a small unassuming lane where the walls are daubed with favourites from American and Japanese cartoons alike. It's nothing official but the obvious organic innocence of the place is worth a look, doubly so if you’re an otaku who likes posing for pictures in front of your favourite characters. We especially liked the Mario mural. For exactness, this is Lane 100, Linesen Rd. Walking as usual our feet, in a case of mistaken identity, also led us to the walls of the Taichung City Dadun Cultural Centre (臺中市大墩文化中心). The building's proximity to the Taichung art gallery and the fact that it too displays art meant that for a good 30 minutes we believed we were in THE modern art museum, which did seem strange seeing as we were browsing an extensive collection of traditional tea pots and artwork that was a done mainly in crayons. Nevertheless, some of the aforementioned tea pots were insanely ornate and the artwork gave us a glimpse into the local community. It was not a wasted visit. Free admission. You can see on the map how close it is to the art gallery. Then there's the actual National Taiwan Museum of Fine Arts (國立台灣美術館). It's huge – rightly so for a national-level institution – and could do with a full day's visit. We really enjoyed/loved the modern installations and were particularly moved by raw, honest pieces relating to modern day Taiwan's cultural, social and political issues, of which there were many. Photography is allowed in this gallery, and you’ll find many visitors more interested in posing next to the art than looking at it; ironically there was one painting, a collage of Taiwanese girls using smartphones, mundane unjoyful muted grey and peach and beige–some girls passed by staring at this comment on society. Grim and grimy no more, Taichung is on its way up. A contender to Taipei, the youth culture, funky restaurants, tall shiny buildings and trendy redevelopment make Taichung a tantalising city. It feels as though all the city needs is a metro system, or some trams (we love trams), something a bit more reliable than a bus. And almost every hour we were here, we kept thinking of that claim to livability – could we live on this or that street, and would this eatery become our local?

With light industry all but fizzled out, Taichung has become a blank canvas. Away from the prescribed "history" of Tainan, "industry" of Kaohsiung, "politics" of Taipei, the specialisation of Taichung, a city created by itself, will be that it is simply a great city.

THINGS THAT ARE TASTY
🍟 Fengjia Night Market (逢甲夜市)
After a confusing ride through the city in a small bus, followed by a ten-minute walk along a canal, we arrived at the bright lights and bustle of the Fengjia Night Market (逢甲夜市) in Xitun District. This a crammed carnival of sheer stuff that has taken over the narrow back streets of the area around the gates of the university, pulsating with supercharged student energy, tapering off into nearby malls and strips of brand name shops. Everything can be bought here: electrical (we purchased an iPad charger), accessories, clothes, toys and, most importantly, FOOD–and lots of it. Here we sampled the Taiwanese night market classic, coffin bread (棺材板). Originating in Tainan, this is thick fried bread with a square trap door carved in the middle, opened up, filled with all manner of tasty goodness - creamy sauce, sweetcorn, cabbage, pork floss - closed again and served up, resulting in a symphony of lightly oiled crunch and gentle savoury gloop. Prepare for messy face. Occasionally to stand out a food stall employs a gimmick and we loved this one at Percy's Chips. Good old chips might be the same the world over, but these spiral structures were made using a modified drill to create twirly twists of potato. This stall was popular and seemed somewhat famous, maybe, judging from the attention from the Taiwanese crowd. The chips were splendidly spiced and topped with a sauce, our choice of cheese went well. The portions could’ve been bigger but maybe we’re just greedy.
🍕 這里[Voilà]Cafe & Restaurant (這里咖啡輕食)
A great example of trendy eateries popping up in the shells of ramshackle shops of the mid-twentieth century, this little breakfast-cum-general food hangout was a dream. Besides being a good place to chill (and take advantage of the air con) the menu was in English and the food was a uniquely good. Strangely herbed, the margherita pizza was tasty and exceeded expectations with great attention to detail given to flavour. Please go there and tell us what that flavour is. The chips on the side were crispy, crunchy, moreish. Possibly double-fried. Cute place here on Section 1, Meicun Rd.
🍔 Hot Shock美式休閒餐廳
Burgers! Burgers are wonderful. Hot Shock is an Americana wonderland chockablock with US memorabilia and signage. It's a youthful hangout for cool kids who linger sipping on milkshakes à la real America circa 1950s but with a Taiwanese twist. As we said, burgers are wonderful, but how do you make the more wonderful? Slather them with peanut sauce and serve as a tower of taste, that's how. Heavy on the onions. Comes with a healthy portion of chips and a zingy tomato dip/relish. Burgers aside, we also chowed down on a vegetable sub, which was an intriguing mix of broccoli, mango, peppers, pineapples, and salad smothered in a creamy dressing that complimented the sweet crunch. Unbelievably, the creative concoction filling the toasted bun was delightful. We want to recreate this one. Hot Shock is a fun, friendly place, the sort of establishment which, if on your doorstep at home, you would frequent once in a while for a naughty treat. Find it on Xiangshang N Rd.


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accommodation

Mou Hotel (沐旅商旅)
One of those instances where you book a room and can’t belive your eyes when you go through the door. We booked a standard double room which actually turned out to be a massive bed in a room stuffed with luxury Regency-style furniture and a view of the mountains, heavy on the wood, white and gold paint with ornate coving gracing the ceiling and a walk in shower. Price came with free breakfast which was served in a more modern business-oriented hotel next door and was actually really tasty. Big buffet style. Located in West District. NTD$842 per night. Whilst we were there a little bit of construction was going on along the river that runs in front. Making it a nice riverside area or something. Judging from a quick look on the hotel's Facebook page, the development of this area has really come along. Now we wanna go back and walk along it and stuff. Mou Hotel official site is here if you're interested.