Saturday, September 17, 2016

Ho Yue Solus Por Aqua; Taipei, Taiwan; Foot Massage; Recently opened in 2016; Full Body Massage

An Excellent New Massage Spa in Taipei:   Ho Yue Solus Por Aqua

I have traveled the globe and on my travels to feel refreshed and invigorated during my personal and business adventures, I have taken the time to enjoy a good foot or full body massage in many cities and countries such as: USA, Taiwan (Taipei, Tainan, YiLan), China (Shanghai, Beijing, Shenzhen, Suzhou, and others), Singapore, and many more.  Because many of these businesses provide a good service, there is not so much to talk about in a travel blog.  

But in a recent trip to Taipei on my birthday, I was treated to a very pleasant, relaxing, and invigorating foot massage near Hotel B in Taipei.  The best massage spa I have ever been to at a reasonable price.  Sure, there may be some better places in Taiwan, but their pricing is just too expensive for most travelers! 

Ho Yue Solus Por Aqua is a new business, only opened for less than 6 months and they currently have some very special discounts.   

Main Entrance

Special Pricing for a limited time only

When we arrived, I was not only pleasantly surprised how clean and modern looking the facilities are, but the feng shui and energy in this business was positive and uplifting.

Massage tables in one of the private rooms for full body massage

This business was founded by the CEO, Lin Po Chou (Zac) and his business partners.   Zac is a certified International Chiropractic Therapist from the Taiwan Chiropractic Association and he has hired a superb young staff.   

All of his employees are young, well skilled, pleasant and courteous to their customers.  The staff we met are Zac, Silvia, Jenny, Show Show and Caesar.

Show Show with customer at front desk

Silvia and Zac (owner)

Jenny at front desk

As you enter their spa, the lobby is clean and organized with a shelf of products for sale.  There are stairs going up to the individual room for full body and foot massage.  The room behind the lobby is for guests to wait for their masseuse and those getting foot massages will get their feet washed in this room.  The music they play in their spa is serene meditation music which helps the customers relax and enjoy the massage therapy. The seats in this room are spacious and very comfortable and after the foot wash, the masseuse will also give you a relaxing neck and shoulder massage.

Front Lobby with stairs to private rooms

Items for sale in lobby

The seats in the private rooms recline and the massage tables are new and large enough to be comfortable during your massage therapy. All of the foot massage rooms have individual flat screen TV’s to watch if you want.

Main room downstairs for foot cleansing and back massage

Both my Masseuse and my wife’s (Zac) are very skilled.  Silvia is 28 years old, and actually spent a few years in Australia, and I seem to recall she mentioned Brisbane, which is the second largest city in Australia.  Since we like this spa and enjoyed our massages so much, we went back several more times during my stay in Taiwan.  They currently are offering great discounts to all new customers, so make an appointment or just stop by soon before they discontinue their special pricing.

If you like great massages, in a clean energizing atmosphere, then try Ho Yue Solus Por Aqua inTaipei, right next door to “B” Hotel !!!

Ho Yue Solus Por Aqua

No. 369, Section 2
Bade Road, Songshan District
Taipei, Taiwan   ROC

Phone: 02 - 8773 - 6016

Website: www,

Saturday, September 10, 2016

Chang Ju Restaurant; Cantonese Cuisine; Taipei Taiwan; Roast Duck; Taipei 101; World Class Dining Experience!

A Fabulous Cantonese Restaurant with World Class Cuisine & Service near Taipei 101


I was invited to attend a small gathering party of 10 people to experience excellent roast duck in Taipei.  I love roast duck, and have reviewed a few others in my past blogs, but I must say this was simply the best I have ever had in Taiwan.  

Our Host Chef Jackfy Chan and Chef Eason Yang

Chang Ju's signature dish Roast Duck!!!!

Chang Ju is so easy to get to.  Just take the MRT to Taipei Main Station and take Exit No. 3.  As you exit, turn right and take the stairs down to level B1 and you are there.  This restaurant is just a few minutes walk from Taipei 101.

From the moment I walked into this restaurant coming from outside in the rain, I was impressed.  This is a gorgeous, modern, ultra clean restaurant with a very nice ambience and well decorated.  There are impressive wall hangings and paintings everywhere.    

Restaurant Lobby
Servers Station Area

One of several Dining areas

Beautiful Wall Hangings

Our Private Dining Room

We were escorted to a large private room that was also well decorated where we met our friend and host, Jackfy Chen, a famous Cantonese chef that currently is the head chef and Executive Director of the Ming Yue Xuan restaurant in Taichung City, Taiwan.  

Chef Jackfy waiting for more guests to arrive

As the guests started to arrive, we had the opportunity to also meet our chef for the evening, Eason Yang, Operating Officer of the Chang Ju Restaurant.

Also attending including Jackfy’s friend, Chef Huang, an award winning International chef; Kelin, Marketing Consultant; Nina, Famous Blogger; Leo, Information Center Manager; Pinhsin, Successful Business Woman; I-Fang, Artist; plus Ruby and Fen, Co-Owners of a successful food company.

We're all here now
3 Famous Chefs: Guest Chef Huang, Chang Ju's Chef Yang and our Host Chef Chan

Of course we opened a few bottles of special drinks including two well-aged Scottish Whiskies. 
As the many courses began being served to our large round table, I was anxious to taste the food being served.   

The first serving was scrumptious sliced barbecued pork, a signature dish at the restaurant.  What made this dish so special was crispy sweet topping over the pork.  This was followed by a tasty deep fried tofu that melted in your mouth and then a spring roll full of luscious mushrooms and vegetables.


Signature Dish Crispy Roast Pork

Next was a pan/stir fried dish of fish cubes and sliced onions and vegetables.  This fish was very soft and tender.  I loved it.  Also served was a dish of fried shrimp in an XO sauce and cilantro and then stir fried loofah vegetable with clams and mixed mushrooms.

Stir Fry Fish

Fried Shrimp
Stir fried loofah vegetable with clams and mixed mushrooms

Ahh, the chef brought out the roasted duck and presented it to us at the table.  He then took the duck and carved it table side and prepared generous servings of rolled duck pancakes with sauce, green onion and baby sliced cucumber.  Oh My God, this was simply fabulous.  The pancakes were delicate and thin, and the duck had a crispy skin with just a little fat and lots of meat.  So Delicious!!!!

Our chef carving the roast duck
Next was another one of my favorites….. Sweet and Sour fried pork with a generous amount of sliced pineapple, green pepper and onions.  The sweet and sour sauce was so tasty, that I did help myself to several portions of this dish.

Sweet & Sour Pork

We were then pleasantly surprised to see and taste another signature dish of “Selected Beef” rolled and cooked in braided rice leafs with sweet potato and broccoli.  This beef was so deliciously tender and most and went well with a beef sauce served with the dish.

Select Beef......Unique and Gorgeous cooking style and presentation

This beef was so juicy and tender !!!

Adding a little Beef sauce to the meat

One of my favorite Cantonese dishes is steamed cod or “catch of the day”.  This fish was served over a lite soy sauce, garnished with lots of sliced green onions.  This fish was so tender and delightful, that I had to have several helpings of this marvelous tasting fish.

Steamed Fish in Soy Sauce

The final dish before the desserts was a very special noodle soup with meat from our roasted duck.  Everyone so much enjoyed this wonderful soup!

Noodle Soup with meat from our Roast Duck!

For dessert, they first served us hot Red Bean Soup then delicious sweet and creamy steamed buns.  Of course the last course is almost always fresh fruit and we were served watermelon, dragon fruit and guava.

Delicious Red Bean Dessert

Very Tasty Steamed Sweet Buns

What a marvelous culinary feast we had.  We had wonderful dishes, superb tastes Cantonese style, and exciting dishes I have never eaten before.  If you love great Chinese & Cantonese food, this is a must place to eat downtown Taipei!

Thank You Chef Jackfy Chan !!!!!

Bravo Chef Yang !!!!!

Chang Ju Cantonese Restaurant

B1 No. 25 Section 4, Renai Road, Taipei, Taiwan

Phone: 02-2751-6116

Thursday, September 8, 2016

Prime One Steak House; Taipei Garden Hotel; Gourmet Dining; Intimate Dining: Best Restaurant in Taipei, Taiwan

A Culinary Masterpiece: Prime One Steak House, Taipei Garden Hotel

The Taipei Garden Hotel in the West part of Taipei is a Five Star (5*) hotel that has one of the finest gourmet restaurants in All of Taiwan, the Prime One Steak House.   

From the sidewalk outside the hotel

Now most people do not associate a Steak House with fine culinary cooking, so I was simply amazed at the quality, taste, presentation and fine service I received for our party of 6.  If I was rating this restaurant, I would rate it a Six Star (6*) quality dining experience because it far exceeded my expectations in all areas of an ultra-fine restaurant.

In the Hotel Lobby

Outside the main entrance to the Restaurant

You might wonder how I could rate this restaurant so high.  Well if you spent time reading my blog in detail, you will remember I have traveled the globe to about 40 countries and have eaten in thousands of restaurants, including many of the finest in the world.

When I arrived, Angela Tseng, Supervisor at Prime One Steak House, greeted us and showed us to the table.  They even took the time to let me take pictures of them at table side!  

Angela with Head Chef Alan Chen before dinner starts

This restaurant has an intimate ambiance and perfect for a special dinner for friends, family or even a business dinner with important clients.  Many fine steak houses around the world know how to age, cook and offer a fine delicious steak dinner for their customers.  But in my long life time, never have I experience such wonderful culinary delightful courses with my steak dinner.  BRAVO Chef Alan Chen and the Prime One Steak House staff!

During the course of the evening we received superb attention and 6 Star service quality from the servers, Angela, and even the Assistant Manager, Jonathan Tsang.

Angela Tseng and Jonathan Tsang
They seated us almost directly in front of the open window where the chefs diligently began preparations for their patrons.  This was very interesting to watch Head Chef Alan Chen work in concert and harmony with his two other chefs. 

Working in the kitchen

Head Chef Alan Chen and Associate Chef

The menus (and the wine list also) is mounted to a large wooden backboard and offered ala carte options as well as a full set menu.  I ordered several glasses of an excellent Chilean Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon to go along with my Steak order!

The set menu included a fresh Baked Bread and real Butter, Appetizer, Soup, Main Course, Side Dish and Desert.  We all agreed to enjoy the full set menu.  I ordered the following set menu:

Assorted Tomatoes Salad
Pumpkin Soup
Pan Grilled USDA Cedar River Farms Rib-Eye Steak
Gratin Truffle, Ham and Orzo Pasta
Cognac Apple Carmel & Ice Cream

Take a look at the entire menu that is currently being offered.

Ok, I want to tell you just how special this total set menu meal was, and why I think this is one of the best restaurants in Taipei.  They started by serving us excellent bottled water (no gas) and not just tap water!  They then brought out small tubs of real French ECHIRE butter for each of us, and not just ordinary butter in a pad.  Their bread was fresh baked and hot as they served it to us at the table.  The first was a rosemary and herb bread and the second was a garlic and herb bread.  Both were delicious to eat as the French butter melted on the top.

French Butter, Fresh Bread and my Glass of Red Wine

The Assorted Tomatoes Salad with Burrata Cheese and Serrano Ham sounded wonderful.  Burrata Cheese is a special Italian cheese made from Mozzarella cheese and cream and it was fabulous and was a perfect match with the tomatoes.  Serrano Ham is a cured and air dried Spanish ham similar to the Italian Prosciutto Ham.  The eight tomatoes were all cherry size, and included a green, yellowish, dark purple and the rest were deep red ripe tomatoes.  Each one was very tasty with a wide range of sweetness and acidity.  The combination of each tomato, the cheese and ham was HEAVENLY delicious!

Slow Cooked Salmon with Beet-Root Mouse & Horseradish Creme Fraiche

Pan Seared Hokkaido Scallops with Chorizo and Sardinian Fregola

The restaurant had a full leg of this wonderful ham on display in the Kitchen area.

Leg of Serrano Spanish Ham

For soup I ordered the soup of the day which was Pumpkin.  This is one of my favorite soups to eat.  They brought out a bowl with just appeared to be four small cubes of bread, with a small scoop of Burrata cheese and garnishes on top.  Angela then hand poured the pumpkin soup into my bowl.  Just the soup itself was a delight, but when I scooped up a piece of what I though was bread from the bottom with the melting cheese and soup, I could not believe the sensations on my palette!  The cubes were actually cooked pumpkin that was a superb sweet taste as if it was cooked in molasses or brown sugar! Incredible !!!!!

The Beginnings of my Pumpkin Soup

Now they slowly pour the hot soup in my dish!

The Rib-Eye steak is specially dry aged with Himalayan Rock Salt.  Chef Alan then selects an infused piece of meat and grills it over a wood fire until it is cooked to perfection as the customer requests.  We ordered “Medium Rare”.  The servers present a plate with garnishes of Thyme, Hand Made Garlic paste, dried tomatoes and Hand Made Mustard sauce.  They even presented us with fine French made steak knives for cutting our steak.  The steak was delivered almost sizzling hot in copper metal serving dishes.  I must say that these rib-eye steaks were unbelievably tender and a very high quality of meat.  I thoroughly enjoyed every bite of my steak.

Laguiole Goyon Chazeau French Steak Knife

Garnish Plate ready for my steak!

Ahh! My steak is served cut in pcs. as requested!  The Gratin Orzo is on the right side!

Now I am ready to eat my Rib-Eye Steak cooked to perfection!

The pasta side dish I ordered with my meal came out hot with a generous amount of crispy/melted cheese on top of the orzo.  The flavor of the truffles in this dish was amazing.

My dessert was presented with a generous amount of caramelized apples with Ice Cream and a special cookie on top.  Now this too was very delicious, but I could only wish that next time they present a LARGER serving !!!!

Cognac Apple Crumble & Ice Cream - Delicious !!!

Ic Cream Fruits Sundae with 3 kinds of ice cream

For More information on this absolutely wonderful gourmet restaurant here is how to reach them or visit for dinner and do not forget to make a reservation as seatings are limited.

Prime One Steak House (located in the Taipei Garden Hotel)
No. 1, Section 2, Zhonghua Road, Shongzheng District,  Taipei City 10065, Taiwan
Phone: +886-2-2314-3660, Ext. 3368/3360

Directions/MRT: Take the Songshan-Xindian (Green Line) and exit at the Xiaonanmen Station.  Then walk just a few minutes from Exit 2 to Zhonghua and Aiguo West Roads.