A DayForTwo Postcard from Taipei, Taiwan.
I discovered this breakfast spot while I was still jetlagged and was wandering one of the literally thousands of alleyways that exist all over Taiwan.
It was just nearing 5:00 a.m. and I noticed a light on and the sound of pots clanking.
On a random corner, in lane 40, of Section 4, of Chengde Road, in the Shihlin District in Taipei, I saw a couple beginning to prepare the yummiest looking sandwiches I’d ever seen (WITH the crusts cut off, woot!).
I asked them to prepare anything they thought I’d like, to which they gave looks of confusion, but proceeded to make me Dan-Bing, which is a thin soft tortilla-like bread, with an egg cooked underneath it. When the egg sticks, they flip it over, roll it up, and cut it into smaller pieces. It’s the dish that you see me adding soy sauce to near the end of the video. It is ridiculously delicious.
And man are they ever busy in those 6-7 hours!
After some struggling communication (my Mandarin is pretty tragic), and some convincing (that I wasn’t plotting to open my own competing breakfast stand next door), they let me film them preparing in the morning.
They are the sweetest family… husband and wife, two aunts, and on the weekends, their daughter who normally studies during the week. They’ve been at it for 20+ years, and it definitely shows, in both the same faces I see every morning, as well as the just how delicious everything they make is… not to mention the fact that it took me two consecutive mornings to turn me into a die-hard regular. I went to Kaohsiung and Kenting in the south of Taiwan for 5 days and was losing my mind because no one else’s Dan Bing could compare.
The shoot lasted between 4:15 a.m. and 6:00 a.m., and was shot entirely on a Canon T2i (550d). Two lenses were used: a Sigma 30mm F1.4, and a Tokina 11-16mm F2.8. Stabilization (or lack thereof from my weaksauce operating skills), came in the form of the Manfrotto BHDV-561 fluid video monopod when using the Sigma, and the Glidecam HD2000 when looking through the Tokina. Audio was brought in with the Rode VideoMic, and everything was chopped up in FCPx.
As credited, the songs used, are “From West Texas” by Explosions in the Sky (which I do NOT have permission to use), and “The Trouble Within” by Mark Pellizzer (who gave me full permission).