The high level of fried food consumption in Taiwan and HK, plus the lardy dim sum and tarts we ate continuously during our holiday, warranted a detoxification program. But since we were on foreign land, we decided to do it the local way.
Beside the famous Temple street night market, we found Bai bao tang, which is a traditional herbal soup and drink stall. It has a rather modern décor, which is the exact opposite of what they are selling. Without further ado, we ordered their traditional cold gui ling gao (herbal jelly), and a bowl of herbal soup called er shi si wei (24 flavors).
The cold gui ling gao was really good, especially in the hot weather. We could definitely taste the herbal content inside. We were given a pot of honey to mix into the gui ling gao to distract from the bitter jelly. There is an old Chinese saying “good medicines are bitter to the taste”. Gui ling gao must be pretty good medicine then. Thank goodness for the honey, this made it very pleasant indeed. It was almost like dessert!
The er shi si wei literally means 24 flavours. We guessed that it means that 24 different herbs were used to brew this drink. It wasn’t very pleasant tasting, but we were told that this drink is perfect to detoxify with. It supposedly cures every ailment, from fevers to sore throats. Well, it sure didn’t cause us any harm, and it did give us some peace of mind, knowing that we had some form of detoxification, before embarking on our next major pig-out session.