Dec 22, 2010

A380

Profile

Address:    台北市信義區松高路12號4樓(新光A8館)
                   No. 12, SōngGāo Rd, Sinyi District, Taipei
Phone #:   02-2722-6380
Website: http://www.a-380.htm.tw/
Price Range:   $$$
Accepts Credit Cards: yes
Attire: casual
Good for kids: yes
Take out: yes
Waiter Service: yes
Outdoor seating:  no
Alcohol: yes

Rating

Food Quality: 3 out of 5
Decor:  4.5 out of 5
Service: 3 out of 5
Overall: 3.5 out of 5
Recommendation: Airplane Themed Restaurant serving "Airplane Food"

Review

Upon my sauntering around Gong Guan I happend to spot a Airplane themed restaurant called A380. I thought it was pretty cool, but I was informed that the Shing Kong Mitsukoshi store was a lot cooler. Indeed the space looked like it was designed more like you are in an Airplane. The store is stuck on the 4th floor of the A one buliding in the spoiled brat department (Burberry and Dior for toddlers?). They serve the typical Taiwanese "western meals" like pasta and steak set meals that come with bread, soup, and a drink. The food here is only a tad better that real airplane food. In fact, airplane bread tasted better than their bread. I would only suggest that you check out the restaurant's exterior, but don't actually dine in.

Dec 12, 2010

Second Floor Cafe 貳樓餐廳

Profile

Website:
Price Range:   $$$
Accepts Credit Cards: maybe
Attire: casual
Good for kids: yes
Take out: yes
Waiter Service: yes
Outdoor seating:  yes
Alcohol: no

Rating

Food Quality: 3.5 out of 5
Decor:  4.5 out of 5
Service: 4 out of 5
Overall: 4 out of 5
Recommendation: Well decorated Cafe serving "American" Cuisine

Review
In the lanes around the front entrance of NTU, Second Floor Cafe recently opened its doors to the area serving American food in its quaint and clean cafe space. What impressed me most about the place is their decor, how they designed each corner of the diner with rustic earthy themes, and how they maintain its cleanliness. They serve a wide variety of "American Cuisine" from Quesadilla's to Spagetti. The items may be a bit pricey especially if you make each entree a set meal in comparison to their competition in the area. However, price does not seem to be a problem as this place was packed during dinnertime over the weekend. When I pass by I notice that they have a steady client flow. This place is very popular among the young female demographic. Second Floor Cafe is a great place to hang out over a light meal.

Dec 10, 2010

Phoenix Saliva House 鳳涎居雞膳食坊

Profile

Address:   台北市大安區敦化南路一段190巷48號
                  No. 48, Lane 190, Section 1, DūnHuà South Rd, Da-an District
Phone #:  02-2771-9779
Website:
Price Range:   $$
Accepts Credit Cards: probably
Take out: probably
Waiter Service: yes
Outdoor seating:  no
Alcohol: no

Rating

Food Quality: 4 out of 5
Decor:  4 out of 5
Service: 4 out of 5
Overall: 4 out of 5
Recommendation: Great place for various Chinese chicken soups.

Review

In the alleys behind Zhong Hsiao Sogo lies Phoenix Saliva House. It is a chain that sells various types of chicken soups that are helpful against various ailments. You also can get very cheap sides at around 40 NT to go with the soup that runs arond 150 NT. It is a great place to get a bowl of hot soup, and it is good for your health too.

Dec 8, 2010

Tokyo Curry Espresso


Profile

Address:   台北市忠孝東路五段8號
                 No. 8, Section 5, ZhōngXiào East Rd, Sinyi District
Phone #:  
Website:
Price Range:   $$
Accepts Credit Cards: no
Take out: yes
Waiter Service: no
Outdoor seating:  no
Alcohol: yes

Rating

Food Quality: 4 out of 5
Decor:  3.5 out of 5
Service: 3 out of 5
Overall: 3.5 out of 5
Recommendation: Flavorful Curry at "Cafe"teria-esque Restaurant.

Review
At the Hankyu Department store foodcourt, there is a cafe looking restaurant called Tokyo Curry Espresso. I am not sure why they don't just call themselves Tokyo Curry, since most people don't seem to be there for the coffee. They serve a basic beef curry or chicken curry for around 110 NT, and you can add side items for around 50 NT or toppings for 10 NT. They have a wide assortment of drinks available from sodas to beer. This is a nice spot for a quick curry meal.

Dec 7, 2010

Albero

Profile

Price Range:   $$$
Accepts Credit Cards: probably
Take out: probably
Waiter Service: yes
Outdoor seating:  no
Alcohol: yes

Rating

Food Quality: 3.5 out of 5
Decor:  4 out of 5
Service: 4 out of 5
Overall: 3.8 out of 5
Recommendation: Pricey mediocre "Italian Food"

Review
There is a magazine out there called 非凡 or "unique" that periodically recommends restaurants using flowery language and enticing photographs. I must warn the reader that any recommendation received by this entity is empty and meaningless. Under their wordsmithery, I was led to eat what I thought was just a mediocre meal, at a jacked up price. They serve many pastas, pizzas, and entrees, but of a quality that does not seem to match the price tag. Entrees are around 500 NT, pizzas are about 400 for an 8 inch, and pastas are around 350 NT per plate. Each item can be upgaded to a combo for 250 NT, which includes salad, soup, dessert, and a drink. I would not come here again, because there are better places for pizza, pasta, and the like at similar or better prices.

Nov 27, 2010

DOZO


Profile

       
Phone #:    02-2778-1135
Website: http://www.dozoizakaya.com/
Price Range:   $$$$
Accepts Credit Cards: yes
Attire: casual
Good for kids: no
Take out: yes
Waiter Service: yes
Outdoor seating:  no
Alcohol: yes

Rating

Food Quality: 4 out of 5
Decor:  4 out of 5
Service: 4 out of 5
Overall: 4 out of 5
Recommendation: Good place for drinks, pricey array of Japanese Cuisine.

Review

Near the Sun Yat Sen Memorial MRT station, there is a trendy Izakaya called Dozo. They serve an assortment of Japanese cuisine from sushi to yakiniku. A lot of their items do not seem very traditional, but a modernized twist of Japanese fare. It will also take a couple dollars to fill yourself up, since their menu items are quite pricey as the quantity of each dish is quite small. Three pieces of nigiri will run you around 300 NT. And six skewers of meat will run you 340. Yet, if you can afford the cost, Dozo offers a sleek modern space to enjoy intriguing cocktails over some snack-type foods. They also offer a small selection of original desserts that are delicious and well-presented.

Nov 26, 2010

Li Jin Traditional Tofu Jello 立晉傳統豆花

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Address:   新竹市建功一路6號    
                  No. 6, JiànGōng 1st Rd, Hsinchu City
Phone #:  N/A
Website: N/A
Price Range:   $
Accepts Credit Cards: no
Take out: yes
Waiter Service: no
Outdoor seating:  no
Alcohol: no

Rating

Food Quality: 4 out of 5
Decor:  3 out of 5
Service: 3.5 out of 5
Overall: 3.2 out of 5
Recommendation: Traditional Tofu Jello with modern twists too.

Review
Another spot that still stands after 18 years is the Li Jin Traditional Tofu Jello shop. This might be the place where I had my first conscious bite of Tofu Jello. It is a taiwanese snack where they add soft tofu into a sweet soup served with other sweet ingredients of your choice. A modern twist that is good in the summer is their slushee tofu jello. Instead of serving tofu jelly in that hot syrup, they turn the syrup into slushee form and serve it on top of the tofu jello and ingredients. I do not know if any other places serve tofu jello in this way, but their ice is very fluffy and uniformly sweet. This place is a great last stop to end a night of snacking.

Pork Pocket Buns 割包

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Address:   新竹市建功一路1-17號             
                  No. 1, JiànGōng 1st Rd, Hsinchu City
Phone #:  N/A
Website: N/A
Price Range:   $
Accepts Credit Cards: no
Take out: yes
Waiter Service: no
Outdoor seating:  no
Alcohol: no

Rating

Food Quality: 4 out of 5
Decor:  3 out of 5
Service: 3.5 out of 5
Overall: 3.2 out of 5
Recommendation: Wide Variety of Folding Buns.

Review
Also nearby the NTHU street market area, a standalone pork bun stand that not only sells their tradition pork pocket buns, but an assortment of other pocket bun items like egg pocket buns and fish pocket buns. Never tried any of the other items though, because I really like the pork pocket buns. Everything is under 50 NT, a very cheap quick bite.

Little Cave 小洞天


Profile

Address:   新竹市建功一路13號              
                  No. 13, JiànGōng 1st Rd, Hsinchu City
Phone #:  N/A
Website: N/A
Price Range:   $
Accepts Credit Cards: no
Take out: yes
Waiter Service: no
Outdoor seating:  no
Alcohol: no

Rating

Food Quality: 4 out of 5
Decor:  3 out of 5
Service: 3.5 out of 5
Overall: 3.2 out of 5
Recommendation: Cheap rice and pork sausage combo tray.

Review
In the bustling National Tsing Hua University entrance street market, there is a popular storefront that offers rice sausage and taiwanese sausage trays for 100 NT. This is a very longstanding and popular place, and many students and locals visit this place for a cheap quick snack.

Temple Entrace 廟口牛肉麵


Profile

Address:    新竹縣竹東鎮朝陽路18號      
                   No. 18, CháoYáng Rd, Jhudong Township, Hsinchu County, Taiwan 310
Phone #:  N/A
Website: N/A
Price Range:   $
Accepts Credit Cards: idk
Take out: yes
Waiter Service: no
Outdoor seating:  no
Alcohol: no

Rating

Food Quality: 4.7 out of 5
Decor:  3.5 out of 5
Service: 4 out of 5
Overall: 4.1 out of 5
Recommendation: Unique Hakka-Style Beef Noodle Soup.

Review
The oldest and most frequent place I been eating Beef Noodle Soup, and what has defined beef noodle soup for me is the bowl you get at Temple Entrace in Ju Dong. They started literally as a small beef noodle restaurant at the entrance of a temple in Ju Dong. Through the continual support from the locals, they managed to move to a bigger space separate from the temple entrance, but kept the name. They have been in business for over 20 years now, and it still seems to be filled with local Hakka clients, who love the heavy flavored broth, with a mixture of spices, and the flat-stlye noodles, that may not be as Q, but soak up the soup very well. If you ever venture south to Ju Dong, you should try this local favorite.

Nov 22, 2010

Chef Liu's Pigs' Legs 劉師傅霸王豬腳

Profile

                   No. 35, Lane 118, Section 2, HéPíng East Rd, Da-an District
Phone #:   N/A
Website: N/A
Price Range:   $
Accepts Credit Cards: no
Attire: casual
Good for kids: yes
Take out: yes
Waiter Service: no
Outdoor seating:  no
Alcohol: no

Rating

Food Quality: 4 out of 5
Decor:  4 out of 5
Service: 4 out of 5
Overall: 4 out of 5
Recommendation: Pork leg rice combos at fair price.

Review
 In the restaurant alley near the rear entrance of NTU, Chef Liu's Pigs' Legs offers rice combo meals with a variety of pig leg and non pig leg related entrees for under 100 NT. The portions are not very big, but enough to stay within a 2000 calorie diet. The items are oilier and saltier, but not unlike any other rice box/rice combo meal restaurants. Their braised pork legs are simmering in the gravy until you order it. They scoop up whatever you like and chop it up and ask you to pick 3 more items from their narrow assortment of side items. This is a very good choice for a rice combo meal in the rear entrance of NTU, considering price and quality of food.

Closed for Business

Nov 21, 2010

Fat Angelo's

Profile

                   No. 28, SōngRén Rd, Sinyi District
Phone #:   02-8729-2741
Website: http://www.bellavita.com.tw/store.php?d=4
Price Range:   $$$
Accepts Credit Cards: no
Attire: casual
Good for kids: yes
Take out: yes
Waiter Service: yes
Outdoor seating:  no
Alcohol: yes

Rating

Food Quality: 4 out of 5
Decor:  4 out of 5
Service: 3.5 out of 5
Overall: 3.83 out of 5
Recommendation: Thin crust pizza in swanky food court.

Review
My newest area of interest is the Bella Vita food court. It is probably the best food court i've seen in Taiwan, and it made me delay the exploration of the Taipei 101 food court, which is very much like all the other food courts around the island. The variety the Bella Vita food court has to offer is wide, and the quality is set at a high bar. I appreciate the different designs put into each restaurant of the food court, so that each space has its own theme.  The first restaurant I tried is Fat Angelo's. It is a Italian restaurant that has a brick oven for their selection of thin crust pizzas (~600 NT for 12"), pasta's (~400NT), or sandwiches (~250NT). The seating is not so comfortable, the decor is quaint, and the service is sort of slow. The seating at this food court is improved if you choose to sit down at "We Share Everything" which is like a posh general dining area, where the servers will order your food at an restaurant at the food court, and bring it to you. But to fully show the theme and surroundings of each restaurant I will insist on being seated at the restaurant space.

Tsujiri

Profile

Address:   台北市忠孝東路五段8號
                 No. 8, Section 5, ZhōngXiào East Rd, Sinyi District
Phone #:  02-2729-9699
Website: http://www.tsujiri.com.tw/
Price Range:   $$
Accepts Credit Cards: no
Take out: yes
Waiter Service: no
Outdoor seating:  no
Alcohol: no

Rating

Food Quality: 4.5 out of 5
Decor:  3 out of 5
Service: 3.5 out of 5
Overall: 3.7 out of 5
Recommendation: Strong matcha flavored icecream and desserts.
Review
At the Hankyu Department store B2 food court lies Taiwan's first Tsujuri Tea House. The line is a good 15 minute wait, but the products are definitely the best in class. While the prices are a bit high, they do not exceed 200 NT for a single item/combo. Tsujiri is a 150 year old traditional tea house that became famous for their tea leaves and matcha. Most of their items are worth trying, and I will be returning to taste more of their non-icecream items.

Nov 19, 2010

Lucky Horse 吉馬


Profile

Website: http://www.chain777.com.tw/
Price Range:   $
Accepts Credit Cards: no
Take out: yes
Waiter Service: no
Outdoor seating:  no
Alcohol: no

Rating

Food Quality: 4 out of 5
Decor:  3.5 out of 5
Service: 3.5 out of 5
Overall: 3.3 out of 5
Recommendation: Well braised pork intestine, fresher oyster and cleaner.

Review
For those that detest the dusty and grimeyy nightmarkets, but still want to taste Taiwanese snackfoods can go to Lucky Horse. All of their items are under 100 NT and only 5 or 10 NT more than the nightmarket price for similar foods. Their signature dish is the oyster/pork intestine string noodles, and it goes for 45 NT for a small and 60 for big. They also offer wild boar sausages for 35 NT, or you can get the combo for 89 NT which comes with a drink. They have a clean interior, plenty of seating, and a professional looking service staff.

So Free

Profile

                   No. 28, Lane 283, Section 3, LuóSīFú Rd, Da-an District
Phone #:   02-2364-3351
Website: N/A
Price Range:   $$
Accepts Credit Cards: no
Attire: casual
Good for kids: yes
Take out: yes
Waiter Service: yes
Outdoor seating:  no
Alcohol: no

Rating

Food Quality: 3.5 out of 5
Decor:  3 out of 5
Service: 4 out of 5
Overall: 3.5 out of 5
Recommendation: Cheap novelty pizza, but limited seating.

Review

In the northwestern back alley area of NTU lies a novelty pizza restaurant that is famous for their eccentric Pizza creations like Ginger Superman, Korean Kimchi, and Apple Cinnamon. Seating is extremely limited at the store, and they only accomodate around 8 people dining in at a time, so most of their orders are take-out. However, I feel that the pizza is best when it is eating straight out of the oven, so you should insist on waiting to be seated before you order. The cheese began to solidify very soon after it was plopped in front of me, so I can't imagine how one would enjoy this pizza after even 5 minutes to another location. I would recommend this place for the person who wants to try wierd items. The Ginger Superman should be tried once in a lifetime. I will need to return and try Apple Cinnamon, and maybe Banana Almond.

Nov 18, 2010

Greatest "Sister-in-law Noodles" 頂好哨子麵

Profile

Address:   台北市大安路一段73號1樓         
                   No. 73, Section 1, DàĀn Rd, Da-an District
Phone #:  02-2778-6498
Website:
Price Range:   $
Accepts Credit Cards: idk
Take out: yes
Waiter Service: no
Outdoor seating:  no
Alcohol: no

Rating

Food Quality: 3.5 out of 5
Decor:  3 out of 5
Service: 3 out of 5
Overall: 3.1 out of 5
Recommendation: Cheap noodle and soup dishes with signature "sister-in-law noodles"
Review

In the corner of Da An road and Zhong Shiao East Road is a reknown noodle place called Greatest "Sister-in-law Noodles." It actually literally looks like Whistle Noodles, but a quick view of the history of this dish makes me go with "Sister-in-law Noodles" as the proper translation. This seems to be a popular noodle establishment with customers coming through rapidly. They have various locations around Taipei, but the original store is right here in the East Side. Their menu items are all under 100 NT with difference in prices with big portions and little portions. Their whistle noodles are dry Qey noodles mixed in this oniony meat sauce. They also serve a variety of fish ball soups and dumpling soups. Definitely worth seeing what the fuss was all about, but did not really enjoy the sauce.

Nov 17, 2010

Chicken Egg Oyster Omelettes


Profile

Website: N/A
Price Range:   $
Accepts Credit Cards: no
Take out: yes
Waiter Service: no
Outdoor seating:  yes
Alcohol: no

Rating

Food Quality: 2 out of 5
Decor:  3 out of 5
Service: 3 out of 5
Overall: 2.66 out of 5
Recommendation: Cheap snack at laaaaate hours.

Review

Next to the front entrance of NTU, there is a oyster omelette stall open til 4 a.m. They also serve an assortment of other snacks like duck meat string noodle soup and braised pork rice. Everything on their menu is under 50NT, so you can have a quick bite for cheap at this joint.

Nov 15, 2010

Bangkok Grill 曼谷燒

Profile

        
Phone #:    02-2363-0081
Website: N/A
Price Range:   $
Accepts Credit Cards: idk
Attire: casual
Good for kids: no
Take out: yes
Waiter Service: no
Outdoor seating:  no
Alcohol: no

Rating

Food Quality: 4 out of 5
Decor:  3 out of 5
Service: 3 out of 5
Overall: 3.3 out of 5
Recommendation: Cheap Thai Style Rice Sets

Review
Near the front entrance of NTU lies a back alley lined with restaurants. Among the various restaurants, Bangkok Grill stands out as offering a cheap menu with distinct taste and with fast service. The combo meals are not gourmet, but for the prices of around 100 NT for rice, entree, and 3 sides plus soup, one can hardly complain.

Nov 14, 2010

Smith and Hsu


Profile

                   No.33, Section 5, Zhong Xiao East Road, Taipei
Phone #:   2-2747-4857
Website: http://www.smithandhsu.com/
Price Range:   $$
Accepts Credit Cards: yes
Attire: casual
Good for kids: yes
Take out: yes
Waiter Service: yes
Outdoor seating:  no
Alcohol: no

Rating

Food Quality: 3.5 out of 5
Decor:  4 out of 5
Service: 3 out of 5
Overall: 3.5 out of 5
Recommendation: Great place for modern afternoon tea.

Review

Next to the number 1 Taipei City hall exit is a modern looking tea house offering a wide assortment of tea, sandwiches, and desserts. Smith and Hsu is just the place for a modern afternoon tea experience at an affordable price.

Nov 12, 2010

Dazzling Cafe 蜜糖土司專賣

Profile

                  No. 11, Alley 7, Lane 205, Section 4, ZhōngXiào East Rd, Da-an District
Phone #:   02-8773-9229
Website: http://cafe.dazzlingdazzling.com/
Price Range:   $$
Accepts Credit Cards: no
Attire: casual
Good for kids: yes
Take out: yes
Waiter Service: yes
Outdoor seating:  no
Alcohol: no

Rating

Food Quality: 3.7 out of 5
Decor:  4 out of 5
Service: 4.5 out of 5
Overall: 4.06 out of 5
Recommendation: Fancy cafe with delightful desserts and drinks.

Review
Dazzling cafe is a very bling bling eatery located on the east side on the alleyway behind Luxy. They feature a honey toast dessert that is very popular item. They have a wide assortment of drinks available to pair with the honey toast or meal proper.They also have many types of pasta dishes, sandwiches, and a few dinner entrees to chose from. The honey toasts run about 280 NT per order and drinks are around 120. I have not tried the hot food, so I will have to fill that information in on a later date. The place is a good place to kick back with some coffee and dessert.

De Emblem Cantonese Style 得記港式


Profile

Website: N/A
Price Range:   $
Accepts Credit Cards: no
Take out: yes
Waiter Service: no
Outdoor seating:  yes
Alcohol: no

Rating

Food Quality: 4 out of 5
Decor:  3.5 out of 5
Service: 3 out of 5
Overall: 3.5 out of 5
Recommendation: Clean place for affordable numb-spicy stinky tofu.

Review
Hidden in an alley nearby the Gong Guan Night market is De Emblem Cantonese Style restaurant. It is quite a confusing name, but they sell numb-spicy stinky tofu in self-heating bowl. The basic pot of stinky tofu runs for about 60NT, and you can add various ingredients like lamb slices, mushrooms, and noodles for around 50 NT per item. I came here for the numb-spicy stinky tofu, and it really did its job. I prefer the braised stinky tofu over the fried version, and the ones they serve here are flavorful enough to prompt me to return for another numbing session in the future.

Huang Pig Intestine Noodles 黃家大腸麵線


Profile

Website: N/A
Price Range:   $
Accepts Credit Cards: no
Take out: yes
Waiter Service: no
Outdoor seating:  yes
Alcohol: no

Rating

Food Quality: 4.5 out of 5
Decor:  4 out of 5
Service: 4 out of 5
Overall: 4.2 out of 5
Recommendation: Best Pork Intestine Noodle in Gong Guan Nightmarket.


Review
In the Gong Guan Nightmarket, there is a pig intestine noodle stand that sells nothing but pig intestine noodle. For it to survive with just one item, that item must be pretty good, so I gave it a try. A small sized bowl sells for 25 NT and a large bowl sells for 40 NT, but the size of the small is comparable to the other stands that sell for around 40 NT. This stand has clean tables and condiments on each table for your personal seasoning needs. This is so far the best bowl of pig intestine noodle in the Gong Guan Nightmarket area.
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