Oct 14, 2010

Concelebration Low-Rise 北平同慶樓


                  No 168 Section 2, DūnHuà South Rd, Da-an District
Phone #:    02-2739-6611
Website: http://www.latour.com.tw/cgi/advt/tongchin/index.htm
Price Range:   $$
Accepts Credit Cards: yes
Attire: casual
Good for kids: no
Take out: yes
Waiter Service: yes
Outdoor seating:  no
Alcohol: yes


Food Quality: 4 out of 5
Decor:  3.5 out of 5
Service: 4 out of 5
Overall: 3.8 out of 5
Recommendation: Fairly good family style meals.

Concelebration Low-Rise is a restaurant featuring northern Chinese cuisine. They serve family style meals with dishes ranging from 150-1100. The price is dependant on how well you want to eat. They have a wide menu offering  flour-based foods, clay pot stews, and stir fried dishes. Sadly, I did not try the Roast Duck Three Ways, which costs around  1100 NT. That dish should be the iconic dish of the place, as Concelebration Low-Rise specifically represents Beijing cuisine. This is a good restaurant for a family style meal. Their dishes use fresh ingredients, and the sauces used were not too heavy. The clientele are mostly locals, so you can be assured that you are getting decent food at a fair price.

When you walk in the store you are overwhelmed with the red motif used throughout the store. They have old chinese art hanging on the wall, traditional ornaments hanging from the ceiling, and even have a shrine hanging on the side wall. The tables are set up in a way that you don't feel too cramped and too close to your neighbors. I was really engaged with the artifacts they displayed, and I respected their adherence of the traditional aesthetic. The decor is a 3.5 out of 5. They could have jazzed up the walls, lighting, and flooring. My ideal environment for a restaurant that serves this kind of food would be a interior space presents this architectural concept in a modern way. A place like that would provide an interesting atmosphere two have 4 dishes and 1 soup over a couple of beers.

In the front they have a cooking station that spotlights a pastry chef whipping up various flour based foods. I feel that this is a smart way to advertise their food and emphasize their cleanliness on top of preparing the food. They had a 3 server to 10 table ratio on the 1st floor, which made it easier for each server to attend to the needs of each table thoroughly. They had enough manpower to effectively place orders, serve dishes, and ring up your order. They did so in a courteous manner, but they did not provide extra banter or service that would give them a 5. They deserve a 3.5 out of 5 because they were just a little better than the average Taiwanese servers.

We ordered 4 dishes: Green Onion Stir-Fried Lamb 蔥爆羊肉, Boiled Luffa with Clams絲瓜蠣, Rubbery Rice Noodles with Pulled Chicken 雞絲拉皮, and this omelette dish.  They were all prepared fairly well, but some had a shorter table-life than others. This dish is one that is hard go wrong with. Green Onion Stir-Fried Lamb 蔥爆羊肉 is a basic dish you can get at any beerstation or family style Chinese restaurant. The ingredients they chose to use are pretty unique though. They did not use taiwanese barbecue sauce 沙茶醬, but had their own mix of sauces that I suspect to be some combination of soy sauce, black vinegar, salt, sugar, and corn starch. I don't think I tasted any MSG in this dish, but they may have used it sparsely. They did not use any red peppers, either, so this dish was very light and showcased the lamb's natural taste mixed in with pungent onions and cilantro. This is also the only place that I can think of that uses cilantro in this dish. I don't recall seeing cilantro used elsewhere. This dish was the first to go, since it was extremely rice-friendly and scarce.

This right here is the "Boiled Luffa with Clams絲瓜蛤蠣". It is a very light soupy dish, that contains the sticky luffa, which is a common gourd consumed in Taiwan. The clams were very fresh and made contents of that soupy broth carry on that semisweet sea saltiness. This dish was also seasoned with dried shrimp, so the stock was very rich in ocean flavors. The clam and the dried shrimp can be seen as ingredients to flavor in the luffa in this dish, since these Taiwanese clams don't contain that much meat. The slices of luffa soak in all the juices, making a rather flavorless plant become quite delicious.

I forgot what the name of this egg dish was. I will just refer to it as an omelette until I find out what this type of egg dish is actually called. This dish was just an ok dish to chomp on to mix up the tastes. It's made by mixing egg with salt, onions, and another unidentifiable spice and then pan frying the mixture into a nice golden brown. The notable parts of this dish would probably be the art of cooking a half inch pancake of egg thoroughly without charring it or undercooking it. They had a perfect crust and the insides were cooked thoroughly, so the chef has a handle on preparation. The flavoring was very basic, just a mouthful of salty egg and green onion.

This next dish is the Rubbery Rice Noodles with Shredded Chicken 雞絲拉皮. This dish consists of shredded chicken, flat rice noodles,cucumbers, and the sauce. The sauce is made up of mustard, soy sauce, and a mystery stock. You mix all these ingredients up in a bowl and serve. The combination of the rice noodles, pulled chicken, and cucumber gives each bite a confusing texture that is crunchy, chewy, and slippery at different intervals. The sauce overpowers all other flavors and gives you a nose-rush with each serving. This was a good dish to have to add contrast to the whole meal.

Besides asking for rice, you can also order millet gruel to go with your meal instead. It's very light and semi sweet. It is like a bowl of very wet and semisweet grits. I do not prefer gruel though, since I like to have the texture of rice to go with the other dishes. Plus, if you ate with gruel you could not place a serving of another side dish in ur bowl without ruining the side dish.

I liked all of the dishes and the millet gruel (as long as it was on the side). They were not cooked too oily and spicy, which makes this restaurant a healthy, affordable, and delectable option for family style chinese food. The food here gets a solid 4 out of 5.

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