Oct 17, 2010

House No. 202 Steak and Pasta


Phone #:    02-2369-8800
Website: http://www.facebook.com/pages/No202-House/126185724096011
Price Range:   $$
Accepts Credit Cards: no
Attire: casual
Good for kids: yes
Take out: yes
Waiter Service: yes
Outdoor seating:  no
Alcohol: no


Food Quality: 3.7 out of 5
Decor:  3.5 out of 5
Service: 4 out of 5
Overall: 3.7 out of 5
Recommendation: Go for quality pastas at a bargain.


Continuing on my quest to find an acceptable pasta spot, I stumbled upon a newly opened restaurant nearby called House No. 202 Steak and Pasta. Their menu consists of many entrees in which you can add a combination of salad, soup, bread, or drink. The entrees range from 140 NT for a plate of seafood spagetti to 260 for steak. They also serve lamb chops and chicken rice, all under 300 NT. The food here is delightful. The portions are just right, the flavors are light and fresh, and the platings are alluring. They offer quality food and drink at an affordable price. This is the type of neighborhood eatery that is worth frequenting.

House No. 202 is a quaint eatery that does not boast a sleek interior, but it is a cozy place to dine in. They used blue and white "mediterranean" colors to decorate their store. The chairs were stiff, but comfortable enough too sit in. The environment was clean, and the restroom was actually very well maintained. The decor was very soothing, but had very asiany elements, but I guess that is part of the charm. The restaraunt can accomodate about 45 people. The decor of this place gets a 3.5 out of 5.

There service was very attentive. The server immediately came to me and gave me an explaination of the menu. After that, the dishes came out timely and with friendly greetings. The service might have been particularly good because there was only 3 people in the store at that time, so I don't know what the service would be like when 2 servers have to handle 30 customers. Nevertheless, the service was hospitable, and responsive (came immediately when i turned around and flagged her). Service gets a 4 out of 5.

I recommend getting the 3 item upgrade so that you can get some food right away. The salad was uninteresting, but edible nonetheless. I like how they sliced the cherry tomato into smaller pieces instead of serving it as a whole like typical Taiwanese preparation. Since they took the time to slice those cherry tomatos, you would think that they would at least slice the cucumber into smaller pieces, but they served it as a 2.5 inch wedge instead. It isn't so hard to mandolin a cucumber, but for some reason they opted with the cucumber wedge, which is not so appetizing. The lettuce could be cut into smaller pieces, but thankfully it was smaller than the usual Taiwanese salads with huge leaves. The soup was very dismissable as well. The croutons tasted for like semi stale bread than croutons, and I was not sure what soup I was drinking. It wasn't corn chowder or butternut squash. It could have been butter whippied into chicken stock garnished with spices. I am not sure, but thankfully the entree was good.

This is their seafood spagetti in red sauce. The sauce was frothy and light, you can taste the seafood blended with the tomatos, and the seasonings did not overpower the sauce. They provide a mussel, 2 rings of calamari, and 2 clams. The serving of spagetti is about a 3 oz serving. What is amazing about this place compared to Discovery is that they actually provide Parmesan Cheese. Parmesan cheese should be a basic item a pasta place should have. Even though this place used Kraft instead of some nice fresh grated stuff, I still commend them for having it. With a dish plated like this at 140 NT, I can't wait to try out the other items on the menu. I will definitely be updating this post quite frequently to add comments on other entrees. I want to try their steak, lamb chops, and penne pasta in pesto sauce. I think I found my go to pasta joint near NTU. I might try other places, but this place has the goods and the charm. Definitely a 4 out of 5.

10/31/2010 Update

I went to this restaurant to try a different item and was very disappointed with what I was served. I was excited to see that they offered lamb chops, but what was played was not what I was expecting. It is sad to say that I would rather eat the lamb chops served at the Commerce Casino in LA or even the lamb chops served at Hawaiian Gardens Casino. Casino lamb chops are cheaper than this too, its like 8 dollars for a plate of lamb chops, steamed vegetables, and multigrain rice. The lamb chops here costs 300NT and served with two baby asparagus, dried corn niblits, a pale soggy brocolli on top of a soggy musroom, and rice. The rice they served was very bland and hard and compressed into a ridiculous coin. It almost seemed uncooked.

The hugest disappointment of all were the lamb chops. They were doused in a heavy black pepper/mushroom sauce which was not that bad, but the meat itself was terrible. I think they might have overtenderized the lamb chops, and it could be a sign of unfresh meat. You couldn't taste the fattiness or the grassiness of the lamb, the sauce overpowered the natural flavors of the meat. I suspect they drench the lamb chops in sauce because, the meat they have is of poor quality. I am not even so sure it was lamb, it was beaten to a pulp, so that you see this hamburger looking thing loosely attached to a bone. I deducted 0.3 points from their previous score of 4. They have a pretty good spagetti dish, but stay away from steaks or lamb chops, as it would probably be of poor quality.

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