Oct 24, 2010

Kanpai 小乾杯


Phone #:    02-2776-3435
Website: http://www.kanpai.com.tw/
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:  4 out of 5
Service: 5 out of 5
Overall: 4.3 out of 5
Recommendation: Place to drink with meat.


Kanpai is a Japanese Barbeque restaurant located in the Luxy plaza in the east side of Taipei. It is like Gyu Kyaku in L.A. The food is good, but is a little overpriced for the small amounts offered in each dish. The food will not wow you as much as Manpuku, nor do they have an impressive sake collection. However, what they do have is an awesome rock and roll vibe with a great service staff keeping the energy up at all times. If you got some change in your pocket, then go to Kanpai and experience Japanese-style barbeque with a Taiwanese rocker twist.
This seems to be a popular spot for dinner. If we didn't reserve a table, we probably would not be able to eat here that night. Each table gets 90 minutes to dine, but if they are not so busy they will let that rule slide. The decor is Japanese izakaya-ish, and they have photos of their guests posted all over the place. They also have ads for local rock concerts posted up too. Each table has a BBQ pit, and they change the gratings quite often so that you're meat doesn't carry too much char towards the end of your meal. The layout of the tables made everyone sit very closely. I felt kind of squished in with the other customers, but I guess they wanted to promote this closeness because they wanted this place to have a pub feel. They get a 4 out of 5 for sticking with a theme.

The service staff really cater to everyone very well even though they are extremely busy constantly sending out orders. They greet each customer warmly, and also chit chat/banter with you from time to time. They also are very helpful in cooking your meat for you sometimes. What is interesting about this store is that at 8 PM they start an event and gives you a free drink by matching your current drink. So essentially, you get a buy 1 get 1 free deal. Also, if you kiss someone on camera for 10 seconds, you can get a plate of pork of beef for free. So don't forget to bring your chapstick. The staff also introduces every table to the whole restaurant and the whole joint gets excited. The staff was expedient, courteous, warm, and helpful. They get a 5 ouy of 5 for excellent service.

 The food was just blah. Better quality meat priced at a premium. That place of 5 slices of beef cost 270 NT, and the plate of 7 slices of pork was around 200NT as well. You can expect each person to pay around 1000NT and not be very full. Drinks are around 120 NT per pint of beer or cocktail. The food tasted good. I love meat so I could find nothing to complain here except that the shrimp was extremely shrimpy. I would have like a jumbo shrimp, but they tossed on these measly specimens that were not very satisfying. They scallops were pretty good, especially when dipped in butter, and they did not scrimp on butter.

The portions were very small, so you shouldn't come to this restaurant hungry unless you got deep pockets. Maybe grab a rice ball at 7-11 before you walk in. This place seems more like a place to slosh a few pints down and nibble on some morsels of meat. I didn't leave full, and I think most people who don't order rice items would not be full either. Our table went heavy on protein with a few vegetables. That is why we probably were not as filled, but we definitely got to sample most of the meats on the menu. I gave the food a 4 out of 5 because the food was good, but it was not amazing. This place is not focused on the quality of the food so much as the focus is on the youthful and fun atmosphere.

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