Jan 9, 2011

Chamonix 夏慕尼

Picture taken from: http://2010ben.wordpress.com/

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


Food Quality: 4.5 out of 5
Decor:  4.5 out of 5
Service: 5 out of 5
Overall: 4.67 out of 5
Recommendation: High-Value Teppanyaki with wide menu selection.


Chamonix is a chain teppanyaki restaurant run by the Wowprime Group. They are known to deliver high quality dining experiences at each of their restaurants. Chamonix is no exception. At the flat rate of 980 NT a person, you can enjoy a full 6 course meal: appetizer, bread and salad, soup, entree with sides, and dessert with beverage. At under 1000 NT, it is a fair value for the meal you are receiving. You can also choose from a different combinations of entrees and sides, that a return trip could offer a whole different experience. It would be difficult to exaust the menu in few trips. I recommend Chamonix as a safe bet for quality teppanyaki at a bearable price. I have yet to find out if the Taipei 101 teppanyaki priced at 2k+ is worth its weight. For now, Chamonix is high up on the list, their food paired with their excellent service makes this place a solid leader in Taiwanese Teppanyaki restaurants.

Picture from http://www.chamonix.com.tw/
 The interior is well decorated, clean, and they separate the dessert area with the main dining area, so they are efficient at keeping the flow of customers at the Teppanyaki tableside. The service was excellent. THe dining experience was always facillitated by their staff seamlessly, from the hostess, to the waitress, to the teppanyaki chef, to the hostess of the dessert portion, all the way to when you pay the bill and leave. Something that rarely disappoints is the attitude and efficiency of Taiwanese restaurant workers. At least, while they are in front of you. The decor is kind of like bluish, with their choice of deep blue colors fo their space and their utensils. They use very soft lighting and creates a easy atmosphere. They have a self-playing piano in the foyer, and the famaliar western tunes it plays adds an interesting touch to the experience.

When you sit down at the Teppanyaki tableside, you are greeted with this ambient tablespace. The soft blue glow makes it seem modern, sleek, and mesmerizing. You are given a side of butter for the bread, chopped onion, mayonaise, and salt to use as condiments throughout the meal.

 They start everyone off with this appetizer no matter what other combination of items you chose earlier. It is a spoonful of liver with wierd asian tomato, and a spoonful of shrimp paired with citrusy vegetables.
 The bread they offer in the begining is very cute, soft, and tasty. It is a cheesy bread and a raisin wheaty bread. Pairs well with the sparse amoung of margarin they give you. You can keep ordering these rolls if you want, but I didn't want it to spoil my appetite.
 I chose the seafood chowder, which is a tolerable soup. It had a little bit of shrimp and cuttlefish and some vegetable cubes. It was not as hearty as I would like, but it's a very famaliar taste and texture at various "western cuisine" restaurants in Taiwan.
I got the mediterranean salad, which I did not know which part of it was mediterranean.  They did not even use roman lettuce, goat cheese, or goat cheese. They had two pieces of seared tuna, which was pretty nice, but the rest is that underdressed big leafy mess you usually are served as a "salad" in Taiwan. 
They serve you this intermediate shot of lemon slushee to cleanse ur palate for the next few entrees.
 I had no complaints with the filet mignon. I liked the fried garlic, and thought it paired well with the medium rare chunks of tender beef. I really like beef, so as long as it isn't horribly overcooked I am easily satisfied. The filet was tender, and flavorful, even without the sauces they provide. The sauces add more diverse flavors though, and I enjoy dipping things in different sauces.
 The meal comes with shrimp fried rice. The ingredients include egg, rice, oil, dried shrimp, fish roe, and green onions. They teppanyaki it just right, and so the egg coats each grain of rice evenly and the flavoring is not too salty, and each element is detectable with each bite. Certainly better than the fried rice at benihana's or some American overpriced teppanyaki restaurant.
 The dessert was a little disappointing. I ordered a creme brulee, and I was presented with this flan instead. The top didn't have any crispy carmelized brown sugar. This was just a dense version of the Uni-President Egg Flan you can get for cheap played in a beautiful fashion. I guess should not think that I am going to get a average creme brulee when the Taiwanese menu states "creme brulee." Another instance where the much appraised "high-end/fancy" wowprime group restaurants show that they really ain't much after all.
 I kind of regret getting the Itallian coffee, which I thought would be a good choice at first until I remembered that itallian coffee in the chinese mindset probably means espresso. And I surely was served expresso than a more mild black coffee blend that I really wanted. But, after evaluating what I got in view of how much it cost. I truly think that this is a good value. Especially since the counterparts price filet mignon at around 600 NT anyway, without the higher quality soup, salad, appetizer, and deserts. This is more of a taiwanese-french fusion cuisine though. So don't come here if you are craving that dirty taiwanese teppanyaki fare that go around for around 150 NT. There is another time and place for that stuff.

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