Feb 15, 2011

Romano's Macaroni Grill


Address:  台灣台北市信義區松壽路30號
                地點 03/2011搬到敦化北路民生路口
    No. 30, SōngShòu Road, Sinyi District Taipei City, Taiwan 110 
                Location change to Dwun Hwa/Ming Sheng Intersection 03/11
Phone #:  02-2722-4567
Website: N/A
Price Range:   $$$
Accepts Credit Cards: yes
Attire: casual-semicasual
Good for kids: yes
Take out: yes
Waiter Service: yes
Outdoor seating:  no
Alcohol: yes


Food Quality: 3.5 out of 5
Decor:  3.5 out of 5
Service: 4 out of 5
Overall: 3.67 out of 5
Recommendation: Familiar Italian-American Cuisine

Romano's Macaroni Grill is a Italian-American restaurant offering pastas, pizzas, and salads in the heart of Taipei. The entrees all price at around 450 NT. Each person can have a nice meal for under 1000 NT each. The restaurant is currently ending its lease in the NEO19 building in the Hsin Yi district in Taipei. It will be moving to its new location in the Song Shan District at the Dwun Hwa and Ming Sheng intersection. The cuisine at this location is mediocre and does not carry the same quality as the American Macaroni Grill locations. However, the service and atmosphere is very high among the restaurants of Taipei.
 The decor is in line with the franchise. Familiar themes, furniture, and artifacts are seen all over the restaurant space. They even have the crayons for you to draw on the table just like in the American restaurant. The servers are even in the same uniform as their American counterparts, you seem to be transported to America for a little bit until you realize all the servers are Taiwanese, and there is no hot white brunette server in sight. The service is friendly, sincere, and prompt, but they are not always waiting on the tables at the level of attention that I would consider attentive. Overall, the space and servers are definitely above average.
 I was not too fond of the crunchy bread with the flakey interior. I think they used too little dough in the middle, because instead of the bread having some bite and fluff, it turned out to be flakey and crunchy instead. Maybe this is more tuned toward the Taiwanese palette, but I like my bread not as crunchy on the interior and hot, doughy, and fluffy on the inside.
 I got the Antipasti platter just to get a sample of the quality of their appetizers. I was not impressed at all. In fact I was a little depressed that each item was not up to par to my low bar expectations to the items. Their bruschetta was not good because the cheese wasn't melted on top, not were the tomatoes seasoned that well. The tomato topping was so subtley seasoned that it was almost eating raw sliced tomatoes on top of grilled bread. The crab stuffed mushrooms were so unappealing in appearance. They look burn and the crust over the crabmeat was burnt and unevenly colored. The stuffing should be a nice crisp golden brown. So far as the taste goes, it was just ok. The mushrooms were not dense and big enough to hold the filling together, so you needed to finish it with one bite. The filler was more creamy and mayonaissey, rather than having the stringy sinewy crab texture a better filling should be. The biggest disappointment is the calamari. This should be the one appetizer that one should not mess up on. All you need is fresh decent sized calamari with good breading fried at the right temperature, oil, and time. Somehow they were bold enough present small calamari rings with a soft exterior. I hope that this is a cultural thing and that Taiwanese prefer a soft chewy exterior than a crunchy one to explain this mishap. If not, they really need to up their frying game purchase bigger sized calamari to present bigger chewier rings. I hope they make these changes in their new location.
The pizza here is not good. The dough was too thin and had a hard time holding the toppings. It was thin crusted, but the bottom was soggy and had no substance. At least the cheese they use is stringy and falvorful, but the choice of sausages were just average. I ordered the Sicilian, but I was disappointed with the lack of any of olives, basil, or lumped cheese. I know it is not fair to rate this place on pizza because most of the diners seem to go for salad and pasta, so I will need to update this post in their new location when it opens and order salad and pasta. Even though I did not try it personally, I think their salad and pasta should be among the better pastas in Taipei. The salads here looked like a salad: tossed and prepared with bite sized ingredients. It's hard to find a good salad in Taiwan since they are usually made with inconveniently sized ingredients with bad dressing, usually untossed. This chain location deserves some more investigating to up its rating in the food department.


Anonymous said...

`who the hell are you to judge the concept of the food this is macaroni grill concept every restaurant has their own identities the warmth peasant bread is really lovely its Italian concept back in the old days this is what they are eating in Italy that's why there is a Italian butter if you Dont want to eat at the restaurant let be it you must appreciate the food you are not a god to serve you better learn how to appreciate things.

Johnny said...

The food I had was slightly different than the american ones, and I didn't have any of their pastas. Macaroni grill should have decent pastas. That's why if u actually read to the end I say "This chain location deserves some more investigating..." In terms of appreciating things...nobody appreciates all things equally.

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