Mar 10, 2011

Abundant Delicacy Brasserie 鼎珍坊


Address: 台北市復興南路一段219巷1號1樓
    No. 1, Lane 219, Section 1, FùXìng South Rd, Da-an District
Phone #: 02-2781-2518
Business Hours: 11:30~14:30, 17:30~21:30
Website: N/A
Price Range:   $$$
Accepts Credit Cards: no
Attire: semicasual
Good for kids: yes
Take out: yes
Waiter Service: yes
Outdoor seating:  no
Alcohol: yes


Food Quality: 4 out of 5
Decor:  3.5 out of 5
Service: 4.5 out of 5
Overall: 4 out of 5
Recommendation: Quality Cantonese Food


In the East District lies a quite popular Cantonese Food restaurant called Abundant Delicacy Brasserie (Ding鼎Jen珍Fang坊). They serve a wide assortment of Cantonese food from fried rice and pork legs to abalone dishes. The food seemed to be slightly oily, but the items are not generally too salty or spicy. Each dish is fairly expensive, all above 300NT per dish, and can go upwards to around 1500 NT for items like roast duck or seafood. They seem to have had a lot of celebrities eat at their restaurant, and their quality cooking is well known in this area. If you have some money to spend on pricier cantonese fare. Remember to bring more people with you because this restaurants seems to be more fitting for large groups.

The interior is designed with a Gold theme paired with black chairs. I feel it is their attempt to sport a more elegant and luxurious ambience. They also use silky smooth ceramic utensils, which seem to be a must-have in the upscale Chinese restaurants. A portion of their wall was covered with signed plates by celebrities, and they had quite an impressive array of patrons. It may be due to the fact that there were not that many customers, but I feel that this is one of the few restaurants in Taiwan that I actually felt waited on. The servers were not only quick and cordial, but kept an eye out for our needs. The server gave us wet naps before we asked for it by just observing our body language. They also poured tea for me while I was dining, which I don't think is that common at most restaurants where teapots are placed on the table. Thus, I gave the service higher marks.
One of the items a magazine reported on and recommended was this. It is literally translated as "Swallow Tongue Dish." Apparently, this dish is so good that it might cause you to swallow your own tongue in the process of gobbling it down. I really did not think that it was the case. I have a natural tendency to not like cantonese food because it is more mildly flavored and oily. This dish consisted of tofu, sea fungus, and bamboo shoots marinated in their sweet and salty sauce. It was not horrible, but I was not taken away by it. It seemed to be like a bigger version of the "little dishes" you get at smaller chinese eateries. 
The server recommend the pig feet, and it was a pretty good appetizer. The meat was very tender, and had a faint saltiness and a waft of chinese wine. I actually favor the saltier, heavier Taiwanese style pig's feet, so I did not like this that much. This was borderline bland, but the natural flavors were very prominent.

The one thing that I really wanted to have was this stir fried beef flat rice noodles. Compared to what I have had at Sam Woo or other Los Angeles based cantonese restaurants, their version is very good. Each noodle was coated evenly with the sauce and juices. The past versions I had had green bell peppers stirred into the dish, and so I was quite dissapointed to see that their version lacked vegetables. All they had were strands of bean sprouts, and so the dish gets very old and hard to eat large amounts. I think part of the fact was that we needed more people to share this dish so that the initial good impressions would not be spoiled by law of diminishing marginal utility.
 At last, they gave us a bowl of green bean soup. There was nothing particularly amazing about this, and it was a forgettable dessert. I am not sure if I would recommend this place to anyone as of yet. There are other signature dishes that I need to try before I can come to a firm conclusion. I don't think I ordered any of the popular items this place has to offer, so it is not fair to judge this place on a few second rate dishes.

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