May 5, 2011

BUTTER Cafe Crêperie


Address: 台北市忠孝東路四段122-1號2樓
                 No. 122-1 2F, Section 4, ZhōngXiào East Rd, Daan District
Phone #: 02-8772-3832
Business Hours: 11:00-14:00, 18:00-22:00
Website: N/A
Price Range:   $$$
Accepts Credit Cards: yes
Attire: casual
Good for kids: yes
Take out: yes
Waiter Service: yes
Outdoor seating:  no
Alcohol: yes


Food Quality: 3 out of 5
Decor:  3.5 out of 5
Service: 3 out of 5
Overall: 3.3 out of 5
Recommendation: Overpriced pseudofrench Restaurant with good crepes.


The East District in Taipei is a bustling area filled with a variety of restaurants. Butter is a "French?" restaurant that is very new to the scene. It is located at the old Akasaka Ramen location, which is right next to the Zhong Xiao Hi Sushi. I realized its existence from my visit to Hi Sushi last week and vowed that I will return and try this place out soon. Butters is more like a pan-european cafe that offers a plated entrees, wide variety of spagetti dishes, baked rice, and crepes. They are quite pricey for the quality of items that you get. However, I do recommend a visit for a some crepes over a cup of coffee.
Their set up is quite simple. They used a modernized french country theme to decorate their dining space. I'd say it is quite different and a relaxing space to dine in. It is not to flowery and ornate, but you can see that they try to add some of that french country homey-ness by chosing some rustic color schemes and spreading more rustic looking furniture and artifacts over the restaurant. I was quite let down by their service however, because they were not as sensitive to the consumer's needs as they should be. They were respectful, polite, and fast, but there are some little things that got to me. For instance, when they served me my soup they said, "I'll bring your spoon in a second" and then scuffled off. That is not pro. They have some amateurish servers. Also, when I asked for more milk for my coffee, the dude brought me half of the original container full of milk, and it was still not enough. They need to be more attentive to detail.

For my meal, I ordered the Lamb Chops Set meal. The set meals are an additional 120 NT, and it comes with bread, soup, salad, and a drink. Also, I will show the order of Grilled Bream Fillets as well.
 The bread was not bad, it was a slightly dense sourdough slice apired with a herbed butter.
 The soup was disappointing. It is ok that the portion was small in size, but their corn soup just did not taste good. Not only was it not thick, it did not have a buttery taste to it. It was very watery and the corn bits were pretty hard. They had carrots and potatoes in there too, but I just felt that the soup base itself lacked flavor and you could not eat it as is. I had to add quite some pepper into it for it to be palatable.
 The salad was interesting, but not too enjoyable. It's a mix of iceberg and lollo rossa lettuce topped with these flower pistil-like things and drizzled with blueberry yogurt. The dressing doesn't get everywhere so you get bites of straight up leaf sometimes. It is a good thing that the portion sizes are small because I would not like to consume much more of this.
 This entree is the Grilled Bream Fillet, and goes for 420 NT. It is bream filets breaded and pan fried and served in a cream sauce along with steamed vegetables and topped with deep fried lemon grass. This was quite a heavy dish. It is good for the first couple of bites then becomes too salty, cremey, and hefty progressively. The fish soft and tender, but I thought the outer skin was way to soggy. The vegetables were soft and flavored by the creme sauce. However, I do not think I would order this again as it was too much of the same flavor to finish. I was more interested in trying the next item.
 Again, I was disappointed in the fact that I could not get a decent order of Lamb Chops. They cost 480 NT, so it is frustrating to pay this much and not be able to be satisfied with its quality. I find the Lamb Chops at the Hawaiian Gardens Casino in CA to serve better Lamb Chops at the price of $7.50. My biggest qualm with these chops are that they were not cooked properly. I think the marinade is acceptable. It seems to be a simple rosemary, salt, pepper, and olive oil sauce. They made some gravy with the meat juice and topped it back all thick and saucy. I did not have a problem with that. It was that they did not properly grill the meat. It was made well done, it was soggy, and the meat and so tenderized that there was no ripping-meat-off-bone action availble to me. The meat was soft and just fell off the bone. This is desirable quality for braised lamb shank, but not for lamb chops! There was a lack of grill marks, so you know they didn't grill it. And if you don't grill your lamb chops you already lose so much of the flavor and texture only a good old smokey grill can provide. The vegetables behind the lamb chops aren't worth really mentioning, case if you can't properly make mashed potatoes and steam vegetables, then you probably should just quit. If any has leads for a lamb chops like you can get em at Julian Serrano then let me know and I'll be forever grateful. I had an acceptable lamb chop at the Ninja Restaurant, but that is not a feasible place to munch on the reg.
 Their coffee would have been better if I had more cream to add to it. It was not a heavy bodies brew, and most likely an americano made with beans from Lavazza or something. It was not good enough to stand alone for me to drink if black. However, it paired well with the Crepe.
 This is the mixed berry crepe priced at 120 NT. These are the soft kind and not the ones you could nomrally get at a food court. The consistency is sort of like Arvorig ones, but it is not just filled with filling on the inside, but topped with some berries, whipped cream and drizzled with some more jam and dashed with powdered sugar. The presentation is good, and it tasted berry good. They jelly was not too sweet and it blended well with the taste of the crepe. If there is anything worth coming to Butters for, it's these crepes. I don't recommend getting an entire meal here because 2 out of 3 of the entrees were overpriced and not of good quality. What you get is not tolerable in proportion to what it costs. If you have to try out their food, go for the spagetti items or baked rice items instead.

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